My tribute to Ayrton Senna
I had the privilege and the pleasure to work closely to Ayrton for over 4 years and to have known him for another 7 years. So much has been said and published about him it is impossible to be original and very difficult to be creative. So I’d like to mark his birthday by publishing a few of his best quotes to the public and a few things he said to me in private.
Today he would have turned 54. Sometimes I still think I will bump into him somewhere: at the Berkeley’s Hotel, where he used to stay when in London; at Wimbledon, where we bumped into each other in 1987; in the kIngs Road when he brought his last girlfriend Adriane Galisteu. I will be posting these stories separately from today until 1st May.
Here are my chosen quotes. Of course, I have no intention of completely define Ayrton in these sentences. But I hope they will make you see him through my eyes: A Brazilian sports loving woman but not particularly fond of car racing.
Most unforgettable thing he said to me: “It can’t get any worse, Betise”, when leaving the Aida circuit, Japan after I said to him I hoped the European season would change things around. He had been bumped off the race by Mika Hakkinen and , therefore, remained in 0 points against 20 of Michael Schumacher. After that it was Imola.
The one I most agree with : “I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence”. Pure Ayrton.
Racing quote I most admire: “I race to win. You do something very well or not at all”. Simple as that.
Racing quote I best understand : “Winning is the only justifiable reason to risk your life in such absurd circumstances” .
Common sense: “I resist to bad moments as well as I can. The good ones I just lay back and enjoy”. it sounds simple but you should have seen his face and tone of voice saying that. Ayrton took nothing lightly.
About his privacy: “A way to preserve your image is not to let people invade your home. It is a way I have found to keep my personal values” . (only his very close friends and family were allowed in his many properties.
About Death: I don’t fear death. One day it will come. It is the only certainty in life”.
One of the most brilliant, about Mansell: “Nigel is the only driver you can see on both rearview mirrors”. Has anyone forgotten Monaco1992?
His perfect lap: “it is always still to come. It is like tying both ends of your tie so that they are exactly the same length. Experience tells you that you can do it; practice tells you that you can do it. But you just can’t”.
Best quote about Ayrton: “Sometimes I think God himself drives through Ayrton, much as I fell God wrote music through Mozart”, Peter Dick in an article entitled “Why we dislike Senna”.
His motivation: “Sometimes I try to beat other people achievements but most of the time I find it much better to beat my own achievements”
The perfect woman, once he said to me: “She has to be sensual, fascinating, intelligent, beautiful, lively and assured of herself”. I laughed and replied. “Knowing you, I nearly believe you are going to find her.”