If Imola’s Tamburello corner hadn’t claimed the life of three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna da Silva, maybe melanoma would have done. The home videos of him jetskiing, waterskiing and yachting that feature in this excellent documentary show the playful side of a man utterly focused on winning. Never very comfortable in the limelight – or with F1 politics – Senna was never much of a joker but his sincerity, humility and dedication made him a heroic figure for many fans. Not to mention his almost supernatural talent for driving in the wet.
His run-ins with Alain Prost were what made F1 watchable in the late 1980s and are what make this such fascinating viewing. Asif Kapadia’s film reveals the ego and machinations of the era and there’s a lovely ‘Rosebud moment’ at the end that captures Senna’s attitude perfectly. 8/10
Released August 11, 2011.