Ayrton Senna will always be the best ever! He was not just some ordinary driver he was special and gifted. Racing will never be the same without him. He may be gone but he will always be with us in our hearts!
Thank you Ayrton Senna for being a chosen one to deliver a message loud and clear for some of us who understand it. Life on this earth is short, we must do our best to be the best as a spirit, not allow the material things to cloud our true worth as mortals. To stay true to ourselves and to be ourselves as you once put it. To have faith in the creator and to have faith in oneself to make the right decisions in this life. Your immense supernatural talent was a way to GET OUR ATTENTION and realise that there was an underlying message with your life more important than your motor racing life entire. Faith in God, to try and be a good responsible and caring person to all that is God's creation. Thank you Ayrton for the sacrifices you made for all of us.
I am writing in the hope that Ayrton's sister may read this. I know we are just a drop of water in the ocean, and much of what I have to say, maybe, has been said, but as I have been reading that Antonio Banderas is to play the part of Ayrton Senna in a movie that he plans to make, I surely hope that this will expose the great injustice (that Jean Marie Balestre showed the world by depriving Ayrton of his rightful World Championship in 1989) and the partiality of this individual, and the pettiness of Alain Prost for accepting an honour that surely does not belong to him, and never will. I believe that it should make a clear indication. If Alain has a minimal fibre of honour, he should at least SHARE this championship with its rightful owner.
Ayrton in my memory was not a God, but a very wonderful and dedicated driver, who was kind and had a lot of qualities and also flaws. But in a person as in life itself we must have the right to appreciate daylight, no one is perfect, but he was a kind and misunderstood hero of sport. Thank you for reading my letter, I pray it reaches the eyes it is meant for.
I became a fan of Ayrton Senna the year prior to his untimely end and felt the grief and sorrow of my fellow fans the world over. Having always been involved in motorsports racing, I remember my wife calling me in Atlanta in 1994 and telling me we were pregnant. It was the first overwhelming joy I had known since the crash had thrown my life into a funk. 'We'll have to name him Wray', she said 'after his Dad'. 'Two Wrays is confusing' I said, 'I want him to have my Brazilian heritage!' 'Then name him after your hero'! Simultaneously we both said AYRTON. Today, Ayrton Burgess is a 6 year old (mysteriously gifted) boy who is proud of his name and knows exactly who Ayrton Senna is! Nothing brings me greater joy than telling someone (usually for clarification reasons) his name and having them say...'after Ayrton Senna, of course!'
A man of Passion, Principle, and Justice - Much larger than life itself - Ayrton Senna da Silva!
I have followed F1 since the mid '60's but it was Ayrton Senna that turned a rather superficial interest in racing cars and drivers into a profound passion. To my astonishment I experienced how he was able to move me. One wonders how that can be. A vulnerable body in overalls, confined inside a racing car with only a yellow helmet visible, racing through the rain, surrounded by competitors on all sides, is able to convey feelings to someone watching it all on television thousands of miles away. Remarkable...
I was hooked on F1 from that moment on. Only twice have I been able to watch a Grand Prix live, both times at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, long after Ayrton passed away so tragically. I do, however, remember the TV images of Ayrton going through Eau Rouge in the rain - in perfect control - as if dancing with his car.
Not only were his driving skills awesome, many driver's are, but it was his ability to move me that really mattered. One sensed in this sensitive and passionate young man a personality of great depth and compassion. His Foundation proves it. Ayrton Senna followed his passion without compromise and, that is a human quality that transcends mere auto racing - it is what many of us could draw inspiration from.
He is indeed sadly missed.
Imola: Ayrton Senna has flowers in his lap, he has his legs crossed and looks in resignation down. As if he can see the flowers that a still grieving fan has put in his bronze hands...
And maybe Ayrton can see them, maybe he also sees the many people who come to pay their respects by his statue at the Imola circuit. Because it was here that he drove towards his death on the 1st of May 1994. A visit to the bronze statue, a remembrance of the man who was thought to be immortal grabs you by the throat. Not because it's such a beautiful statue or because of the Italian sun that shines her light on it so beautifully. It's the thought of a taken personality that professionalism linked to willpower and success, that people hope to find here and let them put flowers in his hands at this monument.
If he could lift his head up one more time, and divert his gaze from the flowers in his lap, maybe he could relive the crash again. He would, like many others, look at the concrete wall at the other side, and remember the things he said just a few weeks before Imola. "It is going to be a season with many accidents and I dare to say that I hope that there will be no casualties".
Ayrton Senna I miss you!
