Ayrton Senna: A Peek Into a Racer's Life 24 Years After His Death

Here are some of the most touching and representative photos of Ayrton Senna's racing career.

Grand Prix of Japan
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Today marks 24 years since Ayrton Senna's death, which gives us the perfect opportunity to explore 24 little-seen photos of one of the best racing drivers to ever walk on planet Earth, and who's also one of the most adored figures in the history of competitive sports.

Ayrton Senna da Silva passed away on May 1, 1994, when his blue and white Williams Formula 1 race car impacted the wall at Tamburello corner, a devilishly fast left-hander at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. The deadly crash of the three-time Formula 1 world champion was surrounded by secrecy and controversy for many years to follow due to the confusing nature of the mechanical failures that caused Senna to lose control.

The Brazilian's death, as painful as it was to the racing community, the people of Brazil, and motorsport fans around the world, triggered an avalanche of improvements to various safety aspects of Formula 1 cars and the racetracks they visit around the world. While it's no consolation at all, Senna's death wasn't in vain, and motor racing as a whole is safer today because of him.

Admire these 24 photos (listed in chronological order) unearthed directly from Getty Images' archives.

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1983: Senna chats with Gordon Murray at a Brabham-BMW F1 Team test in Paul Ricard

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1984: Grand Prix of France in Dijon

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1984: Senna blitzes the Grand Prix of Monaco at the wheel of his Toleman-Hart TG184

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1984: The Brazilian celebrates his third place at the Grand Prix of Britain, where Niki Lauda emerged victoriously

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1985: Senna leads the field in Portugal despite the atrocious conditions

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1985: Senna's first F1 victory took place at the Grand Prix of Portugal

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1985: Gerard Ducarouge listens to Senna's feedback at the Grand Prix of Italy

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1986: Formula 1 visits Detroit, Michigan

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1987: The iconic Camel Lotus-Honda working its magic in Monaco

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1987: Senna "in the zone" at his home race at the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Brazil

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1988: Leading Alain Prost at the Grand Prix of Mexico

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1988: Preparing his visor at the Grand Prix of France at Paul Ricard

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1988: Tension between Senna and Prost at the Grand Prix of Hungary

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1989: One picture is worth a thousand words

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1990: Joking around with Gerhard Berger during the 1990 pre-season testing in Imola, Italy

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1993: McLaren mechanics work on Senna's car during qualifying at the Grand Prix of Brazil

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1994: Flying over Sao Paulo, Brazil with Adriane Galisteu, his long-time girlfriend

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1994: Cleaning his Ducati motorbike at his home in Brazil

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1994: On the Grand Prix of San Marino, just hours prior to his deadly crash

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1994: What was left of his Williams-Renault race car

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1994: Millions of Brazilians mourn the death of their national hero

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1994: A young fan visits Senna's public viewing ahead of his burial

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1994: Fans write on Spa's track surface at the Grand Prix of Belgium

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Present: "Because nothing can separate me from the love of God," reads Senna's tombstone.

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