Ayrton Senna da Silva (21 March 1960 – 1 May 1994) was a Brazilian racing driver who won three Formula One world championships. He was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. He was among the most dominant and successful Formula One drivers of the modern era and is considered one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. He remains the most recent driver fatality in Formula One.
Paragraph 1: Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983. 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. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda.
Paragraph 2: Senna has often been voted as one of the greatest Formula One drivers 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 prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, and is the third most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost. 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.
Paragraph 3: Senna's final race was the San Marino Grand Prix, which was held on the "Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari" circuit located in Imola, Italy, between races; Thursday, 28 April, and Sunday, 1 May. He had stayed in room no. 200 at the Hotel Castello in Bologna.
Paragraph 4: 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 fourteen races, as opposed to sixteen, in which to win the title. Williams brought modified FW16s to Imola in an attempt to improve the car's handling.
Paragraph 5: On Friday, Senna placed the car on pole for a then-record 65th and final time, but he was upset by events unfolding that race weekend. He complained about the FW16's handling and reported that the car's performance was generally worse after the engineers' latest adjustments. […] As Senna rounded the highspeed
Tamburello corner on lap 7, the car left the racing line at around 191 mph (307 km/h), ran in a straight line off the track, and hit the concrete retaining wall at around 145 mph (233 km/h), after what telemetry showed to be an application of the brakes for around two seconds. The red flag was shown as a consequence of the accident. Within two minutes of crashing, Senna was extracted from his race car by Professor Sid Watkins and his medical team. Initial treatment took place by the side of the car, with Senna having a weak heartbeat and significant blood loss (approximately 4.5 litres). Because of Senna's poor neurological condition, Professor Watkins performed an on-site tracheotomy and requested the immediate airlifting of Senna to Bologna's Maggiore Hospital, where he was declared dead hours later.[…]
Source: Airton Senna Memorial Adapted from Wikipedia May 27th 2014
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