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“Don’t be bloody ridiculous” – When Ayrton Senna retired from the 1984 Dallas GP because the wall moved

Samriddhi Jaiswal

"Don’t be bloody ridiculous" - When Ayrton Senna retired from the 1984 Dallas GP because the wall moved

Ayrton Senna gave an unbelievable reason after he retired on the 47th lap of the Dallas Grand Prix in 1984. 

Ayrton Senna was undoubtedly one of the greatest drivers of all time. He was known for pushing himself to the absolute limit to be successful. Senna tragically lost his life at the 1994 San Marino GP.

Senna made a huge impact on the world of Formula 1 through his unyielding behaviour. One great example of his illustrious career came at the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix.

Senna made his F1 debut in 1984 for Toleman and went on to drive for Lotus, McLaren and Williams. His notable career saw him win 41 races and three World Championships.

At the Dallas GP, driving for Toleman, Senna retired on the 47th lap after he had started the race from P4. He had complete control of his car and perfectly executed the corner to its precision but a matter of a few millimetres had him out of the race.

After he hit the walls at the Dallas GP on his 47th lap, he was convinced that the wall had moved and his driving was absolutely perfect.

Drivers giving out weird excuses for their lack of performance is not a mystery in the F1 community. However, Senna’s argument that the wall had moved was absolutely the most ridiculous excuse.

Also Read: F1 fans remember three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna on his 28th death anniversary

Ayrton Senna surprised his team

As much as the excuse sounds ridiculous, it turns out that it in fact was true. The barrier at the Dallas Grand Prix had moved and led the Brazillian racing driver to crash into it and retire from the race.

Recalling the incident, Senna’s race engineer at the time, Pat Symonds said, “In Dallas, he touched a wall and broke a wheel. During the debrief he said ‘I can’t make out how I hit that wall. The wall must have moved’.

“With any other driver, you would say don’t be bloody ridiculous. But he was so troubled by it that we went and looked at the wall.”

“Tyre marks showed that somebody had crashed into one end of one of the huge concrete blocks and pivoted it a little bit.”

“He’d been placing his car a few millimetres from that wall, and when the edge had moved a fraction he hit it. I thought then that this guy was beyond anything I’d ever experienced before.”

Also Read: When Ayrton Senna called his archrival a ‘coward’

About the author

Samriddhi Jaiswal

Samriddhi Jaiswal


Samriddhi Jaiswal is an F1 editor and writer at The SportsRush. She started her career as a business journalist but soon found her calling in lights out here we go! Samriddhi has been a Ferrari fan even when her interaction with F1 was occasional. Her first real experience with the thrilling sport came when Charles Leclerc clinched his iconic victory in Spa and Monza and painted the track red. Now, a Tifosi, Samriddhi is a hardcore fan of the prancing horse and can relate to the chaos within the Italian camp and also admires Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Off the track, she finds her home in books and musical instruments.

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