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Senna movie: Exclusive JA on F1 screening date announced
Senna movie: Exclusive JA on F1 screening date announced
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Mar 2011   |  5:25 pm GMT  |  91 comments

The long awaited JA on F1 screening of the award winning F1 documentary film Senna will take place on Tuesday 3rd May at 6pm, at the Curzon Mayfair in London.

It will be a special preview screening for fans of this outstanding film, which has won over audiences in Japan, Brazil, USA and Italy. It’s very rare for fans to be given an opportunity to see the film in advance of the premiere.

Keep an eye on this site over the next few days as the tickets will go on sale shortly. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Grand Prix Mechanics Trust.

The event is being held in association with TAG Heuer. It is set to be a treat for fans; some of Senna’s mechanics, engineers and closest paddock friends will be there as will some well known faces from F1 past and present.

The film tells the story of Senna’s arrival in F1 in 1984 and shows the arc of his career to the very pinnacle of the sport through to his death ten years later.

Like Muhammad Ali and a handful of other sportsmen in history, Senna transcended his sport and this film reflects that.

It is also a technical triumph for the film makers as it uses documentary footage and audio in a new and innovative way.

At times tragic, amusing, visceral and poignant it is a wonderful tribute to the man and to the sport of Formula 1, with all its good and bad sides.

I’m delighted that the film’s director Asif Kapadia and its writer Manish Pandey have agreed to attend and to take part in a Q&A on stage with me after the screening.

“I’ve been acutely aware of British fans having to wait so long to see our film,” said Pandey. “But I am so proud that the film is finally coming home.

“Neither the Senna family nor Bernie Ecclestone have ever sanctioned such a project for the cinema before and we have made the film with unprecedented access to FOM and the family archive.”

The film will go on general release in the UK on June 3rd and although no final numbers have been set it looks like it will get a wide release, with plenty of cinemas up and down the country.

Other release dates are: Germany May 12th, Spain May 20th, France May 25th.

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will they be releasing any more tickets? What day did they get released?


I’ve probably missed it, but I’ve been searching & searching on the web – any chance of buying a ticket to the premiere ??

Checked Curzon website/Mechanics Trust & Tag Heuer already – no joy…


Sorry, sold out in 40 minutes


Hi James, great work, I would love to get a ticket to this event! It would mean the world to me. Hopefully I can get a ticket and enjoy this movie with all you passionate fans!



What about a DVD release soon?

Im in New Zealand and suspect that it may be the only I will be able to see it any time soon



Headed to the Canadian GP in June and wonder if there might be a screening of the movie in Montreal? Have you heard anything? Seems like it would be a good fit.

Let me also echo a previous poster’s words about the Sundance award. That should help the movie get a wider U.S. distribution, particularly at independent and art house cinemas, like the E Street Theater in Washington, D.C.


I have heard talk of a Canadian season around GP time, but why not send a tweet to Manish @mpandey69 and ask him


Thanks for the Twitter handle, I’ll definitely tweet him…


Oooooohhh!!! Pick me Pick me!!

It’s my birthday just 2days before, Senna died on my 15th birthday and I’ve always had an affinity to him and his memory.

I wish I could have met with him.

Will definitely try and buy some tickets.


Dam! I’m due to give birth on 12th May!! What rubbish timing, selfish baby!!

James are heavily pregnant women allowed in to watch if they haven’t pooped yet? Ive been looking forward to this for ages too!


Excellent work as ever James.

I look forward to at least trying to buy some tickets for this.

Can’t wait to see the film after seeing some of the clips, especially on a large screen.



Any idea of cost of ticket and what sort of time of day this will be?

Hoping to come, ticket allocation, time of screening and work annual leave limits permitting!

Maybe see you there!


Ciao James.

I was watching the movie in Suzuka…there was an amazing sensational emotional watching…with all the people sit down on the ground…30 years ago as today Ayrton got his firs victory in a race car. There is something of amazing to see on our friend Keith Sutton web site. give a look.



The whole Keith Sutton story is amazing, how he and Ayrton started out in their careers together.

Could have been so much different has Ayrton not come back from his break in brazil to start single seaters again.


