Ayrton Senna
Brazilian racing driver and triple Formula One world champion
Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna da Silva was a Brazilian racing driver. Senna was a three-time Formula One world champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. He died in a crash at Tamburello corner while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix and is the most recent driver to die at the wheel of a Formula One car.
Ayrton Senna's personal information overview.
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Movie Listings for Sept. 16-22
NYTimes - over 5 years
Movies Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign-language films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/movies . ‘Apollo 18’ (PG-13, 1:28) This mock documentary (actually a science-fiction horror film combined with a conspiracy thriller) about a final,
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FORMULA ONE; Vettel Closes In on Drivers' Title
NYTimes - over 5 years
MONZA, ITALY -- For the man who won the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, and for the spectators who watched him do it, there was not much of a race going on. Aside from a brief moment of excitement for the Italian crowd when the Ferrari driver, Fernando Alonso, passed Sebastian Vettel at the start of the race, the latter led nearly from beginning to
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SPECIAL REPORT: FORMULA ONE; Is Formula One Still the Grandest Show of Them All?
NYTimes - over 5 years
This weekend, Formula One will stage the final race of its European season, the Italian Grand Prix, at one of its most historic tracks, Monza, which has hosted Grand Prix racing since the 1920s. This circuit, 15 kilometers, or about 10 miles, north of Milan, is where the season frequently ended in the 1950s, and was the second or third race before
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The Listings
NYTimes - over 5 years
Movies Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'Amigo' (R, 2:08, in English, Tagalog and Spanish) Though it is set in a Philippine village around 1900, this tale of counter-insurgency, democratic ideals and
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The Listings
NYTimes - over 5 years
Movies Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'Amigo' (R, 2:08, in English, Tagalog and Spanish) Though it is set in a Philippine village around 1900, this tale of counter-insurgency, democratic ideals and
Article Link:
NYTimes article
The Listings
NYTimes - over 5 years
Movies Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'Amigo' (R, 2:08, in English, Tagalog and Spanish) Though it is set in a Philippine village around 1900, this tale of counter-insurgency, democratic ideals and
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NYTimes article
'Senna': The boy from Brazil - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Brazilian Formula One champion Ayrton Senna is widely considered the greatest race car driver of all time. Killed in a 1994 crash, he dominated the sport in the 1980s and '90s, becoming the sport's sex symbol and standard-bearer. ... - -
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The Sport's Center - The Portland Mercury
Google News - over 5 years
Asif Kapadia's documentary follows the career of determined F1 racer Ayrton Senna—a little-known figure here, given America's general preference for hillbilly-pandering NASCAR, but a national hero in his native Brazil. Senna's career was, to say the
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Ayrton Senna Was a Real Sex Symbol - Reuters
Google News - over 5 years
So when Jackie Stewart, now an ABC racing commentator, confronted arch rival Ayrton Senna in the upcoming documentary, I paid close attention to what Stewart had to say and to his reaction to Senna. It was a heated exchange in which Stewart said that
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In 'Senna,' a new formula for documentaries - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
(Pascal Rondeau/ GETTY IMAGES ) - Portrait of Ayrton Senna of Brazil in his McLaren Honda before the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest, Hungary in 1989. Senna finished in second place. By John Anderson, If “Senna” had been ... - -
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'Senna' rekindles personal memories of an intriguing athlete - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
In 1990, I spent two weeks at the Formula One circuits in Estoril, Portugal, and Jerez, Spain, writing about one of the most intriguing athletes to ever live, Ayrton Senna da Silva. Of course, all I wrote about, and all anyone who covered him could ... - -
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SPECIAL REPORT: FORMULA ONE; The Transcendent Life of Ayrton Senna, From Track to Screen
NYTimes - over 5 years
When Ayrton Senna died at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on May 1, 1994, the BBC racing commentator Murray Walker predicted that the Brazilian driver would become ''a legend which will grow and grow as coming generations appreciate his achievements.'' With Formula One preparing for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend, 20 years after the
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Young Summerbell looks to rise to occasion - Jamaica Observer
Google News - over 5 years
Anyone with an interest in local motor-racing would know of his father, David Summerbell Jnr, and anyone with a love of Formula One would be familiar with his namesake, Ayrton Senna, the three-time Brazilian former world championship driver who died in
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ayrton Senna
  • 1994
    Age 33
    The organisers of the former Formula One Grand Prix street circuit in Adelaide, South Australia, renamed the first chicane the "Senna Chicane" in his honour in 1994, and a road in the Adelaide suburb of Wingfield is named Senna Road.
    More Details Hide Details Other motorsports circuits have similarly named sections of their track after Senna, such as the Circuito de Jerez in Spain and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada. A shortened version of the Adelaide circuit—which remains the site of Senna's last Formula One win—and the chicane remain in use for local motorsport events, and a commemorative concrete plaque installed in 1995 bearing Senna's signature and hand prints is also located there. The Adelaide circuit was said to be a favourite of Senna's, and he was reportedly unhappy about the upcoming shift of venue from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1996. Also, a road is named after him in the Adelaide suburb of Wingfield. He has been voted the best driver of all time in various motorsport polls, including F1 Racing magazine's 2004 poll, and German newspaper Bild am Sonntag's poll of current drivers in 2010. In 2009, a poll of 217 current and former Formula One drivers conducted by Autosport magazine named Senna as "the greatest Formula One driver who ever lived". In 2012, BBC Sport journalists voted Senna as the greatest Formula One driver of all time, after naming their top 20 greatest drivers in a countdown on their website. In 1993, a poll of F1 drivers gave Senna a near-unanimous vote as the best driver in F1.
    Ducati was at the time owned by Claudio Castiglioni, a personal friend of Senna who was an avid Ducati owner and endorsed the release of this 916 in March 1994.
