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For YEARS i hear about how great Ayrton Senna was. Yeah the guy died tragically and yeah he was very good and maybe amongst the best. The problem is that he was already being overtaken by Michael even when he was at his peak, in a better car and Michael was a novice. Unlike most of you out there I think that the MYTH of Ayrton Senna would have been debunked had he lived. I think better drivers were coming along and he was going to be shown up for what he was. A loud mouthed, arrogant bully. YES A BULLY. If he had employed some of his tactics now he would have been banned from Formula 1. People forget and tend to glorify the dead. His legend has grown in the telling. I will get a lot of flack for this but I feel I have to say it. I DO remember him driving people off the road. I DO remember him bullying younger drivers. I DO remember him employing all the intimidation that comes with being the number on driver and of even assaulting fellow drivers. You people think Michael was bad? You have NO IDEA how tame he was compared to Senna. So give it a rest. Yes he was great but please lets not go over board.
- 2 Replies to Robert
I met Ayrton once and gave him a lift after a practice shunt.
He was arrogant, rude and damnright ungrateful. in those days he was Ayrton de Silva.
Good driver but my lasting impression of him is *sshole!
I met Ayrton as well. I am not saying that he was a bad man. I am saying that deifying someone as the greatest ever is a hell of a badge of honor. Ayrton was not a gentleman on the track and as someone so rightly pointed out, it was a different era. Having said that is that really the case? Ayrton was a hard nosed driver. He gets Kudos. Michael didnt do ANYTHING that Ayrton didnt or wouldnt and yet he is vilified. Along comes LH and he does the SAME things that Michael and Ayrton did and he is pardoned. Why? Because F1 is a British sport. Most of the people who Govern it are British. So what was the black mark against Michael? Well. He won more and did more in almost every category than did Ayrton. As for the person that said Ayrton had a big heart. Yeah well cry me a river..so did Michael..or do we forget that Michael gave millions for psunami relief? So then tell me this. If Ayrton is such an angel then why is Michael such a villain? Did he do anything Ayrton didnt? More to the point was he as bad as Ayrton was?
Around 250 Formula One experts had a voting last year to decide who could be the best F1 driver of all times. Now, we are talking about people that work with F1, that breath it and do nothing else then F1, not normal human beings like us that watch the races every Sunday. They came from over 20 different nations and of course the British and the Germans were in majority because of their weight in Motor Racing in General. I honestly do not remember who was 2nd but I think it was Jim Clark. The late Jochen Rindt was there somewhere, Stewart, Fangio, Moss and all that incredible good crowd of awesome drivers. Schumacher got 3rd of 4th...do not remember. The guy that was elected the most gifted driver of all history of F1 was said to have borne with it like Pele or Maradora for football, like Kelly Slater for surfing... He won by a huge margin of points to the second. Yes, my friend, I think you can see it coming: his name was AYRTON SENNA DA SILVA!
Enough with the BS.
- 2 Replies to Angie
Hold on to the Phone there, Angie! What experts are these from the 21st century that can suddenly decide history for all of us? They obviously haven't witnessed the evidence available in this footage of Juan Manuel Fangio, which proves the mettle of this great driver: http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/fangio_bio.htm They didn't have fancy little electronic gadgets and smooth shock absorbers to make things easier for them. I believe you will even see potholes and other absurd malformations in the track. Try driving this car with your "experts" and see how they measure up!
Angie, If you want to make REAL comparisons deal with the numbers. Michael Trounces Ayrton in almost every stat. The fact that people vote someone better than another doesnt change the fact that Michael destroyed Senna legacy on the track, where it counts. Now we have F1 saying that the gap in points between 1-2 needs to be greater so that we reward first places. Do you forget WHY the points scoring system was changed from 10 for first 6 for second? Because of MICHAEL SCHUMACHER. The F1 supremos got tired of Michael romping off to win the title half way through the season. How many drivers had rules changed to slow them down? Only Michael. Enough said
Clearly you don't really follow F1. If you did you would know that Schumacher was driving a non-spec car during his early years with Benetton. The car he had was outfitted with illegal traction control and he only escaped punishment by the fact that F1 was going through tough times and bad PR when it came to light. The official story by Benetton at the time was that yes the car had traction control abilities but that they couldn't be turned on by the driver... no one ever explained why Benetton hid this ability. The result was a fine, the more appropriate penltly would have been disqualification of all their results in the illegal car.
