Netflix Confirms Six-Part Ayrton Senna Biopic Starring Gabriel Leone

Movies & TV / 8 Comments

With help from Senna's family.

Netflix has been working on a six-part mini-series documenting the life of Ayrton Senna since late 2020 but has finally found the perfect actor to cast in the lead role.

You might be wondering why another series is necessary following Asif Kapadia and Manish Pandey's seminal masterpiece, Senna, but there is a big difference. Senna (2010) was a 106-minute documentary masterpiece, while Netflix's creation will be a biopic starring Gabriel Leone as Ayrton Senna da Silva.

We don't expect this dramatization of a real person to be factually incorrect, however. Senna's family has agreed to be actively involved in the film, and they'll want it to be as accurate as possible, warts and all.

"It is a huge responsibility and also a great honor to be able to represent an icon who inspired so many people throughout his life, showing the world Brazilian sporting talent," said Leone. "Knowing that we will bring this story to millions of people in so many countries, through Netflix, inspires me to see this as one of the great roles of my career."

Norio Koike

"He has the ability to faithfully portray Ayrton's unique personality, especially the Ayrton that we as a family knew, off the track," said Viviane Senna, Ayrton's sister, about Leone's casting.

According to Netflix, it will explore everything Senna left out. It will reveal the "personality and personal relationships" of the three-time world champion. It will showcase his greatest moments and biggest disappointments. The series will start with the early days of his career and will end with the tragedy at Imola. We hope a Lewis Hamilton cameo is included, given the special relationship between Sir Lewis and Brazil, not to mention Senna's influence on Hamilton's career as his idol.

Senna remains a fascinating character, not just because of how brilliant he was behind the wheel. Ayrton Senna da Silva was a complex character. He had no problems driving into Alain Prost at 170 mph to win his second Drivers' Championship title and was known for putting other drivers in danger by going for gaps that didn't really exist. He once set the fastest lap time by going through the pit lane. The similarities between Senna, Schumacher, and Verstappen are staggering.


But there was a much softer side to Senna. At the Belgium Grand Prix in 1992, Erik Comas crashed his Ligier on the high-speed Blanchimont corner. It was a live free practice session, yet Senna stopped his car on the track, sprinted over to Comas to check on his friend, and switched the car's engine off to reduce the fire risk. Senna also donated millions of his earnings to charities in his native Brazil.

The juxtaposition between a man willing to risk his and everyone else's life on a track and that same man being kind enough to risk his own life to check on a fellow driver is fascinating.

Senna drove for Toleman, Lotus, and Williams, but he is most commonly associated with McLaren, who even named the Senna hypercar after him. If we're lucky, McLaren will build another version based on the Artura, called the Ayrton.

We applaud Netflix's approach regarding the accuracy, and we hope they remake Senna's famous Lap of the Gods, which he described as a "spiritual experience." CarBuzz will use any excuse to include footage of Senna racing, so below, you can see Senna being brilliant until he pushed too hard.

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