Ayrton Senna – A random pictorial tribute

Ayrton Senna 1993

Ayrton Senna, Kyalami 1991

This pictorial was first published by Grand Prix 247 on 1 May 2013.
The first day of May for many around the world is Worker’s Day. For Formula 1 fans it is the day Ayrton Senna died. We remember him 19 years since that horrid day at Imola and pay tribute with some poignant quotes and pictures – of the greatest.

Unless otherwise captioned photos below are sourced from he unrivaled Sutton Images archives.

Ayrton Senna, Kalmar 1980

Ayrton Senna, Kalmar 1980

Racing, competing, it’s in my blood. It’s part of me, it’s part of my life; I have been doing it all my life and it stands out above everything else.

Ayrton Senna, Montreal 1988

Ayrton Senna, Montreal 1988

Winning is the most important. Everything is consequence of that. Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Ayrton Senna, Interlagos 1992

Ayrton Senna, Interlagos 1992

Wealthy men can’t live in an island that is encircled by poverty. We all breathe the same air. We must give a chance to everyone, at least a basic chance.

Ayrton Senna with Peter Gethin, Rio de Janeiro 1984

Ayrton Senna with Peter Gethin, Rio de Janeiro 1984

I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.

Ayrton Senna, Mexico City 1991

Ayrton Senna, Mexico City 1991

These things bring you to reality as to how fragile you are; at the same moment you are doing something that nobody else is able to do. The same moment that you are seen as the best, the fastest and somebody that cannot be touched, you are enormously fragile.

Ayrton Senna, Monaco 1988

Ayrton Senna, Monaco 1988

I don’t know driving in another way which isn’t risky. Each one has to improve himself. Each driver has its limit. My limit is a little bit further than other’s.

Ayrton Senna, Spa-Francorchamps 1990

Ayrton Senna, Spa-Francorchamps 1990

Fear is exciting for me. The danger sensation is exciting. The challenge is to find new dangers.

Ayrton Senna, Esher 1985

Ayrton Senna, Esher 1985

Money is a strange business. People who haven’t got it aim it strongly. People who have are full of troubles.

Ayrton Senna, 1989

Ayrton Senna, 1989

You must take the compromise to win, or else nothing. That means: you race or you do not.

Ayrton Senna, Imola 1994

Ayrton Senna, Imola 1994

When you are fitted in a racing car and you race to win, second or third place is not enough.

Ayrton Senna, Monza 1997

Ayrton Senna, Monza 1987

I continuously go further and further learning about my own limitations, my body limitation, psychological limitations. It’s a way of life for me.

Ayrton Senna (BRA) McLaren Ford MP4/8 celebrates his win. European Grand Prix, Rd3, Donington Park, England, 11 April 1993.

Ayrton Senna, Donington 1993

You will never know the feeling of a driver when winning a race. The helmet hides feelings that cannot be understood.

Alain Prost (FRA) McLaren MP4/5 walks from his car following a collision with team mate Ayrton Senna (BRA) at the entrance to the chicane. Meanwhile Senna pleads with the marshals to push start him. They did, he recovered to win, but was disqualified. Formula One World Championship, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan. 22 October 1989. Catalogue Ref.: 10-182 Sutton Motorsport Images Catalogue

Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, Suzuka 1989

I am not designed to come second or third. I am designed to win.

Ayrton Senna, Monza 1993

Ayrton Senna, Monza 1993

Of course there are moments that you wonder how long you should be doing it because there are other aspects which are not nice, of this lifestyle. But I just love winning.

Ayrton Senna, Rio de Janeiro 1985

Ayrton Senna, Rio de Janeiro 1985

Women – always in trouble with them, but can’t live without them.

Ayrton Senna, Monaco 1992

Ayrton Senna, Monaco 1992

I was already on pole, then by half a second and then one second and I just kept going. Suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my team mate with the same car. And suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension. It was like I was in a tunnel. Not only the tunnel under the hotel but the whole circuit was a tunnel. I was just going and going, more and more and more and more. I was way over the limit but still able to find even more. Then suddenly something just kicked me. I kind of woke up and realised that I was in a different atmosphere than you normally are. My immediate reaction was to back off, slow down.

Ayrton Senna, Imola 1990

Ayrton Senna, Imola 1990

You touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.

Ayrton Senna (BRA) Lotus 98T, who finished the race in second position, sends the sparks flying as he climbs Eau Rouge. Belgian Grand Prix, Rd 5, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 25 May 1986.

Ayrton Senna, Spa-Francorchamps 1986

On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit.

Ayrton Senna, Estoril 1994

Ayrton Senna, Estoril 1994

It’s going to be a season with lots of accidents, and I’ll risk saying that we’ll be lucky if something really serious doesn’t happen.

Ayrton Senna memorial at Imola

Ayrton Senna memorial at Imola

If you have God on your side, everything becomes clear.

 

  • johnpierre

    very cool. all of these quotes are very compelling, but this one i think is the most telling…

    “I am not designed to come second or third. I am designed to win.”

