Senna and afterwards – inside Williams in 1994
Autosport Plus

Senna and afterwards – inside Williams in 1994

By:
, Ian Harrison

Legendary British Touring Car team boss Ian Harrison was the team manager at Williams in 1994 and had to deal with Aytron Senna's death on the squad's behalf on the day. Here, he recalls the Imola weekend and its full impact on the team

'Ayrton Senna is joining Williams...' I have to say that even though I was the team manager at the time, I had a certain feeling of trepidation when I heard this news. It was pretty daunting, because he was Ayrton Senna... he was coming with a little bit of a reputation. I suppose we thought he might be difficult to work with - all of the top drivers were demanding, but it was something we'd got used to. We'd had Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost at the team, but nobody quite knew what Ayrton would be like. Still, we were professional and we knew what we were doing.

I first met him at Williams' factory over the winter, probably at the start of 1994. He popped in for five minutes to say hello and he was quite quiet and extremely polite. That was the thing that immediately struck me about him. He was very calm. He was direct and matter-of-fact. You could see he was trying to weigh the place up because we were different to McLaren, where he'd been for six years. McLaren had been moulded around him and he had to start that process all over again with us, but we were determined to make him feel as welcome as possible.

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