Published on May 23rd, 2013 | by F_Zanier

Senna’s Amazing Car Control

YouTube is a goldmine for motorsport fans. Nostalgic guys who think that the real F1 ended with the early 90s (I’m not that kind, even if there are many things I don’t like about contemporary F1) can find plenty of footage. Video quality is often shabby to say the least, but who cares if we can see some great driving!

The video above is from the 1990 Canadian Grand Prix: conditions are moist, but the racing line is dry so drivers are out on slick tyres. Unluckily for them, racing calls for overtaking and that means steering out of that line, in the wet. The situation is obviously tricky but some drivers cope with it much better than others, and for Senna this was just another opportunity to show his magic.

Just look as he laps a slower driver: the right wheels are on the wet side of the track, while the left ones are on the dry line: as soon as he hits the brakes, the grip differential starts spinning the car, but his lightning reaction keeps the McLaren from getting out of shape.
Things get quite worse for Nannini and Alesi: their task is more difficult because they are trying a real overtaking manoeuvre, but track conditions are the same as before. Nannini has just two wheels in the wet as Senna, but the Italian driver doesn’t manage to stop the spinning momentum quickly enough and hits the wall. Alesi, on the other hand, tries his move earlier and steers his Tyrrell a bit further to the right, but he loses the car too, ending into the wall in the same exact spot where Nannini had crashed five laps before. Luckily Alessandro had already left the cockpit…

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About the Author

In love with racing since I was a kid, from 2004 on I was lucky enough to make it my job. A motorsport reporter for Italian magazines (SportAutoMoto, Paddock) and websites, I’ve also experienced working on the other side of the fence, mainly as Series Coordinator and PR Manager for the Auto GP World Series (2010-2012) and as Event Coordinator for the Gulf 12 Hours in Yas Marina Circuit.



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