So quite frankly no one can say whether Senna was faster or slower than Schumacher when they were both in legal cars... we know Schumacher was able to win some races in illegal cars... but then so what.
You also have no idea of the context of his "intimidation" driving... if you did you would know that he took out Prost because Prost had done the same thing to him... and unlike your apparent hero Schumacher he didn't cheat to win.
With all due respect mark n, I think the only person who's views have been twisted with time are yours. Yes Senna was intense and uncompromising and that did lead to incidents that were un-sporting on his part. But TAME compared to Scumacher, please get a grip.
Micahel Schumacher, for all his dazzling ability was a CHEATER, plain and simple. If you don't believe me refer yourself to the season finales of 1994 and 1997. He also displayed sporting cowardice in refusing to have a top driver alongside him at Ferrari. Or at any rate one who was actually allowed to express themselves and challenge 'mighty Schumi.' This is how he achieved his incredible record.
Senna took on the best driver of his era (Prost) head-on in the same car and BEAT HIM (twice if you ask me, but FISA disagreed in 1989) This is something Michael Schumacher deliberately avoided doing.
And for the record, Schumacher was good at Benetton in '92-'93, but to say he was already eclipsing Senna shows you can't have been watching F1 in those years. Yes the young Michael was good, but he made alot of unforced errors and it wasn't until 1994 that he ceased to be a pretender and became a contender (assuming you believe that the B194 was a legal car to start with but that's a whole other story!)
I can see your point about kids who weren't there eulogising about Senna when they know nothing about him, but to paint a man who is perhaps the fastest driver of all time as a cheat and a bully is frankly offensive and ignorant.
- 2 Replies to Sam
...my friend, Senna wasn't a cheat, but so neather was Shumi... about the season end in '94 and '97, well bouth Senna and Prost were involved in similar incidents with each other, incidents that were decisives in the title fight...bouth Shumi and Senna were two of the most talented drivers ever, but you can't compare them, because for example, since the end of the 80s and the end of the 90s, the sport evolved a lot not only tehnical, but also managerial, so it wasn't just Shumi's request not cu have a competitive team mate, but the team would not accept two drivers like Senna and Prost, because it's objective was to win and when you have such arch rivel in the same team, well, you have a lot of problems, you could lose precios points as a resault of a double abandon after a fight between them..........also not in the end.....F1 is a TEAM sport 9let's repeat that word........ "TEAM" ).......that means that the team members cooperate in order to achive it's objective..........
SO when Michael was in the peack of it's career you could not put the problem in the same way you put it when Senna was at Mercedes, alongside Prost........realy.......let's take the Hamilton - Alonso example...........
Senna was a very loved driver, I respect it's memory, but, the fact that made him an unreacheble F1 legend, isn't his huge talent, but his supreme sacrifice on the track............
- 2 Replies to Greg
WOW! I love this topic, everyone has great points for there fav but due to the untimley death of Senna, who was great, you never know where he would have ended up. That being said if you measure where each driver was in the equal amount of time or races I think that is the only fair comparison. I like to look at what they did before they had the best equipment. To me that's when you see the true talent and in that case what Senna did for toleman in the 80's was unbelievable. The same can be said for what Michael did for Benneton. Someone compare the stats and then start the debate.
Yet again someone with a little knowledge talking rubbish...
You say he was a bully, you say you remember him driving people off the road, you say he intimidated younger drivers..
The same could also be said about your so called mighty schumacher..
The difference being the quality of the drivers was much better in senna's day when most of the drivers had at least won a race..
Nearly forgot, unlike Schumacher, Senna did not get caught cheating on numerous occassions...
Go read some F1 history before coming back with pointless, ill informed views...
