‘You'll live for eternity’: F1 pays tribute to Senna on 25th anniversary of Brazilian legend’s death
Three-time world champion Senna was killed instantly when his Williams car veered off the track on lap seven at Imola, hammering into a concrete wall at 190mph. The Brazilian icon was 34 years old.
It was a weekend of tragedy that also claimed the life of Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger, and was one of the darkest chapters of the sport’s long history.
On the anniversary of Senna’s death in 1994, figures have been paying tribute to a remarkable man who claimed 41 F1 career wins and 65 pole positions as one of the best to ever take to a cockpit.
Leading the tributes was current world champion Lewis Hamilton, who idolized Senna growing up and consistently continues to honor his legacy by incorporating the Brazilian’s helmet design into his own headgear.
The Brit posted a picture of Senna, along with the poignant message: “I remember sitting next to my Dad and watching you on the TV from the age 4 or 5.
“Ayrton, the way you raced captivated me from the beginning and drew me closer to this sport. You are a pure, out-and-out racer, a true master, a hero. You will live on for eternity.”
I remember sitting next to my Dad and watching you on the TV from the age 4 or 5. Ayrton, the way you raced captivated me from the beginning and drew me closer to this sport. You are a pure, out-and-out racer, a true master, a hero. You will live on for eternity 📷 @MSI_Imagespic.twitter.com/QXhYJUtJBl— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) May 1, 2019
Others to honor Senna included former Ferrari chief executive Jean Todt, who wrote: “25 years ago in Imola, we lost a fabulous driver and a generous man. We miss you, Ayrton Senna.”
A day earlier, Todt had paid tribute to Ratzenberger, who had died during qualifying on the Imola circuit just a day before Senna tragically passed away.
The official F1 Twitter account shared an image of Senna with the message: “Racer. Hero. Legend.”
Racer. Hero. Legend.Twenty-five years on, we remember Ayrton Senna, an icon of our sport pic.twitter.com/L8PgUNt18M— Formula 1 (@F1) May 1, 2019
French F1 star Romain Grosjean also paid tribute, as did the Ferrari team, quoting current driver Charles Leclerc.
Senna was competing in just his third race for Williams when tragedy struck.
His death was the last time a driver was killed in an F1 race, although Jules Bianchi passed away nine months after a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix as a result of sustaining severe head injuries.