  • Odd Lord

    Racing legend in its true form.
    A level of achievement that others will never ever reach, especially not the modern-day-cry-babies.

    =Hero=

  • Tamburello_1994

    Especially hard day for me today – Nineteen years later it doesn’t get any easier.

    Rest in peace Ayrton. We love you. We miss you.

    Hey Editor: Did you forget Roland yesterday? Yea, He was a unknown but he is part of the story. Could of had a short blurb about it. (Unless I missed it.)

  • K-15-

    Whats the 1997 pic has to do with this tribute?? Must be 87.

  • F1 Novice

    RIP

  • Apex Assassin

    Senna, will always be remembered no matter how many years pass by. He may not have had idols, but he became not just an idol to millions upon millions, but also an icon of the racing world.

    RIP

  • fools

    He brought a heighten awareness of safety to the sport F1.
    3 x WDC, Best in the rain and one of the quickest purest drivers ever.

    Was anti-political. (some would disagree)

    I still always ponder if the accident was set up or really and “accident”

    I guess will never really know.

    I suggest anyone who loves F1 to watch the “SENNA” documentary

    R.I.P. SENNA

  • Wl

    Most overrated driver in F1. Just because he killed himself while making a mistake.

    Anyone who deliberately crashes another human off the track at 200mph, just to win, is a disgusting human being.

  • Jack

    To everyone saying that Senna was an unfair racer: every single incident he was involved in was in “retaliation” to a wrongdoing against him prior.

    Verymuch unlike Schumacher just parking his car in Monaco qualifying so no one could get past. One is methodical calculated wrongdoing, the other is purely emotional reacting.

  • Jack

    And first image is 1992 not 1993 like it says.

  • BigRed

    @Wl im guessing you dont know ayrton at all… i dont like it when people think he’s a selfish bastard who just wants to win
    if you were there to see every race and you would know why he did that
    the stewards hated ayrton and always favoured alain prost

  • BigRed

    plus he didnt kill himself dumbass
    it was a freak accident but im guessing its still a mechanical falure

  • John Self

    Yes, after all this time, after the dust has settled, I have to agree Senna is indeed much overrated but, above all a driver who abused the rules and had this dementia of thinking of himself as way better than the others, thus becoming a danger for the entire grid. Ultimately, in a sense, he did kill himself, by not believing that it was possible for others to outpace him, the way it was happening that season.
    By today’s rules he would be in trouble with the stewards every race.
    I really believe that Senna didn’t hurt others and/or himself earlier because he accepted some, namely Prost, as references and would naturally accept defeat when being defeated and know when enough was enough when beating them. With the references gone, he was lost. And I mean really lost.

  • La

    Jack and BigRed, it is a fact he was a selfish egomaniac whom did not have a problem risking the lives of others. Crashing someone intentionally off the track at 200mph is a murder attempt.

    For what? To win a race/championship, you risk the lives of others? What a vile person.

    And as retaliation? If that is your excuse as defense, then you are as vile as him.

    If he had not killed himself in that fashion, people would admit to this.

    All these fanboys being brainwashed by the media that glorify him with slowmotion clips with dramatic music playing over it, while his cheesy sentences fading in and out. Only the weakminded fall for it.

  • Tim

    The two Senna haters below I am willing to bet are under 20 years old.

    I saw Senna race and die in person and over the years have seen and understood more of his personality than the current generation of 15sec youtube clip critics.

    In summary, considering Senna is widely regarded to have been the fastest in terms of natural speed over a single lap that we have seen ever, Frank Williams summed it up best when he said that Ayrton was a greater man out of a racing car than he was a talented driver in it. To say that about arguably one of the greatest racing drivers ever, gives you a glimpse into his personality.

    From the fact that M. Schumacher called a press conference when he donated 10 million dollars to victims of the tsunami to Senna having donated tenfold that amount in complete secrecy ( it was unveiled after his death by his family) to the presence of mind in the track as to what was safe and what was not, even when retaliating against a driver for doing him wrong in the past (Prost 1990).

    Senna is much more than a legend simply because of his early death. That may only be so for the 15sec youtube crowd who did not truly know the complex character of this man.

  • Bruno O.

    Ei Tim, não sei dos outros caras, mas eu fui ao funeral do Ayrton e, nem sei como escrever isso, Ayrton era Deus, mas todo o mundo sabia que ele podia jogar sujo, se necessário. Não tem a ver com detestar Ayrton ou não cara, é mesmo assim, para ele valia tudo para vencer, não importa as regras ou os adversários.Adversário é inimigo cara.

    Tim, don’t know about the others, but I went to Ayrton’s funeral and, don’t really know how to put this, Ayrton was God, but everyone here in Brazil knew he would play dirty whenever necessary. This has nothing to do with loving or hating him; it only has to do with his “no rules or adversaries can stand in my way to victory” nature.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Just because Senna would go to any length to win doesn’t make him any different than any other champion and certainly doesn’t make him the most overrated driver in F-1 history.

  • BigRed

    Bruno O
    you dont know whats dirty if you dont race:)