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Senna's Near Miss with Ferrari in '91 Unveiled

Senna’s Near Miss with Ferrari in ’91 Unveiled

30/03/2024

Newly surfaced reports reveal Ayrton Senna’s close call with Ferrari in 1991, a pivotal moment in F1 history.

Ayrton Senna was on the verge of signing a contract to race for Ferrari during the 1991 season, according to new revelations in the Italian media.

Next year, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton – the most decorated driver in Formula 1 history alongside Michael Schumacher – will make a significant move to Maranello, replacing Carlos Sainz.

Reports from La Stampa and Corriere della Sera indicate that F1 legend Ayrton Senna also had ambitious plans to become a Ferrari driver, even before Jean Todt’s offer in 1993.

“I offered him to join Ferrari in 1995,” Jean Todt, then team principal at Ferrari, had stated. “He was keen on joining as early as 1994, but we already had Berger and Alesi under contract.”

“What happened next is well-known,” Todt added, referring to Senna’s death in 1994.

However, an agreement had already been reached in 1990 for the 1991 season between Senna, then 30 years old and driving for McLaren, and Cesare Fiorio, then team principal of Ferrari.

“We had agreed on everything,” claims Fiorio, now aged 84. “But Fusaro objected.”

At that time, Piero Fusaro was the president of Ferrari, succeeded by Luca di Montezemolo in 1991.

When asked why Fusaro opposed Senna’s transfer to Ferrari, Fiorio explained: “Perhaps it was to avoid upsetting Alain Prost, or maybe he wanted to make it clear that he (Fusaro) was in charge.”

“Only he, I, and the Ferrari board knew of this negotiation. Someone mentioned it to Prost.”

Corriere della Sera reported that Senna would have earned $30 million at Ferrari in 1991 – a record at that time.

Fusaro, aged 72, disputes Fiorio’s account, insisting that Prost had actually reached out directly to the powerful Agnelli family to block the transfer.

“This happened, and there was no turning back.”

Ultimately, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Brazilian, as he was able to secure his 3rd and final championship in 1991 with McLaren. Prost was dismissed by Ferrari during the 1991 season after he likened that year’s Formula 1 to driving a truck.

Senna's Near Miss with Ferrari in '91 Unveiled

Senna’s Near Miss with Ferrari in ’91 Unveiled. Senna’s Near Miss with Ferrari in ’91 Unveiled

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