Celebrate Formula One Champion Ayrton Senna's Legacy By Watching This Incredible Lap

Eighteen years ago today, the career of arguably the greatest ever Formula One driver was cut short at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Three-time champion Ayrton Senna was leading the race when his Williams car ran off the road due to a mechanical failure and hit the wall at Tamburello, a high-speed corner. A piece of the suspension pierced his helmet, killing him nearly instantly.

This was one of the darkest weekends ever in motorsports. That Friday, Rubens Barrichello suffered a heavy crash and rookie Roland Ratzenberger was killed that Saturday.

Senna was a man that transcended the sport of racing. He was a hero to his native Brazil, donating time and money to help the less fortunate.

But he was also a cutthroat driver. Senna did things in a car that, to this day, are nearly unmatched. His pace over one lap earned him 65 pole positions in his 10-year Formula One career.

In addition, he was ruthless. If there was even the slightest chance of a pass, he would go for it. As he famously said, “if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win.”

Below is the opening lap of the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donnington Park, England. His underpowered McLaren-Ford started fifth, but Senna shines in the wet conditions.

Watch how long it takes the red and white Mclaren to get to the front (via YouTube):

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