    More Details Hide Details In 2002, under the presidency of Castiglioni, MV Agusta also released the special-edition F4 750 Senna motorbike followed by the F4 Senna 1000 in 2006. In both instances, each edition was limited to 300 units and, just like with the Ducati, all profits from sales were donated to the Ayrton Senna Foundation. In 2013, Ducati also released a special edition of their new top-of-the-range sportbike, the 1199 Panigale S Senna. In 2014, the IAS commissioned a commemorative Vespa that was auctioned for charity. It was custom-painted in the colours of Ayrton Senna's helmet by Alan Mosca, the son of Senna's helmet design creator, Sid, based on more than 50 “T5 Pole Position” models of the PX125 scooter that Ayrton won as part of the award to Formula 1 polesitters introduced by Piaggio in 1985.
    The game was organised by several devoted Italian and Canadian fans of Senna, bringing the Brazil team that won the 1994 World Cup to face the "Nazionale Piloti", an exhibition team composed exclusively of top race car drivers.
    More Details Hide Details Senna had been a part of the latter in 1985. Michael Schumacher, Jarno Trulli, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, and many others faced the likes of Dunga, Careca, Taffarel, and several of the team that won the FIFA World Cup in the United States 10 years earlier. The match finished 5–5 and the money was donated to the IAS. Viviane Senna, the president of the IAS, was also involved in the kick-off of this match. That same weekend, Bernie Ecclestone revealed that he still believed Senna was and remained the best F1 driver he had ever seen. Since his death, Senna has been the subject of several songs (either wholly dedicated to him or simply referring to him) including by: Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla (song titled "Ayrton") and rock band The Rock Alchemist (tribute song "Live or Die"); Jazz pianist Kim Pensyl; Japanese jazz-fusion guitarist and T-square bandleader Masahiro Andoh (references in songs such as "Faces" and subsequent revisions, like "The Face"); Chris Rea (on his song "Saudade"); Spanish band Delorean (2009 extended play entitled Ayrton Senna); British acid jazz band Corduroy (1994 song "Ayrton Senna").
    Throughout the rest of the 1994 season, Senna was commemorated in various ways.
    More Details Hide Details Damon Hill, along with Michael Schumacher, dedicated their individual success to Senna with Hill's victory in the Spanish Grand Prix and Schumacher's world-championship victory in the Australian Grand Prix. A few months before his death, Senna had discussed with his sister the foundation of a charitable organization, based on a desire to contribute to those less fortunate in a more organised and effective manner. After his death, Viviane Senna set up the IAS in his honor, which has invested nearly US$80 million over the last 12 years in social programs and actions in partnership with schools, government, NGOs, and the private sector, aimed at offering children and teenagers from low-income backgrounds the skills and opportunities they need to develop their full potential as persons, citizens, and future professionals. The foundation is officially advised by Bernie Ecclestone, Frank Williams, Alain Prost, and Gerhard Berger. The Senninha ("Little Senna") cartoon character, born in 1993/94, was another means by which Senna extended his role-model status in favour of Brazilian children.
    In July 1994, the Brazil national football team dedicated their World Cup victory to Senna, and collectively held a banner on the field after defeating Italy in the final.
    More Details Hide Details Senna had met various members of the squad, including Ronaldo and Leonardo, three months earlier in Paris, telling them "this is our year".
    In 1994, the latter residence is where Senna let his last girlfriend, Adriane Galisteu, stay for the start of the European leg of the F1 season.
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    Aside from the black NSX mentioned above, Senna's other personal car in 1994 was a silver Audi 100 S4 Avant.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1990s, Senna developed his own merchandise brand represented by a logo with a double S, after his full surname, "Senna da Silva". This logo is meant to represent an S chicane on a racing circuit. The Senna brand was on apparel, watches, bicycles (Carraro), motorcycles and boats. Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Universal Genève have created limited-edition watches to honor Senna, both during his lifetime and after his death. Senna owned several properties, including an organic farm in Tatuí, Brazil (where he built a go-kart track in 1991), a beach house in Angra dos Reis, Brazil, an apartment in São Paulo, an apartment in Monaco, and a house in Algarve, Portugal.
    Senna was also instrumental in bringing Audi cars into his native country, both as an import and manufacturing business. Audi entered Brazil in 1994 via Senna's company, Senna Import, founded in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details Sales began in April that year, just a month before his untimely death. In 1999, Audi Senna was created as a joint venture of Audi with Senna Import.
    FIA President Max Mosley instead attended the funeral of Ratzenberger, which took place on 7 May 1994, in Salzburg, Austria.
    More Details Hide Details Mosley said in a press conference 10 years later, "I went to his funeral because everyone went to Senna's. I thought it was important that somebody went to his." Senna's grave bears the epitaph "Nada pode me separar do amor de Deus", which means "Nothing can separate me from the love of God" (a reference to Romans 8:38–39). A testament to the adulation he inspired among fans worldwide was the scene at the Tokyo headquarters of Honda, where the McLaren cars were typically displayed after each race. Upon his death, so many floral tributes were received, they overwhelmed the large exhibition lobby. This was despite the fact Senna no longer drove for McLaren and that McLaren in the preceding seasons did not use Honda power. Senna had a special relationship with company founder Soichiro Honda and was beloved in Japan, where he achieved a near mythic status. For the next race at Monaco, the FIA decided to leave the first two grid positions empty and painted them with the colours of the Brazilian and the Austrian flags, to honour Senna and Ratzenberger.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Leading the motorcade were 17 police motorbikes, and 2,500 policemen lined the route to keep the crowds at bay. An estimated three million people flocked to the streets of Senna's hometown of São Paulo to offer him their salute. This is widely accepted as the largest recorded gathering of mourners in modern times. Over 200,000 people filed past as his body lay in state at the Legislative Assembly building in Ibirapuera Park. After the public viewing, a 21-gun salute was fired by the 2nd Artillery Brigade and seven Brazilian Air Force jets flew in a diamond formation as the funeral procession made its way to Morumbi Cemetery. Many prominent motor-racing figures attended Senna's state funeral, such as team managers Ken Tyrrell, Peter Collins, Ron Dennis, and Frank Williams, and driver Jackie Stewart. The pallbearers included drivers Gerhard Berger, Michele Alboreto, Alain Prost, Thierry Boutsen, Damon Hill, Rubens Barrichello, Roberto Moreno, Derek Warwick, Maurício Gugelmin, Hans Stuck, Johnny Herbert, Pedro Lamy, Maurizio Sala, Raul Boesel, Emerson Fittipaldi, Wilson Fittipaldi, and Christian Fittipaldi. Neither Professor Watkins nor Jo Ramírez, the McLaren team coordinator, could bear to attend because they were so grief-stricken.
