This week, all the main F1 teams have started unveiling their new race cars for the 2020 season. Ferrari, Renault, Red Bull and McLaren were the first to show their new designs to the world.
With that in mind, the Ayrton Senna official website has compiled a list featuring those cars that, while not the most well-known in the Brazilian’s career, have also marked his journey in F1.
Testing Piquet’s Brabham in 1983
On November 14, 1983, one day before he was supposed to decide with which team he would make his F1 debut on the following year, Ayrton had his final test with the cars used in the 1983 season. This time, it was the Brabham-BMW driven by Nelson Piquet, the driver who had just won his second world title in the category.
The test took place in Paul-Ricard, in the beautiful French region of Provence. The circuit hosted several F1 races back in Senna’s time, and has recently become the official setting of the French Grand Prix once again. Ayrton was invited by Bernie Ecclestone, the team’s principal, to take a few laps, along with other drivers, such as Colombian Roberto Guerrero and Italians Mauro Baldi and Pierluigi Martini.
Striped White-and-red Toleman – 1984
In 1984, Senna had a top-three finish with Toleman, in Portugal. It was his third time on the podium in his career.
At the 1984 Portuguese GP, Senna was still in his first year in F1, driving a Toleman. And the British team went into the GP with a curious livery: a striped white-and-red car, very different from the original white-and-blue TG184.
On top of that, it was a very special day for Ayrton: the Brazilian had his third podium-finish in the category. Already signed with Lotus for the 1985 season, the driver raced his final race with Toleman at Estoril and was honored with a banner by the team’s mechanics that read, “Toleman will never be the same again without Senna”.
Number 11 Lotus
The black-and-gold Lotus is one of the most iconic machines Senna has ever driven, always sporting the number 12. However, the Brazilian had tests with the number 11 car in a few instances: at Donington Park, before the 1985 official testing season and in Rio de Janeiro, during the 1986 F1 tests.
McLaren Lamborghini – 1993
In 1993, Ayrton Senna experienced one of the most peculiar episodes in his career: the three-time world champion tested a McLaren with a Lamborghini engine. The British team was exploring a new partnership for the following year, and Senna drove a very weird-looking car: it was all white, without any logos from sponsors.
The McLaren-Lamborghini MP4/8B took to the track on September 20, 1993 at the same place where the driver had won his first F1 race ever: Estoril, in Portugal.