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Hagerty Employee

Smithology: High redefinition | Hagerty Media

Have something you should watch, if you have a minute. In May of 1990, Ayrton Senna was under contract with McLaren-Honda. The 30-year-old Brazilian was then nothing less than an international star, one of the most sparkling talents Formula 1 had ever seen.

I've watched that particular Senna lap maybe 100 times; I still have the original VHS tape that captured the on-air coverage that day. He goes so far beyond the car's capability, time and time again, and still manages to convert it all into forward motion. One-handing great gobs of opposite lock in the hairpin while ripping off a shift. Getting caught up behind a dawdling competitor and jinking not once, but twice to clear him, and *still* taking pole by a second and a half. It was masterful, ridiculous, insane, mind-bending, and incredibly violent, and like him or not (and I didn't) you had to admit that at that moment, he was the best.

Ah - wrong clip. Mine was of his pole-position qualifying lap (which was even more over the top, if you can imagine it...)
New Driver

No surprise that the last word of this essay is... magic. That was Senna's nickname. And that's what he was.

Every sentence here is a work of art, particularly "He was a devout believer in both God and situational ethics, and many of his choices at the wheel evinced a degree of moral flexibility that can present poorly in hindsight."