It was the first time since 1994 that I have seen the video pictures of Senna's crash and still I cry...
Dear Ayrton in my heart you will always be No 1. No one can take your place.
We Brasilians have a popular saying for things that we know will bring no practical results at all: "Everything will end up in Pizza".
A sophisticated time/money/technology consuming industry/show, F1 is the cutting edge in all standards, but yet, has the room for stupid failures like this one? Sorry but I don't think so!
1985 Portugal, 1988 Japan, 1992 Monaco, 1993 Donington. Thank you Ayrton Senna. Simply the Best!
I started supporting Ayrton Senna in 1986 and still to this day believe he is the best racing driver ever. No-one can replace our 'Ayrton', and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him. I have tried to support other drivers since but no-one comes close. May 1 1994 was the worst day of my life, total shock! My hero had died and no-one could do anything about it or ease my pain.
I will never forget Donington 1993, I was there that day when the 'Rain Master' reigned supreme. I waited near Shwantz curve on Ayrton's slowing down lap, waiting to see my hero. I had a Marlboro jacket on covered in Senna badges and holding a Brazilian flag. He stopped right in front of me and shook his fist in the air. He was looking at me, what a memory. One of the best of my life.
Formula One is rather empty now, it has lost its appeal for me. Senna was a true individual, a guy with such high morals and beliefs that if he was treated badly he would cry. He believed in his own ability so much that 2nd place wasn't good enough, it's the 1st of the losers. If it wasn't for Ayrton I don't think I would be the person I am today. I cannot settle for 2nd best. Victory or the best is only good enough.
I know who is to blame for his death and they do too! I cannot believe they got away with it still to this day. All I am left with is memories, thankfully mainly good ones, but that black day in May 1994 robbed me of all that was important in my life, until now.
My love for Ayrton will only grow stronger each passing day and the day I die he will be on my mind. I will see him again. Take care all you Senna fans out there, keep holding onto the memories. I follow practically all Brazilian drivers these days but only one I will ever love.
Ayrton, you gave me some of the best days of my life, Sunday afternoons aren't the same without you. Thank you for the signed photo's you returned to me in 1992. They are my most treasured possessions.
My heart also goes out to Rubens Barrichello, it must have been so hard for him to carry on with all the pressure. I am very proud of him and wish him all the best.
Thank you for an excellent site, although I did cry a lot I am glad I visited it, especially so I can leave this message:
My heart is still broken.
I am 14 years old, although I was only 9 when he died, I still remember that May 1 1994. It was a shocking afternoon for all fans. I saw him going into the wall and the car spinning around. I then knew he was no longer alive, but I still lied to myself. Well then I just went into my room and cried for hours. About 2 hours later my Mom came in and told me that Ayrton Senna was dead. At that point my heart broke and part of my heart died with him.
He was an inspiration to many. Senna was a teacher too. Some people think that Schumacher is a better driver, but for me there is no-one like Senna. There was only one Senna, he never had a twin, and he never will.
I am female and I am his biggest fan. I have the Nintendo game of F1 and I am the fastest and best at the game. I hope I could be the first female driver in F1. I sure can never catch up to Ayrton Senna, but if he didn't inspire me that much I would never have considered it. In my heart Senna will never be dead!
Here is a final thought; Ayrton Senna died winning, but he didn't finish everything he wanted to. That is why God will bring him back not as Senna anymore, but one day he will be back in F1 to finish what he wanted to. At this very moment Senna is already back on Earth, trying to start all over.
Ayrton Senna: There will never be another, but you'll sure finish what you wanted to.
I remember Ayrton... I was merely 13 at the time of his tragic and unforgettable death. It touches me to this day. I am 18 now. The other day I was thinking about another racing death, the death of Kenny Irwin (Nascar). I looked back on my childhood of watching Formula cars. I was never fascinated with any sports or Nascar as my peers and family. My Stepdad introduced me to watching a race on ESPN. Although I can't remember the exact race, I was instantly hooked. I developed a favourite driver over a few races... That driver was Ayrton Senna. I was fascinated by the way he talked. I often mimicked him in front of my friends, 'though they still don't know to this day who I was imitating. I remember watching Sportscentre on ESPN on May 1 1994 fairly clearly. I watched as they previewed that the racing world had lost one of its own: 'Ayrton Senna has died'. I instantly glued myself to the TV and told my Mom to 'hush'. I anxiously waited until the full story came and was so deeply saddened that later that night I cried myself to sleep. I remember then picking up my Stepdad's helmet and placing it upon my head. In some way I felt as if 'I was Ayrton', I began to feel closer to him.
