Remembering Ayrton Senna
May the 1st is an important day all over the world, as it celebrates the workers’ day. This year it also marks, unfortunately, the 20th anniversary since Ayrton Senna, the most talented racing driver the Formula 1 and all the motorsports ever had, has passed away. Who, as it is with the undersigned, has been so lucky to watch him racing and has grown with a true passion for motoring and, thanks to him has fueled his passion for sport watchmaking too, recognises in Ayrton Senna an extraordinary brand ambassador.
Twenty years now, after having watched so many brand ambassadors coupled with countless ad campaigns, I do think Ayrton Senna has been the ultimate watch brand ambassador. He was able to convey to the masses a message of authenticity and naturally endorsed, via his talent and his dedication to perfection, any product he was sponsoring. Enrolled in 1988 by TAG Heuer (timing partner at the time of the McLaren F1 team) as brand ambassador whilst astoundingly winning his first world championship at Suzuka (after a bad start from the pole position, he will move up front lap after lap and will overtake Prost to win the race and the championship), Ayrton Senna became the protagonist of the “Don’t crack under pressure” ad print campaign.
A powerful ad claim paired with the perfect match between a motoring inspired watchmaker and a racing driver with a planetary lure, a unique personality; above all a superfast driver, able to outperform even in very adverse conditions, such as winning the Brazilian GP without the first five gears or even more when he raced on wet tarmac, a situation where his rivals were usually humiliated.
A driver who always had his TAG Heuer wrapped around his wrist, while racing. A powerful endorsement to a timepiece that had to withstand the heavy duty of yesterday’s Formula One, regarded to as more romantic and genuine than today’s Formula One, and where the sheer class of a racing driver emerged. It would be nice to see how such a partnership might sound today.
No other racing driver could have better sponsored the TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 line-up, even though his name is widely connected to the TAG Heuer Link series; many have been the Limited Edition timepieces released by TAG Heuer back in the years, as the one pictured above. For it was a TAG Heuer’s S/El the Ayrton Senna’s favourite timepiece on the race track and the one he gave away to one of its mechanics before leaving the Mc Laren F1 team and move to the Williams F1 in 1994.
A timeless legend who lives on thanks to the activities carried on by the Charity Foundation he created which is today managed by his sister Viviane. His yellow signature and unmistakable racing helmet are a trademark and have moved to HUBLOT over the years, as it happened some years ago when the brand debuted a LE Big Bang, just to mention one, named after him. Apart from that, anyway, we do prefer to remember him through this video:
(Photo & Video credit: Google, courtesy of HUBLOT, You Tube)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®