Toleman beginnings

25. May 2024 
by Ziv Knoll

After testing for Williams, McLaren, Brabham and Toleman and very much impressing, Ayrton Senna chose to join Toleman, a relatively new F1 team using, in principle, less competitive Pirelli tyres and the modest turbo engine Hart. Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto, a former motorcycle racing world champion, was his team mate.

Senna, who had jumped straight from F3 to the very physically demanding F1 and was not yet fit enough, nevertheless scored his first World Championship point when he finished sixth in only his second race at the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami with severe cramps in his neck and shoulders, and replicated that result two weeks later at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Aware of his physical shortcomings, Senna then hired Nuno Cobra to assess his physical condition, worked extremely hard on this matter, and set new training standards, soon to be adopted by the other drivers.

Ayrton was fantastic in the rain at Monaco and finished second behind Prost’s McLaren, then took two more podium finishes – third at the British and Portuguese Grand Prix – which was incredible in the bulky Toleman TG184, and placed 9th overall in the Drivers’ Championship with 13 points.

Source: DR

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