This Thursday marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of Ayrton Senna, one of the best motor racing drivers of all time.
As we mentioned in 2011, the Brazilian-born Senna died in an accident after crashing into a barrier in the early laps of the San Marino Grand Prix. He was only thirty-four years old at the time of his death on May 1, 1994.
Though his life was tragically cut short, Senna amassed three World Championships brief ten-year career and until 2006 he held the record for most pole positions with sixty-five. His forty-one Grand Prix victories are third all-time while his 25.64% winning percentage is the third highest among drivers with at least one hundred F1 entries.
Despite his prowess on the track, perhaps his greatest legacy is through his deep concern for Brazil’s poor. Throughout his life he quietly donated tens of millions of dollars for charitable causes and the Instituto Ayrton Senna, a charity founded after the driver’s death, has helped over a million children through a series of education programs.
The following video shows Brazilian TV footage of Senna’s funeral that took place three days after he passed away. An estimated one million people from all walks of life lined the streets of Sao Paulo to pay their respects to their idol and national hero.
Their faces speak for themselves:
Video Source – YouTube user rogermania
Online Sources - Instituto Ayrton Senna; The Guardian; The Latin Americanist