I would like to say that I hero-worshipped Senna and the dates of 21st March and 1st May will forever be etched deeply in my memory. To me he is THE F1 ALL-TIME GREAT and no one can replace him. I respect him deeply as a person and admire his smooth, brilliant, extraordinary, silky driving skills. The words on this Website sum it up - Irreplaceable! There will never be another driver like Ayrton Senna. His legacy will live on forever.
Majestic Spirit: It's now nearly thirteen years but it seems a lifetime ago when as a fourteen year old boy I stood at Eau Rouge, Spa, the mist easing from the chill of the morning. Silence for an eternity - then my first experience of the man SENNA in all his glory as his McLaren roared out from the pits. The ecstatic feeling I felt as I watched him approach Eau Rouge for the morning session will never escape me, and of course he won that day in his pursuit of his first World Crown.
I have seen all of Senna's races in F1, never missed one except that fateful day in May at Imola. The emotion I felt, the tears I cried, as the news reporter explained what had happened, will never escape me. Now I have just watched Schumacher lift his fourth crown and once again my emotions run high, the question comes back just as it has done ever since Ayrton's death; What would he achieved today if he were still alive?
I don't like to delve into why it happened, that's not for me to decide. All I know is that even if someone told Senna he would lose his life that day he would of gone on. It was his destiny, living on the edge was his rush. We all have ambitions, Senna's was to become the greatest driver ever! If Fangio was in Senna's era could he have driven a McLaren the way Senna could? If Schumacher had been around in the 1980's could he have coped with the likes of Prost, Mansell and Piquet? My answer to these questions is NO!
Now all I have is the memories just like everyone else who followed Senna and motor racing. If I had one question I could ask the Great Man it would be WHY, why take Ayrton now? I think his answer would be "Heaven needs Angels" ...
LONG LIVE THE KING - LONG LIVE AYRTON! Rest in peace my friend ...
I'm reading your site, and I never knew there were so many things that were wrong all over the place. Good to read it, but very sad stuff! I was racing my bike that weekend, (Eemshaven) and on Sunday I heard the news on the radio in the car on my way back. It makes me feel sad to remember the day he crashed... It made a big impression on me then. Thanks for sharing your information.
I just watched the crash! It's taken me this long to be able to watch the images again. I saw it live on TV in '94 and it really affected me. Senna was a truly great man. I wasn't really a Senna fan at that time, but knew of his and Prosts ongoing battles. When I saw the accident my friends and I really couldn't believe what was happening. What with Roland Ratzenburger also perishing, it just couldn't be. As the news came through that Senna had died I was numb.
Having just watched the footage again I find that I have more questions now, than I did then. Maybe it's because my understanding of the sport is greater now than it was then. Things like why did his head suddenly jolt to the left? What were the sparks from beneath the car as he went off the track? And, although he cleared some speed off, why was there no sideways motion from the rear of the car except when it initially started to go? Maybe the new film into the life of Ayrton will give some answers but I am now even more perplexed as to how one of ( if not THE ) greatest drivers in the world could have died in such a way!
I felt I had to write this.
Like many of his fans I was deeply shocked to find out Ayrton Senna had been killed during the San Marino GP. To me it seemed only a matter of time before a driver would be killed in the sport but I never figured it would be Ayrton. For anyone to believe that driver error was to blame for the crash and not mechanical failure, is sheer stupidity. Tamburello is a corner that is taken flat out, and there is absolutely no way any driver, let alone Ayrton Senna, could lose it there. Having watched the race itself though, I suggest that it was not his steering that was to blame but the suspension that caused the accident. Senna had predicted before the start of the 1994 season that with the loss of active suspension, the cars would be dangerous to drive. He had even predicted that there would be a number of big crashes that season. Senna had complained in Brazil, that with the loss of active suspension, his car was particularly unstable over the bumpy sections of the track. As was the case in qualifying for San Marino, his car was again unstable over the bumpy sections, in particular the notoriously bumpy Tamburello section. When you watch him on his previous lap before the crash (he did set the fastest lap before the crash), his car almost slides sideways at Tamburello, a result of the faulty suspension not riding the bumps well. His car never in fact looked stable, and so I think the accident was caused not by a sudden steering column failure, but a continuous suspension problem.
Looking through all the other letters I am grateful that his memory still lives on amongst his many fans. However we should stop mourning his death and start celebrating this great man and his achievements. He was in my opinion, the greatest driver of all time. Schumacher may break his records, but in the knowledge that he has never competed against a truly great driver.
Goodbye Ayrton, you will be in my memories forever.
Ayrton Senna was the greatest driver in the world, he was an unbelievable man with an unbelievable story. He is a hero for me and the whole world. Nobody will forget him. King of Rain, Lord of Monaco, racing it was in your blood, it was part of you, it was part of your life ... With great respect for Ayrton.
