May 1st 1994, the darkest day of the darkest weekend in Formula 1 history. 3 times world champion Ayrton Senna crashed whilst leading the San Marino Grand Prix on lap 6 and was later pronounced dead. A day earlier, Austrian Roland Ratzenberger was killed during Qualifying. The weekend also seen several other serious injuries. It triggered widespread safety measures to be implemented and thankfully no driver has been killed at a race track since.
The wonder of Senna was not just his 3 championships and 41 wins, it was his stunning qualifying speed, his supreme wet weather ability and the win at all costs approach which would regularly spark controversy. I did not personally see Senna race as I only followed F1 from 1997 but hace been fascinated by his career and races like Monaco 1984 and Donnington 1993 showed why the Brazilian is hailed as one of the greatest to ever compete in Formula 1. There was also however a human side to Senna. When his car was examined after his fatal accident, a blood-drenched Austrian flag was found showing how he would have payed respect to Ratzenberger. He donated millions to charity, something which only became public after his death. The Ayrton Senna Foundation has helped young people in Brazil through different projects. If you post a message on Twitter from now till May 15th with the hashtag #sennavive the Foundation's various partners will donate about 75p.
The 2010 season has seen Bruno Senna, Ayrton's Nephew enter Formula 1 with the HRT team. Bruno drove karts from a young age but was stopped by his family after his uncle's accident. He eventually returned to single seater racing and came 2nd in the GP2 championship in 2008. His campaign included a classy win at Monaco. It's been a tough start for Bruno in F1 but perhaps one day he will reach the top step of the podium and make it win number 42 for the Senna name