Skip to content

Today marks 20 years since we lost Ayrton Senna, but his legacy endures

May 1, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONACO-SENNA Getty Images

Icon. Legend. Hero.

He’s as revered now as he was on that fateful Sunday in Imola, Italy, and yet as today marks 20 years since May 1, 1994 when his fatal accident occurred, Ayrton Senna’s spirit continues to endure.

We don’t need today to be a reliving, or retelling, of what happened to that Williams-Renault as he passed the front straight and veered off course at Tamburello.

What it can be is the latest chance to retell the good from his 10-plus year career in Formula One and what he meant to his home country of Brazil.

Senna was something special; a sublime talent who was as complex an individual as F1 had seen in ages.

He was compassionate, yet ruthless.

Concerned with his fellow drivers’ safety (think the Erik Comas at Spa in 1992 moment), yet determined to pummel them into submission if he got the chance (1988. Monaco. Prost.).

He transformed F1’s profile in his native Brazil – lifting the country’s spirits during a challenging time in its history. His 1991 home Grand Prix victory remains one of his all-time triumphs of his 41 career victories.

He was an incredible talent, still revered to this day and named by such a high percentage of current drivers as either their favorite driver, their hero, or both.

The 2010 film Senna – the brilliant documentary directed by Asif Kapadia – has done the job of exposing Senna’s story, mixing archival family footage and his F1 career, to a new generation who would otherwise not have discovered the legend.

On this, the 20th anniversary of May 1, 1994, we continue to remember him – and Roland Ratzenberger, as well, who perished as well during the San Marino Grand Prix weekend – this day and going forward.

And what better way to remember him than with what many consider the greatest single lap in F1 history: his opener at Donington Park, in the 1993 European Grand Prix.

Latest Posts
  1. Ericsson pleased with first ten races at Sauber, but regrets missed opportunities

    Jul 30, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 26:  Marcus Ericsson of Sweden and Sauber F1 drives ahead of Felipe Nasr of Brazil and Sauber F1 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 26, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Ericsson reflects on his first half-season with Sauber that has brought his first points in F1, but also presented some missed opportunities.

  2. MRTI: Seven races on tap for Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, USF2000 in critical weekend

    Jul 30, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    MazdaRoadToIndy

    With seven races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend, it’s an important one for the entire Mazda Road to Indy.

  3. Castroneves confident of challenging for win at Mid-Ohio

    Jul 30, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    © INDYCAR © INDYCAR

    His recent record may suggest otherwise, but Castroneves believes he can gun for the race win this weekend.

  4. Bahrain to host additional GP2/GP3 round in November

    Jul 30, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    Both series will support the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Bahrain International Circuit in November.

  5. Rahal donning the helmet of The Ohio State University this weekend at Mid-Ohio (PHOTOS)

    Jul 30, 2015, 9:16 AM EDT

    GRpreMidOhelmet Getty Images

    From Columbus, Ohio, No. 15, it’s the Ohio State University helmet of Graham Rahal…

  6. Preview: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio critical in IndyCar title chase

    Jul 30, 2015, 8:56 AM EDT

    WhoCouldWin Getty Images

    The third-to-last race of the IndyCar season is an important one for the championship battle.

  7. IndyCar issues manufacturer points penalites following Iowa race

    Jul 29, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    indycar logo2

    IndyCar penalizes Honda for five engines that did not “attain their life cycle.”

  8. It’s “never-say-die” for Graham Rahal with three races left

    Jul 29, 2015, 5:10 PM EDT

    California Speedway Getty Images

    Rahal is second in the points and takes his career best season to his home track of Mid-Ohio.

  9. Paralyzed driver Michael Johnson returning to track in Pro Mazda

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:37 PM EDT

    Photo: Pro Mazda Photo: Pro Mazda

    Johnson will make his first start of 2015 this weekend at Mid-Ohio.

  10. Simon Pagenaud ‘agonizingly close’ to wins at Mid-Ohio, not to success in 2015

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT

    California Speedway Getty Images

    Simon Pagenaud looking for first top-fin finish since Detroit race one.

  11. Scott Dixon looking to add to record win total at Mid-Ohio

    Jul 29, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT

    Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio - Day 3 Getty Images

    In eight IndyCar races at Mid-Ohio, Scott Dixon has a record five wins.

  12. With three races left, who could still win in IndyCar, season 2015?

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    WhoCouldWin Getty Images

    There’s still a good seven to 10 high-quality drivers without a win in IndyCar, 2015, who could add to the list of winners.

  13. Marcos Ambrose looks to salvage lost season in V8 Supercars, has had no issues ‘moving on’ from NASCAR

    Jul 28, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT

    marcos ambrose 2015 Getty Images

    Even though it has been pretty much of a lost season for him in Australia’s V8 Supercars series, Marcos Ambrose believes he can still find some success before the racing year is over.

  14. Fast Facts: Honda Indy 200

    Jul 28, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio - Day 3 Getty Images

    Fast facts heading into this weekend’s Honda Indy 200, courtesy of IndyCar PR staff.

  15. NHRA: Big changes coming to Pro Stock this weekend, next season

    Jul 28, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT

    pro stock bandimere 2015 getty Getty Images

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of NHRA’s Pro Stock class have been greatly exaggerated.

  16. Simon Pagenaud the moving man, in Penske Truck Rental truck at Brickyard (VIDEO)

    Jul 28, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT

    PagPenskeBY400 Getty Images

    Simon Pagenaud swaps firesuit for street clothes when driving the Penske Truck Rental truck, playing “mover” this weekend.

  17. Austin Cindric’s whirlwind 2015 takes him back to PWC at Mid-Ohio, now in a Lamborghini

    Jul 28, 2015, 11:38 AM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    The latest car for Austin Cindric is a Lamborghini at Mid-Ohio this weekend.