I had never met him I knew, but that didn't matter because in a sense we were best friends. Ever since his death I think we have all been cautious on who we choose as idols and role models. We have more of an awareness. We realise the perils of the world and better understand that death is part of life. Though it hurts to move on you have to unglue yourself from the situation and live a normal life. Ayrton was the first role model in my life and nothing can change that, and I wouldn't want anything to. I am proud and fond of this precious memory. It seems now it's merely an event in time, it has been 6 years and the racing world is back to normal. I think we should all take the time to honour those we idolise and look up to.
In 1991 I first saw Ayrton Senna on TV, it was the GP of Brazil. It was the first time he had won his home GP, and it was the first F1 race I had seen. From the first moment I wanted Senna to win this race, I don't know why, but today it's clear. He was AND IS the best driver and man I ever saw. As Tina Turner said on a GP weekend: ' He's Simply the Best'! And he will BE until the end of time.
I still can't recover from Senna's death. I'll always remember him above everyone. Even Schumacher will never outrun Senna. Senna will be forever, ever, ever, ever the Master. God bless him and help us to recover.
Thank you for producing this site it certainly was very interesting. May I just say this, Ayrton was a truly remarkable man, I am a 37 year old Englishman who once supported Ayrton at the British GP in 1991, much to the dismay of all the Nigel Mansell fans present. I cried when I saw Ayrton crash in 1994 I knew somehow he was dead on impact, I don't know why I just felt it. Perhaps it was the Roland Ratzenberger crash the day before, I don't know. But what I want to say I hope you don't find offensive. Ayrton was first and foremost a racing driver, he would agree that to prosecute someone over his death would be a mistake. When you buy a ticket to watch a motor sport event you are warned, even as a spectator that 'motor sport is dangerous'.
I know that if Ayrton had survived his crash he would have returned to the track to try to be even better and quicker than he was before. This was the man, this was Ayrton Senna, God bless him.
We are all still missing him ...
Thank you for your excellent Web site. I am so glad that Web sites like yours keep the memory of Ayrton alive, and that someday the truth will come out. Ayrton left two legacies: Wonderful memories of his brilliance in a F1 car and safer F1 racing (look at the accidents drivers have walked away from since Imola 1994). I hope these legacies live on for generations to come.
I find it hard that the events of 1994 can still bring tears to a grown man who never knew Ayrton personally.
God bless you Ayrton.
I have been visiting your site for the past 5 days now and just thought I'd send this note to tell you how much I enjoy it (the site). I can't imagine a bigger fan of Ayrton Senna than I, although I know I'm not alone and there are people like yourselves that loved him as much as I have and still do. After reading about the court case it reminded me about the JFK cover-up which was another dark day in my life as well. I would like It's people like us who know where we were on May 1 1994 and will never forget that day and who we all lost.
On this day you receive from Italy my very special warm hug, thinking of a man that I'll never forget: Ayrton ... He lives in our hearts. I'm sorry that I've only seen his races on TV, I'll love him forever!
I'm from Austria and as I was growing up a lot of people come into and go out of my life. Some of them I love, some of them not, but it became something totally 'normal' to me. Some of them I still remember and some of them not, and in some very special cases my heart aches each time they come back into my mind. One of those guys is Ayrton Senna and another who also left before his time was Freddy Mercury (Queen) ... So what is this story telling us?
One by one ... Only the good die young (maybe you know the song).
Only the best guys will leave us before their time is up. So I think, Senna would have died anyway before his time. Doesn't really matter who is guilty of his accident, doesn't matter who is not. Senna was, for sure, the best ever living F1 driver, so he had to leave us.
Best regards to all Senna fans out there, to all those who are working to find reasons for the crash, to his family and all who loved/love him.
