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Senna interview from 1990


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#51 Gareth

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:33

Thanks Galko, must have taken you a huge amount of time and effort to translate, it was fantastic to read.

I was amazed by the number of times the interviewer felt able to ask a question on a subject Senna would say was out of bounds, usually eventually getting Senna to talk. Just doesn't happen now - ask one question in the wrong area and the chances are it's interview over. Great to read something like this in today's soundbite era.

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#52 Murl

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:35

Yes, thanks so much Galko.

Not much to add, he said plenty.

Understandably, he put a few issues aside because of his status as an active driver.

Would have been interesting to read that second interview, had it ever taken place.

#53 Steve Williams

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:29

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, thanks so much Galko for translating and posting this :up: .

It was absolutely rivetting reading. I thought there wasn't much fresh stuff about Senna I hadn't seen - but never knew about this one. Contradictory and complex. I was old enough (in my 20s) to see and remember Senna racing. I was never a huge supporter of his but always found him controversial, interesting and I can still see the pole lap at Adelaide in 85 - it was the first F1 race I went to - he drove it like a 1200hp kart. I don't think I've ever seen greater car control.

Senna - Complete - no way. Quick - absolutely. Gifted - Undoubtedly.

Absolutely rivetting and, well you just wouldn't see an interview like that these days......

Great work.

#54 aditya-now

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:56

Originally posted by holiday
Thanks, but could we move that to the Nostalgia Forum?


haha!

Poor holiday can´t bear the sight of a Senna interview in the Racing comments!
Indeed, Ayrton´s words are timeless and have an appeal now as then.

Thanks for the translation, Galko877 :up:

#55 glorius&victorius

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 15:25

Thanks Galko! Excellent work and I am happy the moderators kept the thread here...

I think that since Senna there has never been another driver who has been able to explain the experience of driving an F1 car in such a personal manner...

But one has to admit he was a bit of an odd guy... on a different level.

I see a number of things in him:
- him seeking victory and the No. 1 of being the best at the cost of everything (including lying, twisting the truth, deflaming Prost and everybody else)
- him seeking a certain spiritual development and enlightment... and racing became his vehicle towards reaching this stage
- him dealing with what seems an complex relationship with women... (i am not surprised at the gay rumours... perhaps he had a crush on Prost too :)

btw, this gave me goosebumps, not just the line but how he told it...:
"The difference between man and machine ceased to exist, I was united with the car, we became one."

#56 rolf123

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 16:10

I wonder if that's simply the effect of Monaco and he would not have had that anywhere else.

The circuit is so twisty and yet quite fast too, especially near the swimming pool area. Sometimes when I play it in GP2/GP4 I feel like I'm integrated with my computer :D :D

#57 pUs

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 16:32

Awesome interview. :up: :up: many thanks for sharing this with us.

#58 Imperial

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 16:51

One bit (from so many) that stands out I think is when he asks if ether qualifies as a drug, as if it is then he wants to declare he has smelled it. Yet another difference to today. Can you imagine anyone in F1 today seeking clarification on whether something is a drug, so they can confess to having had a sniff of it? Jesus...

#59 BuonoBruttoCattivo

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 17:02

I swear I thought I was reading some parts written by Dubbya, another religious fanatic that "sees" and "hears things". :o
Great driver, very fast, but even a better manipulator and hypocrite.
This really should be in nostalgia forum.

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#60 BrawnsBrain

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 17:11

Originally posted by rolf123

The circuit is so twisty and yet quite fast too, especially near the swimming pool area. Sometimes when I play it in GP2/GP4 I feel like I'm integrated with my computer :D :D


ROFL :lol:

GP2 / GP4 are great. I know the feeling.

#61 Lazarus II

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 17:12

Thank you :up:

Great interview. I appreciate the time it must have taken you :up: :up: :up:

#62 BrawnsBrain

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 17:12

Originally posted by BuonoBruttoCattivo
I swear I thought I was reading some parts written by Dubbya, another religious fanatic that "sees" and "hears things". :o
Great driver, very fast, but even a better manipulator and hypocrite.
This really should be in nostalgia forum.


Nah, keep it here. It's still relevant to modern F1 and figuring out the genius of drivers in any case... Senna is something of a benchmark.

