“Australia, high coasts and open seas”, sang Mango. A poem made into music dedicated to a land jealously guarded by one of the most fascinating corners of the planet. A land of nature, beauty, which is deeply linked to the world of racing, to the world of Formula 1.
The Australian Grand Prix has written pages and pages of what is the top series of motor racing. Pages in which feats, debuts, significant season starts, decisive world championships, spectacular accidents, changes are transcribed. Or the closing of a circle.
“The wind is like a great breath that goes, and sweeps away borders and cities…”, continues the song. The wind that characterizes Sunday November 7, 1993 suddenly sweeps away one of the most intense interludes, one of the legendary rivalries. A struggle of talent, selfishness, determination that was rooted in 1988.
A film within a film, the history of Formula 1, in which Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were the main protagonists. A film within a film which, in Adelaide, in 1993, finds its finale.
Senna had had to face a… complicated period. Although the strength of the McLaren’s Honda engine had weakened, Ayrton managed to do the impossible. An impossible called Interlagos. An impossible called the Monaco Grand Prix. An impossible called Donington.
Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4/8
Photo by: Sutton Images
An impossible, obtained in a 1993 dominated by an impeccable team, an insatiable ruler. Williams is once again on the throne of the absolute winners, with Prost world champion for the fourth time in his career, ready to hang up his helmet at the end of the season, and with Sir Frank who sees his creature climb to the top of the constructors’ standings with 168 points. Double the 84 of Ron Dennis’ team.
But the impossible, Ayrton, also does it in Australia. At the end of a championship in which, deprived of the possibility of being behind the wheel of the most desired single-seater in the Circus, he accepts a token contract with McLaren.
In Adelaide, he started from the pole almost half a second ahead of his English rivals, and crossed the finish line leading the race from start to finish, nine seconds behind Alain.
Winner Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4-8 Ford
Photo by: Ercole Colombo
It ends like this, together, next to each other, once again. They get on the podium together. And with an embrace, suddenly the two stop time. For an instant, the more than four years of controversy, of mutual accusations, of clashes, of wrongs done and suffered, are clouded. They cancel.
And it is right, at this point, to conclude how we began this memory. Taking up, however, the final words of the Italian singer-songwriter’s poem: “I find myself almost lost, in the universe. Without a lighter past, I still feel pure in the universe. While the light slowly rises, I raise the sails…”.
So light but so lost. Did you feel like that, that Australian Sunday, Ayrton?
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