It’s been a quarter of a century since you’re gone. Things have changed, others have come, your rivals have grown old, but you have remained the same and unchanged. But how to explain who you are, someone who has 18 today or maybe 24? The biggest, the fastest, or the god on earth? Many confuse what you were with what you meant to him. Your victories were theirs, the success of the rigid world through your eyes.
Someone who has not experienced you and knows about you only what the older brothers told him, will find it hard to understand. On the track, I have never cheered on you, even though you’ve been driving for “my” team Lotus. This is where an important dividing line is hidden because you are not just a driver, but you were, you are, and you will always be, just a human being. Your exceptional humanity is something that is unjustly ignored by many.
Battles with Alain were often on the edge of the rules and perhaps even over. We all remember “lessons” you gave to young Schumacher and Irvine, but few remember that Mansell has also raised you half a meter above the ground because you were too “ambitious”.
When you stopped in the middle of the track and helped Eric Coma to stay alive, I was sure that you would have done the same thing if Alain Prost was in his place. I believe that even if you hated him so much, you would never have done anything to regret it. The legend says that you went to the last race with an Austrian flag in your pocket in order to honor a deceased colleague. To someone, you actually did not even know, a rookie, but someone who was close to you.
It’s hard to explain to someone who never experienced you how great man you were. Although it’s been a quarter of a century, you’ve stayed here somewhere with us, just like Ronnie, Gilles, Jimmy and everyone else. What makes this great and unforgettable is exactly this immense humanity with all the positive and negative sides. If you like it or not, nobody can dispute your legacy. If anyone asks me who Ayrton Senna was, I will repeat your sentence, the one that best describes you, you as a human being. Ayrton Senna was a man who knew that the second one is only the first loser.