Max Gear


Ayrton Senna special 

This collection of videos and images are to remember one of the greatest F1 drivers ever to have ever lived. 

Note : All videos are from www.youtube.com 

 

 A full biography of Ayrton Senna

 

This is a Portuguese name; the first family name is Senna and the second is Silva.
Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna Imola 1989 Cropped.jpg
Senna at the 1989 San Marino Grand Prix
Date of birth21 March 1960
Date of death1 May 1994 (aged 34)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Brazilian
Active years19841994
TeamsTolemanLotusMcLaren,Williams
Races162 (161 starts)
Championships3 (198819901991)
Wins41
Podiums80
Career points610 (614)[1]
Pole positions65
Fastest laps19
First race1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
First win1985 Portuguese Grand Prix
Last win1993 Australian Grand Prix
Last race1994 San Marino Grand Prix

Ayrton Senna da Silva, (pronounced [aˈiɾtõ ˈsenɐ da ˈsiwvɐ]  ( listen)São Paulo, March 21, 1960, – Bologna Italy May 1, 1994) was aBrazilian racing driver and three-time Formula One world champion. He died in a crash while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, and remains the last Grand Prix driver to die at the wheel of a Formula One car.

Senna began his motorsport career in karting and moved up the ranks to win the British Formula 3 championship in 1983. Making his Formula One debut with Toleman in 1984, he moved to Lotus-Renault the following year, and won six Grands Prix over the next three seasons. In 1988 he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, Senna and Prost won fifteen out of the sixteen Grands Prix which took place that season, with Senna winning his first World Championship, a title he would go on to win again in 1990and 1991. McLaren's performance declined in 1992, as the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate the sport, although Senna won five races to finish as runner-up in 1993. He moved to Williams in 1994, but suffered a fatal accident at the third race of the season at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy.

Senna is regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One.[2][3][4] In 2009, a poll of 217 current and former Formula One drivers chose Senna as their greatest Formula One driver, in a survey conducted by British magazine Autosport.[5][6] He was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions. He was especially quick in wet conditions, as shown by his performances in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He also holds the record for most victories at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix (6) and is the third most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. However, Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost, which was marked by two championship-deciding collisions at the 1989 and 1990 Japanese Grands Prix.

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[edit]Early life and career

Senna was born in Santana, a bairro of São Paulo city,[7][8] the son of a wealthy Brazilian landowner. He was highly athletic, excelling in gymnastics and other sports, and developed an interest in cars and motor racing at an early age.

Senna's first kart was a small 1HP go-kart, a gift rejected by his older sister Viviane. Senna entered karting competition at the age of 13.[9] In 1977 he won the South American Kart Championship. He contested the Karting World Championship each year from 1978 to 1982, finishing runner-up in 1979 and 1980.[10]

In 1981 Senna moved to England to begin single-seater racing, winning the RAC and Townsend-Thoreson Formula Ford 1600 Championships that year with the Van Diemen team. Despite this, Senna initially did not believe he would continue in motorsport, and at the end of the season, under pressure from his parents to take up a role in the family business, he returned to Brazil.[11] Before leaving England, Senna was offered a drive with a Formula Ford 2000 team for £10,000. He decided to take up this offer, and returned to live in England. AsSilva is a very common Brazilian name, he adopted his mother's maiden name, Senna.[12] Senna went on to win the 1982 British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships under that surname.

In 1983 he drove in the British Formula Three Championship with the West Surrey Racing team. Senna dominated the first half of the season but Martin Brundle, who drove a similar car for Eddie Jordan Racing, closed the gap in the second part of the championship. Senna won the title at the final round at Thruxton after a closely fought and, at times, acrimonious battle.[13] In November of the same year, he triumphed at the inaugural Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix with Teddy Yip's Theodore Racing Team.[14][15]

[edit]Formula One career

[edit]1984: Toleman

Senna's Toleman TG184 from 1984 on display in the Donington Grand Prix Collection.

Senna attracted the attention of Formula One teams WilliamsMcLarenBrabham and Toleman, all of whom he tested for. Neither Williams nor McLaren had a vacancy for the 1984 season. His name was linked to Brabham's second seat, but Brabham's lead driver, double world champion Nelson Piquet, preferred his friend Roberto Moreno, while title sponsor Parmalat wanted an Italian driver. His only option was to join Toleman, a relatively new team, replacing Derek Warwick.[16][17] Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto was his team mate.

