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.

byMay 1, 2018 12:58 PM
Ayrton Senna: A Peek Into a Racer’s Life 24 Years After His Death
Share

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.

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

, GETTY

1984: Grand Prix of France in Dijon

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

1986: Formula 1 visits Detroit, Michigan

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

1988: Leading Alain Prost at the Grand Prix of Mexico

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

1989: One picture is worth a thousand words

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

1994: Cleaning his Ducati motorbike at his home in Brazil

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty

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

, Getty