Senna, a father to racing car drivers and a teacher to all of us.
Sometimes life is difficult, sometimes we feel like crying and feel bad. I remember to have felt like this once in my life... The day Senna died.
I know it is possible to live without the ones you love and without the ones you care for, but you can never live if there is an empty place in your heart, a place which cannot be filled with anything else and a place so empty not even God can bring you up...
Well I can certainly say this... The God is dead so I can never again fill my empty place because my hero is no longer living to do so.
Senna I loved you all my life and I race because of you, I remember you every single race I start and hope not to end like you, but always to race like you, although I never will...
YOU were the best!
Senna can't be gone because Gods don't die.
To say that you are doing a small service to motor sports is an extreme understatement.
I have been following motor sports since 1962. I have had the privilege of an interesting life, have owned over a dozen vehicles in my life and formerly driven professionally for 17 years.
When I first saw Senna in the rain at Monaco in '84 leading the field in a 3rd class car (was it a Toleman?) in the rain, I knew that the sport had a new and rare individual, who if he ever got the right break would prove to be a champion one day. What I did not realise at the time was that this individual would become an active advocate for safety for his fellow drivers, in the manner of Jackie Stewart, in the early 70s.
Simply, there are none today in F1 who can equal the level of Ayrton Senna. Neither in skill nor humanity.
The proof is in the record, for despite today's far advanced technology... there is no consistency. Look at Senna's record of pole positions with inferior cars and his record of fastest race laps while catching up...
But ultimately, in his social consciousness he far transcended the 'ordinary' role of a race driver.
For what was even more striking was that he became an advocate for the forgotten children of Brazil's favellas and for fair play in the totality of life... not just in motor sport. That is why he was unpopular with those powers that be in a highly competitive yet arrogant corporate sport of F1, where the aggregate F1 Team budgets rival the educational budgets of small third word countries.
It was said that Senna was so popular in Brazil that if he ever chose he could run for President when he retired... And possibly win.
I miss the intense young man whose skill was as good as Jim Clark and Fangio, and yet who like them was sometimes edgy but eminently honest.
Unfortunately as in other motor racing deaths people in charge are in denial. But Ayrton's death, is much, worse... Because with all the telemetry recording instruments and cameras, the truth was still available. I saw the accident live on ESPN. They had footage all the way up to the wall.
The downfall of motor sport is that honesty and sportsmanship is nearly almost forgotten. A decade hence we will have only ugly F1 prima donna (supermen) who will shamelessly cheat and pout about losses whilst gloating over victories. F1 is already mired in scandal after scandal. Look towards the future.
When today's drivers, ruling bodies and car constructors cannot honestly examine themselves, their safety standards and the exhibition of sportsmanship is seen as a weakness, then something is seriously wrong. What example is this for the youth coming into motor sports today?
I leave you with these final thoughts:
1. Cover-ups exist to make people forget ugly details and absolve the guilty.
2. When death is involved, legal issues of responsibility are admitted only by moral people.
3. When no one accepts responsibility, that means no one is legally responsible.
4. The fish rots from the head.
May God bless Ayrton and his family.
I'm 20 years old and I'm from Germany. I'm a great fan of Ayrton since I met him when I was eight. I still can't believe that he's gone. On the 1st May 1994 I had confirmation and I will never forget that day all my life. Nobody can take Ayrton's place, he was such a great human being and racer. I still visit about 4-5 GP's a year but I have to say I'm missing something, it's much different than when Ayrton was on the circuit. Don't forget Ayrton Senna da Silva the greatest racing driver of all times.
May 1994, just graduated high school when I was shocked to see the greatest man ever on wheels die at Imola. It was only a live broadcast on TV, but felt more than real.
Years have gone by and now I'm a reporter. Still, each and every time I hear anything about F1, or Imola, or Williams, Senna crosses my mind. And each time my tears run. Nothing will ever replace him. Nothing...
I'd like to congratulate for the excellent work you have been doing with The Senna Files site.
As any Brazilian, I'm an unconditional fan of Senna and always wanted some answers for the tragedy at Imola. Unfortunately, we will never know all of them but the Sfiles has covered as much as possible and very deeply.
