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Australia
A tribute statue to Ayrton Senna
Prime
Special feature

How the wider motorsport world reacted to Senna’s death

As news of Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident at Imola filtered around the world 30 years ago, it was met with shock and sadness. This is what it meant

A Brazilian great was testing at Michigan

Twice a Formula 1 world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi became one of Senna’s closest friends in racing. He first met him as a 14-year-old karter, who he invited into the Copersucar Fittipaldi garage during a test at Interlagos: “He was extremely shy, very polite but very quiet.” From there, Fittipaldi became his guide and, later, his confidant.

“When I first came to Britain to race in 1969, my F3 mechanic was Jim Russell’s brother-in-law, Ralph Firman [who went on to co-found Van Diemen, the most successful Formula Ford chassis builder in history]. So, when Ayrton wanted to race in England, like I had done, I called him: ‘Ralph, I have a guy who’s going to win the championship for you’, and he laughed and said, ‘Oh aye, Emerson!’

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Edition

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