Although both Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher were statistically more successful, Ayrton Senna will, for the time being at least, always be considered the greatest Formula One driver. It was not just his success, but the enigma he held out, an enigma best described in Asif Kapadia’s 2010 documentary Senna. This is what makes a great, not just the accomplishment, but the show that surrounds the feat.
Seeking to promote Internavi (a typically Honda navigational aid only available in Japan) Honda Japan employed Daito Manabe, an artist, to capture something of this show. The result is, well, I’ll let you decide, but the truly intriguing side to this film (the making of which can be found here) is that what you are experiencing is a recording of the being of Senna as manifested through the data of his machine.
Mamoru Atsuta, a photographer present the day Senna recorded the lap reproduced in the film, states, ‘Senna’s time attack lap almost seemed like an embodiment of his fighting spirit’.
Senna remains the last driver fatality in Formula One and we will never get to see or speak with this man again but through the telemetry of the Honda engined MP4/5 and the imagination of those who choose to create we can listen to that fighting spirit today.
(With thanks to Simon Nicholson and Tara Berry @ Honda PR UK)