Ayrton Senna: 30 years on

Published on 21 May 2024 at 16:00

Ayrton Senna memorial statue in Italy with gifts from fans around the world.           Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

Ayrton Senna is considered to be one of the best drivers to ever enter Formula One. His passion and love for the sport was just some of the characteristics which made him so loved by fans around the world.

This year marks 30 years since his death after a heartbreaking accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix driving for Williams. 

Austrian rookie and good friend of Senna's, Roland Ratzenbereger, was killed the day before during Saturdays qualifying session after his front wing broke whilst ravelling at 190mph through the Villeneuve corner which sent his car into a concrete wall at high speed.

This crash urged Senna to urge the FIA to improve the safety of drivers in F1 which he discussed with former team-mate Alain Prost to re-establish the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

Senna only made it to Lap 7 of Sunday's race after his car left the racing line at high speed on the Tamburello corner leading straight into the concrete wall at 145mph.

Medical teams had gotten Senna out of the car but having suffered a weak heartbeat and significant blood loss at the scene he was taken immediately to Bologna Maggiore hospital.

He later died in hospital from fatal brain injuries and a ruptured temporal artery from the heavy impact of the crash.

A tribute in honour of remembrance for both drivers was carried out at last weekend at the Emilia-Romagna which was led by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who collaborated with the rest of the paddock to complete a track run wearing the iconic Senna colours of yellow and green.

Vettel also drove a lap in Senna's McLaren MP4/8 ahead of the race on Sunday whilst waving the Brazilian and Austrian flags.

McLaren have also announced that they will be driving a #Senna30 livery for the Monaco GP along with driver Lando Norris designing a Senna inspired helmet for the race weekend too.


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