Ayrton Senna he signed a contract with Williams in 1994. Expressing reservations about his new car and the new rules for Formula One, he said that it was going to be a season with many accidents and he would risk saying that they would be lucky if something really serious didn’t happen.
In the first two races of that season, althouh he gained pole position, he failed to finish for different reasons.
Senna said his campaign would start at the third race of the season at Imola, San Marino – leaving him to win the 14 out of the remaining 16 races. But the weekend was marred by tragedy and accidents. Firstly, Rubens Barrichello, his compatriot, was badly injured in an accident in the practise round on Friday as his Jordan car flipped over and smashed into a fence. Later on Saturday, Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed after smashing into a concrete wall. Although Senna had only recently met Ratzenberger, he was emotionally affected. He climbed over the medical fence to see the crash site. Therefore, he spent his final morning meeting with fellow drivers and considering how to improve the safety for drivers in Formula One.
Unluckily, Senna suffered a fatal crash on the 7th lap. On the high-speed Tamburello corner on, his car left the track and hit the concrete retaining wall at high speed. He was immediately taken to hospital but was dead on arrival.
Senna’s death was a great shock to the world of car racing, and in particular, to Brazil. It is estimated that there were three million people lining the streets of Sao Paulo for the return of his body – a record for any memorial.
Senna donated millions of dollars to poor people and created the Ayrton Senna Institute shortly before his death to help disadvantaged people in Brazil. He inspired millions across the world because of his skill and dedication to the sport.