ByDan White, writer at

Film 127 in the "1001 Films to See Before You Die" challenge is 2010's "Senna". This documentary looks at Ayrton Senna's Formula 1 career. From his debut in the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix to his death in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. As someone who never got to see Senna compete as I was 11 months old at the time of his death, I felt like this documentary really showcased what a true legend he was. It also made me want to watch the next season of Formula 1 when it starts up again on March 15 in Melbourne. Prior to this, the only bit of Senna that I knew about him was from Top Gear where they allowed current F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton drive Senna's F1 car. This is defiantly worth viewing. However, I personally found the last 10 or so minutes hard to watch as you pretty much are watching a man's life come to an end before your eyes. I thought that they would have cut to black before the crash and all you hear was the crash itself with images of it. Nope! We see the whole crash! Fun fact of the film - Despite a limited release in cinemas in the UK, "Senna" set a box office record for a documentary on its opening weekend. Also, in 2011 Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times had this to say about the film, "A documentary with the pace of a thriller.. that is beyond compelling because of the intensely human story it tells." I have been recommended to watch a similar film about F1 in 2013's "Rush" which looks at the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 F1 season. That film has a 8.2/10 rating on IMDb. Is it worth watching? If so, let me know and also let me know what you thought of this film in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 2010's "Senna"

Film - Senna

Year - 2010

Director - Asif Kapadia

Written by - Manish Pandey

Staring - Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Frank Williams

IMDb Rating - 8.6/10

My Rating - 9/10

Length - 101 min (1h 41min)

Genre - Documentary, Biography, Sport

There's he is! With his yellow helmet in a go-kart race

His parents knew that he would end up in F1 because he won so much

Time for Senna's first drive in an F1 car

It's 1984 and we're in Monaco

Senna started with a team that has never won a race

Nigel Mansell has crashed!!!

Senna's in third!

Now he's in second

Senna thought he won but everyone says he didn't win


Senna is now with Lotus and is looking to win

Let's take a look at Senna's family

Welcome to the Portugese Grand Prix

From this you can tell Senna was a excellent driver in the rain

Senna wins in Portugal!

Winning is like a drug

"Once you experience it, you keep searching for it all the time"

Welcome to Japan

Stop flirting with the reporter

Dancing with cars? That sounds dangerous

Hello Alain Prost!

Time to see Prost on a BBC Talk Show

"Why aren't they no women racing drivers?"

What's with all the flirting?

At the McLaren announcement

Senna is working with Prost and some other dude

Japanese Hard Rock?!? Me likey!


Prost thinks he has some pressure with Senna as a team mate

At Monte Carlo

Get out of my way slow driver!

"You are so far in the lead! Slow down"

Senna has crashed and Prost has taken the victory

Is he doing this interview in Halfords?

We can't be equal? Shit!

Race 15 and we're back in Brazil

If Senna wins, he's World Champion

But.... Senna has stalled!

But that doesn't stop him from fighting for the victory

He's in the lead

And he's won it!!!!

Senna is the 1988 World Champion

Time for the celebrations to take place in Sao Paulo

Time for some home video footage of the Senna family on holiday

Is Senna on a Brazilian kids TV show?

All I want for Christmas is.... We can't say it on a kids show


Senna continues to win

But tensions are building within the McLaren team

Mostly involving Prost

Hello F1 President

Senna now has to win the Japanese Grand Prix to stay in the lead

This on-board camera really looks cool

Did that text that appear say that Casio bought a section of the track

Senna and Prost have crashed into each other!

Senna's still good to go... After a 17.7 second pit stop

Prost has other plans

Senna has won the Japanese Grand Prix

Podium delayed by 20 minutes? That's never happened before has it

The F1 Head Office has said that Senna is disqualified and didn't win the race

Prost is now the World Champion

Looks like conspiracies are taking effect

Senna is banned for six months and fined $100000

Back to the family footage on the beach


Senna is back and Prost is now with Ferrari

Time for a war of words

We're at the Spanish Grand Prix

Martin Donnelly has had a massive crash and isn't moving

Why is the photographer at the race wearing a speedo?

Think the on-board camers has taken a battering! Can't see a thing

Good to here Martin is still alive and ok after the crash

Back to Japan

For the third time ever, the World Championship will be decided in Japan

Nelson Piquet seems to have a problem

Senna seems to think that everyone is against him

Pole position has been moved to the other side


Senna has been hit by Prost... Again

No red flag has been raised so it continues

Senna has still been award the World Championship

Time for Jackie Stewart to interview Senna

So.. this feud increased TV ratings? We need more of this nowadays

Brazilians are rioting


The "Ole" song has had it's lyrics change

Its the Brazilian Grand Prix and Senna takes the lead

Lap 54 and it's raining!

That and the gearbox is jammed in sixth gear

Senna has won in Brazil

He passed out by celebrating! And muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder

Senna then thanks God for helping him win

He then thanks the fans and his family as well

Time for more family footage

We are told Senna wants to help all the children

At the Mexican Grand Prix

Senna has crashed and has landed upside down

Thankfully Senna is fine. Just shook up

At the German Grand Prix

Senna brings up the safety of the tyres on the side of the tracks

This President is an asshole

All the drivers agree with Senna and the types getting replaced with cones

Prost has been sacked by Ferrari

Back in Japan - Seem to be there a lot

It's now Senna vs Nigel Mansell

Mansell's spun off and Senna wins his 3rd World Championship

They just did the ice bucket challenge!!!

Back home in Brazil

Senna's been given the key to the city - Never understood that! The city doesn't have a lock

"Have you ever had a girl say 'Go faster Senna'"


Looks like Team Williams are getting technical with their cars

Nigel Mansell has won the 1992 World Championship

Prost has also signed with Williams


Senna and his girlfriend are having fun

Prost is the 1993 World Champion and has also retired

At the Australian Grand Prix

It's Senna's last race with McLaren

Looks as if Senna and Prost are friends again

Senna won the Australian Grand Prix but Prost won the World Title

Senna is now with Williams

The F1 has banned all the technical gadgets helping drivers - Mostly effecting Williams

Schumacher! He started in 94?

At the Pacific Grand Prix

Everyone's accusing Schumacher's team of cheating

April 1994

San Marino

Time for a test drive

And he's already spun out

Back in the pits and Senna looks stressed

Hello Rubins Barrichello

That is a bad crash!

He flew into the safety wall

The next day and Senna's on Pole Position

Roland Ratzenbeger has also crashed! - Things aren't looking good

They're sponsered by MTV - Back when MTV was watchable

Roland has been injured and reports claim he is dead

Concerns at Team Williams about whether Senna will race

It's race day and Senna will race

"God will give him the greatest of gifts"

A crash already and the race hasn't even started

Its Lamy & Letho who have crashed

Lap 6 and we're on-board with the camera

Senna has crashed and it doesn't look good

This is a little hard to watch

No one knows what caused the crash

At Senna's funeral in Brazil, fans show their respects to Senna by chanting his name

Even Prost attended the funeral

The film tells us that since Senna's death, no fatal accidents have happended since 2010

It also tells us that his sister has set up The Instituto Ayrton Senna for underprivilaged Brazilian children

Alain Prost is a trustee of the group



Latest from our Creators