Now, today, we Brazilians lose the will to see the races of F1 and other races, because we lose the biggest athlete of our country and the world: Senna ... Today in the city of Sao Paulo (from May 1 to May 30) we have a display on Ayrton Senna. I went to the display and was very moved by the photos, prizes, clothes and everything of 'our' Senna. He'll never be dead in my heart. Our lives, now, have a black cloud without Ayrton. We and the world never will forget who was Ayrton Senna.
I would like to say that Ayrton is the highest F1 champion that the world has ever seen, and I will keep his image forever in my mind. Gentleman and champion : these are the two characteristics of our champion. As all the Brasilians have cried over the 1st of May 1994 when a 'bloody' wall broke 'the dream', I cannot think about him without tears in my eyes ... Senna was Magic, and he will stay Magic for ever. In memory of Ayrton.
To my champion, Ayrton.
On this highly emotional day (May 1), I cannot prevent my mind drifting back in time more vividly than usual. I remember a young Brazilian, 24 years of age stepping into a Toleman F1 car for the very first time and from that day watched every single race you took part in. Throughout your F1 career, there are incidents that still make me smile ...
Estoril where you took your first victory and showed you were a true Rain King. Adelaide the same year showed your aggression and passion for racing when you left the circuit, losing the front wing, but would still have been in the running for victory had it not have been for a mechanical failure. I was also with you for the first championship in 1988 and for your bitter battle with Alain on and off the circuit for the next 5 years. I witnessed the tears of joy at your first victory in the '91 Brazilian GP and hoped you would go on to win many more home GP ... But my favourite moment in time was the first lap of the European GP at Donington where your absolute brilliance took you from 5th to 1st on a damp track and then onto victory.
Now the smiles are gone, for my mind turns to that Sunday afternoon, 7 years ago to the day, and I wonder why you were taken from me as well as all the other fans that loved you so much ... why? I have since been to Donington and have seen and touched your McLaren-Ford. There is a presence that surrounds the car but a feeling of sadness also because there is a part of that McLaren that is missing ... you! But you'll never be missing from my memory, or my heart. You were Simply the Best!
It has been 7 years since that tragic day in Imola. I still remember that horrible crash. I was 14 years old then and I was watching the race with my stepfather who was, and still is, a Senna supporter. Since that day he stopped watching F1 races and he stopped also his hobby (car racing). Every year this date I close my eyes and still imagine the crash. I hope Ayrton is well up there and he trains angels in driving. I miss YOU a lot and I hope one day I will be like you.
7 years ago, when I was 11 years old, I became ill. I was sent to hospital 300 miles from my home, and I was completely alone. Nobody could find out what was wrong with me - I was just ill. It was an awful experience, being so far away from home with no-one there for me. But Ayrton was there. What kept me going through my time in hospital was the fact that I knew that in a months time the F1 season was starting back and that I'd see my Ayrton win again, just like I had seen him win for the previous seven years.
I was able to return home in time for the start of the season as I was feeling better. The first couple of races were so disappointing, but I knew it would come good. Then there was Imola. I felt like someone had just sucked all the life from me and I had a relapse, and was back in hospital by the next day. No-one believed that it was Ayrton's crash that had made me ill again, but I know that it was ...
And I also know that he helped me get better. He helped me build my life back up when I had no-one else to turn to, and he has been there for me in death more than he ever could be in life. I know that sounds horrible, but I really do feel that he watches over us all. His memory has turned me from an ill, insecure young girl into a strong, confident woman. I have such clear goals in my life, I'm studying at university and will eventually be able to design racing cars, I know exactly where I want to be in the future, and I'm happy. And I owe it all to Ayrton. He believed in me when no-one else would. For that, I am eternally grateful to him.
I would just like to say that Ayrton Senna da Silva was the best driver ever to sit in a F1 car. His great speed and his car control will always be remembered, as will the 65 pole positions he achieved in his amazing career. He will always be the best driver.
I am a 33 year old Mexican, and after 7 years of Senna's death I truly feel the deepest sorrow in my soul. I remember seeing him at all the Mexico F1 races in '86, '87, '88, '89, '90 & '91 and carrying around the track stands my homemade flag saying 'Senna #1', and I didn't care about some people throwing things at me, because I am, was, and will ever be a true fan of his. He was simply my hero and one thing that I am so thankful to God is that I had the chance to be in the pit area once and took some pictures of him standing just 1 meter away from me. Simply the best racing driver the world ever saw.
