Remembering Ayrton Senna 21 years on

On the 21st anniversary of his tragic death, Motorsport.com remembers Ayrton Senna with a selection of his most memorable quotes and photos.

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna

Photo by: XPB Images

 

"I started racing go-karts. And I love karts. It's the most breathtaking sport in the world. More than F1, indeed, I used to like it most." – On his love for karting.

Terry Fullerton leads Ayrton Senna

Terry Fullerton leads Ayrton Senna

Photo by: Terry Fullerton archive

 

"I came to Europe for the first time to compete outside Brazil as a team-mate for Terry Fullerton. He was very experienced, and I enjoyed very much driving with him because he was fast, he was consistent, he was for me a very complete driver. And it was pure driving, pure racing. There wasn't any politics then, right? No money involved either so it was real racing and I have that as a very good memory." – Remembering his perfect opponent.

Ayrton Senna takes the checkered flag

Ayrton Senna takes the checkered flag

Photo by: XPB Images 

“I am not designed to come second or third. I am designed to win.” –On winning being the utmost importance. 

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna

Photo by: XPB Images

 

 

"Racing, competing, is in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life; I've been doing it all my life. And it stands up before anything else." – Importance of racing in his life. 

Ayrton Senna memorial at Tamburello

Ayrton Senna memorial at Tamburello

Photo by: XPB Images

 

"There are no small accidents on this circuit (Imola)" – On the day before he crashed.

Ayrton Senna Da Silva grave at Morumbi cemetery

Ayrton Senna Da Silva grave at Morumbi cemetery

Photo by: Jack Durbin

 

"There is a lot to go, a lot to learn, a lot do, but I have plenty of time." – On having lot of time to learn being a driver.

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna

Photo by: Mark Newcombe

 

"You will never know the feeling of a driver when winning a race. The helmet hides feelings that cannot be understood." – On what the driver feels when he wins a race.

The fatal crash of Ayrton Senna at Tamburello

The fatal crash of Ayrton Senna at Tamburello

Photo by: XPB Images

 

"If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs me my life, I hope it is in one go. I would not like to be in a wheelchair. I would not like to be in a hospital suffering from whatever injury it was. If I'm going to live, I want to live fully, very intensely, because I am an intense person. It would ruin my life if I had to live partially." – On accidents/death.

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna

Photo by: XPB Images

 

"Whoever you are, no matter what social position you have, rich or poor, always show great strength and determination, and always ydo everything with much love and deep faith in God. One day you will reach your goal." – On achieving dreams.

The podium: race winner Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost

The podium: race winner Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost

Photo by: Tom Haapanen

 

"Nothing is impossible. If I did it once, it means I can do it again." – On things he can do.

The start: Ayrton Senna on pole

The start: Ayrton Senna on pole

Photo by: Renault

 

"I always liked starting from pole position whenever possible. The reason for this is that it's a way of avoiding the product of other drivers' carelessness when they go too fast into a curve, spin halfway through it and end up sitting in your path." – On starting on pole position.

After the race: Ayrton Senna

After the race: Ayrton Senna

Photo by: Tom Haapanen

 

"Sometimes when you make a mistake, you think you could do things differently. From Thursday to Sunday you establish this target to achieve, and you have so many steps to go through, so many barriers to go through. They all drain you, they are all problems. You are just doing your best all the time; whether you get it right or not, if you are committed to it, you're giving your best all the time. There's nothing else." – On giving best all the time.

The infamous crash of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost on lap 46

The infamous crash of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost on lap 46

Photo by: XPB Images

 

 

 

 

"When he died, I said I felt a part of me had died also, because our careers had been so bound together. I know some people thought I wasn't sincere, but I meant it." – Alain Prost on Senna's death.

Restart: Ayrton Senna leads Michael Schumacher

Restart: Ayrton Senna leads Michael Schumacher

Photo by: XPB Images

 

"It was clear that I am not going to win the championship (1994) and it is Ayrton (Senna) who is going to win the championship. I would like to take this championship and give it to him." – Michael Schumacher after winning the 1994 title and dedicating it to Senna.

 

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ayrton Senna
Article type Special feature