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The best Formula One story: Senna versus Prost

Updated on April 30, 2015
Rivalry: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost
Rivalry: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost | Source

Ever since I saw Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost racing in the rain at the 1993 European Grand Prix, I've been fascinated by the story of these two world champion Grand Prix drivers. The book you see on the right isn't a new book but I'm currently reading it - again.

Yes, I have read this several times and I'm sure that this won't be the last. For those of us who have been following the sport for many years, we're able to learn much more about the several life-threatening dramas that we watched on our television screens all those years ago.

For newer fans, this book will send you straight to You Tube to see the action for yourself. (But I've saved you the trouble - there's a video selection below). Frenchman Alain Prost and Brazilian Ayrton Senna were, and are still considered to have been, among the best drivers in the world. They were to become teammates and as such, their rivalry was legendary.

This is exactly the sort of story that just couldn't be invented. Throughout the book the author, Malcolm Folley - a respected sports journalist then and now - draws upon his own experiences plus interviews with drivers, team managers and top F1 officials to give the complete picture of these startling events.

Something that struck us all I believe, in those days, was the difference between the two men. Prost was a cool and analytically perfect driver; Senna drove with the ultimate passion. As drivers in their own right they were formidable. As teammates and rivals, they were explosive.

It was a story that everyone hoped wouldn't end in tragedy. As we watched, it seemed we all knew that disaster was just seconds - or centimeters - away.

And yes, the story ends when Alain Prost acted as a pallbearer at the funeral his friend and greatest rival, Ayrton Senna.

Rivalry on the racetrack

This book describes the rivalry between these two racing drivers with their full backgrounds and history.

This makes a wonderful gift for any motor racing fan or enthusiast.

The important thing to remember here is that whatever the situation may have been on the track, these two drivers fully respected each other.

I think that the photograph on the cover shows this admirably.

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ayrton SennaAlain ProstBoth drivers on the podium
Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna | Source
Alain Prost
Alain Prost | Source
Both drivers on the podium
Both drivers on the podium | Source


If you're building up a motorsport or Formula One book collection, you might also be interested in these. There's a huge range of books available about the sport and about it's drivers.Here, I have selected a couple about our protagonists.

Both make fascinating reading and are great gift ideas for the Formula One fan.


You can get some flavor of the action here. These aren't the best quality because, after all,we're talking about the late 1980s and the early 1990s. 

Some videos show the two in the same team, in others they are in different colored cars so to keep track, the best tip is to keep an eye on their helmets - Senna's is in the distinctive yellow and green of Brazil.

Team mates and racing rivals

Motor racing is a competitive sport. Therefore rivalries are always going to exist - on the track. But when the racing is over for the day, racing drivers seem to be a closely knit bunch of people.

That is especially the case in the rarified atmosphere of Formula One.

What happens on the circuit is one thing - afterwards you can easily tell that the drivers have the greatest respect for each other. After all, when you are competing in wheel to wheel racing at high speeds, it's essential to have respect for the other driver.

In the 2014 season, the big 'rivalry' was between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Fans loved it. And that's exactly why the press and the media fuelled the flames.

In the real life world, these two drivers respect each other enormously - when they are racing in close quarters, they know just how dangerous any real rivalry could be if it were to get out of hand.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson


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    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DreyaB: Oh, you yell at the telly too? You should hear me :) The whole thing is completely hyped by the media. Enjoy Canada!

    • DreyaB profile image

      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @BritFlorida: I so agree. I was even saying it to the telly at the last GP! ;0)

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DreyaB: I honestly think that this Hamilton / Rosberg thing is invented by the media. Did you see Lewis being interviewed by Will Buxton at Monaco? Will asked him if the 'bad feeling' was true.Lewis said it was and then gave Will Buxton a huge grin. It was almost as if he was saying 'I had to say that'. Fun!

    • DreyaB profile image

      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      Brilliant! It was one of the best stories in F1 and the best rivalry I've ever witnessed. They're trying to make out that Hamilton and Rosberg are going in this direction, but it won't happen in my opinion. I love the sport and the personalities in it both then and now, but today the attitudes of the drivers just aren't quite the same as back then. Thanks for a great review and clip selection. :0)

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sierradawn lm: Thank you!

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      A most excellent review!

    • MarathonRunning profile image

      Martina 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      This book is a perfect gift for my dad that because he is a Formula 1 fan for many, many years. The only thing is that I`ll need a paper version for that purpose.Thank you for sharing! This is such a nice review.