Senna’s Ghost Lap at Suzuka

I have been an F1 fan since I was a kid and one of my heroes was Ayrton Senna. Getting up on Sunday to watch the races I would be in awe of Senna’s demonstration of speed and skill in driving one of the fastest, most powerful cars ever created. In this clip Senna speaks about driving beyond his conscious, he may have been in the flow state.

Senna was more than a driver, he was capable of untold unbelievable emotion that swayed to both ends of the scale. He could be easily hurt by others actions but he himself could be ruthless in his pursuit of glory. He was a hero and an antihero rolled into one.

I will never forget the day he crashed at the San Marino Grand Prix on the 1st May 1994. Seeing it live on TV most people thought he had survived and was brought to hospital especially considering the race went on to be completed meant no one knew for sure that he had been killed in the crash. Unfortunately his wasn’t the only fatality that weekend. Roland Ratzenberger also tragically lost his life in a crash the day previously.

20 years after his death Honda recreated one of Ayrton Sennas fastest laps at the Suzuka circuit in Japan. They used the engine telemetry data from the car on that lap to recreate the ghost lap through lights and speakers situated around the circuit all lighting up and activating in sequence of the data recorded and engine sound produced as Senna drove around the circuit.

It produces the most eerily beautiful effect and seeing it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck every single time.

It is an incredible piece of work.

Here is a link to the video of how it was produced and the process behind it as well as the final result.


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