Senna made his debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro. He scored his first World Championship point in his second race at theSouth African Grand Prix, replicating that result two weeks later at the Belgian Grand Prix. A combination of tyre issues and a fuel pressure problem resulted in his failure to qualify for the San Marino Grand Prix, the only time this happened during his career.[18] Senna's best result of the season came at the Monaco Grand Prix, which was affected by heavy rain. Qualifying 13th on the grid, he made steady progress in climbing through the field, passing Niki Lauda for second on lap 19. He quickly began to cut the gap to race leader Alain Prost, but before he could attack Prost the race was stopped on lap 31 for safety reasons, as the rain had grown even heavier. At the time the race was stopped Senna was catching Prost at 4 seconds per lap.[19] Senna finally passed Prost during the 32nd lap at the end of which the red flag was shown. However according to the rules, the positions counted were those from the last lap completed by every driver, lap 31, at which point Prost was still leading.[20] Senna's second place was his first podium in Formula One, and his performances in rainy conditions became a hallmark of his career.

He took two more podium finishes that year - third at the British and Portuguese Grands Prix - and placed 9th in the Drivers Championship with 13 points overall. He did not take part in the Italian Grand Prix after he was suspended by Toleman for being in breach of his contract by signing for Lotus for 1985 without informing the Toleman team first.[21]

Senna also raced in two high-profile non-Formula One races in 1984: The ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring where, alongside Henri Pescarolo and Stefan Johansson, he co-drove a Joest Racing Porsche 956 to finish 8th, as well as an exhibition race to celebrate the opening of the new Nürburgring, which was attended by several Formula 1 drivers, each driving identicalMercedes 190E 2.3-16. Senna won from Niki Lauda and Carlos Reutemann.[22][23] After the race Senna was quoted as saying, "Now I know I can do it."[24]

[edit]1985-1987: Lotus

1985

Senna was partnered in his first year at Lotus-Renault by Italian driver Elio de Angelis. At the second round of the season, the Portuguese Grand Prix, Senna took the first pole position of his Formula 1 career. He converted it into his first victory in the race, which was held in very wet conditions, winning by over a minute from Michele Alboreto.[25] He would not finish in the points again until coming second at the Austrian Grand Prix, despite taking pole three more times in the intervening period. (His determination to take pole at the Monaco Grand Prixhad infuriated Alboreto and Niki Lauda; Senna had set a fast time early and was accused of deliberately baulking the other drivers by running more laps than necessary, a charge he rejected.)[26] Two more podiums followed in Holland and Italy, before Senna added his second victory, again in the wet, at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.[27] Senna's relationship with De Angelis soured over the season, as both drivers demanded top driver status within Lotus and, after spending six years at the team, De Angelis departed for Brabham at the end of the year, convinced that Lotus were becoming focused around the Brazilian.[28] Senna and De Angelis finished the season 4th and 5th respectively in the driver rankings, separated by five points. In terms of qualifying, however, Senna had begun to establish himself as the quickest in the field: his tally of seven poles that season was far more than that of any of the other drivers.

1986
Senna driving for Lotus at the 1986 British Grand Prix.

De Angelis was replaced at Lotus by Scottish peer Johnny Dumfries after Senna vetoed Derek Warwick from joining the team, saying that Lotus were not able to run competitive cars for two top drivers at the same time. Senna later admitted "It was bad, bad. Until then I had a good relationship with Derek."[29] Senna started the season well, coming second in Brazil and winning the Spanish Grand Prix by just 0.014s from Nigel Mansell - one of the closest finishes in Formula One history - to find himself leading the World Championship after two races.[30] However, poor reliability, particularly in the second half of the season, saw him drift behind the Williams pairing of Mansell and Piquet, as well as eventual champion, Alain Prost. Nonetheless, Senna was once more the top qualifier, with eight poles, and he took a further six podium finishes that season, including another victory at the Detroit Grand Prix, and finished the season fourth in the driver's standings again, with 55 points.

1987

Lotus had a new engine deal in 1987, running the same Honda engines as Williams had used to win the previous year’s Constructors' Championship, and with them came a new team-mate, 34 year-old Japanese driver, Satoru Nakajima. Senna started the season with mixed fortunes: a podium at the San Marino Grand Prix was tempered by controversy at the following race at Spa-Francorchamps, where he collided with Mansell and was confronted by the angered Englishman in the pits afterwards.[31] Senna then won two races in a row: the ensuing Monaco Grand Prix (the first of his record six victories at the Principality) and the Detroit Grand Prix, his second victory in two years at the Michigan street circuit, to take the lead in the World Championship. As the championship wore on however, it became evident that the Williams cars had the advantage over the rest of the field, the gap between the Honda-engined teams made most obvious at the British Grand Prix where Mansell and Piquet lapped the Lotuses of Senna and Nakajima. Senna became dissatisfied with his chances at Lotus and at Monza it was announced that he would be joining McLaren for 1988.[32] Senna finished the season strongly, coming second in the final two races in Japan and Australia, however post-race scrutineering at the final race found the brake ducts of his Lotus to be wider than permitted by the rules and he was disqualified, bringing his last and most successful season with Lotus to a sour end.[33] Senna was classified third in the final standings, with 57 points, one pole position and six podium finishes. This season marked a turning point in Senna's career as, throughout the year, he built a deep relationship with Honda, a relationship which would pay big dividends, as McLaren had secured Williams' supply of Honda's V6 turbo engines for 1988.[34]

