Peter-Warr

3

Warr remembers the Spanish Grand Prix where Senna put the Lotus on pole early in the session and nobody got near the time. With about 15 minutes to go, Senna said he wanted to go out again, Warr told him, “No, no, no, don’t be silly. You’re 1.7 seconds quicker than everybody.” Senna insisted and Warr asked why. “I Can do a 1.16.9.” Warr expressed astonishment. “I’ve been thinking about it-I can do a 1.16.9.” Warr found this “mind-blowing in the context of what he’s already done. He got in the car with his helmet on his chest and his eyes closed. He was thinking his way around the lap. It got to 5 minutes left. Senna went out and did a 1.16.9. It bears repeating: mentally Senna could see a whole circuit and watch himself doing an imaginary lap around it, meter by meter, corner by corner, in testing, he was able to gauge exactly where he could gain fractions of a second, and simply incorporate them into the imaginary lap. That came from his ability to drive a lap quickly while thinking slowly, and to remember what everything on the car was doing. Thus, it was based on simple, logical calculations. The Lotus team were witness to the feat, the 1.16.9, because Warr, sensing something utterly exceptional was about to happen, had instructed them to gather around the TV monitor and watch. They found their credibility stretched and they had made that car. 

When he arrived in Britain for the very first time, he didn’t even speak English. He learned how to speak English by watching the idiot box, remembering every word, practising and perfecting himself. When he arrived in this century, he didn’t really speak English, and the next thing you know, Peter Warr was standing there like a proud father, Honda loved him like a son, and Ron Dennis was counting his blessings. 

This is how perhaps heroes are created, they run the extra miles all the time and not only when they can. We lost a hero but his name, his memories and his prowess lives until today and way after we are gone…