I am still convinced that it was not a mistake, but a failure in the car. I am still convinced that if the concrete wall had been protected with some tyres, probably Ayrton would not have died. I am still convinced he was the best pilot in the F1 circus. I am still convinced, what is most important, he was a MAN who loved mankind, loyalty and justice. He is always in my mind.
During every race Ayrton drove I felt like I was riding with him - I have watched and attended races since 1962. Jim Clark was my big hero then. Like Senna, an indomitable personality, even if in a very different way.
For me, Ayrton was the greatest driver of his era, possibly the greatest ever - (though I wish he had had a go in a Lotus Cortina - believe me, Clark at the wheel of one of them was really something!) and not a race goes by without a sense of profound loss.
I had long believed that steering column failure was the cause of the crash - I watched on that day in 1994, and hoped and prayed that what I knew wasn't true - but having seen the enhanced video I am totally convinced. For me the man should never have got into a Williams. For some reason it has always seemed to be the worst move he could ever have made. Horrible colours, horrible team, horrible, horrible. You don't WELD a rotative stressed component in my book. Appallingly bad practice.
No, I will always remember Ayrton in that little red and white McLaren. Like the green and gold Lotus 29/33 I loved to watch Jimmy Clark in all those years ago. God speed both of you.
I saw him once at Monza in 1993, I was just a kid, I was 7 years old. Somebody ran into me and I turned around to see who it was, and it was the man from the magazine. I ran after him to get his (Senna's) signature and I got it! I still have the magazine with his picture on the front.
And now 7 years later I lived out my dream, I drove a race in Formula Ford 1800 at Monza, it was the biggest moment of my life. I will always believe he is there when I drive ...
I was not watching the fateful F1 race that day, I didn't even know what F1 was. I was 6 at the time. I first heard of Senna's death in 1997, and was deeply shocked that the world had to lose such a loved and inspiring young man. Although I have known of the accident for four years, I had never seen any footage or read anything on the 'Rain Master'. I have just recently seen the footage on your site and was deeply shocked. I felt a little teary-eyed when I saw his car fly into the Tamburello corner. WHY? He didn't deserve to die. Seeing the footage and reading every court report on your site, and almost every book on Senna that I could get my hands on, I believe that his crash was caused by metal fatigue and steering rod flex. To the greatest driver of all time: Rest in Peace, may your spirit live on.
First, I had just become a Senna fan the year before his death. I had been a Prost fan, but their duels, and what I perceived to be Senna's unfair tactics had me dislike him immensely. After Senna's drives in '93, I became a huge fan because of his talent.
In regards to the accident, I wonder if there was any forensics done? (Not to our knowledge. Ed) Considering what kinds of crimes have been solved in the States with this science, it's amazing to me there was not more information known about certain aspects of the crash. Of course, they could all be known but I thought all documents relating to the crash were published? Maybe not?
The metal part being dragged forcibly along the ground? Forensic science could have identified this part. What about the piercing in his helmet? What about the scuff marks on the helmet? Forensics should have also been able to identify what caused this? Was it the concrete wall, or wheel that caused the damage to the helmet? Not to be graphic, but there would have been blood on any part that pierced the helmet and hit Senna's head.
The Senna trial was a joke! Coulthard trying to manhandle the wheel around to prove the flexing was normal is crazy. I drive a FF2000 car in amateur racing in the US. If my wheel moved that much, I sure as hell would not step into the car. I had a similar accident to Senna's when my steering failed 3 years ago (except I was only going about 70 mph at the time). I immediately hit the brakes and the car went off track and took on a mind of its own. I'm thankful the bump from on track to off pushed the front wheels over and the car slowly spun around and hit backwards. If Senna was in control of the car, why did he hit head first? No driver in his right mind would take a head on collision if he could spin his car and hit sideways, or even backwards.
After reading through your site, Christopher Hilton's book, and my own experiences, I'm convinced something on the car failed. Either it was the steering column, or some part of the front suspension (as the video evidence of the front wheels may indicate) or maybe the power steering failed on the car (Head told Hill to turn his off for the restart).
I believe that without the trial, we would know what happened. Williams have never been given unlimited access to their car. If they had gotten it back, as they would have done in any other country, they would have looked at what went wrong and fixed it. They also would have told us what happened. It's racing, things break, accidents happen and no one would have blamed them. They already have the death of Senna in a car of their construction on their conscience, revealing what happened would not have made it worse. They did not disclose it in the trial because of political pressures from FIA, Italian Law, and other circumstances (can you imagine F1 with no race in Italy? - NO) Since the car is now in such poor conditions, we'll probably never know what really happened.
