4/14/2004 0 Comments
"I do not want to talk about anything to do with Ayrton's accident, or anything to do with the legal processes that followed it, or anything to do with the Williams organisation or any of its people." Those were the ground rules Ron Dennis laid out on Sunday morning of the Bahrain Grand Prix, as a select group of journalists gathered around the McLaren team principal for a rather unusual media briefing.
Dennis is used to public speaking; it's something he does constantly, and well. But this occasion was something far different from the media briefings he does at every race; this was a talk about a close friend, a man he loved, who died in about the most public way possible. Despite a decade passing since that fateful day, the pain was still obvious in his demeanour as he spoke.
With the understanding that the media would have no more than fifteen minutes of his time, Dennis proceeded, hesitantly, to discuss so many of the things that made this man he so greatly admired what he was. He spoke for over an hour. It was an electrifying experience to hear Dennis speak with such passion.
"The way I handled [Senna's death] was to think about it extensively, compartmentalize it, put it in a special place in my own mind, and then focus on life," Dennis said of that fateful day ten years ago.
What follows is the full account of Dennis's story, word for word.
* * *
I do not think Ayrton would change anything that happened. He lost his life doing something that he was passionate about, and it was his life - to the exclusion of many, many things that other drivers and individuals enjoy on a regular basis. He was completely dedicated, completely focused, derived tremendous satisfaction and uplifting emotional experiences out of racing and winning races. He was completely unique - in the sense of how much of an adrenalin rush he used to get from not just winning races, but also fantastic qualifying laps, and of course World Championships.
And it was always an emotional roller coaster for him. He was never comfortable with wherever he was, he would most certainly have moments that were very difficult - his post  Suzuka period was most definitely, following the collision with Alain [Prost] and what took place after that. He was deeply affected by the unfairness that took place after that particular race and in fact retired [from racing]. And it took a great deal of effort on my part to convince him to come back and race.
I am talking about the post-race happenings of that particular race, where there was lobbying of Jean Marie Balestre and the process of what took place immediately after the race and the subsequent appeals was just grossly unfair.
As it happens, whatever the outcome of that race was, it didn't... if he had won it, it wouldn't have given him the World Championship. But you could say, well, how did it affect his performance in the last race? Either way, is just [demonstrates] how up and down emotionally he was throughout his entire career.
And that was the sort of person he was. If he found himself feeling that it was unjust - any of the circumstances, and not always things that affected him; sometimes things that affected motor racing [in general] or other drivers - he would be deeply influenced by it and he was more than prepared to put his own views forward in a constructive way.
Everybody has elements of themselves that are unique - and he was unique in many ways. His dedication... I think that he pioneered the approach to physical conditions of drivers. He realised that if he put himself in the absolute maximum level of physical fitness that it would influence positively his driving, so I think he set new standards on conditioning himself to race. But that was, again, just part of his obsession of being the best.
Senna sort of invented visualisation and really was able to mentally drive a lap and think about those areas where he needed to fight the car versus control the car versus go with the car. And he had that great ability to cope with adversity. You know, the difference between great drivers and good drivers is about being able to win with a car that isn't perfect. And very often we would know we were racing with maybe a tyre that was going to give up after a few laps, or a particular weakness in the car that had to be addressed as the driver - we were still in the era of drivers changing gears. You know, the thing about modern gearbox now is that it's very difficult for the drivers to damage the gearbox, and that was very much the opposite in the days when you changed gears mechanically, because you damaged the gearbox and that would adversely affect your performance; gears would jump out and so on.
He was great at being that all-round driver and coping with adversity, and of course the best and most enjoyable races were those races that were won in difficult circumstances.
He most definitely did not feel invincible; he knew very well the risks. I remember... in some ways it's funny, in some ways it was an insight, but he went off in practice for the Mexican Grand Prix and he was upside down, in the gravel, and he was having a good old moan and groan, and literally was shaken up and was complaining about pain in one of his ears. As far as we could tell he was pretty unscathed, but he's been a bit of a drama queen. [Prof.] Sid [Watkins] and I were there, and when you invert a car at first you fear the worst because everything is inverted and forces can be levied on the driver. And he was pretty shaken up, so we were rushing around in the medical centre.
You know, Sid is not tolerant of some of the driver's behaviour and Senna was moaning about the pain in his ear and was sure it wasn't ever going to go away, and Sid pulled a big gravel stone that had somehow got inside the helmet, and pulled it out of his ear. Ayrton was sure this pain was never going to go away, and suddenly it was as though someone had reattached it to him.
