The fascinating facts about the iconic superstar Ayrton Senna

His remarkable prowess as a race car driver and his subsequent legacy made him a legend in the motorsport world.

His full name was Ayrton Senna da Silva. Born on March 21, 1960, he died at the age of 34 on the 1st of May 1994. He was overcome by injuries he had sustained during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. Till date, to most F1 fans, he remains an icon.

In this article, we will unpack a great deal of facts (apart from him being a legend) you might not know about the superstar. 

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The FIA President did not attend his funeral

Roland Ratzenberger, an Austrian racing driver who raced in various categories of motorsport, including British F3000, Japanese F3000 and F1, died on the same race weekend as Senna. They were quite good friends, and Ratzenberger's death affected Senna deeply. 

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Ayrton's funeral was a big event, with national mourning days and millions attending the funeral. The FIA president at that time was Max Mosley, and unfortunately he didn't attend Senna's funeral. His reasons according to him were that Senna had gotten so much attention while Ratzenberger seemed to be forgotten. When interviewed, 10 years later, he commented, “Roland had been forgotten. So I went to his funeral because everyone went to Senna’s. I thought it was important that somebody went to his.”

Beating Senna was a terrible idea

Senna won the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix, and one would have thought he'd be out celebrating his victory. However, he went after Eddie Irvine, a newcomer who had unlapped himself against the legend. “What the **** do you think you were doing?” said Senna upon locating the fella. “I was racing,” replied Irvine.

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He was a savior to Erik Comas

Érik Gilbert Comas is a French former F1 driver. He was French F3 champion in 1988, and then F3000 champion in 1990. He participated in 63 Grands Prix, debuting on 10 March 1991.

Senna saved his life back in 1992. It was during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix when Comas crashed his Ligier at Blanchimont and became unconscious. Senna quickly rushed to the scene and shut off the engine of the car, which could have blown up. Furthermore, he held Comas' head to stabilize the neck till the paramedics arrived. 

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His 1991 Brazilian GP victory, with no 3rd/4th/5th gears at that

He put in a lot of work for that victory. His transmission was failing and Riccardo Patrese was catching up quite quickly. However, Senna managed to be just on time to save his victory. He was quite tired and had to be carried in a medical car to the podium. 

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Bruno Senna, his nephew, was prohibited from racing 

As Ayrton died a very painful death, Viviane, his sister, forced her son Bruno to give up racing at 10, fearing he'd also end up like his uncle. According to Ayrton, Bruno was a very good driver, even more than him. 

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He anticipated his own death

Ayrton was close friends with his teammate Gerhard Berger. The passing on of Senna caused great devastation to Berger. To add on to that, he was further heartbroken when Sir Jackie Stewart and Prost were chosen to be lead pallbearers at the funeral.

Back on one of the days, Berger revealed that while visiting Imola Tamburello, Senna had remarked that one day somebody would lose their lives there. And he did, five years later. 

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His charity legacy lives on

Senna's net worth was estimated to be around $400 million. He was very active in charity work and the legacy lives on through Instituto Ayrton Senna, which was intended to help create opportunities for young Brazilians in cooperation with schools, governments, businesses, municipalities, universities and NGOs.

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Aryton Senna is a brand, an inspiration, a role model, an icon and an idol. He will always be remembered.

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