Gallery: Remembering Ayrton Senna's F1 debut

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Gallery: Remembering Ayrton Senna's F1 debut
By:
, Editor
Mar 26, 2019, 6:18 AM

On March 25, 1984, Ayrton Senna made his Formula 1 debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Jacarepagua.

Senna arrived in F1 as a fresh-faced 24-year-old, having won the previous year's British F3 title.

Little was expected from him in his first season, given that he was driving for backmarker Toleman.

Instead, the Brazilian fans had their eyes set on Nelson Piquet, who headed into the 1984 F1 season as the reigning champion.

We recall Senna's debut race.

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Qualifying

Qualifying
1/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Senna qualified a modest 17th for his first F1 race, but crucially outpaced his teammate Johnny Cecotto by 1.8s.

First test

First test
2/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Although Toleman was the first time Senna raced for, he had in fact tested for Williams a year ago. Williams, of course, would hire Senna as a race driver 10 years later.

Toleman's podiums

Toleman's podiums
3/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

All of Toleman's three podium finishes came courtesy of Senna in 1984.

Fraught debut

Fraught debut
4/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Senna could only complete seven laps on his debut, before a turbo issue forced him to retire.

Race winner

Race winner
5/10

Photo by: LAT Images

It was Senna's future teammate Alain Prost who won the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix for McLaren.

Rule changes

Rule changes
6/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Several major changes were introduced to the rulebook in 1984, including a ban of refuelling and the limitation of fuel limit to 220 litres. Many drivers feared that this would have a negative impact on racing.

Podium

Podium
7/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Prost was joined on the podium by second-placed Keke Rosberg (Williams) and Elio de Angelis (Lotus).

DNS averted

DNS averted
8/10

Photo by: XPB Images

Senna nearly missed the start of his debut race. With the team still adapting to new regulations, a fuel leak was detected in the Toleman car's cockpit. Fortunately, the mechanics were able to fix the issue in time for the race.

Race leaders

Race leaders
9/10

Photo by: LAT Images

Michele Alboreto, Niki Lauda and Derek Warwick all led certain parts of the race, but eventually lost out to eventual winner Prost.

Piquet's DNF

Piquet's DNF
10/10

Photo by: Jean-Philippe Legrand

Even Piquet was forced to retire from his home race, his Brabham suffering a terminal engine problem on lap 32.

 

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Drivers Ayrton Senna Shop Now
Author Gustavo Faldon
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