F1 flashback: Senna’s last Brazil win, 20 years on (VIDEO)

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Today marks 20 years since Ayrton Senna’s final home victory in the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Senna raced his final season with McLaren with underpowered customer Ford engines on a race-by-race contract. As a result, although Senna qualified third behind the pair of all-conquering Williams-Renaults, 1.8 seconds in arrears, his race craft and ability in mixed conditions came to the fore on race day.

Alain Prost took pole but later made contact with Christian Fittipaldi, taking them both out, while Senna would eventually pass Prost’s Williams teammate Damon Hill for the lead once the rain had stopped and the dry conditions resumed.

Hill finished second ahead of Michael Schumacher, Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell and Alex Zanardi. Zanardi’s sixth place in this race was his only points-scoring result in Formula 1.

The race was also noteworthy as it marked Rubens Barrichello’s Brazilian Grand Prix debut, for his F1 career that lasted from 1993 through 2011, and also the one and only start in this race for Senna’s McLaren teammate Michael Andretti. Andretti was one of four drivers eliminated in a first-lap accident.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.