#63 RSNS

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 23:01

Galko went into a lot of trouble to translate that huge interview. We can't thank him enough. I had never read it.

I think about the psychology of f1 drivers quite a lot. I had never really understood Senna until I read this interview. Now I think I understand him, but I must say that I loathe what he was. He was only a HUGE ego, so big that others only counted as far as they could worship it. I found that literally disgusting, I mean, it really made me very ill at ease.

Every story he told is twisted, bent to be self serving, and yet he seemed very pleased with himself. He was crazy, all right, plus he probably was a halfwit. How could he not understand the profound ridicule of himself? How could he not see that other people might not be interested by what he thought about himself?

I was reminded of another halfwit egomaniac, Cassius Clay (or Muhamed Ali, if you prefer).

Do you know the feeling of shame when someone else makes a complete idiot of himself? That's the feeling I collect from this interview.

I looked for a : puke : smiley, but I could not find one.

I apologize to all Senna fans. I understand people like the way he drove and raced, but what a miserable and ridiculous person he was.

#64 rolf123

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 23:08

Originally posted by RSNS
Galko went into a lot of trouble to translate that huge interview. We can't thank him enough. I had never read it.

I think about the psychology of f1 drivers quite a lot. I had never really understood Senna until I read this interview. Now I think I understand him, but I must say that I loathe what he was. He was only a HUGE ego, so big that others only counted as far as they could worship it. I found that literally disgusting, I mean, it really made me very ill at ease.

Every story he told is twisted, bent to be self serving, and yet he seemed very pleased with himself. He was crazy, all right, plus he probably was a halfwit. How could he not understand the profound ridicule of himself? How could he not see that other people might not be interested by what he thought about himself?

I was reminded of another halfwit egomaniac, Cassius Clay (or Muhamed Ali, if you prefer).

Do you know the feeling of shame when someone else makes a complete idiot of himself? That's the feeling I collect from this interview.

I looked for a : puke : smiley, but I could not find one.

I apologize to all Senna fans. I understand people like the way he drove and raced, but what a miserable and ridiculous person he was.


Wow, someone has a major inferiority complex here!

I've never heard anyone call Senna miserable before.

#65 RSNS

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 23:26

Originally posted by rolf123


Wow, someone has a major inferiority complex here!

I've never heard anyone call Senna miserable before.


Please don't try to insult me with cheap psychology! A post like mine does not suggest anything of the kind. Unless you are a Senna fan, in which case you are forgiven.

To every thing there is a first time. You have now heard someone call Senna miserable one time. Let's see if it catches...

#66 tifosi

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 23:48

Originally posted by rolf123
Maybe this is crazy.....but when I read the words of Senna (not just this article but more), I think he is the closest thing to God I have ever known......and I am an atheist!

Some people may laugh at me for this but I don't care.


Are you like, 6???

#67 aditya-now

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 00:28

Originally posted by rolf123
Maybe this is crazy.....but when I read the words of Senna (not just this article but more), I think he is the closest thing to God I have ever known......and I am an atheist!

Some people may laugh at me for this but I don't care.



When Senna was still alive there was this joke in Brazil:

A motorist dies and goes to heaven. He arrives at the pearly gates, and when St.Peter allows him in, he sees someone driving extremely fast in a race car, with a yellow helmet on.

The motorist asks St.Peter:"I did not know that Senna was already dead?!"

St.Peter answers: "This is not Senna, Senna is still down on earth winning races. This is God Himself thinking that He is Senna!"

#68 red stick

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:53

Originally posted by aditya-now



When Senna was still alive there was this joke in Brazil:

A motorist dies and goes to heaven. He arrives at the pearly gates, and when St.Peter allows him in, he sees someone driving extremely fast in a race car, with a yellow helmet on.

The motorist asks St.Peter:"I did not know that Senna was already dead?!"

St.Peter answers: "This is not Senna, Senna is still down on earth winning races. This is God Himself thinking that He is Senna!"


:D

Thanks to Galko for translating and posting. Fascinating reading.

#69 jimm

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 04:18

Originally posted by RSNS
Galko went into a lot of trouble to translate that huge interview. We can't thank him enough. I had never read it.