So that was one of those moments where he experienced fear. He knew he wasn't invincible. So did he go through his motor racing career feeling that nothing could ever happen to him and that he was sort of protected? Definitely not. That was a myth; it wasn't how he was. He knew his limits, he knew the danger, he accepted the danger, and was always very balanced if he'd put himself in a risky position.
He did not [deliberately lose the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix because of some religious experience]. It's rubbish, I'm sorry. His post-accident emotion was pure anger with himself. I've never seen him or heard him more frustrated and angry. He knew that he had effectively lost concentration and made a very fundamental error when he came down onto the sea front and hit the barrier. And he couldn't cope with it at all. He was almost incoherent when he ultimately spoke. He actually walked back to his apartment and it was two or three hours before he surfaced. But when he resurfaced he regained composure but was still very, very negative about the performance and very apologetic to the team.
Ayrton - and you must remember, this is my perception of him - was brought up in a family that was normal in its approach to religion, with the exception of his sister Viviana who sought and found peace of mind in her own beliefs. And she encouraged Ayrton to seek similar comfort from religion. And he did follow a religious way of life, but not in an extreme way. He used, I think, the impartiality of the Bible as a sort of guidance to his own life. He wasn't obsessed; he wasn't, I wouldn't say, deeply religious. But he was religious and he sought guidance by reading the Bible and specifically parts of the Bible that Viviana talked to him about. Was he an extremist? Most definitely not.
No, [he didn't have an apparition while driving], it's folklore. I mean, he would sometimes talk about a lap and he would talk about it in a sort of level of perfection that he felt it was a perfect lap and he had got a tremendous buzz out of doing a lap and setting a laptime. And the reason I think this was talked about was - quite a bit within the team - because of the tremendous efforts that we had to put into it not fazing out whichever teammate he had. Because he was the past master of psyching out his teammates. He was very good at it. But he didn't do it. He did it by really doing an exceptional job in and out of the car. But when he realised that it was another weapon in his sort of weaponry to defeat his opposition - i.e. psyching people out - then he honed it to perfection. He was very good.
* * *
When he joined our team, he didn't have a sense of humour, and that doesn't really go down well in our team. Many people consider us grey and disinteresting and lacking passion and esprit de corps - it's just not like that inside the team. It is very different. And if I reflect back, as I said, he didn't have a sense of humour, and it was important he had one. So initially I sort of started the process of trying to give him an understanding of the value of laughter and what a great way it was to break tension in a situation - and of course it became an amusing mission [in later years] for Gerhard [Berger] and myself. Practical jokes ran consistently through the team and they were sometimes extreme, and of course nuts.
Once he had realised that this had an element of competition about it - you know, who could do the most outrageous thing to the other - then he very much entered into the spirit, and of course the end result was it broke the tension down and actually was a good adhesive in the relationship between the drivers and the management, and he really entered into it because that gave him the environment to thrive.
He was competitive in anything and everything. In the initial period, the first time I met him, he came as a young guy - he was in Formula Ford, he was going into Formula Three. I offered to pay for his Formula Three championship in return for an option on his services, and I can't remember the words but he was very clear in telling me that he'd pay for his own Formula Three season as he didn't want anything other than a guarantee of a drive as opposed to giving an option. And you know, this was a young guy who hadn't really proven himself, and yet had the self-belief that he was going to be a tremendous Formula One driver.
So that was the first encounter, and definitely when we parted I thought, 'arrogant little...' you know... 'young Brazilian' (laughs). And of course then he emerged in Lotus, and he struggled with many things in that initial period of his career, and when we got together and started negotiating, he mentally prepared himself for the negotiations.
He was a fine negotiator. As with his driving, he would spend a lot of time thinking about it and that time he was renting a little house in Esher - 15 minutes drive from our factory at that stage. And when we were negotiating, the meetings somehow always seemed to be about midday. And it was a series of days going backwards and forwards. And of course I'd go back - I had to do other things - and he would sit for 24 hours deciding how he was going to position himself for the next round of negotiations. And in fact how we structured the contract with regards the normal fiscal matters was difficult.