And here I am sitting in Namibia… James, will you be able to offer the movie in your online shop when it finally gets released on DVD? I doubt whether they will ever put it up on the shelves in our local stores.


I would hope the movie will be available as I would like to see it. I doubt whether the movie will screen in South Africa.James, would be so kind to help us non Europeans with a DVD in the store.. I really want to see the movie…


I would imagine so.


I have waited years for this film! CAN NOT wait to see!


I didn’t really know where to put this and if i should post it at all. I know this is probably not the right thread. And my question may be stupid if a new chernobyl may happen, which i really really hope not happening.

With the nuclear disaster in Japan, are there any possibilities discussed if the worst case happens and a radio active cloud perhaps covering the pacific? Japan would be octobre, but malaysia alread in april.

At which pollution levels will races be cancelled, how fast can a decision happen, …


James, I’m in Denmark. Any news on a release date here?



Manish Pandey is on twitter think its @mpandey69.

I’ve dropped him a message to see if he’s got an online listing of international release dates.

He responded to mine earlier in the year when I asked him about UK release date.


Thanks Andy & James 🙂


Sorry, I don’t have that


Very much hoping to see this film with you all! I can’t wait to watch such gripping doc, wishing I was at SXSW now!

I love curzon and have just become a member so hoping to become a regular there.

On Senna himself, it was his battles with Mansell and Prost that brought F1 to my bolt upright attention over two decades ago. My memories upon hearing news of his passing while I cried on the stairs of my parents house will live with me forever. As a fan of Mansell at the time, Senna had become the enemy in our small but fanatic house each Sunday afternoon – but the deep and overwhelming emotion I felt at his death showed me the true power of sport, competition and F1 in particular.



Was a Prost fan, but Senna’s passing touched me in a totally unexpected way…


I’ve heard lately that the director of the film would like it to be shown in Poland, because he likes Polish cinema. I hope the film will enter our cinemas, though I’m a bit sceptical…


I have yet to see the movie so I am hopeful it goes deeper than the typical documentary tripe such as “Ayrton was an intensely passionate competitor, blah blah”. Forgive me for waxing poetic but drivers like Senna and Villeneuve Sr are what made me an F1 fan, not because they were winners but because their personalities transcended the conventions of the sport. I for one got the impression that people like that would push their lives to the limit no matter what endeavor they chose to do it in, and race cars were just the “paintbrushes” they ended up with for creating their masterpieces. Sadly the only one like that in recent F1 times got bored and decided to leave and push his limits in a rally car instead.


I forgot to add: what does that leave F1 with? More champions than ever racing together, and yet fewer personalities than ever.


So very true…


Hi all,

Senna was also screened as part of the Adelaide Film Festival, I was lucky enough to view the movie 2 weeks ago. I won’t go in to too many details, but as an F1 fan since before the first Adelaide/ Australian grand price in 1985, I felt it was an excellent reflection of his life, and the times and events surrounding him. I can’t wait to see it again.




Unrelated: I just noticed the banner change to “Melbourne” and got a wee bit excited. Less than 2 weeks to go!



I was hoping that it would be out around the time the season launches here, maybe even here in Melbourne it could be. We even have a film festival sometime.

Please people??? Do you not think that we can’t fill out 1 theatre for it to be run?

Any dates of Australia/DVD releases?


James do you know if and when this film may be released in Canada.

My first live GP was Montreal 1994. I was always a Prost fan so you can guess my feelings on Senna. Having said that I do appreciate his talent and wish I could have seen him race live. I admire all the F1 pilots in one way or another.

I love your site and I hope to make it to see you at a British GP some time in the next couple years.


I have often wished I was 15 years older so I could have seen the senna Prost years properly instead of on YouTube and the clips on topgear those couple of times and on the BBC classic races section before the races these past 2 years. This film though excites me to live it for myself sort of. Clips I’ve seen have me so excited for more. Can’t wait. Girlfriend suggests anything else that weekend she will get some answer lol


I can’t wait – I’ll be watching for when and where to pay. Thanks for your continued efforts for arranging things like this!


Do shotgun rules apply to these tickets?!?