I think about the psychology of f1 drivers quite a lot. I had never really understood Senna until I read this interview. Now I think I understand him, but I must say that I loathe what he was. He was only a HUGE ego, so big that others only counted as far as they could worship it. I found that literally disgusting, I mean, it really made me very ill at ease.

Every story he told is twisted, bent to be self serving, and yet he seemed very pleased with himself. He was crazy, all right, plus he probably was a halfwit. How could he not understand the profound ridicule of himself? How could he not see that other people might not be interested by what he thought about himself?

I was reminded of another halfwit egomaniac, Cassius Clay (or Muhamed Ali, if you prefer).

Do you know the feeling of shame when someone else makes a complete idiot of himself? That's the feeling I collect from this interview.

I looked for a : puke : smiley, but I could not find one.

I apologize to all Senna fans. I understand people like the way he drove and raced, but what a miserable and ridiculous person he was.


You don't know many racing drivers or professional athletes at the top of their sport do you? They are all this way to a certain extent. they have to be...without this type of self beleif they don't make it.

#70 jimm

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 04:23

Not to draw you away from atlas/autosport but there is a great interview on F1racing with Watkins about Senna.

for those who think he was always selfcentered..a quick quote from someone who actually knew him instead of just through the media:

“I was extremely fond of him and we got on really, really well,” he said. “It’s, It’s a peculiar bond, really that I’ve not had with any other driver. And he became a part of the family, really. He got on well with all of our children, he was very kind to them when they were small and they idolised him. And he stayed with us in Scotland and I stayed with him in Brazil. And it was always interesting when I first would first see him at the circuit and the weekend, for example, and he would suddenly realise I was there [and] he was always very pleased to see me." -Watkins
http://en.f1-live.co...422170024.shtml

#71 Sergino

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 04:57

Originally posted by RSNS
Galko went into a lot of trouble to translate that huge interview. We can't thank him enough. I had never read it.

I think about the psychology of f1 drivers quite a lot. I had never really understood Senna until I read this interview. Now I think I understand him, but I must say that I loathe what he was. He was only a HUGE ego, so big that others only counted as far as they could worship it. I found that literally disgusting, I mean, it really made me very ill at ease.

Every story he told is twisted, bent to be self serving, and yet he seemed very pleased with himself. He was crazy, all right, plus he probably was a halfwit. How could he not understand the profound ridicule of himself? How could he not see that other people might not be interested by what he thought about himself?

I was reminded of another halfwit egomaniac, Cassius Clay (or Muhamed Ali, if you prefer).

Do you know the feeling of shame when someone else makes a complete idiot of himself? That's the feeling I collect from this interview.

I looked for a : puke : smiley, but I could not find one.

I apologize to all Senna fans. I understand people like the way he drove and raced, but what a miserable and ridiculous person he was.


I recommend you to watch "The lifestyle in Ayrton Senna in Brasil" on Youtube. That guy does not seems an idiot to me at all.

#72 G. Ceara

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:07

It´s worth expanding on the observation that has been made that Senna was a very complex individual, who had very different and occasionally contrasting facets to his personality, which he would demonstrate alternatively depending on the time of his life, the context and the audience. Indeed it could be said that this wasnt a totally balanced individual, but then geniuses seldom are :)

In this interview there are a lot of glimpses of some of his less endearing sides, such as the religious "nutcase" figure - which actually was at its height during the time of this interview, a side of his that he eventually toned down and certainly learned not to display in public as often; he also shows the petulant, Ali-like persona - the egomaniac who never misses an opportunity to declare superiority over his competitors. In his sport, he saw fit to position himself as the "chosen" one, and occasionally was the live definition of prima donna; As with Ali, it could certainly be unpalatable at times.

But what made Ayrton interesting was that there were these other sides too, which were seldom evident to the international audience, but perhaps most known to his countrymen: the charming, mild Sao Paulo young man, whose combination of talent, charisma, emotional intensity and dedication to his craft and principles, made him an idol and role model to a generation. The cynics would say that is a farcical condition for a racing driver that wasn´t even a model sportsmen, and to an extent they would be a valid observation to make; but provided that you didnt happen to be rubbed the wrong way by some of his notorious character flaws, you couldnt help but be awed by this most fascinating figure, who happened to make his mark driving race cars to the limit. His death leading a race in front of an worldwide audience certainly increased his aura, but dont be fooled into believing it created it; the man was a legend in his lifetime.

