In Memory | Ayrton Senna's death on this day 27 years ago

01-05-2021 08:00
F1 News
In Memory | Ayrton Senna's death on this day 27 years ago

Formula 1 is filled with historical events which many fans, drivers and team members look back on with a smile. But today [May 1st] marks one of Formula 1's darkest days. 27 years ago, Ayrton Senna crashed during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Imola and died from the multiple injuries he sustained. 

Formula One fans alive at the time will remember where they were when they heard the terrible news. The death of the three-time World Champion and arguably the greatest driver of all time shocked the world of F1 and motorsport. This came one day after the passing of Roland Ratzenberger in qualifying. 

Senna ran wide at Tamburello on the flat-out corner on the circuit in Imola, Italy. 

Perhaps the best ever?

In Formula 1, an impossible question always gets asked. Who is the best driver ever? It's impossible to compare between eras but names that always crop up include Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Senna. 

Senna began his career with Toleman in 1984 and showed us his extreme talent by taking second in the Monaco Grand Prix, a race he would go on to win six times. Success with Renault followed, before his big move to McLaren, where he won each of his three World Championships and formed a bitter rivalry with team-mate Alain Prost.

Senna won the title in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Across his 161 Grands Prix, Senna won 41 races and secured 80 podiums. His 65 career pole positions is still strong enough to keep him inside the top three on the all-time pole position tally. Senna was on pole for 40% of his races. For comparison, Hamilton has started on pole in 37% of his races. 

Aftermath

On May 3rd 1994, the FIA called a meeting to discuss the two deaths across the San Marino Grand Prix weekend, as well as Rubens Barrichello's serious crash. In time for the next race in Monaco, changes were made to how things worked.

Niki Lauda announced the reformation of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association. Lauda, Schumacher, Gerhard Berger and Martin Brundle joined the panel which demanded further safety improvements to F1 at the end of the season. 

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