F1 drivers answer the question: ‘What does Ayrton Senna mean to you?’


As the 2024 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix approaches, tributes continue to pour in for Ayrton Senna. This weekend’s race marks 30 years since the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, a weekend which saw the tragic deaths of both Senna and Roland Ratzenberger.

The latest tribute for Senna? A video from F1 featuring several current drivers on the grid, answering this question: What does Ayrton Senna mean to you?

“From the moment he arrived to Formula 1, he was just built different to anyone else,” said Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr. “One of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time but most importantly, probably the most charismatic.”

Sainz was not the only driver to weigh in on Senna’s legacy, and what he meant to their own motorsport journey.

“For my generation, he was an inspiration,” described Fernando Alonso.

“One of the most iconic and successful drivers in the sport’s history,” said Pierre Gasly, who has already unveiled a tribute helmet to Senna for this weekend’s race. “Ayrton was a great inspiration.”

“He remains my one and only idol I’ve ever had,” added Charles Leclerc. “It wasn’t only the talent for him. It was also the hard work behind, and the combination of the two made him very, very special. The fact that he was so incredibly talented, he was super inspiring.”

Even some of the younger drivers on the grid shared their appreciation for the legend of motorsport.

“I saw him onboard when he was driving Monaco,” described Yuki Tsunoda. “He’s doing one hand … every corner on the limits, at that point I felt ‘oh, this guy is definitely different.’”

“He had a very exciting style about him,” said Oscar Piastri. “The way he drove the car he really hustled it around, very aggressive, very flamboyant. He’s the ultimate driver in terms of outright speed.”

As Valtteri Bottas noted, Senna’s legacy continues to inspire drivers to this day. “His legacy still keeps motivating people,” added the Sauber driver.

Perhaps Kevin Magnussen summed it up best.

“Senna was always viewed as the biggest legend of the sport,” said Magnussen. “The biggest race driver of all time.”

You can see the full video from F1 — including some quotes from Senna himself — here.



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