    Senna died aged 34 after succumbing to fatal injuries sustained during his final race at the San Marino Grand Prix, on 1 May 1994.
    More Details Hide Details The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix was held on the "Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari" circuit located in Imola, Italy, between Thursday, 28 April, and Sunday, 1 May 1994. Senna stayed in room no. 200 at the Hotel Castello in Castel San Pietro Terme. The European leg of the F1 season, starting at Imola, was traditionally considered the beginning of the yearly competition. Senna, who did not finish the two opening races of the season, declared that this was where his season would start, with 14 races, as opposed to 16, in which to win the title. Williams brought modified FW16s to Imola in an attempt to improve the car's handling. On Friday, Senna placed the car on the pole for a then-record 65th and final time, but he was upset by events unfolding that race weekend. Senna complained about the FW16's handling and reported that the car's performance was generally worse after the engineers' latest adjustments. During the afternoon qualifying session, Senna's compatriot and protégé Rubens Barrichello was involved in a serious accident when his Jordan became airborne at the Variante Bassa chicane and hit the tyre-wall and fence. Barrichello suffered a broken nose and arm, and withdrew from the event. Barrichello reported that Senna was the first person he saw upon regaining consciousness.
    For 1994, Senna was able to finally join the Williams team given the retirement of Prost and was reportedly paid a $20 million salary. With Prost's retirement at the end of 1993, and Williams' consequential lack of a defending World Champion carrying race number 1 for a second year running, Senna would race in 1994 with number 2 and teammate Damon Hill would race with number for the second year in a row.
    More Details Hide Details Rule changes for 1994 had banned active suspension, traction control, and ABS. During preseason testing, the new Williams FW16 car exhibited none of the superiority of the FW15C and FW14B cars that preceded it, and Senna found himself in close running with the Benetton B194 of Schumacher. Senna expressed his discomfort with the handling of his car, stating, "I have a very negative feeling about driving the car and driving it on the limit and so on... Some of that is down to the lack of electronic change. Also, the car has its own characteristics which I'm not fully confident in yet." Senna further added, "It's going to be a season with lots of accidents, and I'll risk saying that we'll be lucky if something really serious doesn't happen." The first race of the season was at Interlagos in Brazil, where Senna took pole position. He took an early lead, but Schumacher's Benetton was never far behind. Schumacher took the race lead for good after passing Senna in the pits. While trying for a win, he pushed too hard and spun the car coming out of Junção on lap 56, stalling it and retiring from the race. The second race was the inaugural Pacific Grand Prix at Aida, where Senna again placed the car on the pole. However, after being beaten to the first corner by second-qualifier Schumacher, he was hit from behind in the first corner by Mika Häkkinen and his race came to a definitive end when, while spinning backwards into the first corner's gravel trap, the Ferrari driven by Nicola Larini T-boned the Williams.
    He was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix for Williams.
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  • 1993
    Age 32
    Senna thus extended his deal with McLaren on a race-by-race basis instead of a full-year contract, ending up staying for the whole of 1993 in any event. Reportedly, this engagement was on a $1 million per race basis and, despite midseason testing with a Lamborghini V12 proved encouraging, with McLaren then signing an engine supply deal with Peugeot for the season, it all proved insufficient to continue to retain Senna past 1993.
    More Details Hide Details In the opening race in South Africa, Senna finished in second place after surviving a collision with Schumacher. Senna won in changing conditions in Brazil and Donington. The latter has often been regarded as one of Senna's greatest victories, in the process setting a record for the fastest lap in an F1 race driving through the then speed-unrestricted pit lane. He was fifth at the first corner and led the race at the end of the first lap going on to lap all but second place in a race where up to seven pit stops were required by some drivers for rain or slick tyres. Senna then scored a second-place finish in Spain and a record-breaking sixth win at Monaco. After Monaco, the sixth race of the season, Senna unexpectedly led the championship from Prost in the Williams-Renault. As the season progressed, Alain Prost and Damon Hill asserted the superiority of their Williams-Renault cars, while Senna suffered mechanical failures in Imola, Canada, Britain, Hungary, and Portugal. Senna won the penultimate race of the season in Japan, which was marked by an incident involving Jordan's rookie Eddie Irvine, twice unlapping himself against Senna. Immediately after the race, Senna attended at Jordan's garage and, following a lengthy and heated discussion, punched the Irishman in the face.
    After driving McLaren's 1993 car, the McLaren MP4/8, Senna concluded that the new car had a surprising potential, albeit with a Ford V8 engine down on power relative to Prost's Renault V10.
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    By comparison, Fittipaldi had set a best time of 49.70 seconds, which he later improved to 48.5 seconds, only by using the new 1993 Penske PC-22 at his disposal during this test session.
