Friday, March 11, 2005

Only The Good Die Young - Ayrton Senna

This name is hard to miss whenever one talks of all time great F1 racers. Born to a wealthy family in São Paulo, he quickly developed a deep interest in motor sports. Encouraged by his father, a racing enthusiast himself, he got behind the wheel at the age of 4. At the tender age of 17 he won the prestigious South American Kart Championship in 1977 and never looked back. Heading for Europe, he started his illustrious from F3 circuit. He joined Toleman-Hart F1 team in 1984. Next year, Senna joined the Lotus team and won his first GP at Estoril, Portugal under treacherous conditions. In 1988 Senna joined the McLaren team with Alain Prost as his team mate. The foundation for a fierce competition between Senna and Prost was laid, culminating in a number of dramatic race incidents between the two. In 1994, Senna finally left the ailing McLaren team for the top team at the time, Williams-Renault, which was eventually his last team. He won three World Championships and created several lap & pole positions records, many of which are still unbroken!

On 1st May, 1994, after ruling motorsport scene for 10 years, he took part in his third race for the team, the San Marino GP. Senna yet again took pole position, but would never finish the race. He was leading the race when he went off the track in the Tamburello curve and did not survive the injuries sustained by the subsequent frontal collision with a concrete retaining wall. He was 34 years old. In 2000, he was posthumously inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

His death is still mourned among Brazilians. From one fan site:
Blurring green, blue and yellow,
Never turned at Tamburello,
Formula One's saddest ever day,
Saw The Greatest Ever taken away

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