Drivers pay tribute to Senna

Posted on: April 28, 2011 | Comments(15) | Drivers | By: Arni

Ayrton Senna's gravesite

SÃO PAULO –Racing drivers tend to avoid hospitals and graveyards because those places can remind them of the dangers of the sport.

Those reminders, however, didn’t stop two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon from paying his respects to Ayrton Senna, the legendary Brazilian racing champion, who is buried in São Paulo’s Morumbi Cemetery.

“Popped out to see Senna’s grave,” Dixon wrote on Twitter. “Very quiet in a busy city. What a legend!”

Senna remains a hero to many drivers from around the world but no place more than in his home country. The fact that the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle occurs on the 17th anniversary of his passing (May 1) provides extra motivation to the five Brazilian drivers in the field.

“It would be an extremely important win to me because he was a hero not only to me, but for all of Brazil,” said three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. “(Winning on Sunday) would be a memorable day for me not only to win here in Brazil, but on a very special day to many Brazilians. I am going to do everything I can to make sure that can happen.”

Like Castroneves, Ana Beatriz considers Senna her hero, even though she had only begun to race go-karts a few months before his death.

“Senna means a lot to me,” said Beatriz, who like Senna is a native of São Paulo. “He is still a big reference when I think about the sport. We can still watch his races on video and we can see his determination and focus when he raced. He’s still a big hero in Brazil and everyone remembers the anniversary of his death and his birthday.  Racing on May 1 and maybe winning the race in Brazil will be the perfect way to say thank you to him for all he did for us. “

Vitor Meira will carry a very personal tribute to Senna during the race weekend. Meira had his helmet painter Art Rotondo paint a mural of Senna’s racing accomplishments on the back of the helmet he will use in the race.

“I remember May 1, 1994, when he unfortunately passed away,” Meira said. “It’s just a way to say he’s still in our minds. I put him on my helmet and wanted to do something individually out of respect to what he meant to me.”


There are 15 comments for this post.

  1. brent on April 28, 2011 7:58 pm

    Senna….Simply the best. Now. Then. Forever.

  2. Dave R on April 28, 2011 10:13 pm
    Dave R

    An icon of auto racing, period.

  3. Peter on April 29, 2011 1:08 am

    Back then I always woke up early in the morning to watch the races live…that day I will never forget as sienna an shumacer took that turn! It was tragic.

  4. JLS on April 29, 2011 1:43 am

    A very true gentleman Ayrton was. We also have to remember Roland Ratzenberger who drove for Simtek on the eve of Senna’s death. I remember that weekend as well.

    God Bless them both!!

  5. DanSanfy13 on April 29, 2011 4:07 am

    The years pass quickly, but the memories remain clear. Ayrton shines like a star in my memory.

    Good bye Ayrton, we miss you.

  6. NaBUru38 on April 29, 2011 12:07 pm

    Thanks to everyone for remembering Senna this weekend. When Gonzalo Rodríguez died at Laguna Seca on September 11, 1999, he was carrying Senna’s colours in the helmet.

  7. Vitor on April 29, 2011 2:40 pm

    Para nós brasileiros Senna foi e sempre será um exemplo de luta e superação….Nunca esquecerei das suas vitórias…Para sempre Ayrton Senna do Brasil

  8. paul on April 30, 2011 1:06 am

    Still hurts in our hearts. We miss you very much SENNA !!!

  9. Rob on April 30, 2011 10:30 am

    LONG LIVE the memory of 3-times world champion Ayrton Senna! I soo still remember that terrible weekend in San Marino. First Roland, then SENNA…
    I still can’t bring myself to watch the race I have on video.
    When I raced in the 1990’s, I always gave thanks to Ayrton when I won. I win never for get him, and his awesome qualifying! The 1991 Monaco GP pole-lap was magic!
    Only Ayrton could bring the ‘also-ran’ 1993 Mclaren Ford up to speed! I win never forget his blast thru the field to 1st at the Donnington Park GP on that ”crazy” wet track!

  10. Will on April 30, 2011 11:35 am

    Thank you, Senna! Our everlasting champion.

  11. paul on April 30, 2011 12:39 pm

    Since SENNA died , F1 died for me too. Life sometimes is not fair , and what happened to him WAS NOT FAIR for this incredible driver and to his fans … Hope GOD had a good place for SENNA up there. F1 NEVER MORE ,UNFORTUNATELY…

  12. Steve B. on April 30, 2011 12:44 pm
    Steve B.

    MICHAEL SHUMACKER became 7 times world champion only because Senna passed way . If Senna still alive I DOUBT if the Germany driver would win not even 3 world championships.

  13. Steve B. on April 30, 2011 1:01 pm
    Steve B.

    At that time soccer and F1 were the 2 sports that the intere country loved. Senna used to hold the Brazilian flag , after his wins , and that made people very proud watching this young driver win race after race e hold with proud our flag. On sundays , beach volleyball had to wait to start because the whole country were in front of the tv supporting him to one more win. An then , on may 1 1994 this tragedy … We lost the guy who used to give us proud.

  14. Paulo Carvalho on April 30, 2011 7:06 pm
    Paulo Carvalho

    Senna será sempre o maior. ALWAYS.FOREVER.

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