November 5th is Designer Day, the perfect date to shine a spotlight on a few professionals who dedicate themselves to this corner of motorsports. Fans of Ayrton Senna undoubtedly remember his iconic yellow helmet, which was created and adjusted, as the years went by, by Sid Mosca, a renowned professional in Formula One design, who also came up with helmets for other Brazilian champions (Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet), and the livery for Copersucar-Fittipaldi’s cars – the Brazilian team that competed in the main category of worldwide motorsports.
While a good design can make a helmet, it’s absolutely vital in a racecar. Designer Steve Nichols (EUA), in a partnership with Gordon Murray (South African), can be credited for the F1 car that many still consider the best ever: the McLaren MP4/4, used in the 1988 season, when the team ruled the standings, with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost winning 15 out of season’s 16 races.
From 1989 to 1993, another Britton, Neil Oatley, was responsible for designing the chassis of the cars with which Ayrton Senna became a three-time world champion and won 41 F1 races. Browse the photo gallery at Ayrton Senna’s official website to see how the McLaren cars evolved throughout the years.