Thanks for building the site, I'd not seen or read a lot of the information before ... (its America ... "Formula What???"
After reading this site, I felt grieved once again, but I also felt proud of having been a truly big fan of a man who has touched millions of people. I was 9 when Senna died, the day that Roland Ratzenberger died I didn't really understand. May 1st, I understood, seeing your hero killed in front of your very own eyes is a horrible nightmare as I'm sure many, many people know.
I have never felt like I wanted to share my grief with anyone but after reading this site I see I'm not the only one who feels like this. Senna, I'll never forget you.
Whilst seven years have past the memories do not fade away, but live on in the hearts and minds of the millions of Senna fans the world over. Sadly, most people remember the fact of his death rather than his life ... and if this is how Ayrton Senna is remembered to the new generation of F1 fans it will be a tragic loss to the sport, one might say almost as tragic as the loss of the man himself.
To those who watched him, learned from him, respected him, worshipped him, revered him, acknowledged him, and lived their lives by the moral teachings he best saw fit, Ayrton Senna will never die. Seven years may seem a long time but Ayrton's memories will last eternal.
In remembrance of life and death.
Thank you very much for such a rewarding, if not an extremely emotional site. I am 40 years old and I still cannot understand how the death of Ayrton has led me to shed more tears even to this day than anybody who has died in my family. I never met the guy but he must have embodied all the admirable human traits I respect the most, perhaps even more than those people closer to me. My wife is exactly the same.
I have an alternative theory. One of your photos shows a hole in Ayrton's helmet visor as being where a suspension strut may have penetrated. Could this hole have been caused by a bullet? I know it would have been picked up by forensics and doctors but could there have been a massive cover-up? I couldn't even begin to imagine who may want to do such a thing but it was the first reaction I had when I saw the photo.
I am a 20 years old Brasilian. I have grown up watching F1 races, going to Interlagos and Jacarepagua. I can still remember the flash lightning on the beautiful JPS Lotus #12 or the sun shining on the great Camel Yellow Lotus.
I saw Ayrton win in my country. His car had broken after the final lap, in front of the stand, where the crowd had taken the hero into their arms.
But I can still remember that day, May 1st. I was watching the race on TV, alone. I was afraid, Roland had died on the Saturday and Rubens had almost died on the Friday. Ayrton was also afraid, I knew that. He said he didn't want to race but he was a hero, he faced his fears, and he died. And I screamed when he crashed into that non-protected wall in that country.
'He moved his head! He moved his head! Everything is OK!' said the TV locutor. Five minutes later, our country was crying, watching our hero laid by the track, with his blood in the ground. It was useless...
Today, 7 years later, Brasil still cries for the death of its greatest champion.
Goodbye, Lord of the Rain. Be fast in heaven's races...
I told one Angel to take care of Ayrton, he said OK and went out of the room. He came back and said that Angels can't take care of Angels!
I would like to offer some more information on the infamous steering wheel flex. I myself am a racing car driver (admittedly only in go-karts) but I know what a driver likes. Flexing in the steering wheel or column is unacceptable. I think Coulthard is a liar for saying anything else. You can't commit to a corner with a flexing steering wheel, how would you know what amount of steering input had been transferred to the wheels? I rely on instinct and subconscious reactions to use the same steering inputs lap after lap. I myself am disconcerted by a steering wheel with more than 1-2mm of side play in it. At this point I replace all components to ensure the steering wheel does not move the wrong way or flex.
Ayrton was a supreme talent and uncompromising on the track, his death is a sad loss to all in racing. However the court case was an unnecessary parade in front of the world. Anyway these are my thoughts on one of the saddest racing incidents that I can remember. Ayrton was the best.
Thanks for the memories, you truly show his spirit, his passion and his charisma. There'll never be anyone else like Senna. He was unique in both his driving and his other works. He will always be missed.
I share the same birthday as Ayrton Senna and had posters of him placed around my wall. I had followed many of his races but on the particular day on May 1 1994 I didn't watch it. I never saw what happened, and how people described how he died didn't really strike me until now.
I believe that Ayrton Senna was a truly gifted driver who devoted his life to it. Having now seen the on-board footage of his crash I have realised how much people really believed in him and that the crash at the Tamburello couldn't have been a mistake of a truly gifted man as him, but as a fault of the car.
As we are told, footage was missing from the final seconds of his crash and someone out there might know the answer, but if that someone keeps it from us we will never know the truth.
I will always remember Ayrton Senna as F1's greatest driver. Long live Ayrton in our hearts.
"I am not designed to come second or third, I am designed to win!"
