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What if Senna hadn't died at Imola?


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#1 AyePirate

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 20:05

Senna was 34 when he died. How many years did he have left in Formula One had he not passed away?
Two? Ten?

Was it his goal to break Prost's records?

Over to the forum...[p][Edited by AyePirate on 10-11-2000]

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 22:10

Somebody has posted that he was at Williams to work his way to retirement, and with Schumacher coming up as a serious challenger, this may well be right.
He would surely have eclipsed Prost's record and won at least one more title, but I would say he was seeking to take a fifth title and match Fangio.

#3 mhferrari

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 00:55

Can picture 70+ wins, 85+ poles, if he raced until he was as old as Hill was when he retired. I could even picture him driving for Scuderia Ferrari and winning races in his final year of 1999. I can see him also winning 5 WCs.

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 00:59

Or would he have been back with Ronnie?
More likely, IMO, but I don't know why...

#5 Psychoman

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 01:08

Ray--makes sense, you can only be on the edge for so long before you slip off--one way you'll go too slow to keep up (Mansell '95), the other way... well, we ARE talking about Senna here... I think he'd have raced just long enough to beat Prost's record if he lived.

#6 William Dale Jr

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 07:02

Depending on who you listen to and who you choose to believe, Senna would have finished his career in either a Ferrari, Williams or a McLaren. Considering his respect for Fangio (and his, how could you put this, passion to beat Prost) Senna would probably have retired after winning 5 championships. For a while now, though, I've been of the opinion that Senna was destined to die in a racecar - that it was more a question of when rather than if, but if he had survived, there would be no doubt that he would have led everyone in almost every other statistic for a long, long, long time. For those who have an interest in current F1, can you imagine what Senna would have done with the last few McLaren chassis? I've always been a huge Senna fan (to the point that I cried for the majority of May 2nd, 1994), and the stories I've read about qualifying his Lotus at Brands in 1985 and the one by Jenks on the "A Grand Prix Driver at Work" thread (thanks Roger!!!) show why.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 07:08

If he'd kept going like that opening lap at Donington, he would have either achieved that or died in a car... but it's unfair to say he was destined (or likely) to die in a racing car, because his death and Ratzenberger's were the first in so many years in F1.

#8 jmcgavin

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 09:19

I know Ron was convinced that he would have retired in a McLaren. My guess would be a few years at Williams probably up to 97, then McLaren perhaps till 99 or now, imagine what all those years of Schumacher/Senna battling would have been like.....

#9 Pete Stanley

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 06:39

The thing about Senna was that he was so intense, so completely absorbed with what he did. His close friend Mauricio Gugelmin commented that it seemed Senna was ageing beyond his years. Senna might have ended up like so many chess masters have...

#10 William Dale Jr

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 08:08

Ray, I suppose it is unfair to say that he was destined to, but if anyone was going to, in hindsight, it would have been him.
jmcgavin, I imagine that all those years of Senna vs Schumi would have resulted in a lot of bent racecars...

#11 jmcgavin

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 08:29

Perhaps.....some fantastic racing as well though especially with JV or MH added as a third equation.
What makes you say that Senna was destined to die in an F1 car?

#12 fines

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 17:18

I think Senna would've been blown away by Damon Hill and then retired at season's end.

#13 CVAndrw

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 18:07

Why then, he and Schumacher would BOTH have been dead by the end of the first lap at Monaco and we'd now be working on a thread called [i]"Damon Hill: the worst driver to win three consecutive championships?"[i]

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 20:37

The first lap at Monaco? Why so?
The last GP driver to die there was Bandini...

#15 RedFever

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 20:56

Hill wasn't even remotely close to Ayrton in 94. I don't see how Hill would have had any chance had Senna not died.

#16 fines

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 21:11

I'm really surprised how serious all of you discuss this topic!

What if Peter Sacklinster hadn't slipped of the steps in his grandmother's home and broken his leg, aged ten? He would've certainly gone on to become the greatest ice-skater of all time before converting to motorsports and holding the World Championships in F1, Rallying and Dragster Racing all at the same time, thereafter marrying Geena Winterbottom who would've been the prettiest actress the world had ever seen had she not been cut in the face in that violent car accident she had with her father all those years ago... Well, the two of them married anyway!

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 21:15

You're saying, in a roundabout way, then: "With an 'if' aunty would have been an uncle."

#18 CVAndrw

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 21:25

Originally posted by Ray Bell
The first lap at Monaco? Why so?
The last GP driver to die there was Bandini...


OK, I may be assuming Schumacher would've gotten ahead at the start of Senna's private, personal exhibition (that pesky illegal traction control, remember?) instead of by mid-race, but the effect on Ayrton would've been the same!

And, what, by 1994 it was no longer possible to suffer a life threatening accident at someplace as slow and confined as Monaco? Don't tell Karl Wendlinger...



#19 fines

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 21:34

To say it with the words of another great Ray: "You got it!" :lol:

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#20 Falcadore

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Posted 16 October 2000 - 04:24

What essentially is wrong with 'What If?'. I think it's fun so long as you don't lose sight of it and start calling Damon Hill a dual world champion (which I have seen people do refering to '94), or like Alan Jones who will tell all and sundry if asked that he won 13 world championship Grands Prix, counting the 1980 Spanish which was rubbed out during the FISA-FOCA wars.

But it is just that, fun.

Ron Dennis has been quoted as saying that Senna was 'on loan' to Williams and was always going to come back to McLaren. Would he have stopped at four titles? Thus leaving Prost the upper hand? While the two may have made their peace I think Senna would have wanted to be ahead of Prost when the numbers were tallied. But to pass Fangio? I don't know. Stopping at five might have been his goal. So then, retired after his fifth title in '96 after gaining revenge on Schumacher for losing in '95? That's a version I can see. Although how much of Senna's history might have been coloured by say a Stefan Bellof that completed that overtaking manouever successfully in the Porsche at Spa in 84, or by Johnny Herbert no nearly destroying his mobility in Formula 3000, or Jean Alesi signing for Williams instead of for Ferrari, or.... it can go on. And it does.

At the end of all the 'what if's Madame History tallies the numbers and they haven't changed from when the 'What If's started. The numbers are there and the statistics written, history has occured, but historical opinion changes like a flutter on the breeze.....

yours
Jonesy

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 October 2000 - 04:39

Shouldn't you be looking for a new job?

#22 Falcadore

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Posted 16 October 2000 - 07:39

Ah but I am working, I'm going through photos from Indy on the weekend to see if any are saleable. By the looks of it probably not - see what the next day brings.

And I'm looking for work. Rejigging my resume and mailing it to e-mail addresses. You never know when a job ad might turn up in a motor racing historical forum. (That's my justification and I'm sticking to it)

yours
Mark Jones

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 October 2000 - 10:04

Maybe... but you'd need some background...

#24 John B

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Posted 16 October 2000 - 22:59

There is actually a web page maintained by an F1 fan (I can't find the link at the moment) which is titled "What if Jim Clark never died" - a revisionist history of Formula One. The author goes into detail about each season from 1968 on. Some of the points I remember:

-"McLaren" becomes "Hill-4 Racing"
-Pironi drives a year at Renault, then goes to CART
-Piquet is killed at Hockenheim 1980
-Hakkinen and Alesi killed in 1995 accidents
-Gilles V. wins at least one WDC
-Laffite wins 1981 title





#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 October 2000 - 01:17

If only we could really rewrite history....