And as is probably well known, we came into a rock and a hard place on the last half million dollars, which really... it's wrong to say that it was at all trivial, the half million dollars, but it became a point of principal - who was going to win that last path of the negotiations. In essence I'm sure he sat saying, 'well I'm going to drive for McLaren even if I have to drive for half million less' and I was sat saying 'I'm going to give him the half million extra because we want him to drive for McLaren', so neither of us was really concerned about this additional money, but more about losing the last part of the negotiations.
His English wasn't perfect at that stage, you know, and the moment came where I suggested that maybe we should put this down - as we both had very firm positions - to break the deadlock by tossing a coin. And he didn't actually... it's something that clearly never happened in Brazil, tossing a coin to break a deadlock. So it took a while to explain it.
And then of course it got quite serious because we realised that if we're going to do this as a way to break a deadlock we should be clear about the rules, so I literally had to draw a picture of a head and a picture of a tail! Select a coin and say - this is you and this is me. It can't land on the side, it has to be flat.
And when we got the rules and had been over them several times to make sure there are no misunderstandings, and then of course was [the question] who was going to toss the coin, and where are we going to catch it, was it going to fall to the ground, all these things (laughs) and we had a couple of practice runs.
We were at a very small office, and there was a brown shag pile carpet in his office, so it wasn't a particularly good surface on which this coin was going to land. So eventually we threw the coin, and amazingly it rolled under the curtain! As we were sort of jumping up, I said: just remember, if it's on its side it doesn't count, because we couldn't see it. Of course, he lifted the curtains and it was in fact flat. It rolled off the side of the curtain on the parquet floor and it was absolutely clear cut flat. And I won the bet.
It wasn't until I was driving away that I realised that this is a three year contract and this was a 1.5 million dollars sum that we just threw a coin for. I somewhat doubt that anyone had tossed a coin for 1.5 million dollars, and of course that sounds like we were disrespectful for money, but it had nothing to do with that - it was just simply a way to break the deadlock. But from that moment on, fiscal competition reared its ugly head in many ways.
When we were in Mexico for the first Mexican Grand Prix, we were sat waiting for the meal to come, and there were a whole range of these hot sauces and some sort of crackers that you dipped into them. You can imagine this stuff was varying in heat and the dialogue had taken place with the waiters saying which is the hottest and everybody tried a bit and was generally with eyes watering. And Senna said, 'you know I couldn't eat any of that', and I said 'I could eat the whole bowl for a thousand dollars'. And he took the bet.
Of course he hesitated because he'd been ensnared in this battle, but to his credit he didn't back out. I thought, well, clearly it's not going to kill me; and clearly it's going to burn. But if I eat it very, very quickly then before the chemicals start to work it will be inside me and I'll be thousand dollars better off! So I literally grabbed a spoon and ate it as fast as I could eat it, much to his surprise. And of course I then suffered the initial aftershock, but it was comfortably balanced with a thousand dollars mentally having taken the money. He didn't have the money on him of course, and I was drinking water and everything. And after about half an hour I managed to completely neutralise the chemical effect of this very hot stuff.
By the time I had a couple glasses of wine I thought, well that was the easiest 1000 dollars I have ever earned, only to find that actually after a few hours it not only had the sort of ingoing chemical effect but it has an outgoing chemical effect as well! Needless to say, I'm sure you all gain a wonderful sense of me having taken out of the bathroom the sort of shower-head, which was on a flexing hose, unscrewed the hose and had to administer a sort of liquid coolant for a period of time...
Of course, and as was with many of the things that took place, the most important thing was never to admit that it ever happened. And that of course followed right through his period at McLaren. Whether it was Gerhard or myself or sometimes third parties like Lisa, my wife, or Ayrton himself - the worst thing you could actually admit, is that you had been got, and therefore you would go to great length to conceal it so that the next morning - everyone would be waiting, wondering did it happen? - and of course you just ignore that it's taken place, and plan the next particular onslaught.
It got very extreme. Throwing his luggage out of a helicopter - that was trivial! I think the most amusing, or the best one, was when we were in Australia together and hatching up what we could do to really inflict pain on each other. And Gerhard stole Ayrton's passport without him knowing, and we surgically removed all the pictures in the passport, and cut out of a very dubious magazine an equivalent-sized piece of male genitalia and carefully put it back with cellotape so that at a glace you didn't realized anything had taken place - other than there wasn't a face where there was meant to be a face.
When Ayrton came back to Europe, he immediately got on a plane and flew to Brazil, but whatever the route was he had to go through Argentina. And that was the first time anyone looked at his passport. They were not amused. He had to spend 24 hours in Argentina because they wouldn't allow him to pass through without the passport being rectified.
