It has been 15 years since Ayrton Senna died in a tragic accident at the San Marino Grand Prix. Yet, even today, he continues to remain one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in Formula One. Senna’s legendary status has just been confirmed by the fact that the shooting of a feature film about the late Brazilian driver will start next month.
Speaking to DNA, Asif Kapadia, the director of the film, said that the documentary will cover the last 10 years of Senna’s life that includes his three championship wins, his epic battles with Alain Prost and the tragedy at San Marino.
“Senna was an amazing character. He was not only a genius but also had two sides to him … gentle and rough. He was constantly battling against himself. Add to it, there was an element of spirituality in him as well. All these things made Senna an interesting personality,” Kapadia replied when asked to compare this project with his earlier works.
The 37-year-old Kapadia, who received acclaim for his film The Warrior starring Irfan Khan, said that the project came into existence when the film’s producer James Gay-Rees read an article about Senna. “Manish Pandey, who is a big Formula One fan, penned the script. I came into this project pretty late,” he remarked.
When asked whether people would be interested to know about Senna considering that it has been 15 years since his death and also because of the fact that Michael Schumacher is now synonymous with success in Formula One, Kapadia replied that the fact that he had been getting calls from all over the world about the project confirmed Senna’s popularity. “Senna still is a huge star. I want to tell the story of this amazing personality, one which had taken Formula One by storm.”
Kapadia also added there is something unique about making a film on motorsports, especially Formula One. “There are very few sports like Formula One where sportsmen are living on the very limit. It will be interesting to capture those moments on camera,” he said.
Kapadia further said that they have got permission and full co-operation of the Senna’s family for the film. “Also, Formula One Management (FOM) has provided us with access to their archive to show footage never seen before. The Ayrton Senna Institute has also cooperated with the making of the film,” he said. The film will is scheduled for release in 2010. Ayrton Senna, who has been rated by many as the best Formula One driver ever, won the drivers’ championship in 1988, 1990 and 1991 with McLaren.