“Ayrton Senna: An interactive voyage” (Christopher Hilton, 2009)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

"Ayrton Senna - an interactive voyage"
"Ayrton Senna - an interactive voyage"

If there?s one thing my bookshelf isn?t short of it?s Ayrton Senna biographies. So what?s the cause for this new title as the 15th anniversary of Senna?s untimely passing approaches?

The idea behind this book, and the reason behind that ??interactive voyage?? tag, is that as well as a biography you get copies of various interesting documents from Senna?s life, such as official letters and testing itineraries, pictures of which you can see below.

This along with the ??30 price tag marks the book out as one for the dedicated Senna enthusiast.

The ‘interactive’ bits are by far the most interesting part of the proposition. There’s a lengthy letter from Senna to a friend, an invitation to the 1990 FIA prize-giving ceremony, and his British competition licence from 1981.

One unusual item that caught my eye was a telegram from the president of Brazil following the 1991 British Grand Prix, where Senna had retired late in the race with a technical problem. The note reads: “Brilliant Formula 1 championship England circuit race, where the second place would have been a fairer result.”

The book is very well produced, presented in an attractive case, and the material used for the reproductions is all high quality. But the text doesn’t add an awful lot to what we know of Senna in the many other books on the subject, many of which written by Hilton.

Depending on your point of view, you may take this book one of two ways: either as an original and engaging new approach to a popular topic, or a tired re-treading of old ground in an attempt to squeeze more money out of the Senna brand. I’ll leave that for you to decide in the comments.

But I have to wonder when the fascination with Senna to the exclusion of many other fine F1 drivers is going to end. I have plenty of okay-ish biographies of Senna (and one very good one), but nothing on his arch-rival Alain Prost worth recommending. I hope someone redresses the balance.

Ardent Senna fans will lap up “An interactive voyage”, but I’d like to read a bit more about his rivals in future.

F1 Fanatic verdict

“Ayrton Senna – Memories and Mementoes from a life lived at full speed: An interactive voyage”
Haynes
2009
9781844256556

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