On this day: Ayrton Senna wins British Grand Prix on his way to first world title

Ayrton Senna closed the gap on McLaren-Honda teammate Alain Prost in the 1988 Formula One World Championship drivers’ standings by winning a memorable British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 6:00 am
Ayrton Senna in his McLaren Honda on his way to victory in a rain lashed British Grand Prix at Silverstone

The 65-lap event, which marked the 40th anniversary of the Northamptonshire circuit, was held in pouring rain and the first wet race since the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix.

Senna, starting from third place on the grid, used his skill in the testing conditions to overtake Ferrari pair Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto and lead by lap 15.

The Brazilian lapped a slow-running Prost, who would eventually retire on lap 24 through handling problems, and establish a commanding lead.

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Home favourite Nigel Mansell, driving a Williams-Judd, recorded the fastest lap at an average speed of 206 kilometres per hour and finished second, with Italy’s Alessandro Nannini completing the podium.

Senna surged on through the rain to win by 23 seconds, his fourth victory of the season reducing Prost’s championship lead to six points.

Four more victories would secure the first of Senna’s three world titles, with other wins coming in 1990 and 1991.

Senna died at the age of 34 following a crash during the San Marino Grand Prix in May 1994.

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