Former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has revealed that Ayrton Senna was desperate to switch from Williams to Ferrari in 1994.
Senna, a three-time World Champion, found no shortage of success in Formula 1 with its iconic teams, taking all three of his titles with McLaren before moving to Williams in 1994.
It was in 1994 when Senna tragically lost his life in a crash at Imola, and di Montezemolo said that his biggest regret during his time at Ferrari was not bringing the Brazilian legend to Ferrari.
But, the Italian revealed that Senna had spoken to him shortly before his death about joining Ferrari, saying he was desperate to get out of Williams.
Speaking to Sky Italia, when asked what his greatest regret was from his days at Ferrari, di Montezemolo said: “Not having signed Ayrton Senna.
“He came to my house in Bologna before the Imola accident and told me that he wanted to drive for us at all costs and to free himself from Williams.
“We agreed to speak after Imola, but then what happened. He wanted to come to us and I would have been happy to have him.
“It would have been the icing on the cake, which was then Michael Schumacher who entered Ferrari history because nobody did what he did”.
Schumacher would join the team in 1996, going on to make himself a Ferrari legend as the team embarked on a run of total dominance in Formula 1 from 2000-04.
Ferrari were skeptical of di Montezemolo’s decision to sign Schumacher at the time, but he backed himself and the rest is history.
“It was at the beginning, but I was convinced of what I was doing because it was the right time,” he said.
“Two years before we didn’t have the car to win and Michael came after a great job of rigorization and was able to make the difference.
“Only there was a delicate phase in 1996 with 2-3 difficult races in Canada and pole in France as a result of which we were unable to start.
“But then the victory in Spa and Monza started the triumphant years.”