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How the Senna myth has been transformed

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How the Senna myth has been transformed
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Public perceptions of Ayrton Senna have changed in the 25 years since his death, and myths around him have grown. Do some elements of how Senna has been deified actually do his legacy a disservice?

During the quarter of a century since the sickening image of the blue-and-white Williams striking the Tamburello wall was broadcast to a global audience of millions, Ayrton Senna has been transformed. On 1 May 1994 he was already a racing superstar, regarded justifiably by many as the greatest of his generation, but since then the name Senna has grown into so much more. It's a global brand, a name on countless T-shirts and caps in every corner of the globe that stands for something, even for those who've never so much as watched a racing car in anger.

Those five letters, S-E-N-N-A, have become iconic, an idea, a philosophy of racing that transcends the name of a mere mortal. He has become less a man, more a god who walked among us for 34 years before his very public ascent to the heavens. For a generation, Senna is not merely a great racing driver but so much more than that. Senna has escaped the limitations of his own sport to become a hallowed figure. The legend has overwhelmed the memory. 

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Ayrton Senna
Author Edd Straw