Last night JA on F1 hosted a screening of Senna, the award winning documentary at the Curzon Mayfair, to an audience of 320 people; fans, F1 insiders, ex Senna mechanics and ex drivers. The evening was introduced by Sir Jackie Stewart.
The evening was supported by TAG Heuer and all proceeds went to the Grand Prix Mechanics Trust.
After the screening we did a Q&A session with the film makers Asif Kapadia and Manish Pandey and there were contributions from Senna’s rival in F3 Martin Brundle, Dave Ryan, the ex McLaren team manager, Clive Hicks and Kenny Szmanski who were Senna’s mechanics at Lotus, Prof Watkins, one of Senna’s closest allies in F1 and finally Terry Fullerton, the kart racer whom Senna once said was the best driver he ever raced against. They spoke about Senna, his qualities and how well the film represented him.
Brundle spoke about how the film made him reconsider so much of what happened in his career, racing against Senna and explained certain things that took place which he hadn’t understood before. He talked of how, on the podium at Monza in 1992 Senna told him that they were going to be team mates at Williams the following year.
Prof Watkins spoke about Senna’s humility and what a rare quality that is in racing drivers. He told a story about a time when Senna came for an appointment at his hospital in London and waited in the waiting room, with the other patients and pushed a lady ahead of him in the queue into Watkins’ surgery in her wheelchair.
But the appearance of Fullerton was amazing. Senna’s tribute to him is in the film and it was incredible to hear his thoughts on what it felt like to be described by arguably the greatest F1 driver as the best he’d raced against.
It was an emotional occasion, the first time that the film has been shown to the public in the UK and over 200 fans, who bought tickets through this site, were there to experience it and share in the fascinating discussion afterwards. It goes on general release in the UK on June 3.
Thanks again to the Trustees of the Mechanics Trust, especially Sir Jackie Stewart, Martin Brundle and Dave Ryan, to TAG Heuer, to Universal and above all to Manish Pandey and Asif Kapadia for making it happen.
Here’s what GQ Magazine thought of the night GQ Review
If you were there please leave a comment on your experience of the evening.