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.
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.
Winning is the most important. Everything is consequence of that. Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.
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.
I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.
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.
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.
Fear is exciting for me. The danger sensation is exciting. The challenge is to find new dangers.
Money is a strange business. People who haven’t got it aim it strongly. People who have are full of troubles.
You must take the compromise to win, or else nothing. That means: you race or you do not.
When you are fitted in a racing car and you race to win, second or third place is not enough.
I continuously go further and further learning about my own limitations, my body limitation, psychological limitations. It’s a way of life for me.
You will never know the feeling of a driver when winning a race. The helmet hides feelings that cannot be understood.
I am not designed to come second or third. I am designed to win.
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.
Women – always in trouble with them, but can’t live without them.
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.
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.
On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit.
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.
If you have God on your side, everything becomes clear.