Here are a few youtube gems that are worth checking out if you are interested in Senna:

His first F1 tests (remarkable not only by footage of Senna breaking the track record first time out with the Williams at Donington, but also by the cheeky interview afterwards about his contract negotiations - imagine a F1 pretender saying that kind of thing today, and what kind of reaction it would get in internet BBs :D

IMO his best interview from late 1986 , among journalists he was comfortable with, he presents himself as the charming, bright youngster who was yet to take over his world - touches several pertinent issues and includes an easter egg with a then very young, now greatest F1 veteran of all times :) it´s a long interview and the subtitles leave a lot to be desired, but still worth checking out;

Classic documentary made late 91, Racing is in my blood. Just to show the cynics there was plenty of legend material way before his death :)

#73 putte

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:22

I wonder if he saw god during sex.

#74 RSNS

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:45

Thank you Ceara:

Senna comes across as a very nice fellow, not a moron at all. Perhaps in the playboy interview he was too tense - perhaps that period was taking his toll.

He probably was a very intense person, rather unbalanced, and that interview shows the worse in him.

I did not mention this in so many words, but the playboy interview is a real window into why Senna was so ruthless, sometimes, on track. But what shocked me was the twisting of every story to be self serving.

He probably was not very well at the time.

A perplexing personality, but then most people have a very dark side.

#75 Imperial

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:16

Originally posted by RSNS
He probably was not very well at the time.



That is a very good observation.

People now have a view of Senna characterised by just a couple of really intense seasons and situations he found himself in. I don't really believe that Senna overall was the same guy as he was for those few mega-intense seasons.

Put yourself in his position but in your own job. He had a terrible situation with Prost while he was a teammate. Imagine being in a relatively similar situation with a work colleague. The whole deal must have been like a boiling cauldron of negativity. Add in a hyper-competitive envionment and there you have the perfect recipe for mental stress. As an extremely cerebral person I have no doubts that for lengthy periods of time in that era he will have had mental health issues, from basic stress to having visions.

#76 Galko877

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 16:53

As I said elsewhere when I read the interview I have found it extremely interesting, but I didn't find Senna likable.

I am a Christian myself but I find his stories about visions suspect. If they would come from a person who is honest through and through then I would believe them. But from this interview and others I have the impression Senna has a habit of twisting things. For example, his version on why he cried when Dennis ordered him to say sorry to Prost... I cannot believe that either.

Someone earlier in this thread asked what would be the benefit for Senna to make such things up. I think it's just part of the myth he was creating around himself. Isn't it more mysterious to say he crashed out in Monaco because he saw Jesus than just say he made a simple driver error?

Senna was a complex guy but he wasn't crazy, nor an idiot. I think he was very conscious about his image and deliberately helped to develop it into this "myterious" direction. He wanted it that way and he played on it. So I think, in a way, he was pretty manipulative. I think when he says he sees God and Jesus the thing he suggests with that is that he is special, some kind of "chosen one".

The interesting thing is that the public accepted the most outrageous and most arrogant comments from him as if they were the truth, nothing but the truth. From Senna those comments were OK. I mean can you imagine some of the comments he made in this interview being told by Schumacher, Hamilton or Alonso? All of these guys have been called arrogant by fans and by the media, but I don't think they come anywhere close to Senna's arrogance. Actually they look modest compared to him. Yet, while in articles about Schumacher you can count on the word "arrogant" popping up at least once, you rarely read that about Senna.
As I said he was manipulate and I have to add he did it well, or at least successfuly.

I accept what G. Ceara writes that he had a much milder side too. But I think everybody has. However even in his private life he had egomaniac traits, maybe that's why he never found a woman for life:

Lilian remembers his husband as a caressing person, but over concerned with his career. At the eve of races or trainings, he would rather sleeping in separated beds, to avoid the tempations of libido. In an occasion when Lilian thought she was pregnant and told Ayrton, he reacted coldly: "If you are pregnant, you will go to Brazil to raise our son". The marriage lasted eight months.



http://www.v-brazil....-biography.html

#77 craftverk

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 17:17

Originally posted by Galko877
As I said elsewhere when I read the interview I have found it extremely interesting, but I didn't find Senna likable.

