djones wrote:Best driver ever?
A strong statement considering you could never actually back it up. Statistics are against it for a start.
It's hard for the statistics to back it up when his life (and career) were so tragically cut short.
Who knows? Without the loss of Ayrton Michael may never have won his title in 94 (after all Damon did a bloody good job and nearly beat him in that Williams, had Senna lived I am 100% certain Ayrton would have clinched the title that year.) Without the 94 title would Schumi have signed for Ferrari in 1996? Would he have then won all his subesquent titles? I for one doubt it (multiple titles for sure...but seven? I don't think so.)
As an example, Schumi is statistically
the best driver ever, that doesn't make him the greatest, he raced in superior equipment (the Benetton he raced in 1992 was possibly only second to that year's dominant Williams and the only other times his car was not competative was in 1996 & 2005) against an on the whole weaker field for much of his carear compared to Ayrton, who for the beginning of his carear had to start in a Toleman, then a Lotus before finally clinching a drive with mclaren where he had to face Prost, as if that wasn't hard enough he also had to deal with the likes of Mansell and Piquet on track.
This post of mine is not to blast anybody's comments, not to proclaim Ayrton as the best, nor is it to deminish the achievements of Michael Schumacher. What I am getting at is that in all Sports, from time to time, we have small eras where truely GREAT competetors all seem to be competing at the same time (Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Nortan, Holmes in the Heavyweight division in the 60's-70's for example)Ayrton was part of one of those era's, and something like that makes it far more difficult for statistics to quanity the ability of such a competetor.
One statistic that does shine out for me is this:
Ayrton Senna achieved 65 pole positions in his carear, this record has only been suprpassed by Schumi, and it took him a bloody long time to do too! But what really staggers me is this:
65 poles from 161 starts equates to the man achieving pole in 34.7% of all race starts.
That is simply phenominal. We can debate (although not here), disagree and have differing opinions on who the greatest of all time is (on a side note, if you're wondering, for me it's Fangio) but one thing, for me at least is damn certain, Ayrton has to be the FASTEST man ever to step into a racing car.
Yes he had flaws, he was human. But by god was the man quick.
Statistics and racing accumen however pale into comparison to the true significance of Ayrton Senna da Silva.
Ayrton Senna was one of the very very few people who truely transended their sport. For me he is up there with the likes of Muhammad Ali. To millions across the globe, particularly in his home of Brazil, he was much much more than just a great sports man. He was a hero.
Fast, serious, enigmatic, eccentric, phylisophical, ruthless, caring, determined, these are but a few words that could be used to describe the man that was Ayrton Senna da Silva. For me however the word "Great" does just fine.
A great F1 driver yes,
but above all a great man who, even 15 years on since his death is sorely missed and evokes strong emotions in pretty much everyone who either met him, or saw the tragic events of that weekend, from grown me like DaveKillens (hope you don't mind me picking on your age Dave
) to the likes of myself (who was only 7 at the time of Senna's death).
Ayrton is one of those few human beings that can justifiably be called a Legend. And to many he was, and always will be, the greatest.
Silence is golden when you don't know a good answer.