    More Details Hide Details For, attempts by McLaren boss Ron Dennis to secure a supply of the dominant Renault V10 engines failed. Similarly, Senna's offers to drive for Williams-Renault for free also failed, given that Alain Prost (who was returning to the sport after a sabbatical year) succeeded in obtaining the inclusion of a clause in his contract with Williams vetoing Senna from joining as a team mate. Faced with this, during a press conference at the season-opening test session at the Estoril Circuit in Portugal, an infuriated Senna called Prost a coward, leading to some commentators stating that what Prost had done was no different from Senna vetoeing Derek Warwick from joining Lotus in 1986. By this time, McLaren was forced to take a customer supply of Ford V8 engines, which were two specifications behind that of Ford's then factory team, Benetton. McLaren hoped to make up for the inferior horsepower with mechanical sophistication, including an effective active suspension system - though the system itself proved difficult at times, especially for new team mate Michael Andretti. With this plan, Dennis finally persuaded Senna to stay with McLaren. The Brazilian, however, agreed to do so only for the first race in South Africa, where he would assess whether McLaren's equipment was competitive enough for him to put in a good season.
  • 1992
    Age 31
    One of the most extravagant claims involving Senna's past partners was made by Edilaine de Barros, a former model better known as Marcella Praddo. She alleged that the couple dated from 1992 to 1994.
    More Details Hide Details Weeks after Senna's death, de Barros' child, Victoria, was born and claims that Senna was the father were soon made but abandoned following rejection of those claims by the Senna family. Years later, after joining a religious sect, the former model was convinced to sue against the estate of Senna. In 2000, DNA tests of hair and saliva samples given by Senna's parents conclusively proved that he was not the father of de Barros' child. In the early years of F1, Senna was the subject of a smear campaign orchestrated by Nelson Piquet, ranging from Senna being regarded a taxi driver to being homosexual given his failed marriage. According to a 1990 interview by Brazilian edition of Playboy, Senna declared that he lost his virginity at 13 years of age to a prostitute arranged by his cousin, and he also insinuated having had a relationship with Piquet's would-be wife (hence Piquet's acrimony).
    Given this scenario, Senna secured an IndyCar testing session with the support of conpatriot and Penske driver, Emerson Fittipaldi. In December 1992, in fact, Senna visited Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona, to test a 1992 Penske PC-21 racer.
    More Details Hide Details Unlike the more advanced F1 cars, this IndyCar was powered by a turbo Chevrolet-Ilmor V8, had a traditional transmission with clutch pedal and iron brakes, and was markedly heavier due to its bigger physical size in comparison to a smaller Formula One car. To familiarise himself, Senna initially ran 14 relatively slow laps before completing a further 10 laps on the same tyres and setting a best time of 49.09 seconds.
    He felt the McLaren cars were becoming less competitive than in previous years, especially given Honda's decision to abandon the sport at the end of 1992 and McLaren's lack of active suspension relating to rival Williams.
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    Questions about Senna's intentions for the upcoming season lingered throughout 1992, as he did not have a contract with any team by the end of that year.
    More Details Hide Details Ferrari had offered him a contract which Senna discussed with Niki Lauda, but decided to decline the offer.
    In 1992, Senna's determination to win manifested itself in dismay at McLaren's inability to challenge Williams's all-conquering FW14B car.
    More Details Hide Details McLaren's new car for the season had several shortcomings. A delay occurred in getting the new model running (it debuted in the third race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix) and in addition to lacking active suspension, the new car suffered from reliability issues and was unpredictable in fast corners, while its Honda V12 engine was no longer the most powerful on the circuit. During practice for the second race of the season in Mexico on a circuit Senna was heavily critical of, his car hit a bump that caused a loss of downforce and hard crash into a concrete retaining wall. He had to be extricated from the car by circuit doctors; although he raced the next day, albeit retiring from the race due to gearbox failure. Senna scored wins in Monaco, Hungary, and Italy that year. During qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, French driver Érik Comas crashed heavily and Senna was the first to arrive at the scene. He got out of his car and ran across the track to help the Frenchman, disregarding his own safety in an effort to aid a fellow driver. He later went to visit Comas in the hospital. His actions won universal praise from those in Formula One and seemed to soften his hard-nosed image. Senna finished fourth overall in the championship, behind the Williams duo of Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, and Benetton's Michael Schumacher.
    Senna was planning to move to the Williams team for the 1992 season, but Honda's CEO, Nobuhiko Kawamoto, personally requested that he remain at McLaren-Honda, which Senna did out of a sense of loyalty.
    More Details Hide Details That year, as had been the case in 1988 and 1990, Senna won the prestigious "International Racing Driver Award" granted by British magazine Autosport annually. The award was presented by Stirling Moss and Senna was interviewed on stage by Formula 1 commentator, Murray Walker. During the interview, Senna confirmed that at the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) gala dinner in Paris the day before, under the auspices of Jackie Stewart, Senna had indeed gifted one of his helmets to his renowned foe, Jean-Marie Balestre, because of the sincere atmosphere that presented itself.
  • 1991
    Age 30
    Apart from featuring advice from Senna himself, the tracks included Senna's own farm circuit in Tatuí, São Paulo and it was based on the 1991 F1 World Championship (albeit, with fictitious rival drivers and teams due to licensing restrictions).
    More Details Hide Details In March 2014, during the Brazilian Carnival celebrations, the samba group Unidos da Tijuca paid tribute to Senna in one of their parades in Rio de Janeiro. The group showcased his McLaren car along with other characters associated to speed, such as Sonic, The Flash, and Usain Bolt. The school won the coveted trophy for the best parade of 2014. On 21 March 2014, Google had a special Doodle to honor Senna's 54th birthday that day. In occasion of the 20th anniversary of Senna's death, on 29 April 2014, in partnership with the IAS, the Brazilian regional airline Azul Linhas Aereas paid tribute by baptizing its Embraer ERJ-195 (registration no. PR-AYU (cn 19000434)) with a new name and livery. The airplane, which was formerly called "Azultec", has been renamed "#sennasempre" ("Senna always") and features the IAS logo on the rear side of the fuselage and the graphics of Senna's F1 helmet at the front, making it appear as though it is wearing the iconic helmet.
