As a very keen motor racing fan who saw most of A. Senna's F1 races, (including the race where his car crashed at Imola as a result of a serious mechanical failure), I thought the film was very understated and did not do sufficient justice to one of the most outstanding motor racing drivers of the post WW2 era.
I have seen the DVD with the narrated commentary by the makers of the film. It explains why they chose the scenes they did and offers a great deal of explanation of events but none of this information was included in the film. It assumed audiences already knew quite a bit about this man.
The problems with the movie included:
1. Very minimal narration which left audiences trying to grasp what was really happening at times and lost the opportunity to tell the audience a much richer and more complete story.
2. An appearance in the film that he jumped from go-cart racing straight into F1. No one does that and he didn't either. He was driving Formula Fords and then Formula 3 cars successfully over a period of 3 years before progressing to F1.
2. Very, very poor descriptions of the man's amazing results in just 10 full years in F1 including 4 of those years in second rate cars. (see below).
3. Poor reflections of just how he managed - by pure talent - to consistently out drive his competitors so convincingly with only minimal evidence of just how talented he was. There was no reason why the film should have been limited to only 100 minutes when another 10 minutes of footage could have shown and added so much more.
4. Insufficient descriptions of just how committed he was to the safety and well being of other drivers. During the end credits you see a film of a driver stop and jump out of his car during practice and put his own life in danger to sprint back down the track (in the face of other cars) to the aid of another driver that had crashed and was sitting injured in his car across the track. This should have been part of the movie, explained and highlighted because it showed what a magnificent human being that driver was. It was Senna of course. They don't make them like that anymore - at least not in F1.
5. There were massive investigations following the Senna crash at Imola, not to mention court cases but none of this was mentioned in the film. It was clearly established that a major mechanical failure in the car (steering column) had caused the crash leaving Senna a passenger in a car racing at 330 km per hour. None of this was covered in the film (other than one minor speculative comment) leaving audiences (who did not know) wondering what had really gone wrong.
I could go on but I won't. The film underwhelmed me and is found wanting. It could have been just so much better and so much more emotional and heart breaking. A great deal of improvement could have been made with much more factual narration which would not have even added to run time.
The man's achievements at death were amazing but these were never shown to the audience. Here they are and the list is indicative of what a great race driver and champion this guy was:
A. Senna held and in most of cases below still holds the following Formula One records:
- Most wins leading the entire race... 19
- Most consecutive pole positions... 8 consecutive pole positions
- Most consecutive starts from front row... 24
- Most consecutive wins at the same Grand Prix... 5 wins in a row at the Monaco Grand Prix (1989 Monaco Grand Prix–1993 Monaco Grand Prix)
- Most consecutive pole positions at the same Grand Prix... 7 pole positions in a row at the San Marino Grand Prix (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991)
- Most pole positions at the same Grand Prix... 8 pole positions at the San Marino Grand Prix (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994)
- Starts from front row in every race of a season... 16 out of 16 front row starts in 1989
- Most seasons leading the pole-position statistics... 6 (in 1985,1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991)
A. Senna also held the following records at the time of his death:
- Most pole positions... 65
-Longest distance led... 13,672 km
- Most Doubles (pole and win, same GP race)... 29
- Most Front Row starts... 87
- Youngest triple world champion... 31 years,227 days
- Youngest driver to score a Grand Slam (pole, win, fastest lap, led every lap) ...25 years, 31 days
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