Formula One

F1 drivers pay homage to Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger ahead of Imola GP

Formula One pays tribute to Senna and Ratzenberger, 30 Years after their tragic death.

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna - Previews
Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

F1 drivers and teams gathered ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, also known as Imola's GP to pay their respect to motorsport legends Ayrton Senna and fellow driver Roland Ratzenberger, who died during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix weekend.

The Brazilian driver, Senna, a three-time world champion, considered one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time, along with newcomer from Austria Ratzenberger, a rising F1 start lost their lives one day apart during the weekend GP.

Sebastian Vettel, four-time F1 champion, along with the Senna Foundation led the commemoration gathering drivers, crews and other members from F2 and F3 to honor the legends.

The participants of the Senna Track run were wearing t-shirts honoring Senna and wristbands in memory of Ratzenberger.

The group made a reflective stop at the Tamburello corner, where a monument stands in Senna's memory, observing a minute of silence in honor of the Brazilian icon followed by group photos and a 3-mile run around the circuit.

For those who remember Senna, his best performances were during rainy days. Coincidence or not light rain poured over those jogging the track in the tribute to his legacy.

Many people spotted wearing yellow shirts during the event were not even born when Senna and Ratzenberger passed away, and yet they helped celebrate the lives of those drivers who became role models to this younger generation of F1 drivers.

Senna and Ratzenberger may be no longer with us, however, they are certainly not forgotten, and their legacies continue to shine brightly.

In addition to the celebrations, Vettel will also drive Senna's 1993 McLaren in a demonstration run. The car belongs to Vettel and he occasionally runs at public events using carbon-neutral fuel.

“Ayrton Senna was not only a driver who I valued highly for being one of the best racing has ever seen, but also a man of great compassion. It’s been 30 years since his accident and I would like to pay tribute to Ayrton." said the retired German driver. "I will be in Imola for the Grand Prix to drive his car, the McLaren MP4/8. I hope to see you on Sunday, May 19."

During the first free practice, several F1 drivers paid tribute to the Brazilian by signing a panel added to the gate as they entered the paddocks.

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