European grand Prix of 1993. Magic First Round

When you define the calendar of 1993 for the Formula One surely no one imagined that the Grand Prix of Europe was going to be as one of the best races in the history of the category. In particular, the very first round.

Ayrton Senna (BR), Marlboro McLaren Ford MP4/8. European Grand Prix, 11/04/1993, Donington Park, England.lain Prost had returned after a year absence from the track, to occupy the place left by Nigel Mansell in the team Williams.

Began the year with a victory in Kyalami (south Africa). Definitely the French felt very much at home in the English team driven by motor Renault, a brand that had given him his first victory in the category. In fact, I was so comfortable that when you get off of the podium declared “Since 1987 I had not felt so much support from my team. In confidence, that gives me 20 horses more”.

The problem was I didn’t have that confidence driving in the rain and on the occasion of the Brazilian Grand Prix, at Interlagos, he lost a victory to secure at the hands of their historic rival: Ayrton Senna Da Silva, who won in your house under the standing ovation of the “twisted” brazilian.

The brazilian order express Prost was unable to sign with Williams for that season, I was not sure of the technical qualities of the McLaren-Ford and only signed contract for each race. Donington would be the place to make the decision to run the rest of the season with the team led by Ron Dennis.

Under the sun, and in the special practice of the Thursday, all played in favour of the Williams with Prost and his rookie team-mate, briton Damon Hill, son of Graham (world Champion in 1962 and 1968). However, the pass sessions are lost the account of the blind spots, especially on Saturday when a curtain rain-soaked permanently track.

1993-donington-park-ayrton-senna-mclaren-3The reason of so many blind spots it was not only the water fall but the neighboring airport runway East Midland and the planes that vaporize kerosene on the runway during the 365 days of the year, transforming the same in an area of skating when it’s wet. This condition wiped out the superiority of the Williams with active suspension making prevail to the skill of the pilot… a pilot in particular: Ayrton “Magic” Senna and McLaren that since the beginning of the season was not the last evolution of the Ford and was surly in the face of the curves.

Loosed from the fourth place from the outside, Ayrton tries to pass to Michael Schumacher, who true to his style, tries to push you out of the track leaving both behind Karl Wendlinger with Sauber in the first meters of career. In the first corner, Ayrton changes its path and passes Schumacher on the inner side, approaching like an avalanche to Wendlinger and exceeds it in the “S” in a magisterial way by the outer side of the track. Not happy with that maneuver the brazilian is approaching the Williams of Damon Hill who passed just a few corners later with a lot of ease.

1993-donington-park-ayrton-senna-mclaren-2The spectators, the commentators, no one could leave the amazement to see similar maneuvers. was Not a pilot overtaking five cars in one lap with a mechanical means to top but on the contrary, was a show of skill, passion, there was no need to save fuel or take care of the tires. It was as if Ayrton ran under the sun, with the floor dry and with the 20 horses in trust that Prost had mentioned in the start of the season. Surely the French could not get out of amazement at the view as “Magic” is approaching the curve to Melbourne and it was first placed then to brake much later that the French pilot.

from there, Senna was dedicated to do the best he could: Run fast, faster than anyone else. Stretching his advantage to 4 seconds, then 7, on the fourth lap, piling up 9 seconds of advantage and achieved the single fastest lap of the history obtained by passing the pit lane. Meanwhile, Prost lost the vuelta with his team-mate being in third place.

1993-donington-park-ayrton-senna-mclaren-4The lowering of the car, Prost complained equipment, tires, many things. Ayrton was limited just to ask “you Want us to change self?”.Prost did not answer with words, his face of disgust was enough.

Paradoxes of the target would make the French in later years to return to McLaren as advisor and Ayrton realised his dream of running for Williams in 1994…. But that is another story…

Meanwhile, at Donington, the rain away from the circuit leaving space for the last ray of sun him Sunday, April 11, 1993