But of course, he never admitted for months that it happened. And there were many, many other moments of humour in that period. And difficult moments too.
* * *
The character of a Grand Prix team is constantly changing and clearly when you're having a positive run - you're winning races, the team is working well and the drivers are hard driving for the team and that time is positively influencing things - you remember those things, you remember what you learn and you try and hang on to them in the future years.
What is a legacy of his involvement? His approach to Grand Prix racing, and of course that allows you to give guidance to any driver that's in your team. You don't do it by saying, 'well this is how Senna would do it', you do it by saying, 'I think this would be a good way to approach this particular problem'. So we all learn; we never stop learning irrespective of our age. You learn from the successful things in life, and that was what we did.
His legacy are moments like this. I mean, 10 years after he lost his life there is still tremendous interest in him as a person, and he didn't really have a bad side. So as much as it was an inevitable view by some people that he was arrogant and had a whole range of negative things about his character, the truth was he didn't.
He was a caring guy, he was a team player, he was prepared to admit he was wrong when he was wrong - and that's an unusual quality in a Grand Prix driver - and of course often his competitiveness would get the better of him. The Imola affair [where Prost accused Senna of breaking a pre-race agreement] and the consequences after Imola - all of those moments were difficult moments and challenging to manage, but of course the upside was having two tremendously competitive drivers in your team.
As for Suzuka 1990 [and his collision with Prost]: we all have weaknesses and I think that Ayrton was... you know, he might well have read the section in his own particular guide manual which said 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'. In Suzuka 1990 he was basically, I think, following the path of balance. He was trying to find a way to justify a behaviour that he wasn't particularly comfortable with, but which we felt was a way of balancing the books. And I wasn't supportive of it, but I enjoyed the benefit of it. So you find yourself, in truth, you think of those things and you think, was that a just outcome? Was that the way it should be?
What you do in these circumstances, you immediately evaluate the repercussions that immediately spring from it, and you professionally guide him in a way - as I did - to avoid it becoming an issue. So you basically have to support the situation in order that we don't get embroiled in post-event politics.
But the conversation [between Senna and I] that took place - not at that moment in time, not on that day - was, is this inconsistent with our common view that we do not win at all cost? And I don't think he was particularly proud of that particular judgment. It was not one of his finest moments, and he wasn't proud of it. And I don't think in the end even he could justify it on the basis of the outcome. In his approach, he would have preferred to have won the World Championship without that particular event taking place. But that was in hindsight.
What did he think of Michael Schumacher? Umm... (Very long silence) He felt that there was a part of Formula One that was prepared to win at all costs and it was a group of people that fell into that category, not just drivers but elements of teams or whole teams. And he felt that certainly Michael fell into that category and that was never his way of going Formula One. It was never mine or my team's way of going Formula One, to win at all costs. And I think it fell into that category. I wouldn't want to elaborate on it.
But if he had chosen to stop motor racing at any stage, it would have always been because of a political situation, not his ability to receive satisfaction and motivation from driving a car. It was the politics that used to drive him crazy, and at that period pretty severe manipulations had taken place to lessen his impact on Formula One, which is reasonably well reported but I'd rather not get into.
Most definitely he wouldn't have just gone on and on. I don't think he had a plan to ever stop but clearly he was heavily drawn by Brazil, all the time. He would go to tremendous lengths to get back to Brazil. I can remember him having a tremendous journey from somewhere, travelling 24 hours to return to Brazil. When I asked him 'why are you going all the way, do you have an important meeting or something?' He just said 'no, I just want to be in Brazil for a period of time'. And when he bought his airplane, an HS125, he had to take three or four hops to go back to Brazil. He didn't care - getting back to Brazil was very important to him.
He was proud to be a Brazilian but he was also very mindful of the fact that he could change things in Brazil, and I think that was attractive to him. I think he appreciated his ability to change things out of Brazil was quite limited, but there he could make a difference, and he did. He certainly did. You know, the Senna Foundation was of his making, not of Viviana's making, and she just followed through effectively on what he had started.
We often talked [about his future in F1 beyond racing], and he was totally disinterested. When he stopped driving, he was very clear, he was going to go back to Brazil - he cleverly obtained the distribution rights for Audi in Brazil, which has proven to be an incredibly successful venture, and the family still has an equity involvement in the factories in Brazil. And of course his stature in Brazil would make it very easy for him to access government and get government support for all those sorts of ventures. And so he would have been a superb businessman.
