First posted 1st May, 2012
"He was the best driver who ever lived"
- Niki Lauda
"His skills, craft, subtlety, and courage were of such magnitude that he dwarfed his generation of drivers"
- Ron Dennis
"Ayrton was, and still is, the best Formula 1 driver I've ever seen"
- Bernie Ecclestone
"Actually, he was an even greater man outside the car than he was in it"
- Frank Williams
"Racing is in his blood."
- Senna on his prodigy, Rubens Barrichello
- Alain Prost
"Difficult to talk about."
- Michael Schumacher, on being shown a picture of Senna's helmet in a inteview with F1 Racing magazine in 2001
I was kind of driving it by instinct, only I was in a different dimension. It was like I was in a tunnel, not only the tunnel under the hotel, but the whole circuit for me was a tunnel. I was just going, going - more, and more, and more, and more. I was way over the limit, but still able to find even more. Then, suddenly, something just kicked me. I kind of woke up and I realized that I was in a different atmosphere than you normally are. Immediately my reaction was to back off, slow down. I drove slowly to the pits and I didn't want to go out any more that day.
It frightened me because I realized I was well beyond my conscious understanding. It happens rarely, but I keep these experiences very much alive in me because it is something that is important for self-preservation."
- Senna, commenting after qualifying at the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix
"From that moment (the race win) he just continued to rise until he got to where he was only equalled, in my opinion, by Fangio."
- Stirling Moss, after driving in a Race Of Champions (at the then-new Nurburgring F1 track) race in 1984 with him; Senna won the race by a handy margin. The grid included Denny Hulme, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Carlos Reutemann, Phil Hill, Keke Rosberg, Jacques Laffite, Jody Scheckter, Jack Brabham, Alain Prost and John Watson. At the time, Senna had only driven three races in F1
"On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit.' As soon as you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and your experience as well, you can fly very high."
- Senna, interview for Racing Is In My Blood, 1991
"As a teammate, I realised he was quick on street circuits, quick on quick circuits, quick in the wet, quick in the dry, good in the race, good in qualifying."
“He had this special charisma that you cannot describe.”
- Gerhard Berger
"He might have been the greatest driver of all time. There was not a weakness in Ayrton Senna."
- Michael Andretti, Senna's Mclaren team-mate in 1993 for 13 races
"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’m 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."
Accelera Ayrton, accelera; sua legenda viverá para sempre.