Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has revealed he turned down the chance to sign Ayrton Senna for the fateful 1994 season. Senna went on to sign for Williams and was killed in the third race of the season at Imola after suffering injuries in a high-speed crash.
Todt revealed how Senna had approached him towards the end of the 1993 when he had decided to leave a McLaren outfit that had faded from the title picture after swapping Honda engines for Ford, while the emergence of Williams and the team's many technological innovations also turned the tables.
With Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi contracted for the following season, Todt turned down the three-time world champion, who went on to secure a stunning move to Williams, where he was replacing former McLaren team-mate and rival Alain Prost.
"I spent three hours in my room with him talking about him joining Ferrari," Todt told RaceFans.net of a meeting with Senna at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix.
"At that stage, in September in Monza in '93, he was very interested to come.
"But he wanted to come [in] '94. And '94 we had two drivers with contracts, Alesi and Berger.
"I said 'we have two drivers'. He said: 'But in Formula 1, contracts is not important'. And I said to him 'for me, contracts is important'."
Senna soon after confirmed he would replace the retiring Prost at Williams, qualifying on pole position for the first three races of 1994, although failing to finish at Interlagos and Aida - in a collision with Ferrari stand-in Nicola Larini - before his fateful crash at the Tamburello Curve 25 years ago today.
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