If he hadn’t been killed in an unnecessary accident during the San Marino Grand Prix 19 years ago, Ayrton Senna would have turned 53 this March 21.
Sadly though, the Brazilian who was named in a 2009 poll of Formula One drivers as being the greatest F1 racecar driver of all time did die. He was killed when his Williams-Renault race car crashed. Fellow racers and F1 experts say the crash was the result of some terribly myopic F1 rule changes which stripped F1 cars of their power brakes, ABS, traction control, and active suspensions. After the crash and the death of the man who qualified for the pole position in more than 40 percent of his tries, the F1 rescinded the rules banning these safety features, which, until now, makes Senna the last driver to die in an F1 race car accident.
In his short career, Senna won a record six times on the public streets of Monaco and three F1 World titles. During his span of victories, he became so widely known that his funeral was broadcast live around the globe. Some say he was more popular than Pele, Brazil’s soccer legend.
His competitors both feared and respected him. Talking about the wonder that was Senna, retired F1 driver John Watson said, “Senna made the car dance. He did things with the car that I hadn’t even thought about, let alone put in to practice. After witnessing this, I knew that my time as racecar driver was effectively over.”[image: bbb.co.uk]
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