Ayrton Senna

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Racing, competing, is in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life. I've been doing it all my life. And it stands up before anything else.

Ayrton Senna da Silva (March 21, 1960May 1, 1994) was a Brazilian racing driver and three-time Formula One world champion.


  • I started racing go-karts. And I love karts. It's the most breathtaking sport in the world. More than F1, indeed, I used to like it most.
    • TV Interview Roda Viva, TV Cultura 1986 [1]
  • It's important that the drivers stay together, because in difficult moments we have each other. If we are not together the financial and political interests of the organisers and constructors come to the fore.
    • Interview with TV3 Catalunya, 1987 [2]
  • Racing, competing, is in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life; I've been doing it all my life. And it stands up before anything else.
  • By being a racing driver you are under risk all the time. By being a racing driver means you are racing with other people. And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win. And the main motivation to all of us is to compete for victory, it's not to come 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. I race to win as long as I feel it's possible. Sometimes you get it wrong? Sure, it's impossible to get it right all the time. But I race designed to win, as long as I feel I'm doing it right.
  • Whoever you are, no matter what social position you have, rich or poor, always show great strength and determination, and always do everything with much love and deep faith in God. One day you will reach your goal.
    • Interview, 1991 [5]
  • I believe in the ability of focusing strongly in something, then you are able to extract even more out of it. It's been like this all my life, and it's been only a question of improving it, and learning more and more and there is almost no end. As you go through you just keep finding more and more. It's very interesting, it's fascinating.
    • Interview for Racing is in My Blood, 1991 [6]
  • On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit.' As soon as you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
    • Interview for Racing is in My Blood, 1991 [7]
  • We are made of emotions, we are all looking for emotions, it's only a question of finding the way to experience them. There are many different ways of experience them all. Perhaps one different thing, only that, one particular thing that Formula One can provide you, is that you know we are always expose to danger, danger of getting hurt, danger of dying.
  • I won and I'm happy and that is it.
  • I'm very privileged. I've always had a very good life. But everything that I've gotten out of life was obtained through dedication and a tremendous desire to achieve my goals... a great desire for victory, meaning victory in life, not as a driver. To all of you who have experienced this or are searching now, let me say that whoever you may be in your life, whether you're at the highest or most modest level, you must show great strength and determination and do everything with love and a deep belief in God. One day, you'll achieve your aim and you'll be successful.
    • Interview, 1991 [9]
  • If you take away Eau Rouge, you take away the reason why I do this.
    • Interview, 1993 [10]
  • If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs me my life, I hope it is in one go. I would not like to be in a wheelchair. I would not like to be in a hospital suffering from whatever injury it was. If I’m going to live, I want to live fully, very intensely, because I am an intense person. It would ruin my life if I had to live partially.
    • Interview, January 1994 [11]
  • Basically our championship starts here. Fourteen races, not sixteen. It's not a comfortable position to be in, but that's the reality. The team is conscious about the challenge we have to make to recover the ground over Benetton.
  • There are no small accidents here.
    • Interview after Friday qualifying, April 29, 1994 [13]

Quotes about Senna

  • Ayrton Senna may be a genius, but he is a flawed genius.
  • Senna really is the best racing driver in the world, not only the fastest.
  • The best driver in Grand Prix racing, the best driver in the world by a long way.
  • Without any doubt the best driver in Grand Prix racing today.
  • Without doubt the greatest racing driver ever.
  • The guy is head and shoulders ahead of everybody else currently in Formula One.
  • Probably the greatest racing driver of all time.
  • Ayrton Senna is a genius. I define genius as just the right side of imbalance. He is highly developed to the point where he's almost over the edge. It's a close call.
  • I tried to find weaknesses in Senna, but I couldn't. He is 100 per cent in everything. I learned a lot from him, so for me it was a good three years. And I still like Senna. We had good fun, a good relationship.


  • Senna was the greatest driver ever and when someone like him is killed you have to ask yourself what is the point of it all.
  • To my mind, he was the best driver Grand Prix racing has ever seen.
  • He might have been the greatest driver of all time. There was not a weakness in Ayrton Senna.
  • Ayrton was the most misunderstood person out there because he got such a bad rap in the media. I can assure you he was a good person. He was very supportive of me last year.
  • His loss is impossible to quantify. Everyone who has ever met him in whatever capacity feels they have lost someone very special.
  • He got to a position where he was only equalled probably, by Fangio.
  • He was probably the fastest champion I ever saw. He was always stretching the elastic. My goodness was he quick.
  • I'll be honest with you; I was never a Senna fan. I always thought Gilles Villeneuve was the greatest racing driver of them all. But, to make this film, I've watched hours and hours and hours of footage. And the thing is, Villeneuve was spectacular on a number of occasions. Senna — he was spectacular every single time he got in a car.
  • Still we celebrate Ayrton Senna, twenty five years after losing him on May Day 1994. I was in that race, driving the McLaren that he stepped out of to go to Williams. Terrible day... such tragedy, such loss, such a waste of God-given talent. There's only one thing that would make me happier today, and that surprisingly enough is not driving this car, it'd be standing in the pitlane waiting to interview our friend Ayrton after he'd had another drive of this amazing racing car. Obrigado, Senna.

See also


Michael Schumacher

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