Ayrton Senna Almost Joined Ferrari – Twice

Ayrton Senna Almost Joined Ferrari
Ayrton Senna Almost Joined Ferrari

Ayrton Senna actually agreed a contract to race for Ferrari in the 1991 season, according to explosive new reports in the Italian media.

Next year, seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton – the most successful driver in Formula 1 history – is making the bombshell move to Maranello, replacing Carlos Sainz.

Sainz is not ruling out a return to red overalls in the future.

“Yes, I won’t be driving for Ferrari in 2025,” he told Sky Italia, “but who knows what will happen in the future. I still have ten years of my career ahead of me.”

And according to La Stampa and Corriere della Sera newspapers, F1 legend Senna also made big plans to be a Ferrari driver at the height of his powers.

A deal had even been agreed in 1990, for the 1991 season, between a then 30-year-old McLaren-driving Senna and then Ferrari team boss Cesare Fiorio.

“We had agreed on everything,” Fiorio, now 84, claims. “But Fusaro opposed it.”

Piero Fusaro was president of Ferrari at the time, and succeeded by Luca di Montezemolo in 1991.

When asked why Fusaro was opposed to Senna’s move to Ferrari, Fiorio explained: “Perhaps it was to avoid antagonising (Alain Prost), or perhaps because he wanted to make me understand that he (Fusaro) was in charge.

“Only he, I and the Ferrari board knew about that negotiation. Someone told Prost,” he added.

Corriere della Sera said Senna would have made $30 million at Ferrari in 1991 – a record at the time.

Fusaro, 72, denies Fiorio’s account, insisting that Prost had actually gone over his head directly to the powerful Agnelli family.

“This happened,” he said, “and there was no going back on that decision.”

Prost was famously fired by Ferrari during the 1991 season, when he compared that year’s Formula 1 car with a “truck”.

Ferrari then tried again to sign Senna for 1995.

“I offered him to move to Ferrari in 1995,” Jean Todt, then Ferrari team boss, is quoted as saying. “He insisted on 1994 but we had Berger and Alesi under contract already.

“Then we know what happened,” Todt added, referring to Senna’s 1994 death.

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