Observations placeholder

Senna, Ayrton - The out of body experiences of Ayrton Senna and Damon Hill

Identifier

023037

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

An observation cannot have two sources in our database, so we had to choose and we chose Ayrton

A description of the experience

Damon Hill – Watching the Wheels

People talk about ‘driving by the seat of your pants', which is being able to trust entirely to your survival instincts to get you out of all situations. Moss could do it, and Clark and Senna too, but the key is concentration.

Ayrton Senna famously lost a Monaco victory when he had a massive lead over Prost in 1988. The problem was that he had slowed under the instructions of team boss Ron Dennis, who ironically had wanted to ensure he finished with Prost in a Mclaren one-two.

This must have broken Ayrton's state of concentration, which, during a race, is a tranquil state of heightened being, believe it or not.

Senna hit the barriers and suffered one of his most humiliating defeats.

The concentration required – and willingly given – to drive a racing car to the limits is extreme.  It does something to you that can't be found in many other places or experiences. The last thing you need is someone coming on the radio to have a chat.

In my father's day, [his father was Graham Hill], this wasn’t a problem. You left the grid and never talked to a soul except yourself for the next two hours, because there was no radio.

Ayrton famously talked about an 'out-of-body experience' in qualifying for this same race, whereby he felt he was no longer driving consciously and was, in his words, 'in a different dimension’.

He was ridiculed by some but he qualified 1.4 seconds faster than his teammate, so I'd say that was pretty out of this world. 

I was to experience something of an out of body experience myself, in the race of my life in 1994 in Suzuka.

Although it never happened to me again, I now believe I understand what Ayrton was talking about.

Concentration can be a powerful drug.

The source of the experience

Senna, Ayrton

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References