Portrait of Ayrton Senna the Brazilian racing driver by F1 Artist Martin Allen. Ayrton won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 1988, 1990 and 1991, and who is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He died in an accident leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix driving for Williams Racing.
began his motorsport career in karting, moved up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and won the 1983 British Formula Three Championship. He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984, before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grands Prix that year, and Senna claimed his first World Championship. Prost claimed the championship in 1989, and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One.
Senna nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994.Senna, was an absolute revelation from the moment he stormed onto the Formula One grid behind the wheel of a Toleman in 1984. Senna already a proven GP winner with Lotus later joined McLaren alongside Prost at the start of 1988. Senna swore that he would grind Prost down by being faster, more intense and more consistent than the Frenchman, and he was as good as his word.
It was well known that Ayrton took no prisoners. In the final season of the 1.5-litre turbo engine regulations, Senna relentlessly plundered Prost’s personal domain and came home with first prize – The World Championship. The rivalry with the Frenchman at the time was legendary. However after beating off Prost in ’88, the following year Senna found the Frenchman re-taking the advantage before Ayrton bounced back to win the 1990 and ’91 championship contests.
One Ayrton Sennas greatest ever drives came in the 1993 European GP at Donington Park. There, at the wheel of the Cosworth-engined McLaren MP4/8, he outclassed a full field of rivals on a soaking wet track. Towards the end of 93, Ayrton had decided that he would be leaving the McLaren team in 1994 joined Williams. And there the tragic story of this dynamic Brazilian hero came to an end.
Senna’s off-duty visage could be a very different proposition indeed. There was certainly a genial and relaxed side to his personality. He loved his family, respecting his father and lionising his mother. He was always at ease with children, who he treated as young adults. His efforts behind the wheel of a Grand Prix car were matched by a few of his contemporaries, but he was probably as great a man who ever sat in the cockpit of an F1™ car. That he claims joint number one status in this list should be no surprise at all to those who watched from the trackside or cheered him on from afar.
About the artist
Martin Allen is a London based emerging artist. Martin came to oil painting through a circuitous route, having drawn for most of his life and being largely self-taught he was eventually re-introduced to oil painting as a preferred medium to create his varied and diverse work. The methods he uses to paint are classic ones, using layered paint applications rounded off by oil glazes. These create, add depth and harmonise colours. He has shown solo numerous times at Goodwood, The Affordable Art Fair and others, been a finalist at the ‘London art Biennale 2019’, alongside various commissions including work for the BP Shipping collection.
Martins’ work was also shown in the ‘Soho Scandalous’ exhibition at Blacks Club in London along with the The London Fashion Show with Runway-Gallery.