Lewis Hamilton And Ayrton Senna they are – and will remain for a long time – the two most successful drivers in the history of Formula 1 who have never driven for Ferrari. There has been talk of a possible transfer of the Briton to the red for years, but without any concrete prospects. The only approach of a certain importance came under the Domenicali management, but in the end it ended in a stalemate. The mutual courtship between Ferrari and Senna, on the other hand, was decidedly more intense and took a turn that – if it had been successful – would probably have changed history itself from Formula 1. During an interview with the site beIN Sports, the current president of the FIA Jean Todt has in fact revealed that – at the beginning of his mandate under the banner of the Cavallino – he had taken steps to make the three-time Brazilian world champion wear red.
“A few weeks after my arrival [alla Ferrari] I met Ayrton Senna during the Monza weekend, in the hotel where we were staying on Lake Como – Todt said – I offered him to join Ferrari in 1995, but he was pushing for 1994. We already had two drivers under contract, Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, so we couldn’t satisfy his request “. Senna, however, wanted to face the challenge of bringing the Italian team back to the top at all costs. “When Ayrton asked why, I explained the situation – added the French manager – but he didn’t give up, telling me that contracts don’t count in Formula 1. But I replied that for me a contract must be respected. We offered him a contract for 1995, but unfortunately we know what happened“.
Todt’s obstinacy in wanting to have an already titled driver in the team – which would then lead to the landing in red for Schumacher – was linked to the endless internal clashes in the Maranello working group. “I wanted a top driver, because when I joined Ferrari, the chassis managers said you didn’t win for the engine, for others the problem was the chassis, and for others the responsibility rested with the drivers. So I said to myself, there is a variable that we can eliminate: if we take the best driver in the world, or at least a driver who is already world champion, we can eliminate an excuse. If we had had Senna, no one would have been able to point the finger at the pilot. That’s why we took Michael afterwards “, concluded the French.
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