This topic is about Ayrton Senna the three time World Formula One Champion that sadly died in 1994 in a somewhat controversial manner, some say. This is NOT a copy/paste in anyway; I have researched the facts and figures to help educate people on what a man Ayrton Senna truly was.
I wonít bore you with too many dates/details but as a child he started getting into karting and got good quickly since he was younger/smaller than the others, he was therefore faster. He won a few championships but only ever came runner up in the World Championships.
His racing career started in 1981 when he started in the British Formula Ford 1600 class (he won the championship) and ended up winning the British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships. After such success he decided in 1983 that he would get into F3 and even though he didnít win the championship straight away he gave his rivals a hard time where he was testing cars for Williams, McLaren, Brabham and Toleman.
In 1984 Ayrton Senna began Formula One with the Toleman team, who were less known than the likes of Williams and McLaren but with Ayrton's driving skills he quickly gained respected and won his first ever World Championship in Formula One in April 84. After succeeding with the Toleman team Ayrton decided to move to the Lotus team where he ended up setting a record of 65 pole positions wins, something that has only been beaten by Michael Schumacher. As years passed and more and more being achieved Ayrton left the Lotus team and went to others such as McLaren, Honda and Williams.
It was evident from an early point in his career he was destined to be great and by the time his career ended he had ranked up 41 wins (80 podium finishes), 65 pole positions as mentioned earlier and three World Championships - All within his 10 year career.
At Imola in 1994 the legend of Ayrton Senna ended. As with many superstars there are always various conspiracy theories on what happened so letís lay the ground work. Alot of new regulations affected the F1 cars on how they were run/designed and as always, FIA are out to increase people safety without taking too much away from the sport. They had recently banned active suspension meaning all teams had to redesign the suspension set-up on there cars which led to many breakdowns and accidents.
Ayrton Senna's protťgť Rubens Barrichello was involved in a crash landing him in hospital in the morning of the Imola race. Ayrton was deeply concerned about Barrichello having spent hours at the hospital.
Later that day in Imola, lap 1 contained a crash that set the safety car out (The safety car was out longer than it was supposed to be, allowing the F1 cars tyres to cool down meaning they donít work as efficient and allowing the tyre pressure to decrease) so by the time lap 2 came around, Ayrton Senna was doing 193mph towards a corner when his Williams-Renault veered onto the sand trap reducing his speed to 130mph and straight into a concrete wall.
A neurosurgeon at the race reported "He looked serene. I raised his eyelids and it was clear from his pupils that he had a massive brain injury. We lifted him from the cockpit and laid him on the ground. As we did, he sighed and, although I am totally agnostic, I felt his soul departed at that moment."
What happened was when he was entering the corner his front right tyre and suspension component had became loose and hit Senna on the head and pierced his visor causing the massive head injuries. It may sound strange but a defective suspension set-up doing 190mph has alot of unsprung energy. This has been classed as the most likely reason for Senna's death although an interesting and plausible theory then came around about Senna complaining about his steering position. He wasnít happy with it so they cut it, welded it in its new position and strengthed it. Onboard footage shows that Senna is seen looking down towards his steering moments before the incident making people believe his steering column had came loose as the video also shows that the front wheels did not turn the direction the steering wheel did.
Although this theory cannot be confirmed it holds suspicion as the onboard video has 1.5seconds of footage missing conveniently the same time as when his steering column broke sending Senna into a concrete wall. Simply because this crucial evidence cannot be found, this theory could not be conceived as the truth - Which if proven would mean Williams-Renault would have fell victim to Senna's death and faced manslaughter charges.
Formula One has many heroes and outstanding drivers, many of which were either in competition with Senna OR dreamed to have his success. He will be remembered as one of the all time greats of Formula One.
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose." Ayrton Senna