Tomorrow night we have the JA on F1 screening of the Sundance Award winning documentary movie “Senna”, followed by a Q&A with director Asif Kapadia and writer Manish Pandey. The event, which is supported by TAG Heuer and in aid of the GP Mechanics Trust, sold out in 45 minutes when the tickets went on sale back in March. There will be some special guests from Senna’s career there including mechanics and rivals and a special message from someone very close to him.
My colleague Greg Rust, who presents the studio end of the Australian TV coverage for which I do the on site presentation, went to see the Senna movie last night in Sydney and was blown away by it.
So I asked him if he’d like to do a guest post for JA on F1 and he accepted.
Here is Greg’s take on the film:
“I’d heard a lot of good things about the new Senna movie but the sceptic in me wondered how much of this was hype. Typically motorsport movies are never done right, certainly not the fictional ones anyway. Don’t get me started on flicks like Driven! So, I’m not sure if FOM was nervous about opening its archives for this documentary but I am so glad they did.
Tonight in Sydney I was fortunate enough to catch a special advance screening of ‘Senna’ ahead of its Australian premiere in August. James had told me at the GP in Melbourne that it was a “masterpiece” and how Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony was left speechless after seeing it. Now I understand why.
If you asked me which driver I admired the most or idolised as a youngster Ayrton was it. The timing of my career and his meant that I never got to meet him let alone interview him. Even now when colleagues recount stories of speaking to Senna I’m in awe. It happened on the weekend when my co-host Daryl Beattie (a former 500cc bike Grand Prix winner) told me he’d spoken with Senna in the garage at Suzuka one year.
I won’t spoil it for you but the movie is brilliant! There is footage and interviews I had never seen before and I think it gives a great insight into the man and why he was so special. The filmmakers cleverly avoided a documentary voiceover to tell this story. Instead they rely on original audio or interviews with people who knew Senna well both inside and outside of Formula One. It’s captivating and should strike a chord even with those who don’t follow the sport closely. There are moments where you evesdrop on private conversations in the garage or gain rare access to driver’s briefings plus a few wonderful reminders of the frank expression of views we miss from many drivers today.
The credits rolled only a few hours ago and already I want to see it again. I’m certain F1 fans in this country won’t be disappointed when the film opens in cinemas in a couple of months time. Race you to the front of the queue!”