30 years after the death of Ayrton Senna, the legend is still valid

30 years after the death of Ayrton Senna, the legend is still valid

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Video of the moment of Ayrton Senna’s fatal crash.

Senna competed in Formula 1 for the teams Toleman, Lotus, McLaren and Williamsbetween 1984 and 1994, he was world champion in 1988, 1990 and 1991, runner-up in 1989 and 1993, third in 1987 and fourth in 1985, 1986 and 1992, accumulating a total of 41 victories (6 of them in the Monaco Grand Prix, record for the event), 80 podiums and 65 pole positions in just 162 classifications, with an effectiveness of more than 40%, He is among the most successful and dominant drivers of the modern era. For many experts it is the fastest in history.

Since his death, Formula 1 was left orphaned by an idol, but it finally opened its eyes to the dangers that drivers faced for decades.


Ayrton Senna, legend of international motorsports.

The improvements implemented meant that since then only one pilot has died as a result of an accident in Formula 1the French Jules Bianchi at the 2014 Japanese GP.

Safety had already made progress in the twenty years preceding the fateful accident. Sennaat the initiative of pilots like Jackie Stetwartbut the death of the Brazilian prompted a greater effort, as proven by the deformable structures, the pilots’ equipment or the escape areas on the circuits.

Another Ayrton Senna accident

On the eve of the Brazilian’s death during the Imola Grand Prixanother pilot Formula 1the Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, also died in an accident during qualifying. Senna’s compatriot, Rubens Barichello, also suffered an accident from which he emerged miraculously intact.

There were “three big accidents (…) and I think that shocked the Formula 1highlights the French Frederic Vasseur, currently boss of the team Ferrari. “I don’t know if it was a trigger, but I think it’s true that we often change when there is an accident. For example, after Jules Bianchiwe made the halo,” he adds, mentioning the arch above the cockpit that protects the pilots’ heads.

In the film “1, Life on the Limit”released in 2023 and dedicated to safety in the Formula 1the British specialized journalist Maurice Hamilton indicated that Senna’s death “was broadcast in the homes of millions of people who did not know much about motor sports, but they did know him and wanted to know who the culprit was.”

Ayrton Senna was one of the biggest losses in the top category of motorsport.

Ayrton Senna was one of the biggest losses in the top category of motorsport.

Ayrton Senna was one of the biggest losses in the top category of motorsport.

A lengthy investigation determined that the accident was caused by the breakage of the steering bar of his Williams, and that a wheel impacted his helmet. Later, a suspension arm pierced the driver’s cabin after the car hit a high-speed car against a cement wall.

With three world champion titles, 41 victories and 65 pole positions, Senna has one of the best track records in Formula 1, along with Lewis Hamilton, Juan-Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost.

Teammates and rivals

The figure of the French Alain Prost remains inseparable from Senna’s destiny. Both drivers were not only teammates, but they established one of the fiercest rivalries in the history of the F1.

The Frenchman ended his racing career after the 1993 season, with one last world champion title, a few months before the disappearance of Senna. “I don’t have any bad memories of him,” she said in an interview in 2018.

“I keep the last six months of his life in mind, it is the moment in which I learned to know him much better than before. He was someone completely different. I understood who he really was and why he sometimes played at being an actor,” he added.

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Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at McLaren

Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at McLaren

Senna’s aura is still immense. Michael Schumacher He was still a young driver at that Imola Grand Prix. The German was a few meters behind Senna at the time of the accident.

In 2000, when asked about his feelings after equalizing the then record of 41 Grand Prix victories set by Sennathe “Kaiser” burst into tears in front of the cameras, despite his reputed coldness.

Lewis Hamilton He also keeps an emotional memory of that fateful day. “I was nine years old and my father told me that Ayrton Senna had died in an accident. As a child it is difficult to understand what he really means, but I went behind the car and cried,” he recalls, in a testimony in the film “1, Life on the Limit”.

Its beginnings

Senna left an indelible memory as a driver, but he also worried about poverty in his native country. Today, the foundation Ayrton Senna Institutedirected by his sister Viviane and his niece Biancatakes care of disadvantaged children, whom Ayrton Senna, who never married or had children, wanted to help.

Ayrton senna He was one of the most talented and charismatic drivers in the history of motorsports, whose legacy endures to this day. From a young age, the Brazilian showed exceptional talent for car racing.

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Senna a legend of Formula 1.

Senna a legend of Formula 1.

After winning various championships in Brazil and Europe, made his debut in Formula 1 in 1984 with the team Toleman. However, it was with Lotus, starting in 1985, where he began to shine, achieving his first victories and showing an aggressive and spectacular driving style.

Until the fateful, tragic accident in Imola, on March 1, 1994, in which he lost his life.

At the time of the crash Sennathe circuit marshals discovered a flag of Austria inside the destroyed car. It was because of Ratzenberger’s death a day earlier. She was going to honor him, but he never could.

Source: Ambito

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