I am a Christian myself but I find his stories about visions suspect. If they would come from a person who is honest through and through then I would believe them. But from this interview and others I have the impression Senna has a habit of twisting things. For example, his version on why he cried when Dennis ordered him to say sorry to Prost... I cannot believe that either.

Someone earlier in this thread asked what would be the benefit for Senna to make such things up. I think it's just part of the myth he was creating around himself. Isn't it more mysterious to say he crashed out in Monaco because he saw Jesus than just say he made a simple driver error?

Senna was a complex guy but he wasn't crazy, nor an idiot. I think he was very conscious about his image and deliberately helped to develop it into this "myterious" direction. He wanted it that way and he played on it. So I think, in a way, he was pretty manipulative. I think when he says he sees God and Jesus the thing he suggests with that is that he is special, some kind of "chosen one".

The interesting thing is that the public accepted the most outrageous and most arrogant comments from him as if they were the truth, nothing but the truth. From Senna those comments were OK. I mean can you imagine some of the comments he made in this interview being told by Schumacher, Hamilton or Alonso? All of these guys have been called arrogant by fans and by the media, but I don't think they come anywhere close to Senna's arrogance. Actually they look modest compared to him. Yet, while in articles about Schumacher you can count on the word "arrogant" popping up at least once, you rarely read that about Senna.
As I said he was manipulate and I have to add he did it well, or at least successfuly.

I accept what G. Ceara writes that he had a much milder side too. But I think everybody has. However even in his private life he had egomaniac traits, maybe that's why he never found a woman for life:



http://www.v-brazil....-biography.html

I agree when you talk about his faith. To me he just seemed like a megalomaniac living in his own world with his own morals and his own 'Jesus' - I say this as a Christian myself also. I didn't find him likable at all.

#78 Ayrton-No.1

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 19:13

thanks a million Galko! :up: wow, what a reading!
I am so thankful for this interview, you can't even imagine :clap:
I thrive on to learn new things about Senna's personality, and this interview has gotten me another step closer to this man's brain...
I thought I knew Senna well enough, boy was I wrong :cool:

#79 rolf123

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 19:26

I'm a little surprised with some of the comments here. Personally I think that Senna comes across as totally sincere in that interview and even expressing humility for Prost, not arrogance or anger.

I would say the same for all the other times he conducted himself, sincere and truthful. Just because he believes himself to be always right is not necessarily arrogance. Heck, I do too and some people here call me a troll!

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#80 plumtree

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:27

I was digging up some old threads and found this interview and a few user comments quite intriguing. I'm sure many new forumers would do too. Hope Mods don't mind random thread bumping. :blush:

#81 OO7

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:53

Thanks for bumping it plumtree, an enjoyable read and plaudits to Galko for the translation, great work. :up:

#82 rghojai

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:28

Thanks for the bump--perfect for a low-key weekend afternoon during the off-season--and if he's still around, huge thanks to Galko for the translation.

Edited by rghojai, 22 December 2012 - 11:37.


#83 Jimisgod

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:58

Didn't Hammy meet Ron Dennis at age 13?

(it certainly was the end of the innocence...)


*spits coffee all over screen* :eek:

Hope Ron isn't reading.

#84 WhatOh

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 20:01

Thank you Galko for posting and translating this - it was no small feat.

I have to ask why Senna was giving an interview to Playboy at all. Admittedly I have had a sheltered upbringing but I always thought Playboy was a porn mag. Also was this intended only for a South American audience?

I find that I want to like Senna but I just can’t and this interview does not help.

The whole thing seems totally contrived and Senna rather melodramatic and bit of a user. I know that we are always the heroes of our own fantasies but this is something else again.
I would agree though that none of the current F1 drivers would ever give an interview like this. I don’t think that is a bad thing though.

Incidentally is it common in Brazil that a 13 year boy will go to a prostitute organised by an older family member?



#85 BrunoCarneiro

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:12

Thank you Galko for posting and translating this - it was no small feat.

I have to ask why Senna was giving an interview to Playboy at all. Admittedly I have had a sheltered upbringing but I always thought Playboy was a porn mag. Also was this intended only for a South American audience?

I find that I want to like Senna but I just can’t and this interview does not help.