He would have also most certainly politically used his influence to help the underdogs of Brazil, and particularly the children. He was a very compassionate human being, and very much of the belief that Brazil's future was in the hands of quite a few people and he wanted to contribute to Brazil having a better future.
So he was never going to have a Formula One career beyond being a driver. He didn't particularly like the environment of Grand Prix racing from a non-driving standpoint.
* * *
[Losing him to Williams] wasn't a question of difficult or not difficult. Even with friends - and that's what he was at that stage, more than anything else - not all your emotions were positive, and they're not always positive with friends, you know. And that was a period when I was a little upset with the fact that his fiscal demands in that last year were quite extreme. We had worked closely together to encourage the sponsors to raise their game to help meet those demands, but he did take in that year and in the previous year a lot of the free cash flow of the company and we definitely suffered in respect of not having the money to develop the car. Whereas running in parallel Williams had lower-paid drivers and they concentrated on the car.
So some of me - maybe unfairly - felt that 'we just spent two years trying to meet your fiscal demands to the detriment of the development of the team, and then you pop into a car that had the benefit of that investment for your own ends'. That would be the negative thought process; the positive was that I fully understood that he raced because he wanted to win and he would never not put himself in the best possible position to win.
At the very end of that particular year - where we had a very successful [season] with the active ride, Ford powered car, and we won 5 races, and I vividly remember being in Magny Cours where we stayed in some rundown chateau somewhere, and we sat talking and in that conversation it was very clear to me that he regretted some ways going because he had mixed emotions.
I can't remember the words; I could construct the words and no one would be able to challenge the authenticity of them, but most definitely the message was: 'I don't feel at all comfortable' and 'I'll be back'. And I can't remember the words but they were clear. At one stage later on, when we had the support of Peugeot - which he saw any manufacturer supporting a team as a key ingredient - he had said, 'if you shared with me those negotiations I wouldn't have gone'. Putting aside how competitive or uncompetitive that car was, the fact was that if he had known there's a factory support at McLaren in the works I think that would have been a key ingredient in him staying.
But I never felt aggression at that point and I don't feel it now. It would be easy for me to... talk about his post McLaren period in a negative way, but as I said at the beginning I think that once he left the team and chose to drive for another team, then that period and everything about it is really for that team to talk about, not for me.
But the one thing that I considered to be a weakness in my approach is my adversity to communicating anything other than short, brief, factual things on telephones. I always felt the telephone was a very unemotional tool but to be honest that is one thing that Frank [Williams] was very polished at - long telephone conversations - and Frank was extremely persuasive about convincing Ayrton to join Williams. And I don't feel any animosity to that. Obviously everybody has strengths and weakness and that is one of Frank's wonderful strengths - his ability to be very convincing and very persuasive using the telephone. Of course with Ayrton's nomadic approach to life that was an asset.
His last race with us, the 1993 Australian Grand Prix - and not just that one, but two or three prior to that - was, I think, a race where he really changed his mind [about leaving the team] and he was... the night before and the night after that race we actually talked about whether we should try and extract him out of his contract [with Williams] so he would stay with McLaren. Because that car was a particularly good car, and he'd regained a tremendous amount of confidence in McLaren's ability to provide him with a winning car. And we talked about it the night before, and I think his determination to win that race was a sort of leaving present.
I think by the time that post race evening had finished neither of us was particularly lucid! And it had lapsed into a bit of emotion... but he was an honourable guy, and he made a commitment to Williams and whilst he definitely reviewed it, I don't think there was, in the cold hard light of day, I don't there was any real set of circumstances that he would have reneged on his word, because his word was much more important than anything he'd signed and he gave his word and that was it. I accepted it and didn't feel any animosity at all. The fact that he had done such an exceptional job in the closing races of the season, it was difficult to be too upset.
* * *
Ayrton had a mistrust of virtually all humans, and it took a long time to understand him and to be able to develop a mutual trust and respect. He wouldn't tolerate fools and he would occasionally make mistakes in relationships with people - people who were polished in their approach to developing friendships, and inevitably they would let him down and he'd switch off to those people. And in the end, I always tell that it was... you know, his group of friends, and people that he trusted, was constantly diminishing.