[edit]1988-1993: McLaren

1988
Senna won his first World Championship in1988. At his hands, the McLaren MP4/4.

In 1988, thanks to the relationship he had built up with Honda throughout the 1987 season with Lotus, and with the approval of McLaren's number one driver and then-double world champion, Alain Prost, Senna joined the McLaren team.[35] The foundation for a fierce competition between Senna and Prost was laid, culminating in a number of dramatic race incidents between the two over the next five years.[36] At the1988 Portuguese Grand Prix, Prost got away slightly faster than Senna at the start but the Brazilian dived into the first corner ahead. Prost responded and went to pass Senna at the end of the first lap. Senna swerved to block Prost, forcing the Frenchman nearly to run into the pitwall at 180 mph (290 km/h). Prost kept his foot down and soon edged Senna into the first corner and started pulling away fast. Though Prost was angered by Senna's manoeuvre, the Brazilian got away with a warning from the FIA. Senna would later apologize to Prost for the incident. Ultimately, the pair won 15 of 16 races in the McLaren MP4/4 in 1988 with Senna coming out on top, winning his first Formula One world championship title by taking 8 wins to Prost's 7 (Prost had scored more points over the season, but had to drop three 2nd places as only the 11 best scores counted).[37]

1989
Senna drivin
g the McLaren MP4/5 in 1989.

The following year, the rivalry between Senna and Prost intensified into battles on the track and a psychological war off it.[38] Tension and mistrust between the two drivers increased when Senna overtook Prost at the restart of the San Marino Grand Prix, a move which Prost claimed violated a pre-race agreement. Senna took an early lead in the championship with victories in three of the first four races, but unreliability in Phoenix, Canada, France, Britain and Italy, together with collisions in Brazil and Portugal swung the title in Prost's favour.

Prost took the 1989 world title after a collision with Senna at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, the penultimate race of the season, which Senna needed to win to remain in contention for the title. Senna had attempted an inside pass on Prost who turned into the corner and cut him off, with the two McLarens finishing up with their wheels interlocked in the Suzuka chicane escape road. Senna then got a push-start from marshals, pitted to replace the damaged nose of his car, and rejoined the race. He took the lead from the Benetton of Alessandro Nanniniand went on to finish first, only to be promptly disqualified by the FIA for cutting the chicane after the collision, and for crossing into the pit lane entry (not part of the track).[39] A large fine and temporary suspension of his Super License followed in the winter of 1989 and Senna engaged in a bitter war of words with the FIA and its then President Jean-Marie Balestre.[40]Senna finished the season second with six wins and one second place. Prost left McLaren for rivals Ferrari for the following year.

1990

In 1990, Senna took a commanding lead in the championship with six wins, two second places and three thirds. His most memorable victories were at the opening round in Phoenix, in which he diced for the lead for several laps with a then-unknown Jean Alesi before coming out on top, and at Germany where he fought Benetton driver Alessandro Nannini throughout the race for the win. As the season reached its final quarter however, Alain Prost in his Ferrari rose to the challenge with five wins, including a crucial victory in Spain where he and teammateNigel Mansell finshed 1-2 for the Scuderia. Senna had gone out with a damaged radiator and the gap between Senna and Prost was now reduced to 11 points with two races remaining.

