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When Senna Went Unrecognised in the UK

When Senna Went Unrecognised in the UK

The late great Ayrton Senna is arguably one of the most recognisable faces in Formula One. However, one time during the British Grand Prix weekend, the Brazilian was pulled over for speeding. The police officer came up to him and asked, “Who do you think you are, Nigel Mansell?”

As it turned out, Senna was running late for free practice, which explained his tearing hurry. If I’m honest, this story did seem too good to be true, but it did happen once. Interestingly, Mansell used to work as a police officer and When he pulls someone over for speeding he used to pull off the same line.

Ayrton Senna is actually less well-known in the UK compared to Nigel Mansell, Go figure

A similar incident happened to Lewis Hamilton in his early F1 career.

“I got pulled over when I was younger, probably my early twenties. I’d finally got to Formula One, I had a really good car, an AMG Mercedes that made a lot of noise and I got pulled over because of the noise I was making with it.”


“And the guy came to the window and said ‘Who do you think you are, Lewis… Oh. Hey. Have a good night, Lewis!’”

Just like this, several other ‘Who do you think you are’ stories have popped up. One other example involves another five-times champion, Juan Manuel Fangio.

Already a hero in his native Argentina for his successes in gruelling road races such as the Carrera Panamericana, Fangio was involved in am accident with a truck while at the wheel of his road car.

Fangio was thrown clear, and the truck-driver initially mistook his passenger for the driver. “Who do you think you are, Fangio?” he apparently demanded.

“No but he is,” came the reply, as the passenger pointed towards the champion.

Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna.
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