F1 News

Imola GP dominated by anniversary of Senna's death

Senna lives on in F1 30 years after accident: 'That legacy will always remain'

14 May at 13:30
  • Nicole Mulder

It is 30 years this year since Ayrton Senna tragically crashed at the Imola circuit, a day after Roland Ratzenberger lost his life during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix. This weekend's Formula 1 race in Imola will therefore see extensive remembrance of the tragic events of three decades ago.

Senna remains a role model in F1

Ahead of the Emilia-Romagna GP, several F1 drivers reflect on Senna's passing and the influence the racing legend continues to have today. This includes Lewis Hamilton, who has said more than once that Senna used to be his great role model. "I've said so much about Ayrton, so I don't really have any more to say other than he remains in all of our hearts and within the sport and still such a role model." said the Mercedes driver.

Senna was also influential outside sport: for instance, the Brazilian dedicated himself to helping poor children and donated a lot of money - anonymously - to charities. His family has continued that work through the Ayrton Senna Institute. "And his family, I think, are doing a great job with the foundation, still helping kids," Hamilton added.

Senna a legend on and off the track

Lance Stroll also praised Senna for his qualities both inside and outside the sport. "He's a legend of the sport and someone that changed the sport in many ways. He was a legend on the track and also off the track," said the Aston Martin driver.

"He’s always helped Brazil in so many ways and really, I think, took the sport to another level in so many ways. And even from a driver's side of things, really evolved work ethic and how to be at another level as a driver. So, yeah, he's truly, definitely an incredible legend of the sport," Stroll said.

Valtteri Bottas echoed Hamilton and Stroll's words, stressing that Senna will always remain an icon in motorsport. "I don't think it matters how many years goes on. The legacy will always live and he'll always be a legend and never forgotten," said the Stake F1 driver. Logan Sargeant added: "I think another thing just being that he holds a special place in not only most of us drivers, but the team's heart as well from the history as with them.."

Senna's legacy

Sergio Perez also praised Senna for his legacy. "It's super special to have had a figure like him. He was a tremendous racing driver, very brave. But what I admire the most is how he behaved out of the car, what he did for his country, for the kids, for the younger generations," said the Red Bull Racing driver.

Oscar Piastri also reflects on the most successful period of Senna's career, which he spent at McLaren. "I think he's spent a great deal of his career at McLaren. So, I think for us it's very, very special to have that legacy going on. For me, I was obviously not born when he was racing, but reading through the stories, watching the documentaries, seeing some of the videos of his qualifying laps, stuff like that, it's very inspirational," he said.

"I think it's great that we're still celebrating him. And I think, like Valtteri said, I don't think it matters if it's 30 years, 50 years, 150 years. I think the legacy will still be there. I think it's very special for us all," the McLaren driver said.