At the penultimate round of the Championship in Japan at Suzuka (the same circuit where Senna and Prost had their collision a year before), Senna took pole ahead of Prost. The pole position in Suzuka was on the right-hand, dirty side of the track. Prost's Ferrari made a better start and pulled ahead of Senna's McLaren. At the first turn Senna aggressively kept his line, while Prost turned in and the McLaren ploughed into the rear wheel of Prost's Ferrari at about 270 km/h (170 mph), putting both cars off the track, this time making Senna the Formula 1 world champion.[41]

A year later, after taking his third world championship, Senna explained to the press his actions of the previous year in Suzuka. He maintained that prior to qualifying fastest, he had sought and received assurances from race officials that pole position would be changed to the left-hand, clean side of the track, only to find this decision reversed by Jean-Marie Balestreafter he had taken pole.[42] Explaining the collision with Prost, Senna said that what he had wanted was to make clear he was not going to accept what he perceived as unfair decisions by Balestre, including his disqualification in 1989 and the pole position in 1990.[43] Prost would later go on record slamming Senna's actions as "disgusting" and that he seriously considered retiring from the sport after that incident.[35]

1991

Senna captured his third title in 1991, taking seven wins and staying largely clear of controversy. Prost, due to the downturn in performance at Ferrari, was no longer a serious competitor. Senna won the first four races. By mid-season, Mansell in the more advanced Williams was able to put up a challenge. There were some memorable moments, such as at the Spanish Grand Prix when Senna and Mansell went wheel to wheel with only centimetres to spare, at over 320 km/h (200 mph) down the main straight, a race that the Briton eventually won. Quite a different spectacle was offered following Mansell's victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Senna's car had come to a halt on the final lap but he was not left stranded out on the circuit, as Mansell pulled over on his parade lap and allowed the Brazilian to ride on the Williams side-pod back to the pits. Though Senna's consistency and the Williams' unreliability at the beginning of the season gave him an early advantage, Senna insisted that Honda step up their engine development program and demanded further improvements to the car before it was too late. These modifications enabled him to make a late season push and he managed to win three more races to secure the championship, which was settled for good in Japan (yet again) when Mansell (who needed to win), went off at the first corner while running third and beached his Williams-Renault into the gravel trap. Senna finished second, handing the victory to teammate Gerhard Berger at the last corner as a thank-you gesture for his support over the season.

1992
Ayrton Senna driving the McLaren MP4/7A at Monte-Carlo.

In 1992, Senna's determination to win manifested itself in dismay at McLaren's inability to challenge Williams' all-conquering FW14B car.[44]McLaren's new car for the season had several shortcomings. There was delay in getting the new model running (it debuted in the third race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix) and in addition to lacking active suspension, the new car suffered from reliability issues, was unpredictable in fast corners, while its Honda V12 engine was no longer the most powerful on the circuit.[45] Senna scored wins in Monaco, Hungary, and Italy that year. During qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, French driver Érik Comas crashed heavily and Senna was the first to arrive at the scene. He got out of his car and ran across the track to aid the Frenchman, disregarding his own safety in an effort to aid a fellow driver. He later went to visit Comas in hospital. Senna finished fourth overall in the championship, behind the Williams duo of Mansell and Patrese, and Benetton's Michael Schumacher.[46][47]

1993
Senna came from the back of the field to finish fourth at the 1993 German Grand Prix atHockenheim.

Questions about Senna's intentions for 1993 lingered throughout 1992, as he did not have a contract with any team by the end of the year. He felt the McLaren cars were less competitive than previously (especially after Honda bowed out of Formula 1 at the end of the 1992 season). Joining Williams alongside Prost (who had secured a drive for the team for 1993) became impossible, since Prost had a clause on his contract vetoing Senna as a team-mate, even though the Brazilian offered to drive for free. An infuriated Senna called Prost a coward in a press conference in Estoril.[48][49] In December, Senna went to Phoenix, Arizona and tested Emerson Fittipaldi's Penske IndyCar.[50]

McLaren boss Ron Dennis meanwhile was trying to secure a supply of the dominant Renault V10 engine for 1993.[51] When this deal fell through, McLaren was forced to take a customer supply of Ford V8 engines.[52] As a customer team, McLaren got an engine that was two specifications behind that of Ford's factory team, Benetton, but hoped to make up for the inferior horsepower with mechanical sophistication, including an effective active suspension system.[53] Dennis then finally persuaded Senna to return to McLaren. The Brazilian, however, agreed only to sign up for the first race in South Africa, where he would assess whether McLaren’s equipment was competitive enough for him to put in a good season.