Like many other people around the world, I miss Ayrton 'the man' Senna. Last night I read a story written by his girlfriend, about the day she learned of his death. I haven't cried so much in my life. I hate followed F1 for a long time and the nightmare of that corner I can still picture in my head. My heart goes out to all of Ayrton's family who have to live a life without him.
Let the memory of him be remembered forever and his talent never forgotten.
I live in Canada and did not know any of this. I am very upset after going through your Website. The last I heard about this was the Italian government were going to release the findings of the investigation, But I never heard anything like what I have seen here today. Thank you for your outstanding work. Ayrton Senna was the only reason I got up at 0400 am to watch F1. That's the usual start time in my time zone. It has never been the same, all of this was brought back to me because my brother is a huge Dale Earnhardt fan. I decided to look for things on Ayrton , your Website answered all my questions.
Up until the great tragedy of the true Champion, I had been following F1 for 10 years. I was watching the race when Ayrton lost control and crashed, I could not believe it for a very long time, it is still like a dream.
I think F1 should be ashamed because all of us know that it could not have been Ayrton's fault, he was too good. Not everything is about money. I had met Ayrton through one of our Brasilian friends, he was very down to earth.
At the end I would like to say Senna, to me, wasn't far off Fangio, in fact may have been even better. Senna you will always be the best, and the good point is at least you used to say F1 was your life and you died doing what you loved. That doesn't happen to everyone. Rest in peace.
Senna was the best driver in history. Schumacher never faced Senna on a level playing field. I believe the video was altered, there is no way that was the last shot from the car. If you could have seen the last shot he would have been trying to steer that piece of sh*t he was driving!
I never saw Ayrton Senna drive, but from my experience, he must have been a Legend on his own as every time his name is mentioned it evokes a response unmatched by any other sportsman. I have read through the site and find it very informative and I must admit that it brought tears to my eyes when I read the reports about Formula 1's greatest driver.
Regarding the circumstances surrounding Senna's death; I hold the personal opinion that there may have been some cover-ups by the Williams horde. When Coulthard testified it appears as though he said what he was told to. I have always believed him to be weak, now I am more convinced than ever. It is such a shame that the large sums of money invested in Formula 1 seemingly got in the way of the ethical and humane answers that all of us Formula 1 fans seek. It is of no surprise that Williams denied any fault - what would the implications for them have been if they had been guilty of contributing to Senna's death? Losing sponsors and a tarnished reputation. They could not take that chance, even if it meant dishonouring the memory of Senna.
Whatever the truth is, those involved know it, and living with the knowledge that you have robbed the world of the truth will be a burden that you will always carry with you.
Farewell Ayrton, may you live in our hearts forever.
I was at Imola on that tragic day, I will never forget what I saw... The man that I had followed since his days of Kart racing to that! My idol losing his life because of a failure in his car. I have only one thing to say... Lord of the Rain you were named and Lord of the Rain you will always be...
Gerhard Berger said of May 1 1994 "On this day the sun set..." We miss you Ayrton!
This site is about the accident, I thinks that's wrong. If you're a real Senna fan I think it's more important that you remember him for having a great talent and not because of having a bad day at Imola in '94.
For all you Senna fans out there: You will never walk alone!
Ayrton was, is, will always be the world's finest, fittest, best driver. His life in races was superb, his race abilities incomparable to anyone and he was, still is, an example of what a driver should be.
He still remains my only idol, since I was 5 years old and saw his first ever F1 win in Portugal (my country) under terrible weather conditions. I remember well all his wins, his incredible way of driving to the limits and his huge joy for every pole, win, best lap. He is the ultimate hero in sports, compared to him Jordan, Carl Lewis and the likes are NOTHING.
My homage to him is never to forget him and to remind people that he was, in fact, the number ONE.
For the first time in more than six years I have seen the video footage of Senna's Williams ploughing straight on at Tamburello. I watched it on live television that Sunday afternoon, as a 14 year old boy it saddened me deeply then as it did today.
I already have the images showing the damaged steering column and split chassis in the Italian lock-up. I always regarded this evidence as inconclusive.
But I have now seen the on-board footage from the FW16. Ayrton looks down into the cockpit very early on in the corner. I am left with little doubt that the steering column broke away in the man's hands, leaving him virtually powerless in avoiding the accident.
Now a university student studying race car design and engineering I feel we must let Ayrton rest in peace. The great surge of safety measures introduced in the wake of his and Roland Ratzenbergers fatal crashes that day have saved I am certain, dozens of others in F1 accidents.
I dreamt about Ayrton last night. He was in his racing car leaving all his competitors behind yet again. When I woke up I was happy.