I think that for us fans, the most important thing about the judgment is to ensure that the facts which took the life of the best F1 driver who ever existed have been treated as respectfully and carefully as he deserved. I believe that we don't want to find the guilty, but we do want to know if someone could be responsible to avoid or predict the failure that caused the terrible accident.
Also, the search for the truth brings us a sense of loyalty for the driver who was responsible for so much happiness for anyone who is a real racing enthusiast, a man who pursued the victory so devoted but died winning...
I watched the live telecast on TV and saw him go off. I saw him hit the wall and I burst into tears, somehow I knew he was dead. The man was so great when he was alive, he was unforgettable. He didn't need to die to become a legend. He already was one and will remain one forever.
In my home town of Adelaide, in South Australia, we've laid a plaque in the bitumen of the former F1 track, in Ayrton Senna's honour. It is a shrine for his and all other F1 fans. He will live in my heart 'til the day I die, and then, looking forward to seeing you on the other side Ayrton...
I've been a fan of Ayrton since 1990 and was devastated when he crashed, I thought he'd live through it easily. Then I saw the damage and I thought he was dead for sure, but I thought how could he die, he was the greatest driver ever, I thought he was indestructible.
I was only seven when Ayrton died but I remember watching the car fly off the road and being torn to pieces and spinning around. At the time everybody knew Ayrton, now he's not around I support Heinz Harold Frentzen (Jordan). Ayrton is still the best driver ever!!!
I'll never forget seeing the events of Imola 1994 on TV. I think it only fitting that Autosport readers voted Senna the Man of the Century. The Legend lives on...
Senna: Forever loved and respected - Never ever forgotten.
I just thought I'd drop a line saying that I really miss 'Magic' - He was the best of all time. Remembering Senna.
We managed to find our way to the rear of the garages on the evening before the 1987 GP at Silverstone, my daughter and I. She had been the first to become aware of Ayrton's talents even though they may not have all have been for his driving ability at the time for a girl of 15 years of age gazing upon the face of a handsome young Brazilian. We were camping in an adjacent field and I knew the circuit would be 'open'; they don't pay private security to work nights! But even so, it is not untypical for the main pursuit of the English 'fan' at that time of night is beer, the more the better, and to the total oblivion of the fact that there before them, leaning in the doorway of the Lotus garage was the young man whose only interest was in the condition of his car as he quietly watched the Japanese engineers putting the finishing touches to his race car.
There were no other drivers to be seen...
Followed by the recent reading of a comprehensive book about Ayrton Senna, seeing the horrible moments of his crash on your Web site today, were all really too much for me to bear. I went out of self control and found myself shedding tears at the office. Now, I seem to understand that nobody else throughout the sport's world could ever impress me that deeply.
God rest his soul and thank you for your endeavour to enlighten the case.
Your site is a great tribute to one of the greatest, no, THE greatest F1 driver ever! The championships, records and the chilling and harrowing death are all on your site and I'm sure if Senna was still alive he would be touched by your gratitude and immense faith and remembrance of him. So well done for commemorating the 88, 90 and 91 Champion on your pages.
Excellent work. Our family is proud of you and the job you've done. Senna was one of the greatest drivers of his era, if not the greatest of all times. Too sad that he had to go but at least he went (we hope) doing the thing he loved most - Motor Racing.
I'm very sorry about Ayrton's death but I'd like to tell you that some people in Germany will never forget the 'Magic' Senna. I hope his Foundation for the poor children of Brazil will survive and be very successful in the future.
I didn't believe in God until I saw Senna and then I believed in him, I found my God. Every night I go out and pray in front of a large poster of him. When he died a half of my heart died with him, after that he became immortal so my heart lived again. I believe he was and still is a true God of F1. I don't think there will be anyone better than him.
When I saw the in-car footage of Senna's crash I wondered why before the impact the camera suddenly stopped operating, that was before I saw your site, I know now why.
I've only been watching F1 for three years, but Senna's presence is still, and always will be in the spirit of F1 fans everywhere. He is an inspiration to everyone, be they young or old. I don't know of any other F1 driver that has touched so many lives. He is no longer just a driver, but a legend.