The whole thing seems totally contrived and Senna rather melodramatic and bit of a user. I know that we are always the heroes of our own fantasies but this is something else again.
I would agree though that none of the current F1 drivers would ever give an interview like this. I don’t think that is a bad thing though.

Incidentally is it common in Brazil that a 13 year boy will go to a prostitute organised by an older family member?


It came out on brazilian Playboy, it was intended for the brazilian audience. They always have really nice interviews. I guess having your first sexual experience with a prostitute was common during that time - 60s, 70s.

#86 Eff One 2002

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:25

Oh please... :rolleyes:

Sheesh...


Get yourself a sense of humour and lighten up. :wave:

#87 bourbon

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:45

Fun read :up:.

Of course, Prost IS the Professor... :D

#88 repcobrabham

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:50

...but senna is still one of the most interesting subjects ever. terrific translation, appreciated :up:

#89 Nemo1965

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:01


I'd have to say... I knew Senna was religious... but this... if I had been another F1 driver in his time, and I would read this I would be very careful when I engaged him on track. Prost once said: 'Senna is dangerous because he thinks God is on his side', or words to that effect. I always thought Prost was putting it too strongly, it appears he wasn't.



#90 1Devil1

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:05

Special man on the track, off the track I never got his behavior, talking about god, crying about the unfair FIA. He did everything to build a myth around him. A lot of people like that and more and more I read about him I am not curious anymore why he is placed Number One. He was the the superstar with charisma, the saint and people loved that..

#91 WhatOh

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:57

I'd have to say... I knew Senna was religious... but this... if I had been another F1 driver in his time, and I would read this I would be very careful when I engaged him on track. Prost once said: 'Senna is dangerous because he thinks God is on his side', or words to that effect. I always thought Prost was putting it too strongly, it appears he wasn't.


I think the quote was

'Ayrton has a small problem. He thinks he can't kill himself, because he believes in God, and I think that's very dangerous for the other drivers.'

I must have been about 12/13 when I read that in the papers. Personally I thought it was a cracker of a line. It is one of only two quotes by any sportsperson that has stuck in my head.

Edited by WhatOh, 23 December 2012 - 11:59.


#92 aditya-now

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:09

Special man on the track, off the track I never got his behavior, talking about god, crying about the unfair FIA. He did everything to build a myth around him. A lot of people like that and more and more I read about him I am not curious anymore why he is placed Number One. He was the the superstar with charisma, the saint and people loved that..


"He did everything to build a myth around him" - yes, yet IMHO he didn't want to build a myth consciously, he was really like that. We had some 10 - 15 pages long interviews between Heinz Prüller and Ayrton Senna in the Grand Prix Story (yearbook) in Austria and they were like the Playboy interview, if not even more mystical and spiritual. Admittedly it also depended on the interviewer to give Ayrton room for his musings.

Yet again, this Playboy interview is a very realistic depiction of the man in his own words, with all his contradictions. Love him or not.


#93 goldenboy

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:41

I guess having your first sexual experience with a prostitute was common during that time - 60s, 70s.

Richard Branson did the same at around that age as well if I recall correctly.

#94 Velocifer

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 13:16

As I said elsewhere when I read the interview I have found it extremely interesting, but I didn't find Senna likable.

I am a Christian myself but I find his stories about visions suspect. If they would come from a person who is honest through and through then I would believe them. But from this interview and others I have the impression Senna has a habit of twisting things. For example, his version on why he cried when Dennis ordered him to say sorry to Prost... I cannot believe that either.

Someone earlier in this thread asked what would be the benefit for Senna to make such things up. I think it's just part of the myth he was creating around himself. Isn't it more mysterious to say he crashed out in Monaco because he saw Jesus than just say he made a simple driver error?

Senna was a complex guy but he wasn't crazy, nor an idiot. I think he was very conscious about his image and deliberately helped to develop it into this "myterious" direction. He wanted it that way and he played on it. So I think, in a way, he was pretty manipulative. I think when he says he sees God and Jesus the thing he suggests with that is that he is special, some kind of "chosen one".

