Senna-Tribute as part of the 2024 Grand Prix de Monaco Historique

Text and photo: Roman Klemm

Former rivals, young adults of motorsport, relatives, Prince Albert II. and fans remembered the 30th anniversary of the death of 3-time world champion Ayrton Senna as part of the historic Monaco F1 Grand Prix.

The pre-event program actually announced the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Senna's sensational ride with the underrated Toleman-Hart at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, but in the end it was a reminder of his sad death 30 years ago. I would prefer the 40-year jubilee because it was related to the principality and somehow belonged to me. I was in Monaco then for the first time and when, in heavy rain, "Rennleiter" Jacky Ickx ended the race prematurely, giving the first place to Alain Prost. To this day, one can argue about whether Senna, Bellof, or even Prost would have won at that time if the race had continued. However, this does not change the fact that Senna left the group of Brazilian pay-drivers for the first time and became a competitor whom Prost, Lauda, Piquet et al. they were getting serious. Apart from the author, both Senna's car from 1984 and Jacky Ickx were in Monaco this year - but he probably doesn't like to remember the circumstances of the race 40 years ago, so Senna's fatal accident in 1994 in Imola was "celebrated". It is somehow "worn" - even if it can be argued, what does the Brazilian's death have to do with Monaco...?
It was quite a successful event. McLaren's historic section brought Senna's 1990 McLaren-Honda, which Ayrton's nephew Bruno drove. The Lotus-Renault 97T with which Senna won his first GP in Estoril in 1985 was driven by Thierry Boutsen, the Toleman-Hart TG184 was piloted by Senna's teammate from 1984 Stefan Johansson and the Ralt RT3 Formula 3 was driven by Eddie Irvine (it was probably the car with whom he drove in Macau for West Surrey Racing). A British restorer provided his Reynard FF2000 in Rushen Green livery to Senna's 1982 champion McLaren junior Cristina Gutierrez (Senna's original is missing). In addition, F2 pilot Gabriel Bortoleto was allowed to drive through Monaco on a go-kart, which was, however, too new to have anything in common with Senna.
There was a lot of talk, during the lunch break on Saturday, the appointees drove a few laps around the track, then took pictures with the prince and Ayrton's relatives on the finish line, before the "sharp" GP Historique cars took to the track again...

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