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Understand the origin of the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost
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The duo Aytorn Senna and Alain Proust became known as the duo that carried on rivalry on and off the track in the 80s/90s. The “fight” between the two drivers was highlighted for a long time, considered one of the greatest duos and most intense disputes in Formula 1, especially when the French driver changed teams. The relationship between the two started out friendly, full of praise and positive statements about each other in interviews, while they were together at McLaren, but the pair became rivals with clashes on the track.

Where it all began

Regarding Ayrton Senna's journey at McLaren during the 1988 F1 season, he was alongside Alain Prost, who was already a two-time champion and they were certainly far from knowing how important the duo's trajectory would be for the sport, considering the history and legacy they built.

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Stars of one of the greatest rivalries of all time, the Brazilian and the Frenchman also formed one of the most successful duos in Formula 1, despite the existence of ups and downs, not only on the track, but also off: the Brazilian , who had shone in F1 four years earlier, signed with McLaren in 1988. Having just left Toleman and Lotus, he still had less experience than his new teammate, Prost, who was already twice world champion and whose career in the category began eight years earlier.

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The game turned

The pair arrived tied at the Belgian GP and after a series of victories for Senna, Prost said that his friend would be world champion.

In Portugal, shortly after a double retirement that guaranteed Ferrari its only one-two finish of the season, the atmosphere began to get bad between the two McLaren drivers. The race at the Autódromo de Estoril was considered the 13th stage of 1988. In it, with pole position, Prost surrounded the Brazilian off the track, which led Senna to retaliate by slamming into the wall on Alain, his teammate. .


Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost after completing the race (reproduction/Getty Images)


Controversies and Calm

After that, Ayrton accused the president of the International Automobile Federation and Prost's personal colleague, Jean-Marie Balestre, of manipulation and was suspended for six months and fined 100 thousand dollars, an amount paid by McLaren. To be registered in the 1990 season, he had to retract a fax sent to the FIA.

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The atmosphere became bad – in Prost's own words – and he decided to go to Ferrari in 1990. The rivalry with the Brazilian remained; Ayrton even refused to shake hands with his rival. Years passed and Ayrton was world champion and his main opponent became Nigel Mansell from Ferrari.

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The following year, Prost returned to Formula 1 with Williams. That year, Senna won the last victory of his career at the Australian GP. With Prost off the track, the relationship between the two improved and they began to form friendships, but the Brazilian's fatal accident, seven months after that, interrupted the process of rapprochement. At Senna's funeral, on May 5, 1994, Alain was one of the men who carried the Brazilian's coffin.

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Featured photo: Ayrton Senna raising Alain's hand after Rival's victory on the podium in Australia (Reproduction: Rapho/Getty Images)

Understand the origin of the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost

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Understand the origin of the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost

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