Next weekend Autosport International will be open to the public, their main feature will be the cars driven by triple world champion Ayrton Senna.
Ahead of this I felt it was time I finally watched the Senna film. I’d put it off for so long because so many reviews had said it had made them cry and I don’t like crying.
The film is simple, which is what makes it so beautiful. The film relies solely on archived footage of Senna during interviews, during races and even some home videos from the Senna family. All of this is played with interviews of his family and people closest too him over the top.
The film starts showing you his karting days, where it’s obvious to see that even back then he just wanted and needed to race.
We see the struggle he faced against the inconsistency with the rules and the pretty obvious bias of the current FIA president, Jean-Marie Balestre. The majority of the film though, focuses on his battles with Prost, which is a shame because I’m sure Senna’s entire career wasn’t just battling against Prost. So it would have been nice to see a couple of other drivers involved.
The frustration is evident when the he loses the world championship because he cut a chicane after going down the slip road. You feel the same frustration too when you see Ron Dennis showing footage of other drivers doing the same thing while he explains they received no penalty at all. I’ll be honest, I called the FIA president a nob, not to his face of course, but it was directed at the tv. I’ve never felt such frustration while watching a film.
We see the concern in Senna’s face when another driver has a crash and we see him fighting hard to try to improve the sports safety. Senna comes across as a passionate, caring, kind, intelligent and extremely talented man, who didn’t care for the politics and the rumours involved in Formula 1, he just wanted to race.
The film also shows the countless things Ayrton did to help people in need in his native Brazil, it’s clear to see from the footage that they worshipped him. One many even says the country has nothing else to really be proud of.
The highlight of the film for me was when he won the Brazilian Grand Prix with a car stuck in 6th gear. How he did that I’ve no idea, I’m not sure he even knew, but the sheer joy and excitement you hear over the radio is amazing. You thought Sebastian Vettel sounds excited when he wins a race? You need to see/hear that bit of footage. Youtube it if you must, just listen to it. He’d put so much into the race that he passed out in the car afterwards, that’s what I call giving it everything.
One of the best things about this film is the emotion it makes you feel. I’ve never watched a film that’s made me feel the way Senna has, you share the feelings of frustration and elation with him as you watch the film. You can’t help but laugh when you see the footage of him in a drivers meetings and he brings something up that catches the FIA president off guard, infact I think I’ve developed a serious disliking for this guy. This is how much Senna makes you feel.
You don’t need to be a fan of Formula 1 to enjoy this, this is a film about determination, fighting, triumph and in the end, absolute tragedy, it’s just applied to Formula 1. It’s an absolute tragedy that he died, he was an incredible driver and that’s plain to see.
If you’re a Formula 1 fan and you haven’t seen this, go and see it. If you aren’t a Formula 1 fan and you haven’t seen it, what are you doing reading this? GO AND SEE IT!