Senna had discussions to become F1 team owner

Ayrton Senna held discussions about becoming an F1-team owner

Ayrton Senna held discussions about becoming an F1-team owner

Ayrton Senna had discussions with F1 team owner Eddie Jordan about acquiring a significant stake in the squad, the Irishman has revealed.

Jordan entered Formula 1 in 1991, the year Senna won his third world title, and quickly established itself on in the paddock.

In the late 1980s and very early 1990s, McLaren was the sport’s preeminent team, with Senna its clear leader.

However, the winds of change were blowing and Williams began to threaten than mantle in 1991.

Nigel Mansell dominated the 1992 world championship to mark an end to the McLaren era, underscored by Alain Prost winning the title for the Grove-based operation the following year.

With McLaren out-gunned, Senna was forced to play second fiddle and, according to Jordan, assess his future.

“He was disillusioned at McLaren,” Jordan said on the Formula for Success podcast.

“It was before he went to Williams; he just wasn’t happy.”

Senna had offered to drive for Williams for free in 1993 before replacing Prost at the team for the following season.

That was only after he held discussions with Jordan about a potential drive with the Silverstone-based team that would have seen the Brazilian become a part-owner.

“Believe this or not, but I offered him 50 percent, free of charge, to come and drive for [me],” Jordan claimed.

“But he would have to stay on as an owner because I believed, with Senna in the team, the actual value of the team would be more than doubled.

“So, in other words, the half that I was losing… I thought this would be such a cool stroke.

“First, I get a guy like Senna in my car, get the team, the recognition of the team – the sponsorship income would multiply by an amazing amount.”

Jordan and Senna had known each other for over a decade, having crossed paths in the junior categories in England, and remained in touch throughout the following years.

Though the three-time world champion opted to join Williams in 1994, Jordan admitted discussions continued.

“I always liked Ayrton, and it should have happened, but suddenly, he died,” Jordan said.

“I’m not saying that he would have done it, but we were very far into the negotiations about what he wanted to do.

“He wanted to have a team and I was giving him that opportunity.”

Senna was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix – the same event which claimed the life of Roland Ratzenberger and witnessed a hideous crash for Jordan’s own Rubens Barrichello.

Jordan continued to run his team until selling out in early 2005. It was renamed Midland in 2006 before becoming Spyker and then Force India. Today, it competes under the Aston Martin banner.

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