  • 1990
    Age 29
    He then dated Christine Ferracciu, who lived with him at his homes in Monaco and Portugal, on and off between 1990 and 1991.
    More Details Hide Details Senna also had an affair with American model Carol Alt, and briefly dated models Marjorie Andrade and Elle Macpherson. At the time of his death, Senna was in a relationship with Brazilian model, and later TV personality, Adriane Galisteu.
    Following the second championship-deciding collision in two years, Jackie Stewart interviewed Senna at the 1990 Australian Grand Prix (where Senna won pole and led for 61 laps before gearbox trouble forced him to slide off into a tyre barrier) and brought up a number of controversial collisions in which Senna had been involved over the last few years, stating that Senna had made more contact with other cars and drivers in the last four years than all the champions before him.
    More Details Hide Details An angry Senna questioned how someone like Stewart, himself a triple world champion, could ask questions like he did, knowing the pressure under which drivers raced. Senna later told Stewart he would not talk to him again. A year later, after taking his third world championship, Senna explained to the press his actions of the previous year in Suzuka. He maintained that prior to qualifying fastest, he had sought and received assurances from race officials that pole position would be changed to the left, clean side of the track (where the racing line was), only to find this decision reversed by Jean-Marie Balestre after he had taken pole. Senna said that he was not going to accept what he saw as unfair decision-making by Balestre, including his 1989 disqualification and the incorrect pole position in 1990 (though some in the F1 paddock noted that the pole position at Suzuka was actually on the same side of the track it had been since F1 returned to Japan in 1987, and many privately wondered why Senna was suddenly making a fuss about it, considering he had been on pole there in both 1988 and 1989, when he was also fighting Prost for the championship). Senna stated that no matter what happened, he would not yield the corner and that Prost taking his normal racing line would result in an accident. Prost would later go on record slamming Senna's actions as "disgusting", saying that he seriously considered retiring from the sport after that incident.
    In 1990, Senna took a commanding lead in the championship with six wins, two second places, and three thirds.
    More Details Hide Details With Prost gone to Ferrari, he also had a new team mate in Austrian driver Gerhard Berger. 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 had gone out with a damaged radiator, and the gap between Senna and Prost was now reduced to 9 points with two races remaining. At the penultimate round of the championship in Japan at Suzuka, where Senna and Prost collided the previous year, Senna took pole ahead of Prost. Before qualifying, Senna had sought assurances from the organisers to move pole position left onto the clean side of the racetrack. After qualifying, FIA president Balestre denied Senna's request, leaving Senna to start on the dirty right side, thus favouring Prost on the left. In addition, as revealed by F1 journalist Maurice Hamilton, the FIA had warned that crossing the yellow line of the pit exit on the right to better position oneself at the first corner would have not been appropriate, further infuriating Senna.
  • 1989
    Age 28
    For his 25th birthday in 1989, the Brazilian Air Force gifted Senna a flight on one of their jet fighters (a Dassault Mirage III), which bears commemorative livery and is now exhibited at the Aereounatic Museum of Rio de Janeiro.
    More Details Hide Details Senna was close friends with McLaren teammate Gerhard Berger, and the two were always playing practical jokes on each other. Berger is quoted as saying, "He taught me a lot about our sport, I taught him to laugh." In the documentary film The Right to Win, made in 2004 as a tribute to Senna, Frank Williams notably recalls that as good a driver as Senna was, ultimately "he was an even greater man outside of the car than he was in it."
    A large fine and temporary suspension of his FIA Super License followed in the winter of 1989, and an irate Senna engaged in a bitter war of words with the FIA and its then-president, Jean-Marie Balestre, whom he blamed for his disqualification in Japan.
    More Details Hide Details Senna claimed that Balestre had forced the race stewards to disqualify him so his fellow Frenchman Prost could win the championship, though the stewards of the meeting denied that Balestre forced their decision, claiming that he was not present when the decision was made. Senna finished the season second with six wins and one second place. Prost left McLaren for rivals Ferrari for the following year.
    Prost took the 1989 world title after a collision with Senna at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, the penultimate race of the season, which Senna needed to win to remain in contention for the title.
    More Details Hide Details Prost had managed to leave the grid faster than Senna by removing the gurney flap from his car, which was unbeknownst to Senna. This reduction in aerodynamic downforce made Prost's car faster on the straights, but slower through corners- a clever choice to make it even harder for Senna to pass on a circuit already difficult on which to pass. On lap 46, Senna had finally come next to Prost and attempted a pass on the inside at the last chicane. Prost turned right into the upcoming corner, cutting Senna off and tangling wheels with him. The collision caused both McLarens to slide to a standstill into the escape road ahead. Prost abandoned the race at that point, whereas Senna urged marshals for a push-start, which he received, then proceeding with the race after a pit stop to replace the damaged nose on his car. He took the lead from the Benetton of Alessandro Nannini and went on to claim victory, only to be disqualified following a stewards meeting after the race. Senna was disqualified for receiving a push start, cutting the chicane after the collision with Prost, and for crossing into the pit lane entry which was not part of the track.
    In the Japanese Grands Prix of 1989 and 1990, each of which decided the championship of that year, collisions between Senna and Prost determined the eventual winner.
