Ayrton Senna would have turned 54 on Friday March 21. Unfortunately, he isn’t around to mark such an occasion anymore, but a Google Doodle has helped to celebrate the infamous racing driver’s prestigious legacy.
The image, which you can view in all of its glory above, was blazoned across numerous countries’ Google home pages on his birthday. However, bizarrely, the likes of the United States, Chile and the United Kingdom weren’t privy to it; while Canada, Hungary, Brazil and Malaysia did.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ayrton Senna’s work, he is widely regarded as one of the finest Formula One drivers of all time. Sadly though, the three-time world champion perished at the tender age of 34 on 1 May, 1994, when his Williams car crashed at the San Marino Grand Prix. 1 May 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of his sudden demise.
Several months before his death, Senna even spoke about his own mortality, and according to his profile in the Formula One Hall of Fame, he stated, “I want to live fully, very intensely. I would never want to live partially, suffering from illness or injury. If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs my life, I hope it happens in one instant.”
Throughout his prestigious career Senna drove for the likes of Toleman, Lotus, McLaren and Williams, and his spell-binding displays on the track mean that many Formula One experts often pick him out when they are asked to name the greatest driver to ever get behind the wheel. This is despite the fact that the likes of Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost, someone who Senna developed a great rivalry with, and Sebastian Vettel have all claimed more titles that he did.
However, there was a god-like genius to his ability that seemed to transcend the sport. Senna’s skills enticed new viewers to Formula One, while his numerous acts of generosity across the world also saw him develop into a one of the most popular athletes on the globe.
Even though Senna himself came from a rich background, he often tried to assist the world’s poorest people and at the time of his death it was even speculated that he had given around $400million to charities in Brazil.
Unfortunately, Senna’s life was ruthlessly cut short almost two decades ago, but his legacy lives on and his death saw Formula One drastically improve its safety regulations. Sadly it was at the cost of its most talented son.