The Legend of Aytron Senna​


When Ayrton Senna arrived at McLaren in 1988 he was an outstanding young driver, but he wasn’t yet the complete champion he would become during his time with the team. 

At 28 years old he was starting his fifth season in Formula 1 with six wins under his belt; at McLaren he would convert all that promise into three World Drivers’ Championships. ​​


The relationship got off to a sensational start: McLaren gave Ayrton one of the greatest Formula 1 cars of all time in 1988, the MP4/4, which he drove to a record-breaking eight wins in one season. It was enough to win him his first world title in his first year with the McLaren team.

The relationship got off to a sensational start: McLaren gave Ayrton one of the greatest Formula 1 cars of all time in 1988, the MP4/4, which he drove to a record-breaking eight wins in one season. It was enough to win him his first world title in his first year with the McLaren team.

But what Senna found at McLaren wasn’t just a competitive car – he found a team that shared his competitive ethos, his intensity about winning. ‘You commit yourself to such a level where there is no compromise,’ he once said of Formula 1. ‘You give everything you have, everything, absolutely everything.’

McLaren matched Senna’s uncompromising approach, demanding everything from every team member, squeezing every last drop of performance from the car. The result was a string of titles for both the driver and the team: in 1989, Senna finished second in the championship to team-mate Alain Prost, after which, bolstered by new team-mate Gerhard Berger, Ayrton won two more drivers’ titles in 1990 and 1991, placing him amongst motorsport’s all-time greats.