    More Details Hide Details Senna was born in the Pro-Matre Maternity Hospital of Santana, a neighbourhood of São Paulo. The middle child of wealthy Brazilian landowner and factory owner Milton da Silva and his wife Neide Senna da Silva, he had an older sister, Viviane and a younger brother, Leonardo. He was left-handed. The house where Senna spent the first four years of his life belonged to Neide's father, João Senna. It was located on the corner of Avenida Aviador Guilherme with Avenida Gil Santos Dumont, less than 100 meters from Campo de Marte, a large area where they operated the Aeronautics Material park and an airport. Senna was highly athletic, excelling in gymnastics and other sports, and developed an interest in cars and motor racing at the age of four. He also suffered from poor motor coordination and had trouble climbing stairways by the age of three. An electroencephalogram (EEG) found that Senna was not suffering from any problems. His parents gave Senna the nickname "Beco". At the age of seven, Senna first learned to drive a Jeep around his family's farm and gained the advantage of changing gears without the use of a clutch.
    Prost claimed the championship in 1989, and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991.
    More Details Hide Details In 1992, the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One. Senna nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994. Senna has often been voted as the best and most influential Formula One driver of all time in various motorsport polls. He was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions. He was also acclaimed for his wet weather performances, such as the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He holds a record six victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, and is the fifth-most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Prost.
  • 1988
    Age 27
    On 25 July 2010, the BBC motoring show, Top Gear paid an emotional tribute to Senna with British Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton driving Senna's original MP4/4, with which he won the 1988 title.
    More Details Hide Details This was prior to the release of the documentary named after him. In this documentary broadcast only once by the BBC, Senna is named the number one driver ever, by fellow racing drivers. A StudioCanal, Working Title Films, and Midfield Films documentary film Senna was released in 2010 to critical acclaim. Since Senna's death, every Williams F1 car has incorporated a small Senna 'S' logo in its Formula 1 car to honour their former driver and in support of the IAS. A revised logo was featured in 2014 for the 20th anniversary of Senna's death. In July 2013, Honda released a video of an audio-visual tribute on the Suzuka circuit in the dark, titled "Sound of Honda – Ayrton Senna 1989". Using the telemetry and sound of the Honda-powered McLaren MP4/5 driven by the Brazilian driver, Honda recreated the then lap record lap of 1:38.041 minutes by positioning speakers and lights along the 5.8 km track and activating them in synchronization with the race car's position during that lap. In May of that year, Honda also reconfirmed its return to the sport as McLaren's engine supplier from 2015, with both companies again leveraging on Senna's legend as part of their advertising campaign since.
    Senna dated Brazilian TV star Xuxa from late 1988 until 1990.
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    They were briefly engaged, but the relationship was broken off by Senna in late 1988.
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    Ultimately, the pair won 15 of 16 races in the McLaren MP4/4 in 1988 with Senna coming out on top, winning his first Formula One world championship title by taking eight wins to Prost's seven.
    More Details Hide Details Prost scored more points over the season, but had to drop three second places as only the 11 best scores counted. However, the biggest incident of the year happened at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. With two laps remaining, Senna held a five-second lead over the Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto, who were closing in on the McLaren (Prost had earlier retired with a badly misfiring engine). Going into the Rettifilo Chicane, Senna closed on the Williams of Jean-Louis Schlesser (standing in for a sick Nigel Mansell). Schlesser steered wide, attempting to give Senna room to lap him, losing then regaining control to avoid going into the sand trap. Unfortunately, Senna did not give the Williams room and took his normal racing line. Subsequently, Senna's McLaren was T-boned and ended up beached on a curb with broken rear suspension. Ferrari would go on to an emotional 1-2 finish, the first in an Italian Grand Prix since the death of the team's founder Enzo Ferrari. This would prove to be the only race McLaren did not win in 1988.
    At the 1988 Portuguese Grand Prix, Prost made a slightly faster start than Senna, but the Brazilian dived into the first corner ahead.
    More Details Hide Details Prost responded and went to pass Senna at the end of the first lap. Senna swerved to block Prost, forcing the Frenchman to nearly run into the pit wall at. Prost kept his foot down and soon edged Senna into the first corner and started pulling away. Though Prost was angered by Senna's manoeuvre, the Brazilian got away with a warning from the FIA. At the postrace team debrief, Prost voiced his anger at the move which prompted Senna to apologize to Prost for the incident.
    In 1988, due to the relationship he had built up with Honda throughout the 1987 season with Lotus, and with the approval of McLaren's number-one driver and then-double world champion, Alain Prost, Senna joined the McLaren team.
    More Details Hide Details The foundation for a fierce competition between Senna and Prost was laid, culminating in a number of dramatic race incidents between the two over the next five years. However, the experienced pair also quickly realized, despite their personal rivalry, they had to work together, especially in testing, to keep ahead of their main opposition from Ferrari, Williams, Benetton, Lotus, and March. One notable incident of the year was at the Monaco Grand Prix, where Senna outqualified Prost by 1.4 seconds and led for most of the race before crashing on lap 67. Instead of returning to the pit lane, Senna went back to his apartment and did not contact the team until he walked into the pit garage as they were packing up later that night. As the television cameras had not captured his crash, team boss Ron Dennis did not know what had caused his DNF until then, though Prost speculated that judging from the tyre marks, it appeared as though Senna had clipped the inside barrier at Portiers, which pitched him into the outside guard rail.
    This season marked a turning point in Senna's career as, throughout the year, he built a deep relationship with Honda, one which would pay big dividends, as McLaren had secured Williams' supply of Honda's V6 turbo engines for 1988.
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    Senna became dissatisfied with his chances at Lotus and at Monza it was announced that he would be joining McLaren for 1988.