After driving McLaren's 1993 car, Senna concluded that the new car had a surprising potential, albeit the engine was still down on power and would be no match for Prost’s Williams Renault.[54] Senna declined to sign a one-year contract but agreed to drive on a race-by-race basis, eventually staying for the year,[55]although some sources claim this was a marketing ploy between Dennis and Senna. After finishing second in the opening race in South Africa,[56] Senna won in constantly fluctuating conditions at home in Brazil[57] and in the rain at Donington. The latter has often been regarded as one of Senna's greatest victories.[58] He started the race fourth and dropped to fifth on the run down to the first corner, but by the end of the first lap was leading the race. He went on to lap the entire field in a race where up to seven pit stops were required by some drivers for rain or slick tyres, depending on the conditions.[59][60] Senna then scored a second-place finish in Spain and a record-breaking sixth win at Monaco.[61] After Monaco, the sixth race of the season, Senna led the championship ahead of Prost in the Williams-Renault and Benetton's Michael Schumacher despite McLaren’s inferior engine.[62] As the season progressed, Prost and Damon Hill asserted the superiority of the Williams-Renault car, with Prost securing the drivers' championship while Hill moved up to second in the standings. Senna concluded the season and his McLaren career with two wins in Japan and Australia, finishing second overall in the championship.[53][63] The penultimate race was noted for an incident whereJordan's rookie Eddie Irvine unlapped himself against Senna. The incensed Brazilian later appeared at Jordan's garage and after a lengthy discussion, he proceeded to punch the Irishman.[64]

[edit]1994: Williams

For 1994, Senna finally signed with the Williams-Renault team. Prost's contract clause forbidding Senna from joining Williams did not extend to 1994 and Prost retired with one year left on his contract, rather than face the prospect of being a team mate of his greatest rival.[65]

Williams had won the previous two World Championships with vastly superior cars, and Senna was a natural and presumptive pre-season title favourite, with second-year driver Damon Hill expected to play the supporting role. Among them, Prost, Senna, and Hill had won all but one race in 1993. Benetton's Michael Schumacher had won the remaining event.

Pre-season testing showed that the Williams car had speed, but it was difficult to drive. The FIA had banned electronic driver aids, such as active suspensiontraction control and ABS, to make the sport more "human". The Williams was not a well-handling car at the start of 1994, as observed by other F1 drivers, having been seen to be very loose at the rear. Senna himself had made numerous (politically careful) comments that the Williams FW16 had some quirks which needed to be ironed out. It was obvious that the FW16, after the regulation changes banning active suspension and traction control, exhibited none of the superiority of the FW15C and FW14B cars that had preceded it. The surprise of testing was the Benetton team, whose car was more nimble than the Williams although less powerful.

The first race of the season was in Brazil, where Senna took pole. In the race Senna took an early lead but Schumacher's Benetton was never far behind. Schumacher took the race lead for good after passing Senna in the pits. Senna refused to settle for second. While trying for a win, he pushed too hard and spun the car, stalling it and retiring from the race.

The second race was the Pacific Grand Prix at Aida where Senna again placed the car on pole. However, he was hit from behind in the first corner by Mika Häkkinen and his race came to a definitive end when a Ferrari driven by Nicola Larini also crashed into his Williams. Hill also retired with transmission problems, while Schumacher took victory again.

It was Senna's worst start to an F1 season, failing to finish or score points in the first two races, despite taking pole both times. Schumacher was leading Senna in the drivers' championship by twenty points.[66]

Luca di Montezemolo is quoted saying that Senna came to him the Tuesday before the Imola race and praised Ferrari for the battle against electronics in F1. Senna also told Montezemolo that he would like to end his career with Ferrari.[67]

[edit]Death

Senna's fatal accident at the moment of impact.

At the third race of the season, the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Senna, having not finished the two opening races of the season, declared that this was where his season would start, with fourteen races, as opposed to sixteen, in which to win the title.[68] Senna again placed the car on pole for the 65th and final time, but he was particularly upset by two events. On Friday, during the afternoon qualifying session, Senna'sprotégé Rubens Barrichello was involved in a serious accident when he slammed violently into the tyres at the Variante Bassa chicane, swallowing his tongue and suffering a broken nose and arm, which prevented him from competing in the race. The next day Austrian driverRoland Ratzenberger was killed in qualifying in a devastating accident when the front wing broke on his Simtek-Ford while going flat out at the fast Villeneuve right-hander bend and into the concrete wall.

Senna spent his final morning meeting fellow drivers, determined after Ratzenberger's accident to take on a new responsibility to re-create a Drivers' Safety group (i.e. Grand Prix Drivers' Association) to increase safety in Formula One. As the most senior driver, he offered to take the role of leader in this effort.

