51 Facts About Ayrton Senna

1. Ayrton Senna used a number of helmet brands throughout his career.

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2. Ayrton Senna experimented with several designs to satisfy him, such as a white, yellow, and green helmet, before settling on a design by Sid Mosca that included a yellow background with a green stripe surrounding the upper visor and a light metallic blue stripe surrounding the lower visor that was first seen in 1979; Mosca painted helmets for Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet.

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3. Ayrton Senna raced for the team in the 1985 and the 1986 seasons.

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4. That year, the UK public voted Ayrton Senna's opening lap of the 1993 European Grand Prix, the 43rd in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.

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5. Ayrton Senna had met various members of the squad, including Ronaldo and Leonardo, three months earlier in Paris, telling them "this is our year".

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6. In 1999, Audi Ayrton Senna was created as a joint venture of Audi with Senna Import.

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7. Ayrton Senna was instrumental in bringing Audi cars into his native country, both as an import and manufacturing business.

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8. Ayrton Senna had an affair with American model Carol Alt, and briefly dated models Marjorie Andrade and Elle Macpherson.

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9. Ayrton Senna dated Brazilian TV star Xuxa from late 1988 until 1990.

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10. Ayrton Senna was married to Lilian de Vasconcelos Souza from 1981 until 1982.

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11. Ayrton Senna was close friends with McLaren teammate Gerhard Berger, and the two were always playing practical jokes on each other.

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12. Ayrton Senna had several hobbies, such as flying real and model planes and helicopters, boating, fishing, and riding his favourite Ducati motorbikes.

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13. Ayrton Senna enjoyed a range of physical activities including running, waterskiing, jet skiing, and paddleboarding.

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14. In 1994, the latter residence is where Ayrton Senna let his last girlfriend, Adriane Galisteu, stay for the start of the European leg of the F1 season.

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15. Ayrton Senna owned several properties, including an organic farm in Tatui, Brazil, a beach house in Angra dos Reis, Brazil, an apartment in Sao Paulo, Brazil, an apartment in Monaco, an estate in Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera, and a house in Algarve, Portugal.

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16. Towards the end of his career, Ayrton Senna became increasingly preoccupied with the dangers of his profession.

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17. Ayrton Senna was a devout Catholic, once saying: "Just because I believe in God, just because I have faith in God, it doesn't mean that I'm immune.

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18. Ayrton Senna had a special relationship with company founder Soichiro Honda and was beloved in Japan, where he achieved a near mythic status.

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19. Ayrton Senna sustained fatal skull fractures, brain injuries and a ruptured temporal artery.

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20. Ayrton Senna had pulled alongside the Vectra and gestured to the driver, Max Angelelli, to increase his speed.

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21. Ayrton Senna spent his final morning on the Sunday talking to former teammate and rival Alain Prost to discuss the re-establishment of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, with the aim of improving safety in Formula One.

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22. Ayrton Senna complained about the FW16's handling and reported that the car's performance was generally worse after the engineers' latest adjustments.

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23. On Friday, Ayrton Senna placed the car on the pole for a then-record 65th and final time, but he was upset by events unfolding that race weekend.

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24. Ayrton Senna died aged 34 after succumbing to fatal injuries sustained during his final race at the San Marino Grand Prix, on 1 May 1994.

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25. Ayrton Senna took an early lead, but Schumacher's Benetton was never far behind.

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26. Ayrton Senna finished fourth overall in the championship, behind the Williams duo of Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, and Benetton's Michael Schumacher.

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27. Ayrton Senna finished second, handing the victory to teammate Gerhard Berger at the last corner as a thank-you gesture for his support over the season.

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28. In 1990, Ayrton Senna took a commanding lead in the championship with six wins, two second places, and three thirds.

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29. Ayrton Senna achieved the feat of leading every lap of those races which was not equalled until Sebastian Vettel in 2012.

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30. Ayrton Senna took an early lead in the championship with victories in San Marino, Monaco, and Mexico.

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31. Ayrton Senna became dissatisfied with his chances at Lotus and at Monza it was announced that he would be joining McLaren for 1988.

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32. Ayrton Senna had a brief foray into rallying where he tried out a Vauxhall Nova, a MG Metro 6R4, a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and a Ford Escort on a stretch of land closed to the public.

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33. Ayrton Senna would not finish in the points again until coming second at the Austrian Grand Prix, despite taking pole three more times in the intervening period.

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34. Ayrton Senna converted it into his first victory in the race, which was held in very wet conditions, winning by over a minute from Michele Alboreto and lapping everyone up to and including 3rd placed Patrick Tambay.

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35. Ayrton Senna was partnered in his first year at Lotus-Renault by Italian driver Elio de Angelis.

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36. At the time the race was stopped, Ayrton Senna was catching Prost by about 4 seconds per lap.

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37. Ayrton Senna quickly began to cut the gap to race leader Alain Prost, but before he could attack Prost, the race was stopped on lap 31 for safety reasons, as the rain had grown even heavier.

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38. Ayrton Senna made his debut at the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, where he qualified 17th, but had the dubious honour of being the first retirement of the season when the Hart 415T engine blew its turbo on lap 8.

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39. Ayrton Senna dominated the first half of the season until Martin Brundle, driving a similar car for Eddie Jordan Racing, closed the gap in the second part of the championship.

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40. Ayrton Senna went on to win the 1982 British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships.

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41. In 1981, Ayrton Senna moved to England to begin single-seater racing, winning the RAC and Townsend-Thoreson Formula Ford 1600 Championships that year with the Van Diemen team.

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42. Ayrton Senna contested the Karting World Championship each year from 1978 to 1982, finishing runner-up in 1979 and 1980.

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43. Ayrton Senna went on to win the South American Kart Championship in 1977.

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44. Ayrton Senna started racing at Interlagos and entered a karting competition at the age of 13.

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45. Ayrton Senna attended Colegio Rio Branco in the Sao Paulo neighbourhood of Higienopolis and graduated in 1977 with a grade 5 in physics along with other grades in mathematics, chemistry, and English.

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46. Ayrton Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Prost.

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47. Ayrton Senna holds a record six victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, and is the fifth-most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins.

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48. Ayrton Senna was acclaimed for his wet weather performances, such as the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix.

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49. Ayrton Senna has often been voted as the best and most influential Formula One driver of all time in various motorsport polls.

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50. Ayrton Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moved up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and won the 1983 British Formula Three Championship.

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51. Ayrton Senna died in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix for Williams.

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