I love your story mate as in 1985 I lived at Reynella (Happy Valley way if you don’t know it) and 27 years later about 5km away.
My first actual REAL viewing of F1 instead of just some pictures . i remember a black & gold car emerging from pit lane with JPS all over it with a driver with a yellow helmet with blue and green stripes. I can’t remember his name though.
In 1986 our family friend next door (big brother I looked up to) took me and I was 10 years old. We wore Ug Boots LOL. (If you don’t know Ug boots are a stupid Aussie thing we wear being knee high boots made of wool- great in winter but don’t wear them to a F**King F1 race lol.
Anyway- saw the same guy in a JPS with a yellow helmet and loved watching him race from that day until May 1 1994 (RIP Friend). F1 was a bit different back then (especially in little old Adelaide) and we basically had full access to the to drivers back then, being Ayrton, Gerhard, Alain, Nigel, Nelson, Jean and all the others.
Back then all the drivers drove their hire cars in themselves so we would wait until they come back in the avro. As a major doco suggests Senna & Prost WERE the last to leave. One year (I think 1992) I had Ayrton sign my t-shirt, hat, book, another t-shirt and what ever else I could find. Later that arvo when I walked up to him he said “what, nothing else to sign??” with his checky grin. The fact was he remembered me as a young kid from 12 to 16 (I did not see him in 1986 or 1987 but every year after).
My 2 best F1 possesions:
A photo of Senna signing my shirt in 1988 with him wearing a crappy shirt and me a mullet (haha)
In 1988 I called out to Ayrton on the grid and asked him to give me the thumbs up (which he did). One year later he signed that photo and I still have it. I show my kids (6 & 4), they don’t get it yet, but they can’t touch it LOL.
There was a question raised before (maybe KingShark- sorry if not) regarding what Senna, Prost and others have “actually done for F1?”
All I can say is that he made a hero for kids. And at 35 and almost 19 years on those “kids” still miss him!
Also could anyone race better??
Suzuka in 2 days- mega super pumped!!!!!!