The greatest lap in F1 history

The greatest lap in F1 history

Ayrton Senna's opening lap at Donington Park in 1993, the stuff of legends.

As the five red lights disappeared, the cars set off into a mist of spray.

Senna looked for an advantage but was blocked by Schumacher, allowing Karl Wendlinger to take his fourth spot.

Before a quarter of the first lap had been completed, Senna had surged past the young German. He took Wendlinger as they swept through the Craner Curves and pounced on Hill's Williams at the fast, right-handed Coppice corner.

With only his arch-rival Prost to catch ... he got him at the Melbourne hairpin before completing his first lap with a lead that stunned the racing world.

The race developed into a chaotic succession of tire changes as the rain swept in and out. Schumacher spun out while briefly holding the lead, Senna made four pit stops, Prost a record seven as drivers gambled on wet and then dry tires, searching for grip on the treacherous and slippery surface.

But by the end, Senna had mastered the conditions better than anyone, lapping the entire field except for one car and finishing over a minute ahead of second-placed Damon Hill.

At the post-race press conference, reporters wanted to know how he had managed such an astonishing drive. "It was easy," said Senna with typical candour, "thanks to traction control."

This opening lap is widely regarded as the greatest single lap in F1 history,

A little over a year later, Ayrton Senna, was gone.