Senna and the other drivers all opted to start the Grand Prix, but the race was interrupted by a huge accident at the start line when JJ Lehto's Benetton-Ford stalled, and an unsighted Pedro Lamy rammed him in his Lotus-Mugen Honda at nearly full speed. A wheel was torn off the car and landed in the main grandstand, injuring eight fans and a police officer. The safety car, which was an Opel Vectra for that year, was deployed and the drivers followed it for several laps. The Vectra's slow pace was later questioned due to the subsequent drop in tyre pressures on the Formula One cars; Senna had pulled alongside the safety car, gesticulating to its driver, Max Angelelli, to increase his speed.[69] On the restart Senna immediately set a quick pace with the third quickest lap of the race, followed by Schumacher. As Senna entered the high-speed Tamburello corner on the next lap, the car left the track at high speed, hitting the concrete retaining wall at around 135 mph (217 km/h). Senna was removed from the car by Sid Watkins and his medical team and treated by the side of the car before being airlifted to Bologna hospital where he was later declared dead. What was likely to have happened was that the right front wheel had shot up after impact like a catapult and violated the cockpit area where Senna was sitting. It struck the right frontal area of his helmet, and the violence of the wheel’s impact pushed his head back against the headrest, causing fatal skull fractures. A piece of upright attached to the wheel had partially penetrated his helmet and made a big indent in his forehead. In addition, it appeared that a jagged piece of the upright assembly had penetrated the helmet visor just above his right eye.[citation needed] As track officials examined the wreckage of his racing car they found a furled Austrian flag—a victory flag that he was going to raise in honour of Ratzenberger.[70]

The cause of the accident has been identified as a steering column failure. Many court cases followed immediately afterwards and the judgment went on for years, with Williams being investigated for manslaughter. The last word from the Italian Court of Appeal was on April 13, 2007. In the verdict numbered 15050 the Court stated the following: "It has been determined that the accident was caused by a steering column failure. This failure was caused by badly designed and badly executed modifications. The responsibility of this falls on Patrick Head, culpable of omitted control". Even being found responsible for Senna's accident, Patrick Head wasn't arrested: in Italy the statute of limitation for manslaughter is 7 years and 6 months, and the final verdict was pronounced 13 years after the accident. [71]

[edit]Funeral

Senna's grave.

Senna's death was considered by many of his Brazilian fans to be a national tragedy, and the Brazilian government declared three days of national mourning. An estimated three million people lined the streets to offer their salute. Many prominent motor racing figures attended Senna's state funeral, notably Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Emerson Fittipaldi who were among the pallbearers. However, Senna's family did not allow FOM president Bernie Ecclestone to attend,[72] and FIA President Max Mosley instead attended the funeral of Ratzenberger which took place on May 7, 1994 in SalzburgAustria.[73] Mosley said in a press conference ten years later, "I went to his funeral because everyone went to Senna's. I thought it was important that somebody went to his."[74]

A testament to the adulation he inspired among fans worldwide was the scene at the Tokyo headquarters of Honda where the McLaren cars were typically displayed after each race. Upon his death, so many floral tributes were received that it overwhelmed the large exhibit lobby.[75]This in spite the fact Senna no longer drove for McLaren and that McLaren, in the preceding seasons did not use Honda power. Senna had a special relationship with company founder Soichiro Honda[citation needed] and was beloved in Japan where he achieved a near mythic status. In his home country of Brazil, the main freeway from the international airport to São Paulo and a tunnel along route to the heart of the city is named in his honour. Also, one of the most important freeways of Rio de Janeiro is named after Senna ("Avenida Ayrton Senna"). Senna is buried at the Morumbi Cemetery in his hometown of São Paulo. His grave bears the epitaph "Nada pode me separar do amor de Deus" which means "Nothing can separate me from the love of God".

For the next race at Monaco, the FIA decided to leave the first two grid positions empty and painted them with the colours of the Brazilian and the Austrian flags, to honour Senna and Ratzenberger.

[edit]Personal life

Senna was a practicing Catholic. A very religious man, he openly conflated his beliefs with his racing, something for which he was criticized as dangerous by Alain Prost, among others.[citation needed] He often read the Bible on long flights from São Paulo to Europe.[76][77]

Senna expressed concern over the widespread poverty in Brazil, and privately spent millions of his personal fortune on underprivileged children.[78] Shortly before his death he created the framework for an organisation dedicated to Brazilian children, which later became Instituto Ayrton Senna.[79]

Senna was often quoted using driving as a means for self-discovery, and racing as a metaphor for life: “The harder I push, the more I find within myself. I am always looking for the next step, a different world to go into, areas where I have not been before. It’s lonely driving a Grand Prix car, but very absorbing. I have experienced new sensations and I want more. That is my excitement, my motivation.”[80]

Towards the end of his career Senna became increasingly preoccupied with the dangers of his profession. On the morning of his death he initiated the re-formation of the GPDA safety organisation, with which he had intended to work to improve the safety of his sport.