Dreaming about him reassured me he is still in my mind and heart after so many years. Memories about him start fading, but my most important thoughts about him will be with me until I die. At first, as a little boy, I knew Ayrton only as the greatest racing driver of all time. He stole my heart with his racing style and courage. But later I got to know him as a person. And what a person he was!
He cared for all the people who weren't as lucky as he was, and it showed even more after his death. People came with stories about how Ayrton had helped them. Like the Italian boy who had lain in a coma for a few years. He was a fan of Ayrton's and via 'Make a wish' Ayrton got in contact with his parents. Normally he would just meet him once but he kept coming back over the next few years whenever he was near, like during the San Marino GAP. Although all hope had been given up, the boy eventually woke up. Ayrton told them to keep it quiet, but after his death they felt free to speak. This showed me just once more what a person he was!
I'll always remember you Ayrton!!
I think it is a travesty that Williams appear to have so much disrespect for a driver who brought them so much success. The denial that anything was wrong with the car is unbelievable. Are we expected to think that such an experienced driver as Senna was so naive to make a serious miscalculation that resulted in this terrible outcome. It would be like saying that Schumacher's crash last year at Silverstone was driver error. I think that Williams owe it to themselves, if not to Senna, to own up to the truth about the accident. How can these people sleep at night if what the world believes to be true IS the truth. I think it is a shame that a wonderful sport like F1 has a shadow cast over it by such a sad spectacle as this.
Hopefully the truth shall win the day.
I have loved cars all my life and I just recently got into F1. One day I rented a book from the library and I saw the great Ayrton Senna. I got interested and read more and more and heard he'd died. I chatted with people and they said he was the greatest. I came on this site to unlock these memories, then I had a flashback; I remember an older friend crying saying 'Why Ayrton?' and then how unbelievable it sounds I remember the day when nobody could play because of the sadness.
I am doing my engineering course and one of my modules included strength of materials. Concerning metal fatigue, I have come to the following conclusions concerning Ayrton Senna da Silva's death.
The cause of the accident was one of the following cases:
1. Tyre pressure lowering or suspension failure, which can lead to chassis lowering.
2. Steering column failure.
On Case 1 first of all it would be visible. Indeed, sparks appeared below the car just before the crash (indicating chassis or a component touched the track), but this happened to Senna's pass through Tamburello on lap 5. Even more, how did he manage to achieve the fastest lap on lap 5? If anything was wrong with the car at that stage (moreover tyre pressures) it would have degraded Senna's performance on lap 5. This didn't happen.
On Case 2 however, I have made the following conclusions:
The steering column was susceptible to -
Cracked Structure Fatigue: when a structure or a component contains cracks (due to the nature of ALL engineering materials containing weld points).
High Cycle Fatigue: Being part of a vibrating system such as a F1 car.
In CSF (Cracked Structure Fatigue) stress intensity increases with time at CONSTANT LOAD because the crack grows in tension. In other words, the steering column even though it sustained constant loads within the components "envelope", in time it will fail.
In HCF (High Cycle Fatigue) a crack can initiate in zones of stress concentrations and propagates slowly at first, more rapidly afterwards, until the component fails. for this reason, sudden changes of sections and cross-sections are VERY DANGEROUS in high cycle fatigue. Which was the case for Senna's steering wheel column. WHY?
If a 2nd year undergraduate student can have this information, why on earth did nobody mention them? And another thing, we all saw the famous David Coulthard video showing the steering wheel moving around. My objections are the following:
1. It has been recorded in near-laboratory controllable conditions (if not fully). Due to this fact it could be shown that the steering wheel is up in the air, the driver is drinking coffee, smoking, talking on the phone and is still in control of the car. Nevertheless, if this is true, were Sir Williams (or anyone from the Williams team) asked for HCF?
2. Even if the steering wheel can flex, what would have happened if this movement has been made 100-150 times?
3. Flexing of the steering wheel was shown, I have to ask a silly question... The steering was flexing, the column was flexing or both? What is the case?
4. Even if the column was flexible it would be subject to torsion, and ultimately in shearing stress failure.
On that fateful day in 1994 all F1 fans were robbed of a true star. Others will come and go but none will be as great as our Ayrton. I think Schumacher would even agree with that. I cried on that day and don't mind admitting to shedding a few tears as I browsed through your site. Keep up the good work. Best wishes to our Champion in the sky!
Today is the first time, since Imola '94, that I could bring myself to get really involved in reading about analyses and opinions regarding the Master's departure. I hid from my kids for half an hour because I didn't want them to see me crying.
Ayrton conquered our hearts with unequalled skills and acts of bravery. He always managed to get the job done no matter the circumstances, even when he didn't, he gave us GP's to remember.
