“Sen-na, Sen-na!”

The crowds would cheer, not just at the win of the race car’s driver but for the man, Ayrton Senna. You may have heard his name by way of the excellent documentary’s title, Senna, and the accolades are well deserved — the racetrack footage is remarkable. But Ayrton Senna’s integrity and perspective resound as strongly as his skill as a driver. The documentary articulates why, how, with and against what (and whom) he drives:

Ayrton Senna: Onboard camera, Monaco

  Beyond being the fastest driver or the first over the finish line, Ayrton was keen and considerate in observing the physics of car control. Not withstanding the fact that he won 41 races, including the Grand Champion (3 times, the latter two in consecutive years),  Ayrton Senna was highly and thoughtfully intelligent to an unusual degree. He was intent upon Moreover, he was one of the most articulate people in racing history:

“For me, this research is fascinating. Every time I push, I find something more, again and again. But there is a contradiction: the same moment that you become the fastest, you are enormously fragile. Because in a split-second, it can be gone — all of it. These two extremes contribute to knowing yourself, deeper and deeper.” 

Ayrton Senna

He described his ambitions and fear with equal candor, and approached them with equal heart.  Most striking is his self-control in moments of high tension and when facing danger. Examples of his courageous nature recur, and there is a particular scene narrated by his sister which captures his quiet and certain awareness. When he speaks in the film, it’s clear he is applying his daily thought and action to his purpose; he belonged to it.

Senna Documentary Trailer (YouTube)

While he may be remembered popularly as a world-class driver, he will always be regarded singularly as a champion of a man:

“I want to live fully, very intensely. I would never want to live partially, suffering from illness or injury. If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs my life, I hope it happens in one instant.”

Instituto Ayrton Senna:

Official Senna Documentary Site

Senna Film imdb link