Auto Trader News - The Number One place for the Ultimate Petrolhead Fix

Ayrton
15 years after,F1 still misses you.


May 1st 1994, Mugello Race Track. I remember the moment as if it was yesterday. I was at a Porsche Club Race, the drivers were ready to align for the start when the news from Imola arrived in the paddock. Ayrton Senna crashed at the Tamburello corner in Imola on his Williams and died. I remember the atmosphere and the goose bumps going through my back and the tears on most of faces, including mine, for the loss of the best F1 driver this century has had. Some drivers refused to start their race and on the podium there was no celebration by the winner. The day before another F1 driver Ratzenberger lost his life on the same circuit. It was one of the most terrible weekends in F1 history.

Senna streaked through the sport like a comet, an other-worldly superstar whose brilliance as a driver was matched by a dazzling intellect and coruscating charisma that illuminated Formula One racing as never before.

He drove like a man possessed - some thought by demons. His ruthless ambition provoked condemnation from critics, among them Prost who accused him of caring more about winning than living. When Senna revealed he had discovered religion Prost and others suggested he was a dangerous madman who thought God was his co-pilot. "Senna is a genius," Martin Brundle said. "I define genius as just the right side of imbalance. He is so highly developed to the point that he's almost over the edge. It's a close call."

Even Senna confessed he occasionally went too far, as was the case in qualifying for the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix, where he became a passenger on a surreal ride into the unknown. Already on pole, he went faster and faster and was eventually over two seconds quicker than Prost in an identical McLaren. "Suddenly, it frightened me," Ayrton said, "because I realised I was well beyond my conscious understanding. I drove back slowly to the pits and did not go out anymore that day."

He said he was acutely aware of his own mortality and used fear to control the extent of the boundaries he felt compelled to explore. Indeed, he regarded racing as a metaphor for life and he used driving as a means of self-discovery. "For me, this research is fascinating. Every time I push, I find something more, again and again. But there is a contradiction. The same moment that you become the fastest, you are enormously fragile. Because in a split-second, it can be gone. All of it. These two extremes contribute to knowing yourself, deeper and deeper."

His death has left an emptiness that F1 drivers and passionate still feel after 15 years.

DISCUSS

Like this? Check these out...

Marquis Yachts

Two years in the making! Marquis Yachts, LLC, makers of Marquis and Carver Yachts has partnered with Toyota Mo...

Mitsubishi & Al Habtoor DSF

Al Habtoor Motors gives customers a chance to be a winner this DSF with Mitsubishi. Al Habtoor Motors the offi...

Fairline Yachts

All-new Targa 43 Open   British luxury boat manufacturer, Fairline Yachts, announces plans for its brand ...

Audi

What did Audi show in Detroit? Audi Q8 concept: luxury class SUV in coupé design Audi SQ5 TFSI: top m...

PORSCHE 911

  Dynamic, comfortable and efficient – the new Porsche 911 GTS models The new 911 GTS models are av...

Recommended cars for you

Toyota Land Cruiser

  • 194,500 AED
  • 2017

Toyota Hilux

  • 86,000 AED
  • 2017

Toyota Hilux

  • 86,000 AED
  • 2017

Lexus LX 570

  • 397,000 AED
  • 2017

Bentley Bentayga

  • 1,600,056 AED
  • 2017
View all