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Public opinion on Senna in his day?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Mark Hitchcock Mark Hitchcock 1 year, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #132187
    Avatar of chakakhan
    chakakhan
    Participant

    I was only 1 1/2 when Senna died, so I certainly have no recollection of what people thought of him/said about him back in the day. I ask this because of the ubiquitous negative comments on Hamilton, especially in light of his Mercedes move. Both he and Senna’s personalities are popular topics of discussion. My impression of Senna was that he was quite the character, in both good and bad ways. I still got this impression from the documentary even though it seemed to villainize Prost. Perhaps it’s because people find it in bad taste to speak down on a dead man, but I never hear anything bad about him. Everyone has detractors, so I’m just curious as to what they said about him 20 years ago.

    #211746
    Avatar of magon4
    magon4
    Participant

    This was more or less the public opinion.
    - passionate
    - arrogant
    - extremely fast on one lap
    - either win or DNF
    - aggressive driving style

    #211747
    Avatar of Kingshark
    Kingshark
    Participant

    Had there been an F1 internet community 20 years ago, I believe Senna would’ve had as many haters as Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel do today. I also believe Senna wasn’t rated as highly before his Imola 1994, and his death made his legacy greater. That being said, I doubt few people would deny his speed and talents as a driver.

    #211748
    Avatar of necrodethmortem
    necrodethmortem
    Participant

    @kingshark You believe wrong. Look at some races from the 80s on youtube, Murray Walker calls Senna ‘probably the fastest driver on the grid’ as early as ’85, his second season.

    #211749
    Avatar of magon4
    magon4
    Participant

    @Kingshark, how old are you?

    #211750
    Avatar of Kingshark
    Kingshark
    Participant

    I am only in high school. However, the opinion on Senna comes from my uncle, who’s been watching F1 since 1979. But he was a Prost fan though….

    Murray Walker calls Senna ‘probably the fastest driver on the grid’ as early as ’85, his second season.

    I don’t question Senna’s speed but rather him being a complete driver. Prost out-scored him 2 seasons in a row.

    #211751
    Avatar of magon4
    magon4
    Participant

    Senna didn’t really give Prost a real chance. He just wasn’t consistent enough, but he was clearly the better driver.

    #211752
    Avatar of necrodethmortem
    necrodethmortem
    Participant

    Consistency and keeping the car alive are an integral part of the package that makes a good driver. Prost was better at those things, Senna was quicker, both were greats in their own way. What I meant to say is that the ‘Senna is only rated so highly because he died’ thing is utter nonsense.

    #211753
    Avatar of S.J.M
    S.J.M
    Participant

    He was an excellent driver who, like today’s excellent drivers, had his share of faults and questionable traits. But no more or less then Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel.

    I think drivers who die racing have in a small way, their legacy solidified, but it doesn’t build it. No way, it’s unfair and completely wrong.

    #211754
    Avatar of Pamphlet
    Pamphlet
    Participant

    @necrodethmortem It’s not nonsense at all. If you want an even better example, look at Gilles Villeneuve.

    #211755
    Avatar of necrodethmortem
    necrodethmortem
    Participant

    Right, nobody thought Villeneuve was any good until he died either o_0

    This is where this conversation ends for me.

    #211756
    Avatar of Pamphlet
    Pamphlet
    Participant

    Yes, but nobody even thought of putting him amongst the all-time best before that.

    If you want another example, there’s always Stefan Bellof. Another murderously overrated driver.

    #211757
    Avatar of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine
    Keymaster

    Just the other day I was reading the Motorsport magazine write-up of the 1991 Japanese Grand Prix which pilloried Senna for the press conference where he came clean about taking Prost off the year before. Here’s a bit of what Senna said for those who haven’t seen it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdRaaBPAS_M&t=2m51s

    #211758
    Avatar of Aditya Banerjee
    Aditya Banerjee
    Participant

    @Pamphlet : Do you even know of Stefan Bellof’s achievements in sportscars?? The people who rate him highly are far more experienced at judging drivers than you. So please do a bit of background reading next time before spewing out whatever first comes to your mind…

    #211759
    Avatar of safeeuropeanhome
    safeeuropeanhome
    Participant

    I don’t think drivers dying makes them more rated, it might add to the mystique a bit in the case of guys like Clark, Rindt, Ascari and Senna but they were all considered great drivers before they died anyway. However I definitely think that in the case of Senna and maybe with other drivers too, the fact he died means some of his fans and people discussing great drivers do not take valid criticism of his driving well at all, or choose to gloss over/ignore their failings as you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.

    I’ve frequently seen people castigate Schumacher for some of the things he did on track, but with Senna they are prepared to overlook what he did in Suzuka 1990, or some of his other more questionable moments.

    If you go onto some forums or websites and utter a word against Senna you will get your head ripped off, but I guess that’s as true today for any of the current top guys. It’s probably why Alain Prost refused to speak about Senna for such a long while after he died, he couldn’t really win whatever he said. If he said good things people would be saying he didn’t behave that way when he was alive, and if he badmouthed him then he would be criticising someone who can’t defend himself.

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