You know, whether you win or lose in a Grand Prix organisation the consequences are emotion. You have emotions in failure as well as success. And if you have intensity, if you are intense about winning then the actual emotions of failure are high as well. So what you end up doing if you have a driver in that mindset is you get sort of... almost... you're engaged in their life, because you're sharing the emotions and you are supporting each other through the successes and failures. And I think that there was a bit of...
There was a period when another driver constructed a view that Ayrton, let's say, had male relationships which went beyond normal male relationships, and that was built and spun to affect that particular World Championship. It was surgical in its delivery, it was timed to perfection, and it was definitely meant to be destabilising. And it did. And when we talked it through, he actually said, 'how do I handle this?' Because it really did affect him, and I guided him through it and actually I think had a very positive influence.
Part of the explanation was this embracing of individuals of both sexes and really sort of expressing a very strong friendship and a deep commitment to friendship. And he was a real friend. You know, if you had adversity in your life irrespective of where it was coming from, he wanted to try and make it better, and therefore he was... he didn't have the aggressive harshness that most men have, he was soft in that position and tried desperately to be compassionate. And that was spun - that compassion was spun in a very bad way.
I watched, through a significant period of time, I watched Ayrton and the various girlfriends he had, and how he built relationships that weren't always right as we always do. But he wasn't skilled in dealing initially with all his girlfriends. It goes back to something which you constantly see in drivers that had been dedicated to motorsport from day one: they go through karting, they go to Formula Ford, they become completely obsessive, and it's to the detriment of their development as a human being. It's to the exclusion of things.
In my own lifetime, not only did I get married very late but girlfriends were of no interest to me for ages. My nose was up in exhaust pipes, I was working 7 days a week at Brabham - initially at Coopers - and it was just unimportant. You're always trailing three to five years behind. You can still see it in guys who are obsessive in teams, and it's the same with some drivers.
So very often drivers are so obsessed by becoming great racing drivers it's to the detriment of developing life skills, and then sometimes they're a bit poor in communication, and that communication is not just in the sense of talking to you, it's poor in all types of communications; personal communications as well. So he didn't handle, he wasn't polished in his initial handling of girls and things like that. And all of these things were spun in a certain way, and it was designed primarily to undermine his popularity in Brazil.
Obviously the driver concerned [and Senna] were vying for being the most prominent sportsmen in Brazil at the time, and this was a good way to spin the situation. So I explained it to him and once he understood where the motivation was and what the objective was, he then became very skillful in spinning it around the other way.
Ayrton and Alain were really the first two drivers where I had a sophistication gap, where I could gain the upper hand. Previously I was too close to the drivers' age and I wasn't particularly polished at it myself. But he was one where there was an age gap - it wasn't a father/son gap, but most definitely I could, when necessary, step in and be quite firm and get the necessary response. I look back often on the period with him, and I think I guided him well through some very difficult parts of his life. And of course my involvement in his life and his career with the team was the absolute... was a much bigger percentage of his career than anyone else experienced.
He had only... it was his third race for Williams... You know, some of me, when I am struggling with handling it all, feel that these three months carry... maybe it's my own negativity but it seems to carry almost as much weight as six or seven years he was driving for us, three World Championships, lots of ups and downs. That always confuses me a little bit; it's a little bit like 'you're only as good as your last race'. We're very short sighted, which again makes it a difficult sport to be involved in.
And there seems to be a particular level of aggression, and almost delight, in someone's failure to perform. Now I don't mind admitting we aren't doing right now a particularly good job, but do you really feel, guys, do you really think that we're happy with what we're doing, happy with our performance? But could you give us a bit of a break? We came away from the last race [of 2003] narrowly losing the World Championship, and we're three races in and suddenly we're an absolute waste of time, the perception is we've lost the plot as a team. And that is very... that's quite difficult, no matter how strong you are, and I'm quite a strong person... You know, it's difficult to come to grips with.
And that was what his Achilles heel was. He couldn't come to grips with that unfairness that exists in Grand Prix racing. Irrespective of your previous achievements as an individual or as a team, this sport doesn't take prisoners, and wherever you're going in it, and you've got to appreciate that when you get into Formula One, that no matter how private you are, no matter how open you are, in failure you're going to be grounded into the ground. That is the nature of it. It isn't easy if you're on the receiving end of it, and it was extremely difficult for him. And I'd like to feel that's where I helped him a great deal.
He could have helped me now, if he was around...
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