F1 drivers have always been something of an enigma, be they James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost or Michael Schumacher.
Ayrton Senna was different.
There’s no doubt his early death has added to his legacy, but even then it’s difficult to ignore his philosophical approach to life and racing before that terrible tragedy at Imola in 1994. Even if you’re not an F1 fan, or don’t know much about the man, I strongly urge you to watch the brilliant documentary released in 2010.
Of his many quotes, sayings and enlightening interviews, I have always been drawn to one in particular:
It resonates with me for a number of reasons. Firstly idols (and heroes) are such strong words, over-used by many, and something I don’t believe in. There are certainly a number of people I admire, a few above all others, but I’m not one for idolisation. And I’ve certainly learnt the hard way when you don’t give a task your full commitment and dedication.
One point which I think defines more about Senna’s personality than any number of F1 Championships, was one action he never got to complete. Austrian rookie Roland Ratzenberger was killed during Imola qualifying, the day before the Brazilian, and on inspection of Senna’s car the investigators found a furled Austrian flag. Ayrton had planned to wave this at the end of what he hoped would have been a his first victory in a Williams car.
Never to be.