- 1 Reply to no Name
This is amusing only in so far as you are wrong in every aspect of your rebuttal. Ayrton wasnt caught cheating? He sure was accused of it enough times. The main difference is that when Ayrton was racing no one was as concerned about how you won more about the fact that you won. Yes blatant cheating was a no no but the running of drivers off the road was not considered a real big deal..or did that only apply to Ayrton and more recently Lewis? What I AM saying is..people like you, and please notice you did mention Michael in your response, give Michael a hard time but not Senna or Lewis. Why is that?
As for the quality of drivers...please cry me a river..Michael was an up and coming driver with Jordan and Benetton and yet there was the great Ayrton being overtaken by a young river in a vastly inferior car. So if the quality was so poor how come Ayrton wasnt holding his own at that stage..
So basically you seem to place an emphasis on being caught..:) not on the actual cheating..such as for example... ummm Lewis and his wonderful Ferrari developed McLaren..:) or on how Lewis has been slammed, by the drivers themselves (Or would you say they too are ill informed?) for being an overly aggressive driver...(Political speak for cheat)..:)
Interesting post, especially since posts about Senna in here are very few and far between so I don't understand your ranting.
We all have our opinions on who the greatest drivers were. Normally we back them up with reasons and facts. There's no point in comparing drivers from different eras simply because there are so many different factors involved at any time. That goes for any sport - not just F1.
As to whether typing every second word in capital letters is the way to make convincing arguments, I prefer facts and figures.
You can put me wrong but I get the feeling you never saw Senna drive. Many of the posters here not only followed Senna's career but many of the greats before him. Not just on TV but actually at the track.
- 1 Reply to probablygraham
The comparison between Senna and Schumacher is a difficult one anyway, as Senna was an on-track racer and Schumi did a lot of his racing in the preparation. Not just in the set-up, but psychologically. Unlike Senna, Schumi was generally very nice to back-markers so that they wouldn't hold him up as he was trying to pass them. Schumi always made sure he never had any serious competition from a team mate. The Senna-Prost situation would never have happened.
Senna may have been a bully on the track, but he was also an extremely sensitive and compassionate human being. He did loads of charity work, and was the most upset when Ratzenberger died. There are always two sides to these things.
It seems odd to me that someone would start a thread *out of the blue* about how sick they are of hearing about Ayrton Senna, when all that would do is prompt a big discussion of Ayrton Senna. In a way, it's a self-fulfilling thread: "See - told you everyone talks about Senna all the time!" Might have been funny if we'd all just replied, "who?"
Wow, where did that come from? I will always remember the epic battles between Senna and Prost, yes Senna was very aggressive and a proud man, but Prost was no slouch in the aggressive part and while he surely is a very proud man, he did not display it the same way as Senna. There is also no questions about his generosity, behind the scene, I believe his sister is still working with the children foundation he started.
While one might disparage a living human being, I believe it to be in poor taste to do so once they die, we all carry some baggage, some more than others. Just my opinion.
- 1 Reply to oldcanuck
Your comment about disparaging the dead is noted and I apologise. My issue is not with his talent it is more with the level of hypocrisy when it comes to three drivers:
1) Ayrton Senna..Brilliant but no slouch at the gamesmanship aspects of Formula 1
2) Michael Schumacher... Also Brilliant but much derided and lambasted.
3) Lewis Hamilton... Praised beyond his years for being a great driver, by no means as talented as Alonso, a driver I personally dont care for but talented nonetheless.
1 and 3 are excused for doing all the things Michael did....with the exception of the MC race "stall". Gamesmanship in the 50's thru the 80's but cheating in the 90's and 0's.
Lewis benefits from a great car developed in no small part from ferrari design specs..he drives people off the road...he jostles other drivers...complains incessantly.
Senna..he was a driver from another era. An era where a lot of the things that were countenanced back then are called cheating now.
Problem for Michael was that he started in the era of the Sennas and ended up in the era of the sanctimonious...well sanctimonious so long as it isnt a British driver that is falling foul of the authorities..at which point..you can hear Brits bleating shamelessly about how," Well Michael also did that"...well if you are going to deride Michael for what he did do the same for Lewis...N'est Pas?
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