    More Details Hide Details Senna finished the season strongly, coming second in the final two races in Japan and Australia, however post-race scrutineering at the final race found the brake ducts of his Lotus to be wider than permitted by the rules and he was disqualified, bringing his last and most successful season with Lotus to a sour end. Senna was classified third in the final standings, with 57 points, with six podium finishes and only one pole position.
  • 1987
    Age 26
    1987 Team Lotus had a new engine deal in 1987, running the same turbocharged Honda V6 engines as Williams had used to win the previous year's Constructors' Championship, and with them came a new team-mate, 34-year-old Japanese driver, Satoru Nakajima.
    More Details Hide Details The team guaranteed Senna contractually preferential treatment over Nakajima in the allocation of equipment. Senna started the season with mixed fortunes: a podium at the San Marino Grand Prix was tempered by controversy at the following race at Spa-Francorchamps, where he collided with Mansell, and afterward in the pits an angered Englishman grabbed Senna by the throat and had to be restrained by Lotus mechanics. Senna then won two races in a row, which helped him take the lead in the World Championship: the ensuing Monaco Grand Prix (the first of his record six victories at the Principality) and the Detroit Grand Prix, his second victory in two years at the Michigan street circuit and the first ever for an active suspension F1 car. As the championship wore on however, it became evident that the Williams cars had the advantage over the rest of the field, the gap between the Honda-engined teams made most obvious at the British Grand Prix, where Mansell and Piquet lapped the Lotuses of Senna and Nakajima who finished 3rd and 4th respectively.
  • 1986
    Age 25
    After winning the Detroit Grand Prix - which took place one day after Brazil was eliminated from the 1986 FIFA World Cup - Senna asked a trackside supporter for the Brazilian flag and he drove one lap waving it.
    More Details Hide Details Thereafter, he repeated this ritual every time he won a race. Senna also had a brief foray into rallying where he tried out a Vauxhall Nova, a MG Metro 6R4, a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and a Ford Escort on a stretch of land closed to the public.
    1986 De Angelis was replaced at Lotus by Scotland's Johnny Dumfries after Senna vetoed Derek Warwick from joining the team, saying that Lotus could not run competitive cars for two top drivers at the same time.
    More Details Hide Details Senna allegedly pushed for his former flat mate and fellow Brazilian Maurício Gugelmin to join the team as a pure number two driver, but the team's major sponsor John Player & Sons (JPS) insisted on a British driver which led to the signing of Dumfries. Senna later admitted "It was bad, bad. Until then I had a good relationship with Derek." Senna started the season well, coming second in Brazil behind the Williams-Honda of Nelson Piquet, and winning the Spanish Grand Prix by just .014s from Piquet's team mate Nigel Mansell in one of the closest finishes in Formula One history to find himself leading the World Championship after two races. However, poor reliability, particularly in the second half of the season, saw him drift behind the Williams pairing of Mansell and Piquet, as well as defending and eventual champion, Alain Prost. Nonetheless, Senna was once more the top qualifier with eight poles, with a further six podium finishes included another win at the Detroit Grand Prix, thus finishing the season fourth in the driver's standings again, with a total of 55 points.
  • 1985
    Age 24
    Senna then courted Adriane Yamin, daughter of an entrepreneur from São Paulo, who was 15 years old when they began the relationship in 1985 and often chaperoned by her mother during meetings with Senna.
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    1985 Senna was partnered in his first year at Lotus-Renault by Italian driver Elio de Angelis.
    More Details Hide Details At the second round of the season, the Portuguese Grand Prix, Senna took the first pole position of his Formula 1 career. He converted it into his first victory in the race, which was held in very wet conditions, winning by over a minute from Michele Alboreto and lapping everyone up to and including 3rd placed Patrick Tambay. The race was the first 'Grand Slam' of Senna's career, as he also set the fastest lap of the race. He would not finish in the points again until coming second at the Austrian Grand Prix, despite taking pole three more times in the intervening period. (His determination to take pole at the Monaco Grand Prix had infuriated Alboreto and Niki Lauda; Senna had set a fast time early and was accused of deliberately baulking the other drivers by running more laps than necessary, a charge he rejected, though the accusations would continue in Canada when drivers accused him of running on the racing line when on his slow down lap forcing others on qualifiers to move off line and lose time). Two more podiums followed in the Netherlands and Italy, before Senna added his second victory, again in wet conditions, at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Senna's relationship with De Angelis soured over the season, as both drivers demanded top driver status within Lotus and, after spending six years at the team, De Angelis departed for Brabham at the end of the year, convinced that Lotus were becoming focused around the Brazilian.
  • 1984
    Age 23
    Senna also raced in two high-profile non-Formula One races in 1984: The ADAC 1000-km Nürburgring where, alongside Henri Pescarolo and Stefan Johansson, he co-drove a Joest Racing Porsche 956 to finish 8th, as well as an exhibition race to celebrate the opening of the new Nürburgring before the European Grand Prix.
    More Details Hide Details Notably this race involved several past and present Formula 1 drivers, including Stirling Moss and past World Champions Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme and Alan Jones), driving identical Mercedes 190E 2.3–16 sports cars. Alain Prost started from pole position, but Senna took the lead in the first corner of the first lap, winning ahead of Niki Lauda and Carlos Reutemann. After the race, Senna was quoted as saying, "Now I know I can do it." Senna was a last-minute inclusion in the Mercedes race, taking over from Emerson Fittipaldi.
    Senna made his debut at the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, where he qualified 17th, but had the dubious honour of being the first retirement of the season when the Hart 415T engine blew its turbo on lap 8.
