The Senna victory that outclassed Donington '93
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The Senna victory that outclassed Donington '93

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Whenever Ayrton Senna's career is debated, his European GP victory at Donington in 1993 is invariably raised as his best-ever drive. But the man himself recognised his very first GP victory at Estoril in 1985, 35 years ago today, as being even better

After a sensational first season in Formula 1 with Toleman in 1984, Ayrton Senna was expected to make a splash with Lotus in '85. And it didn't take him long, as he proved 35 years ago today in that year's Portuguese Grand Prix, where he took his first pole and race win plus the fastest lap for good measure.

Following a late electrical failure that took him out of the running for a podium finish in Rio de Janeiro's opening round, Senna arrived at Estoril looking for his first points of the season. His Gerard Ducarouge-penned Lotus 97T had showed flashes of pace-setting form in Brazil, but in Portugal the new combination unleashed its obvious potential right from Friday's first qualifying session.

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