WHEN: APRIL 11, 1993 WHERE: DONINGTON WINNER: AYRTON SENNA (MCLAREN-FORD)
Yes, it may not have been strictly a British Grand Prix, but no list of the top 10 grands prix which I have attended would be complete without the European Grand Prix at Donington Park.
Commentating on that opening lap remains as vivid now as it was 23 years ago. In the less powerful Mclaren-ford MP4/8 by comparison with the Williams-renault FW15CS of Alain Prost and Damon Hill, Ayrton Senna had only qualified fourth despite some ‘on the edge’ driving in the dry on Saturday.
The rain was back on Sunday with a vengeance. Fifth into Redgate behind Michael Schumacher’s Benetton-ford B193B and Karl Wendlinger’s Sauber-ilmor C12, Ayrton passed Michael on the way out of the first corner and then ran round the outside of the Sauber through the Craner Curves. Into Mcleans, the Mclaren passed Damon to slot in behind Alain. Through the Esses, clearly visible from the commentary box, Ayrton came from way back to out-brake Alain into the Melbourne Hairpin. By the end of the lap, one corner later, Ayrton already led by 0.6s and proceeded to put on a mesmeric display of his genius for the next 1h 45m, interrupted by pit stops. Only Damon was on the same lap by the end. Of many other highlights, Johnny Herbert in the Lotus-ford 107B stood out, finishing fourth after changing to slicks very early and sticking with them to the end.