If you are here on this website, you obviously know who Ayrton Senna is. Today (Friday the 1st of May 2020) marks the twenty-sixth anniversary of the racing legend’s tragic death. Here we take a look back at his astonishing career, achievements and legacy.
Born in Brazil in 1960, Ayrton Senna began his motorsport career by indulging in his love of karting and worked and moved all the way up to make his Formula One debut in 1984. In less than two years after his debut, he went on to win an astonishing six Grand Prix over three seasons – setting the stage for the glittering string of achievements he would go on to make. He won in each of the following Grand Prix over the course of his career: Australian, Belgian, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Detroit, European, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Monaco (a record six times – a record that still stands to this day), Portuguese, San Marino, Spanish and USA.
In tandem with these achievements above, he claimed three world championship titles, has held the record for the most pole positions achieved from 1989 to 2006 and has also been voted as both the best and most influential Formula One driver of all time in multiple polls and reviews over the years. At the time of writing, he is also the fifth most successful driver of all time in terms of the number of race wins he achieved. During his illustrious and trailblazing Formula One career, he drove for Toleman (1984), Lotus (1985 – 1987), McLaren (1988 – 1993) and Williams (1994).
Tragedy struck at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Italy when his car struck a concrete barrier as he was leading the race. The world was immediately plunged into mourning and it has been reported that three million mourners took to the streets of his home town to offer condolences (regarded as the largest modern public gathering of mourners). Increased safety measures were introduced to Formula One and racing, landmarks, events and more have been named in his honour and a BAFTA-winning documentary film about his life was released to critical acclaim in 2010.
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