Three-time F1 world champion Ayrton Senna apparently wanted Sylvester Stallone to play him in a film about his life, according to the American actor.

Speaking at a recent Heritage auction, the Rocky actor says he held regular talks with the F1 legend about making a film on Senna's life before his untimely death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Senna was the subject of Asif Kapadia's critically-acclaimed 2010 documentary, Senna, and Stallone says the Brazilian driver fully supported a project with the actor portraying him on screen.

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"Ayrton Senna was one of the great drivers of all time and he wanted me to do his life story" Stallone said. "We were speaking many years ago on the phone and he goes 'I think it would be really good, I liked your films'. We spoke a lot by phone.

"He said 'let me show you the colours, it's very much like Rocky colours'. So he sent it to me and of course I'd never seen a helmet like this. And then he unfortunately died in this horrible crash and after that I just decided I couldn't do the film, it was just too hard."