“ 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 am 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.”
— Ayrton Senna, speaking in Estoril, Portugal, January 1994
On May 1st 1994, we had visitors. We went to London on a sightseeing tour. The video tape was timed to record the Imola Grand Prix.
It was a dark weekend on the track. Rubens Barrichello crashed during Friday’s practice. Senna stopped his car and rushed to the medical centre to see him. Barrichello survived the near fatal accident. In the second qualifying session, Roland Ratzenberger lost control and died in the crash. The mood was sombre.
Senna was on pole in the Sunday race. He tucked in an Austrian flag in his No. 2 car. He was to wave it in Ratzenberger’s honour after the finish.
The flag was never waved.
The video tape stayed unwatched.
Two years ago we went to see “Senna”. His arch rival Alain Prost co-operated on the award winning film. The long and bitter rivalry that had marked their careers was subsequently reconciled after Prost’s retirement in 1993. During a lap on the Imola track, Senna was heard doing a commentary for French TV “to my friend, Alain. We miss you, Alain.”
We stood in ovation at the end of the movie. Others nodded in our direction and joined in.
Remembering a lost legend.