Thank you for your great site, me and my 15 year old daughter are very big fans of Ayrton. I've followed his life for a long time and am also a huge motor sport fan, but Senna was different to all the rest. Nuff said...
Ayrton Senna was voted best auto racing driver of the 20th century by an on-line poll of over 10,000 fans at cnnsi.com. Given that this Web site has a primarily American audience reared on Indy cars and NASCAR rather than Formula 1, it is a remarkable tribute to a remarkable man. No racer more deserves to be remembered with Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky and his countryman Pele, as one of the all time great athletes.
Ayrton Senna: You will never see his equal!
Senna... It is truly a tragedy of our time to lose such a heroic figure. No one has, and will match his dedication and talent to F1, not Prost, Schumacher, Hakkinen, Hill, Mansell. I started to follow the races at age 16, Senna made a big impact to my life, and he always will.
Mortal became Immortal on May 1 1994.
Senna will always be the Best. Schumacher wouldn't be there if not for the departure of Senna. Where was Schumacher when Senna, Prost and Mansell were still around!
Dear friends: Every time I come to the S-Files the accident flashes in front of my eyes. I knew nothing would happen to our man, how could he die? Then for the first time in my life I had to lie to myself. I told myself he will come back. The man who lived like a King , was also a King of hearts. He ruled millions of hearts, including mine. Tell me why do I cry for a man I had never met? Who people say has been dead for days now? I live in a different world in which Senna is the present not the past. He is my champion, the one and only Ayrton Senna. I wish you all good health, take care.
I like this site, it's a beautiful thing to a great champion. I'm a 17 year old Brazilian, I was watching the race when OUR SENNA unfortunately died, I remember I saw that he crashed. I went to church (I'm catholic) but not because of Senna but because it was Sunday. When I can back my father told me that Senna was in the hospital and my father didn't have a hope about his life. When it was one o'clock here in Brazil the TV gave the news that OUR SENNA had died. I didn't cry but my heart cries, and my Sundays now don't have any more fun. I love Formula 1 but... Barrichello is a good driver but nobody will be how Senna was and is here in Brazil.
The world became amazingly talentless during May 1994. I looked up to Senna. He was inspirational, he could drive anything. There will never be another driver like Ayrton Senna again.
Ayrton Senna's death shook the world that afternoon of May 1 1994. The sport changed forever after he passed through that fateful corner. That day is forever etched in my mind. Shocked, broken hearted and even angered, the world, myself included demanded answers. The world's greatest driver had been taken from us and we needed to know why!
When you look at the career of Ayrton Senna, he established himself as a driver that could find that ragged edge, faster than any other driver of the time. Even more so in the wet! It was that edge that cost us the greatest driver of all time. Ayrton Senna went into the Tamburello corner on that ragged edge! Unfortunately, even the greatest couldn't change what was about to happen. Many drivers go off, and in most cases they are blessed to tell their stories after. But it wasn't to be for our beloved Ayrton.
The combination of perhaps nervous car and perhaps a short run-off area and maybe, who knows, a bottoming car or whatever! I think what I'm trying to say is that I don't hold anyone responsible for Ayrton's death. I'm sure if he were looking down on us today, he would agree, that he died doing what he did best... Pushing a car beyond what it could do! And that's the way I choose to remember, the greatest driver to ever live! The great Ayrton Senna da Silva! My compliments on a beautiful Web site.
Ayrton died on my 16th birthday! I'm an Senna fan, I've seen all the races since the Hungarian GP in 1990. On my 16th birthday my family had just started to celebrate and I wanted to see the race... After all I've become a Rubinho fan and I still believe in his driving,. Maybe he will drive the car on the track like his master did it.
I am a huge F1 fan and Ayrton will always be in my thoughts. I often wonder where he would be now if the 1st May 1994 had never come around. Although people may argue that Michael Schumacher is a better driver than Ayrton was, I know he will always be No 1 in any true F1 fans eyes. Whilst my friends idolise pop stars and actors, Ayrton Senna will always be my hero. Rest in peace Ayrton, you will never be far from my thoughts.