British F3 round 1 – Silverstone
6 March 1983. Qualifying: 53.90 (2); 53.77 (1). Front row.
Pole: Leslie (53.54).
Careful observers noticed that Senna seemed more uptight than at the end of 1982. Bennetts explained it was “just because this is the first race. He’s been looking forward to it for a long time and there’s quite a lot of pressure on him”. Senna was swift around Woodcote and said “I think there is a lot more to come just through putting more miles on the car and improving the set-up”.
This is the first authentic instance of semi-technical Senna-speak and you’ll be hearing much, much more of it. Leslie (in a Magnum 883) had a pole, Jones third, Brundle fourth. Motoring News reported that “Senna blotted his copybook slightly with a second lap spin on cold tyres in the first session but he avoided contact with anything and finished 0.36 down on Leslie.
Later in the day he would better that time despite the second session being slightly slower for rivals Leslie, Brundle and Fish. The handling balance, according to Bennetts, wasn’t quite right but it was pretty close. And it looks edit. Out on the circuit, the white car flowed round with barely a twitch. “Leslie and Senna ran wheel-to-wheel to Copse where Senna drove round the outside and led – The Tactic – leaving the others to pick up what they could. “I knew I had to try and pass round the outside but I was worried about the grip on coldish tyres. I kept the power on and the car gripped”. He meant he and the car gripped.
• Podium: Senna 18m 07.14s. Brundle at 6.43, Jones at 7.26.
• Fastest lap: Senna