The interesting thing is that the public accepted the most outrageous and most arrogant comments from him as if they were the truth, nothing but the truth. From Senna those comments were OK. I mean can you imagine some of the comments he made in this interview being told by Schumacher, Hamilton or Alonso? All of these guys have been called arrogant by fans and by the media, but I don't think they come anywhere close to Senna's arrogance. Actually they look modest compared to him. Yet, while in articles about Schumacher you can count on the word "arrogant" popping up at least once, you rarely read that about Senna.
As I said he was manipulate and I have to add he did it well, or at least successfuly.

I accept what G. Ceara writes that he had a much milder side too. But I think everybody has. However even in his private life he had egomaniac traits, maybe that's why he never found a woman for life:

http://www.v-brazil....-biography.html

Thanks for the interview. Confirms my opinion that Senna without a doubt is the most arrogant and conceited driver of all time, and agree it's surprising people are still deifying him and don't/didn't challenge his crazy statements. God wanting him to win and seeing Jesus ("in his usual clothes" lol) while driving + crying with pity for Prost etc etc etc, unbelievable stuff.


#95 PARAZAR

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 13:41

Thank you Galko for posting and translating this. It was very interesting to read.

To be completely honest I felt quite uncomfortable while reading this. As charismatic, empathetic and charitable as Senna was he seems equally as arrogant and manipulative, a very conflicting character. Where his religious visions a result of extreme concentration creating a fusion of conscious and subconscious mind or was it a chemical imbalance in the brain? It seems to me that Senna may have suffered from grandiose delusions. Obviously I'm only an armchair "psychologist" so I could be completely wrong. :)

#96 sopa

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 13:50

I can't comment about seeing Jesus or not, only he himself knew what he saw or not. But what I gather from interview is that he had a lot of conflicting relationships, including with women. But with other people in the paddock as well. Good in heart, but didn't really know, how to really understand the people around him, developing himself into a bit of an egoist. And ultimately taking some things a bit too seriously in life. Maybe that's what prompted Piquet to make jokes about him.

Edited by sopa, 23 December 2012 - 13:52.


#97 Victor

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 13:51

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#98 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 15:18

I didn't remember the bitter fued between Senna and Piquet. I'm sure it was big news in Brazil at the time.
Seemed like Nelson had forseen Arytons greatness and felt threatened by it. Sennas version of Lotus signing NP souned alittle iffy to me.

#99 911

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 16:46

I was a little surprised at how open Senna was during this interview. He's normally very careful when responding to questions and he exposed himself quite a bit, I thought. I was also surprised at the types of questions that the interviewer asked - both personal & professional. I didn't really expect a journalist from Playboy to have a decent understanding of F1 and he seemed to have asked some pretty thought provoking questions about F1.

Regarding Lotus' announcement of Piquet's hiring in 1987, I remember that weekend quite well. That was during the Hungarian GP and here in the States they mentioned that Senna had been fired by Lotus. One of the ESPN commentators, the late Chris Economaki, interviewed Senna and he said that he (Ayrton) had other plans but couldn't comment on them at the moment. I remembered Senna being pretty calm about the whole situation.

Someone here mentioned the rivalry with Piquet and I had forgotten about that because it seemed to have died off after Senna won his first WDC in '88. However, I do recall that Senna's last girlfriend, Adrienne, said that they went to a restaurant and Nelson was there so they promptly left, or something to that effect. This would have been during the '93/'94 time period, so perhaps the rivalry was still there but it just wasn't in the spotlight anymore because Piquet was out of F1 at the time.




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#100 WhatOh

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 17:15

I was a little surprised at how open Senna was during this interview. He's normally very careful when responding to questions and he exposed himself quite a bit, I thought. I was also surprised at the types of questions that the interviewer asked - both personal & professional. I didn't really expect a journalist from Playboy to have a decent understanding of F1 and he seemed to have asked some pretty thought provoking questions about F1.

Someone here mentioned the rivalry with Piquet and I had forgotten about that because it seemed to have died off after Senna won his first WDC in '88. However, I do recall that Senna's last girlfriend, Adrienne, said that they went to a restaurant and Nelson was there so they promptly left, or something to that effect. This would have been during the '93/'94 time period, so perhaps the rivalry was still there but it just wasn't in the spotlight anymore because Piquet was out of F1 at the time.


I may be being cynical but I suspect the interviewer was someone Senna knew well and the questions were agreed in advance.

That last girlfiend strikes me as being a bit of an odd fish.