Immensely talented, committed, determined and passionate. These are just a handful of words you could use to describe the mercurial legend of Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian etched his name into Formula 1 and motorsport history due to his incredible driving abilities (which came alive in tricky, wet conditions) his charismatic personality and the ability to bring that Latin American magic with him everywhere he raced.That’s why at GP Extreme we are very proud to present to you this incredible racing suit from his 1988 McLaren campaign – more specifically, a suit which he wore en route to claiming his first of three Formula1 World Titles.
1988 would mark Senna's fifth season in Formula 1 but his first with the McLaren F1 team, run by Ron Dennis. He earned his drive following three impressive years with the Lotus F1 team in which time he scored six victories. It was an impressive start to Senna's F1 career but what was to come would surpass his previous F1 and racing exploits.
Behind the wheel of the McLaren MP4-4, powered by a Honda V6 turbocharged engine capable of chucking out 1200bhp, Senna drove his car to the chequered flag in first place on eight occasions, and famously set a pole position lap in Monte Carlo that was a scarcely believable 1.5 seconds faster than his teammate, former double world champion, Alain Prost. To many, this is the greatest moment of Ayrton Senna’s Formula 1 career.
Senna’s performances during the season were so strong that arriving at the penultimate race of the season at Suzuka, Japan, the Brazilian could clinch his first world title.
That Race - 1988 Japanese Grand Prix
The Brazilian started the race from pole position, but a disastrous getaway saw him fall back to 16thplace. To many, this would have been a hurdle too big to overcome, but not for Senna. The McLaren driver put in one of the greatest comeback drives in the sport's history, and within the first 20 laps he had worked his way up to second place, behind Alain Prost.
Prost was unable to hold back the Brazilian and he was overtaken for the lead. Senna stayed at the front until the chequered flag, claiming his last win of the season and the 14th of his career.