Aryton Senna

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Ayrton Senna da Silva was definitely one of the greatest drivers in Formula-One history. He titled three-time Formula One champion until his car smashed into a concrete wall during the early laps of San Marino Grand Prix.

 

Senna had a strong inclination toward the kart, and at Kart-entryable age he’d like to go Great Britain as the Mecca of motor sports. It was 1973 when he had entered the full-season into Kart racing.

 

After the first win on July 1, he got the title such as the domestic championship and the South-America championship one after another, and in 1978 he challenged the World championship at Le Man and Estoril or so.

 

Ayrton stepped up his stage to Formula-Ford at Great Britain in 1981 so that he could try to enlarge his experience due to his well-seasoned in his lower category.

 

In 1982 Senna returned to England, persuading his father, who was against his son’s profession, to back up his racing activity, and at once he recorded an unprecedented achievement with 21 wins out of 27 races.

 

He challenged the first step Thruxton T.V. to Formula-Three at the end of year, succeeding in title with pole-position as new record to finish. In 1984 as early as the second race he succeeded in getting a point with uncompetitive machine at South Africa Grand Prix, besides, we could not help recognizing his high potential at Monaco Grand Prix.

 

Starting from 13th position on the grid, this rookie worked his way up to 2nd place, passing even Niki Lauda thanks to the hard rain in spite of another drivers’ retire. The red flag suddenly lost his first win due to the top runner Alain Prost’s claim of dangerous condition for the race.

 
Since this season Brazilian driver and French driver developed the all-out battle such as the collision accident at Japan Grand Prix in 1989 and 1990. In 1989 the first year of the natural aspiration engine started due to the technical regulation change of ban on the turbocharged engine.

 

It seemed that McLaren Honda lost their competition than last season, but, actually McLaren’s two drivers only challenged the title in this season same as 1988 season. Senna lost season’s title in 1989, but, he succeeded in regain the title as two-times champion, and he titled two consecutive seasons in 1990.

 

Nobody knew the last title for him as three-time champion driver. In 1990, Senna took a commanding lead in the championship with six wins, two second places and three thirds. With Prost gone to Ferrari he also had a new team mate in Austrian driver Gerhard Berger.

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Among his victories were the opening round in Phoenix, in which he diced for the lead for several laps with a then-unknown Jean Alesi before coming out on top, and in Germany where he fought Benetton driver Alessandro Nannini throughout the race for the win.

 

As the season reached its final quarter however, Alain Prost in his Ferrari rose to the challenge with five wins, including a crucial victory in Spain where he and team mate Nigel Mansell finished 1–2 for the Scuderia.

 
Senna’s final race was the San Marino Grand Prix, which was held on the “Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari” circuit located in Imola, Italy, between Thursday, 28 April, and Sunday, 1 May 1994.

 

Senna’s death was considered by many of his Brazilian fans to be a national tragedy, and the Brazilian government declared three days of national mourning. The Italian Air Force offered to fly the coffin back to Brazil, but the Senna family wished that it return home in a Brazilian plane.

 

Contrary to airline policy and out of respect, Senna’s coffin was allowed to be flown back to his home country in the passenger cabin of a VARIG McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 airliner, accompanied by his distraught younger brother, Leonardo, and close friends.

 

The plane was escorted by fighter jets into São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport on Thursday 5 May 1994, where it was met by São Paulo’s mayor, Paulo Maluf, and state governor, Luís Antônio Fleury.

 

The coffin was carried by soldiers from the Policia da Aeronautical to a fire engine, where eight cadets from the Military Police Academy mounted guard as it carried the coffin on the 20-mile journey into the city.