If so… Shotgun!

Jokes aside, I can’t wait. Very hopeful I get tickets, great film and you can only watch the trailer so many times to wet the appetite again.


Natalie’s comments concern me somewhat. Of course I will watch the movie at some point, as an F1 fan, but I hope, perhaps unrealistically, that it will be reasonably balanced and not gloss over things. I am literally trembling at the thought of what the summary of Donington ’93 will be like. Ayrton said himself it wasn’t his best race, and he was absolutely right. It can’t be compared with his drives at Estoril ’86, or Monaco ’84. For one thing not only did he have the best car, it was a two-formula race. Guys like Schumacher, starting 3rd, who didn’t have traction control on their cars, didn’t have a chance. Thus the race was left to Senna, the Williamses, Barrichello and a few others who did have traction control. Senna swept past Schumacher like he wasn’t even there. Two corners later, so did Andretti in the other McLaren. You know, Michael Andretti, the famous wet-weather specialist. That tells you all you need to know about the McLaren at Donington ’93.

Of course, Andretti crashed trying to pass *another* car at the next corner, for 4th, taking himself and Wendlinger out of the race. But people tend not to notice that.


Dan, having seen the film at the Adelaide Film Festival in Australia, I won’t spoil things but the film focuses more on the man and his motivation rather than some of his special race drives. As for the portrayal of Prost, I think it is definitely in context with, again, why Senna was motivated to act as he did rather than trying to portray good v evil. As for the way Balestre is depicted… 😉


Johnny Herbert? I don’t see how he is relevant. He set a faster lap than Schumacher, who spun off before it was dry enough to run on slicks. So that’s irrelevant. He finished a little behind Prost having made six fewer pitstops, I believe. Yes, six. I don’t see what that has to with Senna, or Schumacher, or traction control.

He finished 4th, ahead of the Minardis, Larrouses, his teammate, and Patrese in the other Benetton, whow was 2 laps down. Nobody else was left running.


As for Herbert he was a real talent but he was never the same after his crash. It’s hardly a tragedy since the guy won three grands prix. Not sure he would have been world champion, but who knows these things.

Even after that accident he was outqualifying Mika Hakkinen more often than not, in 1991 and the first half of 1992. But then Hakkinen seemed to improve and Herbert didn’t. I don’t know why.

As for Schumacher, not only Schumacher beat Herbert, but also Irvine and Barrichello, who were themselves beaten by Schumacher. Schumacher did tell Herbert at Argentina 1995 that he couldn’t have a look at the changes Michael made to the setup. After the first (wet) day of qualifying, Schumacher and Herbert were languishing in the midfield (around 11th and 12th place), well off the pace, with Herbert a tenth up on Schumacher. The Benetton was a nightmare in wet conditions. The next day was also wet and Schumacher changed the setup, and went 3rd, behind the Williamses, and then refused to share the setup details with Herbert. Herbert stayed way back in the midfield, although he came through to 4th in a dry race, behind Schumacher.

This is the main incident that is much cited, I believe. But not all teammates share information, at least, not in the 90s. Schumacher did not have a different car from Herbert.


The time gained from 50 horse power, versus traction control, in the wet, would be negligible. You would lose hand over fist on entry, mid-corner, and corner exit. You would even lose time on the straights because you can’t get the power down anywhere near as efficiently.

If Senna had been in the Lotus he probably wouldn’t even have beaten Herbert, if he made three more pitstops. Herbert judged the strategy probably better than anybody, it’s just unfortunate he wasn’t in a great car.


Blistering pace on slicks by Herbert though who incidently stopped a lot sooner than Schumacher and kept it on the track. One of Johnney’s best.

My feeling on reflection is that Senna would have taken it in the Lotus but obviously I can’t back that up and we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one 🙂

Senna’s TC, Schumacher’s extra 50 bhp….


Herbert stopped six less times, than Prost. Three or four less times than Senna. And yet he still finished a lap down. Hardly blistering pace.

Andretti never looked better in an F1 car than that day. For 45 seconds he looked better than Michael Schumacher.

But that is the key word. Looked.

