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Video: Senna Flips in Mexico City

Submitted by on January 29, 2015

Senna 1991 Belgium

Senna in Belgium, 1991, thanks to The Cahier Archive

To be the best in the world you have to consistently dance on the edge of a very sharp knife, pushing yourself and your car to the utter limit and occasionally beyond. In qualifying for the 1991 Mexico City Grand Prix, we saw Ayrton Senna take a rare trip beyond that raggedy edge.

The first five races of the 1991 Formula 1 Word Championship had been very good for Senna. He dominated the early season, securing pole position and then going on to win in the United States, Brazil, San Marino and Monaco. An electronics problem knocked him out of the Canadian Grand Prix, but he was looking good to defend his 1990 Drivers’ title.

This clip picks up in qualifying for the 1991 Mexican Grand Prix, with Senna about to take a 180 mile-per-hour trip through the gravel outside the banked Peraltada corner. The result is a great example of some of the improvements in safety the sport has seen in the two decades since.

Senna would go on to take third in the race. Riccardo Patrese took the honours, and kicked off a mid-season Williams-Renault renaissance that saw them win the next four races and make a concerted push for the two titles.

MORE: Video: Ayrton Senna at the 1991 AUTOSPORT Awards

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