Throwback Thursday: Senna’s Lap of the Gods, Donington Park, 1993

senna donington 1993

On April 11, 1993, Ayrton Senna made history with what many consider the best first lap of all time in Formula One. The Brazilian driver’s feat at the European Grand Prix brought a lot of joy to his fans, and other curious stories complement that unique race in Senna’s career.

As rain fell over Donington, Senna started the European GP in spectacular fashion. After being squeezed by Michael Schumacher (Benetton), Ayrton passed the German and barely paid attention to Karl Wendingler (Sauber), easily overtaking him.

Right after that, he also left behind both Williams, driven by Damon Hill and Alain Prost. At the end of the race, the Brazilian driver lapped the third-place finisher, who was hated rival Prost.

A young Rubens Barrichello also had a fantastic first lap at Donington Park – the Brazilian was making his F1 debut that year, as a Jordan driver.

Barrichello started in 12th place and quickly climbed to fourth before the first lap was over. At a certain point of the race, the Brazilian drivers shared a funny moment: “I was lost in the race, I didn’t know what lap I was in. All I saw was “P2”, meaning I was in second place.

“Then I saw Ayrton behind me and thought, ‘Well, now I’m P1. Now I’m leading. And even though he’s my idol, I won’t let him pass’. Then I saw the blue flag, meaning I was being lapped by Ayrton Senna.”

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