Senna claimed his final win on this day 18 years ago

Today it’s eighteen years since the late Ayrton Senna last stood atop a Formula 1 podium; the Brazilian claimed his 41st and final win in his last race for McLaren at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide.

The season-ending race at Adelaide always had something of an end-of-term feel for much of the grid, but for Ayrton, this was another race where he could stamp his mark.

He did it masterfully, claiming his first pole position of the season with a scorching lap on Saturday, marking the first non-Williams pole of the entire year.

On race day, Senna was presented with a photo collage to mark the end of his long relationship with McLaren and sponsor Marlboro; the Brazilian would be adopting the blue and white colour scheme of Williams next year, in which he was certain he could claim a fourth championship in 1994.

It took three attempts to get the race started, as first Ukyo Katayama and then Eddie Irvine stalled on the starting grid.

Finally underway, Senna converted his pole into an early lead, beating arch-rival Alain Prost – who was making his final Grand Prix appearance after winning a fourth championship title – into the first corner.

The final time we'd see this image, Ayrton claims his 41st and final Grand Prix win. It was a commanding performance from Senna, who only surrendered the lead in the first few laps following his first tyre stop; Prost steadily slipped further behind and came under pressure from team-mate Hill late in the race.

By the end of the race’s 79 laps, the two giants of the sport had staged their final on-track battle, and the pair finally made peace on the podium. It would be the last time the pair would see one another in person.

For Prost, it marked the end of an era as he disappeared into retirement, later emerging as a consultant for Renault before he took on the ill-fated role as the new owner of the Ligier team, which he renamed eponymously in 1998.

The race was also the last for Riccardo Patrese and Derek Warwick, who both hung up their helmets after their own respectively lengthy careers.



1993 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Final Classification (79 laps):

Driver Team Laps Result Grid
1. Ayrton Senna BRZ McLaren – Ford V8 MP4/8 79 1:43:27.476 1
2. Alain Prost FRA Williams – Renault V10 FW15C 79 + 9.259 2
3. Damon Hill GBR Williams – Renault V10 FW15C 79 + 33.902 3
4. Jean Alesi FRA Scuderia Ferrari V12 F93A 78 1 lap behind 7
5. Gerhard Berger AUT Scuderia Ferrari V12 F93A 78 1 lap behind 6
6. Martin Brundle GBR Ligier – Renault V10 JS39 78 1 lap behind 8
7. Aguri Suzuki JPN Footwork – Mugen Honda V10 FA14 78 1 lap behind 10
8. Riccardo Patrese ITA Benetton – Ford V8 B193 77 Fuel system 9
9. Mark Blundell GBR Ligier – Renault V10 JS39 77 2 laps behind 14
10. Derek Warwick GBR Footwork – Mugen Honda V10 FA14 77 2 laps behind 17
11. Rubens Barrichello BRZ Jordan – Hart V10 193 76 3 laps behind 13
12. Érik Comas FRA Larrousse – Lamborghini V12 LH93 76 3 laps behind 21
13. Andrea de Cesaris ITA Tyrrell – Yamaha V10 021 75 4 laps behind 15
14. Toshio Suzuki JPN Larrousse – Lamborghini V12 LH93 74 5 laps behind 24
15. Karl Wendlinger AUT Sauber – Ilmor V10 C12 73 Brakes 11
  NOT CLASSIFIED          
DNF. JJ Lehto FIN Sauber – Ilmor V10 C12 56 Accident 12
DNF. Jean-Marc Gounon FRA Minardi – Ford V8 M193 34 Spin 22
DNF. Mika Häkkinen FIN McLaren – Ford V8 MP4/8 28 Brakes 5
DNF. Michael Schumacher DEU Benetton – Ford V8 B193 19 Engine 4
DNF. Ukyo Katayama JPN Tyrrell – Yamaha V10 021 11 Spin 18
DNF. Eddie Irvine GBR Jordan – Hart V10 193 10 Accident 19
DNF. Johnny Herbert GBR Lotus – Ford 107B V8 9 Suspension 20
DNF. Pierluigi Martini ITA Minardi – Ford V8 M193 5 Gearbox 16
DNF. Pedro Lamy POR Lotus – Ford 107B V8 0 Accident 23
Alain Prost FRA Williams – Renault V10 FW15C 64 1:15.381  

Images via Adelaide Now]


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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.