    More Details Hide Details He scored his first World Championship point in his second race at the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami with severe muscle spasms, replicating that result two weeks later at the Belgian Grand Prix. A combination of tyre issues and a fuel-pressure problem resulted in his failure to qualify for the San Marino Grand Prix, the only time this happened during his career. Toleman decided not to run both cars during Friday qualifying at Imola due to a dispute with tyre supplier Pirelli (Toleman were in the process of switching from Pirelli to Michelin). Senna then suffered a fuel-pressure problem in the wet Saturday session at Tosa (the furthest point on the circuit from the pits) and did not have enough time for it to be fixed to allow him to make the grid. Senna's best result of the season came at the Monaco Grand Prix, the first wet-weather race of the season. Qualifying 13th on the grid, he made steady progress in climbing through the field, passing Niki Lauda for second on lap 19. He quickly began to cut the gap to race leader Alain Prost, but before he could attack Prost, the race was stopped on lap 31 for safety reasons, as the rain had grown even heavier. At the time the race was stopped, Senna was catching Prost by about 4 seconds per lap (while the Tyrrell-Ford of Stefan Bellof was catching both at the same rate).
    During 1984, Senna hired Nuno Cobra to assess his physical condition.
    More Details Hide Details Senna had been worried about his condition due to low weight.
    He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984 before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next three seasons.
    More Details Hide Details In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grands Prix that year and Senna claimed his first World Championship.
  • 1983
    Age 22
    Senna's test for Brabham occurred at Paul Ricard in November 1983, and he set lap times two seconds slower than the team's lead driver, Nelson Piquet, who allegedly gave Senna the nickname "the São Paulo taxi driver".
    More Details Hide Details Senna impressed the Brabham team and was linked to their second seat. However, the team's main sponsor, Italian dairy company Parmalat, wanted an Italian driver. Brabham's second car was eventually shared by brothers Teo and Corrado Fabi, while Piquet convinced Ecclestone to sign his friend Roberto Moreno as the test driver. Consequently, he joined Toleman, a relatively new team, using less competitive Pirelli tyres. Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto, a former Grand Prix motorcycle racing world champion, was his team mate.
    In 1983, Senna tested for Formula One teams Williams, McLaren, Brabham, and Toleman.
    More Details Hide Details Peter Warr of Lotus, Ron Dennis of McLaren, and Bernie Ecclestone of Brabham made offers for testing in 1984 and presented long-term contracts that tied Senna to driving later on. During his test for Williams at the 3.149-km (1.957-mi) Donington Park circuit, Senna completed 40 laps and was quicker than the other drivers, including Williams' reigning World Champion Keke Rosberg. Neither Williams nor McLaren had a vacancy for the 1984 season. Both Williams boss Frank Williams and McLaren boss Ron Dennis noted that Senna insisted that he got to run their cars before anyone else (other than their regular drivers such as Rosberg) so that he would have the best chance of a good showing by having a fresh car. Peter Warr actually wanted to replace Nigel Mansell with Senna at Lotus, but their British-based title sponsor, Imperial Tobacco (John Player & Sons), wanted a British driver. Senna, however, was determined to drive that season and certainly on his own terms.
    In 1983, Senna drove in the British Formula Three Championship for the West Surrey Racing team.
    More Details Hide Details He dominated the first half of the season until Martin Brundle, driving a similar car for Eddie Jordan Racing, closed the gap in the second part of the championship. Senna won the title at the final round after a closely fought and, at times, acrimonious battle with the Briton. In November that year, Senna also triumphed at the inaugural Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix with Teddy Yip's Toyota-powered Theodore Racing Team.
  • 1982
    Age 21
    Senna became the first driver Lotus had signed not personally chosen by team founder Colin Chapman, who had died in 1982.
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    Senna went on to win the 1982 British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships.
    More Details Hide Details For that season, Senna arrived with sponsorship from Banerj and Pool.
  • 1981
    Age 20
    Senna was married to Lilian de Vasconcelos Souza from 1981 until 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Vasconcelos, whom he had known since childhood, had difficulty adapting to her husband's racing life in England. Vasconcelos later said: "I was his second passion. His first passion was racing... There was nothing more important in the world for him, not family, not wife, nothing." Though he did not have much of an income early in his racing career, Senna insisted on supporting his wife with no help from his father out of a sense of pride. The marriage ended in divorce.
    In 1981, Senna moved to England to begin single-seater racing, winning the RAC and Townsend-Thoreson Formula Ford 1600 Championships that year with the Van Diemen team.
    More Details Hide Details Despite this, Senna initially did not believe he would continue in motorsport. At the end of that season, under pressure from his parents to take up a role in the family business, Senna announced his retirement from Formula Ford and returned to Brazil. Before leaving England, however, Senna was offered a drive with a Formula Ford 2000 team for £10,000. Back in Brazil, he decided to take this offer and returned to live in England. As da Silva is a very common Brazilian name, he instead adopted his mother's maiden name, Senna.
    Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983.
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  • 1978
    Age 17
    In 1978, he was the teammate of Terry Fullerton, from whom Senna later felt was the rival he got the most satisfaction racing against also because of the lack of money and politics at that level.
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    He contested the Karting World Championship each year from 1978 to 1982, finishing runner-up in 1979 and 1980.
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  • 1977
    Age 16
    Senna went on to win the South American Kart Championship in 1977.
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    Senna attended Colegio Rio Branco in the São Paulo neighbourhood of Jardins and graduated in 1977 with a grade 5 in physics along with other grades in mathematics, chemistry, and English.
    More Details Hide Details He later enrolled in a college that specialised in business administration, but dropped out after three months. Overall, his grades amounted up to 68%. Senna's first kart was built by his father using a small 1-HP lawnmower engine. Senna started racing at Interlagos and entered a karting competition at the age of 13. He started his first race on pole position, facing rivals who were some years older than him; despite this, he managed to lead most of the race before retiring after colliding with a rival. His father supported his son and Lucio Pascal Gascon soon managed the developing talent.
  • 1960
    Born on March 21, 1960.
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