- 1984 - Toleman
- 1985 - 1987 Lotus
- 1988 - 1993 McLaren
- 1994 - Williams
Ayrton held the record for pole positions from 1989 to 2006, when Michael Schumacher finally beat Ayrton's record of 65 pole positions. Ayrton still holds the record number of victories at the most prestigious Grand Prix of the season, the Monaco Grand Prix, where Ayrton won the race six times.
Ayrton grew up in a wealthy family in Brazil, where he began racing go karts as a child. He raced in Europe and raced in the karting world championship from 1978 to 1982, but always regretted not winning the title, although he finished second twice.
Like all Brazilian drivers who had ambitions to race in F1, Ayrton decided he had to move to Europe in order to learn racing from the ground up in the European series. He moved to England in 1981 and raced in the Formula Ford 1600 series, which he won. In 1982 he won the British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships. In 1983 he won the British F3 series.
Formula 1 Career:
The Senna vs. Prost Rivalry:
Senna joined McLaren as teammate to Alain Prost, who won the title in 1985 and 1986 with the team. Together, in 1988, the two won every race except the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. And it was Senna who took the title, his first. The following year, in 1989, Prost won again, taking his third title. But it was won under a cloud of controversy. At the Japanese Grand Prix the two collided and went off the track, with the result that Prost won the drivers' title - as Senna was no longer able to score enough points to overtake him. Senna blamed the crash on Prost. So the following year, in 1990, with Prost now driving for Ferrari, the two again collided and decided the title in the same way. But this time it went to Senna. The two had feuded at McLaren, and the feud continued when Prost joined Ferrari, making it probably the greatest driver feud in F1 history.
Senna's Third Title:
In 1991, Prost's Ferrari was no good, and Senna took his third drivers' title at McLaren. In 1992 Nigel Mansell won the title in utter dominating manner in a Williams, while Prost took a sabbatical. The following year Prost joined the Williams team and proceeded to take his fourth title in relatively easy manner, again with the best car on the grid. Senna, however, showed his genius at one of the great moments of F1 racing of all time. It was the European Grand Prix at Donington in England, and it was pouring down rain. Rain is a great equalizing power, and it is the talent of the driver that takes over. At the start of the race, Senna leapt up the pack, passing several cars on the first lap and taking the lead as Prost made several pit stops seeking the right rain tires. Senna won easily.
Senna At Williams:
In 1994 Senna joined Williams. But by the end of 1993, the car had begun to show signs of weakness. In the first three races, Senna used all his powers but in the first two races he failed to finish. The third race was the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, and Senna scored the pole position. After an accident at the start of the race the first several laps ran under the safety car. When the race started again, Senna battled to hold off Michael Schumacher in a Benetton. But on the seventh lap, Senna's car shot straight off the track at the Tamburello curve and ran into a concrete wall. Part of the car's front suspension smashed through Senna's helmet and he was killed. He was 34.