Senna vs. Brundle
Online Film, available for UHD download on Vimeo on Demand (94 minutes)
© 2016 Mario Muth, distributed by ShakeFree Ltd

The name Mario Muth should be familiar to many of you. He is one of motorsport’s best video interviewer/producers with a number of ex-Formula 1 personalities over recent years on his immensely popular YouTube channel.

For the first time, Muth has moved into making a feature-length production with 94 spectacular minutes dedicated to the 1983 British Formula 3 Championship season, which was headlined by a season-long battle between Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle.

Here is a trailer of Senna vs Brundle:

Thirty-three years on from their intense scrap for the title, the release of the film is an opportune moment to reflect on just how difficult it is for talented drivers to break into Formula 1, let alone the upper rungs of racing beyond Formula 3.

Senna would go on to become one of F1’s most celebrated drivers, winning three World Championships with McLaren before his tragic death in 1994. Brundle would race on the same grid for many of those years, but sadly never managed to achieve close to the Brazilian’s successes despite his own considerable talents. Today Brundle is one of the stars of Formula 1 commentary, working for SKY F1.

These two protagonists could not be more contrasting: one came from a well-heeled Brazilian family who had dominated every championship he’d competed in to that point; the other was young lad from Norfolk who had little cash and was pinning his hopes that his sophomore year in Formula 3 wouldn’t be his last at the wheel of a race car.

The start of the 20-race season saw Senna dominate from the off, while Brundle trailed with a string of second places. He would have to find a way of beating Senna, or the Brazilian would cakewalk the title.

How do you beat the most talented driver on the grid blessed with quite possibly the most competitive package in the field? You get inside his head.

Once Brundle had figured out his to rattle the cage, momentum quickly shifted his way to the point that Senna was either winning or crashing. He simply couldn’t fathom how another driver like Brundle was able to beat him in a straight fight.

It all came to a head at the season finale where Brundle came into it with a 1-point lead. In the end, Senna took full advantage of a newly-upgraded car to win by nine.

A chance meeting with SENNA director Asif Kapadia proved the trigger for Muth to explore making this documentary. Kapadia’s film had all but cut Senna’s rise to F1 out of the final edit to keep the film a sensible length, and there was clearly much interest in the Formula 3 season that so many had heard about.

Incredibly, Muth managed to pull together no less than 14 of that season’s biggest players: the top five drivers (or six, if you include Senna), the top four team bosses and engineers, the series’ three leading journalists, the top TV commentator of the era and the top photographer who also happened to be Senna’s press officer.

It’s a who’s-who list: there’s Brundle himself, fellow drivers Allen Berg, Davy Jones, Mario Hytten and Calvin Fish, team bosses Eddie Jordan, Dick Bennetts and Neil Trundle, engineering ace Alastair McQueen and media legends Murray Walker, David Tremayne, Jeremy Shaw, Simon Arron and Keith Sutton.

It took over a year to compile all of the individual interviews and then a further six months for Muth to single-handedly edit the entire film. It is an impressive effort, truly compelling viewing and a welcome addition to the steadily growing list of high-quality Formula 1 documentaries for us to love and enjoy.

You can download your copy of Senna vs. Brundle for a small charge at Vimeo on Demand by clicking here.

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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.