TC did not help a little, it helped a lot.

Even in the dry, when Benetton developed traction control, it gave an advantage of well over a second at Monaco. The first race (Monaco ’93) Benetton had it, Schumacher was cruising to victory before a car failure forced him out of the race.

Traction control helps even more in the wet. A lot more.

You can’t feel traction control “in the air”. It works in binary, a computer, based on 1s and 0s.


You can think what you like but on that day Senna was on a completely different level – he wasn’t racing the others, it was a demonstration of his art – you could feel it in the air. TC helped a little but if they’d all been racing double deckers, Karts or whatever, he would have won. (And it wasn’t Andretti bad, Senna good, it was Andretti good but not committed and Senna brilliant.)

(Herbert stopped for slicks on lap 10 – an awesome drive from him – I’d have liked to see him drive the same Benetton as Schumacher in ’95, with the same team support, and having not had his F3000 accident.)


I was there – Senna would have won driving a Williams, Benetton or Mclaren: it would have made no difference. He may have had traction control (a fairly basic by current standards version) but the car was dancing and he was so visibly on the limit it was breathtaking.

As an aside, let’s look forward to another season of Nico getting the same car and opportunity as a certain German 🙂 .


I know you rate Senna. Everyone does. But how do you rate Andretti? Honestly do you think he is better than Schumacher *in the wet*?

As for the traction control, it was not worth a few tenths, even when first introduced. It was at least two seconds, in the wet, probably a lot more. It has almost the same effect as being 4 wheel drive.

There is a reason Senna didn’t rate this as his best drive. And it makes me mad that people are using it as a stick to bash on how good Senna is.


None. Nico beat Nakajima 31-0 I believe, or something like that.

I was making the point that Rosberg is a good driver.

Andretti was not a particularly good driver and the traction control made a massive difference in the wet, of course it did.

Despite Andretti not being a very good driver he was able to get past Schumacher around the outside in the wet, just like Senna. The only reason he wasn’t catching the Williamses at the end of the first lap is because he crashed into Wendlinger whilst trying to pass him, which would have left only Senna and the Williamses ahead of him. Not because he couldn’t cope with the conditions. He simply clipped the back of Wendlinger’s car whilst trying to pass. Wendlinger blocked him and that was that, a racing incident.


Andretti was a good driver, he just didn’t adapt to F1 or the way of life. He was very effective in IndyCar, very quick and a good passer. It was his mentality that ruined it. I know because I was there with him, reporting for ESPN during his McLaren season.


4Wd… 2 seconds…If you’ve seen the race you’ll notice Senna correcting slides around every corner when he was on it. It was a masterful display. TC helped of-course but it didn’t change the result.

Btw, which former team-mate of Nico beat him 29-0 ? I recall when he was team-mates to Lewis Hamilton, that Hamilton was a little faster.


Btw Dan, Johnney Herbert in a Lotus recorded a faster laptime than Schumacher on that great day – without traction control. He came fourth, right behind Prost competeing 75 laps so I think it likely that Senna would have won in a Benneton or Williams (or maybe even a Lotus!)


I didn’t say it was Senna’s best, and I wasn’t using a stick, but it was good days work and I believe he would have won whatever car he had that day. Andretti was under-rated you know and the wet was a game changer. Senna knew the grip was there around the outside while others were being timid; Andretti just followed his lead but he couldn’t keep it up and crashed. It could have been different for Andretti that year if he’d been a bit more committed to F1 – a good driver for sure.


I agree Nico Rosberg is a huge talent. I believe he beat his former teammate 29-0? Which makes an aged Schumacher look pretty fekin good. I can’t wait to see him develop into a possible WDC candidate, although I am a Schumacher fan. I really like Nico Rosberg’s smooth, relaxed demeanour, he would be an interesting championship contender (if a little reserved).

No offence, but I don’t care if you were there. He absolutely would not have won in a Benetton. Andretti could have beaten him easily in the McLaren.


DAN, excellent comment, many people forget schumacher had no traction control. people like “DOM” talk as they have driven a 750bhp F1 car in the rain, that they can make such assumptions that it would have made no difference! pathetic!

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