On May 1st, 1994, Formula 1 lost one of the greatest, if not the greatest driver that this sport has ever seen. At 14:17, at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Italy, Ayrton Senna was killed. To celebrate his life, Sky Sports F1 will be commemorating Senna in a series of special programming to air from Saturday 26th April to Friday 2nd May.
The week begins with ‘The Last Team Mate’ as Damon Hill visits the Imola circuit to relive the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix which killed his team mate, and Roland Ratzenberger, who Sky will pay tribute to in a separate half an hour show. Alongside a journalists special featuring Murray Walker and The F1 Show Special, the week will see Sky Sports F1 air a previously unseen interview with Alain Prost talking about the three time champion.
Nigel Roebuck speaks about Senna in ‘Echoes of the Past’, whilst Ted Kravitz visits the McLaren Technology Centre in a special edition of his Notebook. Also airing is a new edition of F1 Legends focussing on Senna, ‘A Winning Partnership’ and seven of Senna’s classic races. Everything below is on Sky Sports F1 unless otherwise specified.
Saturday 26th April
20:00 to 21:00 – The Last Team Mate
– with Damon Hill
21:00 to 21:45 – 1984 Monaco Grand Prix Highlights
Sunday 27th April
20:00 to 21:00 – Senna Journalist Special
– presented by Simon Lazenby with Murray Walker, Maurice Hamilton and David Tremayne
20:30 to 21:00 – The Boy from Brazil (BBC Radio 5 Live)
– 55-minute version repeated on Monday 5th May at 12:00 on BBC Radio Norfolk
21:00 to 22:00 – 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix Highlights
Monday 28th April
20:45 to 21:00 – Echoes of the Past
– with Nigel Roebuck
21:00 to 21:45 – 1987 United States Grand Prix Highlights
Tuesday 29th April
20:30 to 21:00 – Ted’s Senna Notebook
– from McLaren Technology Centre
21:00 to 21:45 – 1988 Japanese Grand Prix Highlights
Wednesday 30th April
20:00 to 20:30 – Remembering Ratzenberger
20:30 to 21:00 – Prost on Senna
– billed as an ‘unseen interview’
21:00 to 21:45 – 1992 Monaco Grand Prix Highlights
21:00 to 22:05 – Racing is in My Blood (Motors TV)
Thursday 1st May
06:00 to 13:00 – ‘Senna’ programming from earlier in the week (R)
13:00 to 13:45 – 1993 European Grand Prix Highlights
13:45 to 17:00 – ‘Senna’ programming from earlier in the week (R)
17:00 to 18:00 – 1986 Spanish Grand Prix Highlights
18:00 to 18:30 – Ted’s Senna Notebook (R)
18:30 to 19:00 – Remembering Ratzenberger (R)
19:00 to 20:00 – A Winning Partnership
– with Ron Dennis
19:30 to 21:00 – Senna Special (BBC Radio 5 Live)
20:00 to 21:00 – F1 Legends: Ayrton Senna
21:00 to 22:30 – 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix Highlights
22:30 to 01:00 – FILM: Senna (ITV4)
Friday 2nd May
20:00 to 21:30 – The F1 Show: Senna Tribute
21:30 to 23:00 – 1989 Japanese Grand Prix Highlights
With seven hours of original programming, plus classic F1 races on top of that, I think it is fair to say that Sky have done a fantastic job in putting the schedule together, and a big ‘thank you’ in their direction for making it an entire week of programming as well.
As an aside, I’m happy there is, quite rightly, a programme focussing on Roland Ratzenberger as well. I imagine some bits have been taken from various F1 Legends episodes, but quite clearly some of it is new, such as the Prost interview. I’ll update the schedule if anything changes.
Update on April 14th – Okay, here’s what has happened filming wise in the past few weeks. Sky filmed at Donington Park on April 8th with some of Senna’s old cars, including the Lotus 98T, Bruno Senna and Martin Brundle at the wheel (click here and here). Yesterday and today (April 13th and 14th), Sky have gone out to Imola to film footage for The Last Team Mate and the Roland Ratzenberger special, with David Brabham and Damon Hill.
Back at base, interviews are being conducted with engineers and personnel who were with Simtek during the 1994 season. Neil Wooding tweeted saying that he has done a piece with Humphrey Corbett, Simtek race engineer, for the Ratzenberger special.
Update on April 15th – ITV4 are screening ‘Senna’ again, whilst BBC Radio has a documentary on Senna’s early years. I can’t see anything in the BBC TV schedules yet, although this is primarily a Sky Sports F1 piece, I’ve added those two bits above.
Update on April 23rd – Based on some comments I heard last weekend during Sky Sports F1’s Chinese Grand Prix coverage, it looks like some of the Donington bits will be shown during their Spanish Grand Prix build-up. A few more details too, notably ‘A Winning Partnership’ appears to be an extended piece with Ron Dennis, whilst the Ratzenberger special is now called ‘Remembering Ratzenberger’. Also added is a 5 Live special on May 1st.
Update on April 24th – Clearly ‘Senna Week’ stretches beyond Sky Sports F1, so I’ve adjusted the page title. Motors TV have a repeat of the documentary ‘Racing is in My Blood’ next Wednesday to mark the anniversary.
Update on April 28th – Monaco 1984 didn’t make the air on Saturday, so it is being shown on Friday at 19:15 (thanks Alex in the comments for the tip).