Remembering the Legend of Ayrton Senna

Updated: 01 May 2015 16:31 IST

On his 21st death anniversary, a fan looks back at an icon who left a big impression on him, not while he was racing but post his death.

Remembering the Legend of Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna celebrates a victory. © AFP

It was a month to go for my 6th birthday and I had just received a radio controlled toy car. It was the best gift ever as it was a Formula 1 car. I honestly didn't know much about any of the teams or Formula 1 in general but one name or face that I remember faintly was that of a driver called "Senna". I didn't even know his first name & all I knew about Senna was through pictures in auto & sports magazines that my dad subscribed to.

Sunday, 1st May 1994: When I saw the crash on TV, I could hold back my tears. At the age of 6, it was next to impossible for anyone to comprehend a death of an international sporting icon. At the time I couldn't comprehend the gravity of this unfortunate event; it is only years later that I understood what Senna meant to Brazil & Formula 1 on the whole.

He indeed left in a flash and the Formula 1 fraternity was left with a gaping void which has been impossible to fill even now. After all none has been as fearless, driven and flamboyant on the race track. His most celebrated rival Alain Prost once said, ""Ayrton has a small problem. He thinks he can't kill himself, because he believes in God, and I think that's very dangerous".

Formula 1 pundits always said that "It felt like the start of something" when Senna won his first race, the Portuguese Grand Prix in 1985. But for me, ironically , the end of Senna was also the start of something good in Formula 1. With 2 deaths, on that ill fated weekend in San Marino, paved the way to a safe era in F1. Since then, not a single life has been lost in a Formula 1 car.

"IF EVER I HAPPEN TO HAVE AN ACCIDENT THAT EVENTUALLY COSTS ME MY LIFE, I HOPE IT IS ONE GO"

AYRTON SENNA

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Topics : Formula 1
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