I need no tape of the crash footage, to remember what happened that afternoon. It has been printed in my mind, millisecond by millisecond, ever since.
Dear Ayrton your memory will always inspire me among millions of other fans. Yes, your records will be broken as the years unfold, but no one will ever be able to take your place in our hearts. Thank you for all you have given us. You were too generous. Your life was a very high price to pay for the sport you made us love.
Wherever you may be, God bless your soul!
I'm a 23 year old English guy, I'd just like to share my feelings with you.
Your site is wonderful - very informative and tasteful, but it took me back to a very dark place - the way I felt for months after the crash.
I was devastated, cried for hours - It's not every day that you see your hero die live on TV. Like many others who have emailed your site, I knew he was dead straight away, but was clinging onto all hope until the announcement was made. The shock of Ratzenberger was still fresh, so it was all the more shocking and devastating, no-one around me could really appreciate how I felt.
I still feel that way, but manage to rejoice in Senna's life and achievements. I was there at Donington for that thunderous first lap, and sprinted across the track at the end of the race to see him on the podium - one of the greatest moments of my life - stood there, soaked to the skin, cheering for him!! I was on Club corner at Silverstone when Mansell picked him up on the Williams as well - great memories!!
I move around a fair bit, but wherever I go, the first thing up on my wall is my Senna portrait, it keeps me going, makes me stronger, helps me, even when times are bad - it is a great inspiration.
Writing this has brought a tear to my eye.
I was in Morocco last week and I saw a convoy of trucks on the road and they were called SennaTras, with the double SS and the way he writes his name. To me it brought back some memories so I looked up some stuff I hadn't looked at in years and the tears came flooding back.
He touched people's hearts across all continents that I don't think anyone else could have. Although he was the best driver the world ever produced, as a person he was a leader and an enigma.
To you Ayrton... I miss you more than you can imagine. I only ever met you once, for a brief moment in 1993 after Monaco when you won in the 3rd worst car, but you have touched me in life. I stride to be like you, only ever settling for the best whilst always remembering my roots as you did.
Maybe they have a racing track in the sky...
I think it is good work that you have done. But isn't it time to let it all rest? Let's remember only the good things about Senna. It is a shame that he has gone, I was a big (very big) fan of him and I still miss him. But let it rest and remember him as the greatest.
Congratulations from the people of Brazil ...
I am 16 and was only 10 at the time of Senna's death, I watched the accident for the first time on your site and for the first time ever it sank in that it really happened. I had never seen any footage of the crash before or pictures so I never really believed he had died.
The recent accident at Monza made me think back to the Senna accident and now I can never think of Imola in the same way.
Ayrton we all miss you.
I stumbled across this site by mistake and I am thankful I did as Ayrton is the true inspiration to all us Wannabe's out there. A truly amazing guy, four Schumachers could never equal Senna's raw ability and courage. A true driver that will be remembered and recognised in centuries to come.
I'm writing this letter in order to express my grief over the loss of dear Ayrton Senna, whose fan I've been since 10 years of age. Though his tragic death occurred in 1994 I feel as though it had occurred a few days ago, still hurting to the deepest in me.
Every time I see a F1 race or even an advertisement all that comes to my mind, at that very moment, is the picture of the greatest racer of all time Ayrton Senna. He will be loved as always throughout my life.
God bless his family, fans and supporters my wishes and support will always be there. My best wishes to those involved in the creation of the Web site and for all you guys have done to please us fans of the great Ayrton Senna. His loss is a great loss to mankind and Formula One.
God bless him ...
Senna is the greatest. I miss you so much Senna. Why?
Ayrton Senna was by far the best Formula One driver since Juan Manuel Fangio. I feel that the world was robbed of a few more championship-calibre years of racing by Senna. I also believe that, after seeing the videos, it was indeed the steering column that broke.
I am 13 years old and I never saw a race of Ayrton but my father told me so much about him. I have nearly every book in which anything is written about Ayrton and I am a fan of his - a very big fan! For me he is and was the best Formula One driver and I don't find it fair that he had to die so young!
I was most interested in knowing all aspects of Senna's death as it had never been fully shown here. I had never watched F1, but I had heard of Senna of course (I'm Brazilian).
It was interesting, though I had never watched F1, hearing of Senna's death was heartbreaking to me. I felt such compassion for a person I had never known, nor watched with frequency. I think it goes to show that there was definitely something special about Senna ... I watched his funeral on TV and it was very, very, painful. Up to this day, I imagine how terrible it must have been for his family. It affected the (Brasilian) nation so much, it must have been much worse for his parents and loved ones.