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.