Maranello, 28 April – In two days time, the Ayrton Senna Tribute 1994/2014 event gets underway at Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit from 1st to 4th May. It’s a tribute in memory of the Brazilian champion, who died tragically in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. On the twentieth anniversary of his death and that of the Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, who also died during qualifying for this Grand Prix, the Imola circuit is opening its doors to the public for four days of motor sport memories. Among the guests who will attend the commemorative ceremony on Thursday at 13h30 will be Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Although they were both very young at the time, they were already keen enough about motor racing to be affected by Senna’s achievements.
“I think Senna set the standard for all drivers and he was definitely the best of his generation,” reckons Fernando on the eve of this sad anniversary. “What made him special was his great will to win and the numbers speak for themselves. He always fought right to the bitter end and that earned him the respect of all his colleagues and it’s what makes him a legend today. I was very little at the time and Spanish TV did not show Formula 1, but I began to know something about him as my father was a fan and my first kart was painted in the same colours as his car.” Although it was a long time ago, Kimi’s recollections are still vivid. “Senna’s death was an incredibly sad moment for the world of Formula 1,” says the Finn. “I was still at school back then and even if I don’t remember much about him, because I was too young, that day has stayed fixed in my memory. I think he was a great driver and a benchmark for many who came after him.”