He was renowned for his close relationship with Gerhard Berger, and the two were always playing practical jokes on each other.[81] Berger is quoted as saying "He taught me a lot about our sport, I taught him to laugh". In the documentary film The Right to Win made in 2004 as a tribute to Senna, Frank Williams notably recalls that as good a driver as Senna was, ultimately "he was an even greater man outside of the car than he was in it."

Senna was married once, for a short period of time and before his breakthrough in Formula One, to Lilian de Vasconcelos. After his marriage to Vasconcelos ended Senna courted Adriane Yamin, daughter of an entrepreneur from São Paulo. She was 15 years old when they began the relationship in 1985 and was commonly chaperoned by her mother during meetings with Senna. They were briefly engaged, but the relationship was broken off in late 1988.[82]

By the time of his death, Senna was dating Brazilian model Adriane Galisteu, with whom the Senna family never had a friendly relationship, even to this date. That was shown in Senna's funeral, where Galisteu was openly cast aside. The "widow" status was given by the family and media to Brazilian icon Xuxa, who arrived at the funeral holding hands with Senna's sister, Viviane. After his death Galisteu wrote a book about her and Senna's relationship. Adriane became a celebrity upon Senna's death, many saying because of it, and has kept that status ever since, working as a TV show host.

He was the uncle of Formula One driver Bruno Senna, of whom he famously said in 1993: "If you think I'm fast, just wait until you see my nephew Bruno".[83]

[edit]Legacy

Memorial at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, where Senna was killed.

Many safety improvements were made in the sport following Senna and Ratzenberger's deaths. These include improved crash barriers, redesigned tracks and tyre barriers, higher crash safety standards, and higher sills on the driver cockpit.

Soon after his death in 1994, the Brazilian football World Cup winning team dedicated their win to the great racer in order to recognise his contributions to Formula 1.[84][85]

After Senna's death it was discovered that he had donated millions of dollars of his personal fortune (estimated at $400 million at the time of his death)[86] to children's charities, a fact that during his life he had kept secret. His foundation in Brazil, Instituto Ayrton Senna, has invested nearly US$80 million over the last twelve years in social programs and actions in partnership with schools, government, NGOs, and the private sector aimed at offering children and teenagers from low-income backgrounds the skills and opportunities they need to develop to their full potential as persons, citizens and future professionals.[87]

In 2004 (when, ten years after his death, the Brazilian media revisited the life of Senna), a book called "Ayrton: The Hero Revealed" (original title: "Ayrton: O Herói Revelado"[88]) was published in Brazil. Senna remains a national hero in Brazil and his grave attracts more visitors than the graves of John F Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley combined.[76]

In addition, to mark the 10th anniversary of Senna's death, on April 21, 2004, over 10,000 people attended a charity match in a football stadium near Imola. The game was organized by several devoted Italian and Canadian fans of Senna, bringing the 1994 FIFA World Cup winning team of Brazil (who dedicated their 1994 FIFA World Cup win to Senna) to face the "Nazionale Piloti", an exhibition team comprised exclusively of top race car drivers. Senna had been a part of the latter in 1985. Michael Schumacher, Jarno Trulli, Rubens Barrichello,Fernando Alonso and many others faced the likes of DungaCarecaTaffarel and many of the team that won the World Cup in the United States ten years earlier. The match finished 5-5 and the money was donated to Instituto Ayrton Senna. Viviane Senna, Senna's sister, president of the institute (and mother of future F1 driver Bruno Senna), gave the initial kick. That same weekend, Bernie Ecclestone revealed that he still believed Senna was and remained the best F1 driver he had ever seen.[72]

Since his death, Senna has been the subject of songs by Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla, Jazz pianist Kim Pensyl, Japanese jazz-fusion guitarist and T-square bandleader Masahiro Andoh and Chris Rea.[citation needed]

To take advantage of the close relationship Honda had with Senna, the Japanese company asked him to help fine-tune the Honda NSX's suspension setting during its final development stages. The tests were conducted at Suzuka Circuit with chief NSX engineer Shigeru Uehara and his engineering team present to gather Senna's direct input. Senna found the prototype NSX initially lacked chassis stiffness to the level he was accustomed to, so the final production version was further reinforced to his satisfaction. Senna also led Audi to Brazil, in agreement settled in 1993[89] By this time the high end cars made in Brazil were widely criticized, and he took the initiative to raise the market level. His personal car in 1994 was anAudi S4[90]

