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Discussion in 'Europe General Archive' started by Aragornllum, Apr 26, 2004.

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  1. Aragornllum

    Aragornllum Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 3, 2003
    Ayrton Senna da Silva
    In Life Unbeatable - In Death Irreplaceable



    Schu will never be worthy of lacing Senna's boots
    Byron Young, in Imola

    THE silence in the shade is serene.

    The Ayrton Senna I knew would have loved this place.
    Ivy tumbles down the wall, plants grow wild and there is a cool, calm peace that is missing in the crazy world on the other side of the concrete.
    A gentle wind caresses you from nowhere and you can hear bird song.
    A giant advertising hoarding on the outside of San Marino's Tamburello Bend shields you from the full glare of the April sun.
    Behind it there is a narrow alleyway between two high safety fences hidden from most of the world.
    Unless you clamber over a tyre wall and negotiate a slit in the fence, you would not even know it is here.
    On the other side, the world's greatest driver lost his life on May 1, 1994.
    Here Senna fans have come to pour their hearts out, relieve their grief and to wonder and worship.
    On five giant metal stanchions of the safety fencing, his distinctive yellow helmet has been spray-painted.
    Up and down each, along a distance that on the other side of the wall covered his journey from living legend to dead icon, hundreds of messages of grief are carved in English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and even Japanese.
    Many tears must have been spilled in this place but I sense only tranquillity.
    One message dated 01-06-94 says in Italian: "Ayrton, one month after it is even worse. You were my guiding light and my point of reference".
    Another: "In a black and white world you bought colour to our days".
    As his public relations man in 1987, I can understand their devotion. We shared a frantic season of globetrotting. It was my first in Formula One and his last at Lotus before moving on to McLaren and the glory years that would see him crowned champion three times.
    His intensity and kindness inspired devotion. Despite the growing legend, he was polite and pliable.
    He never let me down when we agreed to a public appearance or a press conference.
    He certainly had an ego but his word was his bond.
    Ruthless as a racer, he was probably too sensitive for his own good in the wider world. I never heard him raise his voice once.
    Michael Schumacher can win 20 titles with his team orders and superior contracts and will never be worthy of lacing Senna's boots.
    The Brazilian wanted to win and liked nothing better than beating his rivals on equal terms. Schumacher wants victory at any price.
    In eight frantic months leaping from continent to continent, I cannot say I got to know him well.
    At Monaco, a race he was destined to win, we walked back to the pits and I asked how he could justify the enormous $20 million salary he reputedly demanded.
    "It is never enough when you are risking your life," he said. Nothing more.
    The driving came naturally, but the public appearances and the enormous adulation embarrassed him.
    In Detroit for the first time in 12 months and there was a 30cm high pile of letters waiting at his hotel. Some included pictures, several of very beautiful women and a proportion were semi-naked.
    After every success he would hand the champagne from the podium and ask me to take it to his mechanics.
    I spent one evening with a small clique of journalists in his hotel suite in Adelaide talking about poverty and the comparison with his world of privilege.
    "Motor racing is nothing," he said. "It is going around and around in circles. If it disappeared tomorrow the world would be no different. There are far more important things in life; poverty, war, famine. These are the important things."
    Journalist friend Mark Fogarty and I were the last writers to interview him on the weekend he died.
    Senna talked about a new bicycle he was promoting, building the Senna brand, his flourishing business empire and wanting to ensure his employees had jobs when his racing career ended.
    Was the sport's greatest dr
  2. Jedi_Orion

    Jedi_Orion Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 7, 2004
    Great man and driver. I was watching the race in '94. Don't remember much(i was just a 9 y.o. kid) but i do remember when they said he was dead.
  3. Nwalme Jade

    Nwalme Jade Ex(patriated) RSA star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 13, 2000
    Best driver ever, awfully missed.
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