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Biographies of famous sportsmen

Biography of Ayrton Senna (part 2)

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.

Categories
Biographies of famous sportsmen

Biography of Ayrton Senna (part 1)

Ayrton Senna da Silva, better known as Ayrton Senna, (March 21, 1960 – May 1, 1994), was a Brazilian Formula One driver. He won the world championship three times, in 1988, 1990 and 1991. He is regarded as one of the world’s greatest drivers of all time.

He died in a tragic accident at Imola, San Marino, in 1994, when his motor racing career was at peak.

Senna was born to a wealthy family in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His family supported his aspiration to race. He started driving karts at an early age with the earliest recorded race being a fun go-kart race at the age of four. He won the South American Kart Championship at aged 17.

In the early 1980s, Senna moved to England to develop his motor racing career. One year later, he won the British Formula Ford 1600 championship. It was around this time he settled on his mothers’ maiden name of Senna – rather than his father’s name de Silva, which was much more common.

In 1982, he made higher progress by winning the European and British Formula Ford 2000. With an increasing reputation as a skillful driver, he received testing from various Formula One Teams, like Williams and McLaren, but due to intense competition, his first Formula One Team was Toleman, whom he drove for in 1984.

In spite of not having the best technical car, Senna managed to achieve his first Formula One points and impressed with his driving skill, particularly in the wet.

In 1982, Senna won two European championships, including the European and the British Formula Ford 2000. In 1984, after testing with McLaren, Williams, Toleman, and Brabham, he got a place within the Toleman team for the Formula One season.

In 1988, he joined Alain Prost at McLaren – Honda, one amongst the top Formula One teams. That season 28-year-old Senna was able to claim his first world championship. He continued to repeat this ultimate prize. Senna won the world championships in 1990 and 1991, amidst a great rivalry with Alain Prost.