Between 1996 and 1998, to pay tribute to Senna, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati produced special Senna editions of their 916 superbike. Ducati was at the time owned byClaudio Castiglioni, a personal friend of Senna. In 2002, the MV Agusta F4 750 Senna motorbike was created, again by Castiglioni, now president of MV Agusta. The production was limited to 300 bikes, and all profits from sales went to the Ayrton Senna Foundation.[citation needed]

In 2009, it was announced that Senna's nephew Bruno would be making his Formula One debut in 2010.[91]

The former grand prix circuit in Adelaide, Australia has renamed the chicane "Senna chicane" in honour of his memory. This track is still used for local V8 Supercars racing after the move of the F1 grand prix to Melbourne. There is also a street named after him in the Adelaide suburb of Wingfield. The Adelaide street circuit was said to be a favourite of Senna's, and he was reportedly unhappy about upcoming shift of venue from Adelaide to Melbourne.[citation needed]

He was voted the best driver of all time in a poll of current drivers published by the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag in July 2010.[92]

On 25 July 2010, popular BBC motoring show, Top Gear paid an emotional tribute to Senna with British Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton driving Senna's original MP4/4, with which he won the 1988 title. At the end of this segment of the show it was mentioned that a documentary film is to be released in Autumn 2010.[93]

[edit]Complete Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearTeamChassisEngine12345678910111213141516WDCPoints[1]
1984Toleman Group MotorsportToleman TG183BHart S4 (t/c)BRA
Ret
RSA
6
BEL
6
SMR
DNQ
9th13
Toleman TG184Hart S4 (t/c)FRA
Ret
MON
2
CAN
7
DET
Ret
DAL
Ret
GBR
3
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
EUR
Ret
POR
3
1985John Player Special Team LotusLotus 97TRenault V6 (t/c)BRA
Ret
POR
1
SMR
7
MON
Ret
CAN
16
DET
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
GER
Ret
AUT
2
NED
3
ITA
3
BEL
1
EUR
2
RSA
Ret
AUS
Ret
4th38
1986John Player Special Team LotusLotus 98TRenault V6 (t/c)BRA
2
ESP
1
SMR
Ret
MON
3
BEL
2
CAN
5
DET
1
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
2
HUN
2
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
4
MEX
3
AUS
Ret
4th55
1987Camel Team Lotus HondaLotus 99THonda V6 (t/c)BRA
Ret
SMR
2
BEL
Ret
MON
1
DET
1
FRA
4
GBR
3
GER
3
HUN
2
AUT
5
ITA
2
POR
7
ESP
5
MEX
Ret
JPN
2
AUS
DSQ
3rd57
1988Honda Marlboro McLarenMcLaren MP4/4Honda V6 (t/c)BRA
DSQ
SMR
1
MON
Ret
MEX
2
CAN
1
DET
1
FRA
2
GBR
1
GER
1
HUN
1
BEL
1
ITA
10
POR
6
ESP
4
JPN
1
AUS
2
1st90 (94)
1989Honda Marlboro McLarenMcLaren MP4/5Honda V10BRA
11
SMR
1
MON
1
MEX
1
USA
Ret
CAN
7
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
1
HUN
2
BEL
1
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
ESP
1
JPN
DSQ
AUS
Ret
2nd60
1990Honda Marlboro McLarenMcLaren MP4/5BHonda V10USA
1
BRA
3
SMR
Ret
MON
1
CAN
1
MEX
20
FRA
3
GBR
3
GER
1
HUN
2
BEL
1
ITA
1
POR
2
ESP
Ret
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
1st78
1991Honda Marlboro McLarenMcLaren MP4/6Honda V12USA
1
BRA
1
SMR
1
MON
1
CAN
Ret
MEX
3
FRA
3
GBR
4
GER
7
HUN
1
BEL
1
ITA
2
POR
2
ESP
5
JPN
2
AUS
1
1st96
1992Honda Marlboro McLarenMcLaren MP4/6BHonda V12RSA
3
MEX
Ret
4th50
McLaren MP4/7AHonda V12BRA
Ret
ESP
9
SMR
3
MON
1
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
2
HUN
1
BEL
5
ITA
1
POR
3
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
1993Marlboro McLarenMcLaren MP4/8Ford V8RSA
2
BRA
1
EUR
1
SMR
Ret
ESP
2
MON
1
CAN
18
FRA
4
GBR
5
GER
4
HUN
Ret
BEL
4
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
JPN
1
AUS
1
2nd73
1994Rothmans Williams RenaultWilliams FW16Renault V10BRA
Ret
PAC
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
ESP
CAN
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
POR
EUR
JPN
AUS
NC0
  • ‡ Race was stopped with less than 75% of laps completed, half points awarded.

[edit]References

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