Gerhard Berger: Senna had no weak pointsMay 3, 2019
Today, the racing world recalls Ayrton Senna, whose life was cut short 25 years ago during a race in Imola. Gerhard Berger – not only a former partner of Ayrton, but also a friend of the Brazilian rider, recalls, what was the three-time world champion.
Gerhard Berger: “Ayrton Senna was the best and most charismatic rider of all time. We became friends when we played together for McLaren. I remember how on May 1, in Imola, before the start, they announced the participants of the race. I then played for Ferrari, and when the announcer called my name, typhosi roared in the stands. Ayrton looked at me and smiled. That was his last smile.
My next memory of him is when I drive past the crash site and see his car in the wall. It was scary, but on the bars before the restart, Bernie Ecclestone told me that Ayrton got out of the car. For riders, this means that everything is in order, so I did not worry.
After my departure, I learned that Ayrton was dying. I agreed on a helicopter and flew to the hospital in Bologna. I wanted to see him again to say goodbye. I saw Ayrton on the operating table. Several doctors stood around his head, and his face was covered. I already knew that hitting the suspension arm killed him.
I am often asked how Senna really was. First of all, he was a man with incredible charisma. He was the best racer with whom I had to fight. Perfectionist. On the one hand, he was extremely emotional, and always had the feeling that he was right. On the other hand, he was calm and reasonable.
He was not mistaken, he had no weak points. When he was fully concentrated, he did not feel any pain or tension, he was like in another world, inaccessible to everyone else. Perhaps that is why his role in the history of Formula 1 was unique.
Each of us knew that if Ayrton would be behind on the track, he would take advantage of the very first opportunity to overtake. Most tugged to the side, barely seeing his yellow helmet in the rear-view mirrors. Ayrton opened us all eyes. He was the first to be serious about training.
For the new season he was preparing in the conditions of forty-degree heat, every day he ran for fifteen kilometers. The rest simply rested, and when they arrived at the first stage of the season in Brazil, they simply suffocated from the heat. In addition, Ayrton was able to concentrate even in the pre-launch bustle.
Because of this, he could act on the limit, and he had an advantage over those who had to focus on himself, on opponents and everything else. In short, he showed me what it takes to become a world champion.
Unfortunately, I have never had the seriousness of Ayrton and his selfishness. I had a talent, but I lacked perfection. One thing is for sure – if all the riders were given the same cars, then Ayrton would always win. It’s a pity we lost him. ”
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