Ayrton: Driving in a Different Dimension

‘Suddenly, I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct; only I was in a different dimension.’

‘Senna, the racer that tore up the rule book’

Senna was a very aggressive driver; when approaching a corner, he would brake very late, and then, he would use high-frequency throttle stabs in the corners. He would continuously stamp on and off the accelerator whilst he was mid-corner. Conventionally, you should exit a corner then apply power; you should not use it until you are sure you will never have to take it off.

Using this technique, he could gain two-tenths of a second on every corner, even against an identical motor car. The rationale behind his approach is that by braking later and harder than anyone else, ordinarily, the motor car would enter the corner sideways by ‘jabbing’ the throttle in this particular manner corrected the vehicle instantly.

Other drivers tried to mimic this technique, but instead of jabbing the throttle, they would apply power more smoothly, resulting in their car spinning.

Sadly, the great man is no longer with us, making a fundamental understanding of his technique little more than guesswork. Some feel that his incredible ability to drive at speed in wet conditions was rallying. Senna worked very closely with his engineers in setting up his car to match his extraordinary style.

I believe the opening statement explains driving by instinct in a different dimension; the man was a ‘natural’ and motor racing genius.