Ayrton Senna, beauty dies young

In death an eternal promise of life.

The signs of May 1, 1994 can still be seen on the asphalt of the Imola Circuit. A very fast left-hander, the Tamburello corner, and the Williams FW16-Renault in Rothmans livery started at 310 km/h, which, on the seventh lap of racing, goes off the track due to a structural failure of a driver’s precision instrument, the steering, modified overnight for more ergonomics in the cockpit. After hitting the wall, the front right strut pierces the helmet visor like a sword and fate plays along. In that one seater, in that yellow helmet There was Ayrton Senna, he will never wake up again.

It was a tragic and powerful death that was broadcast live around the world and changed the fortunes of Formula 1. The funeral in Brazil was it an act of state: At home, Ayrton was considered a sporting hero, a benefactor, almost a political figure, such was his weight in the collective imagination. A man who not only made his country great and his flag famous in the first world, but also a man who never forgot his origins and devoted himself to charity to help those who, unlike him, were not fortunate had to be born into the wealthy class.

So his charisma came not only from his role as a Formula 1 driver, but from his interpretation this role.

Senna was an extraordinary automotive genius: the ultimate talent, according to most pilots still in business. The pilot of the fans, but also the pilot of the pilots; a unique feature if only for the extreme individualism that characterizes the profession, ‘the driver’s ultimate driver’ as Jeremy Clarkson defines it. For this car driving genius, “Magic” combined wild aggressiveness in the race and a sometimes unscrupulous spirit of competition, such was the hunger for victories, but also a unique aesthetic serenity, a sense of proportion and a captivating emotions whenever he communicated, in interviews, public and private.

Ayrton Senna best expressed the ethical and aesthetic beauty of being a pilot: a life full of strong, passionate, fierce and at the same time soft, balanced colors, the quintessence of what is anything but a “crazy” sport. Passionate and uncompromising, strict with himself, an eternal contrast between chaos and order, anger and calm. It went beyond sports touch the most human strings, to revolutionize an existence with the wild and melancholic gaze of a person who wanted to free himself from something. It contained and conveyed a deep secret.

Nevertheless, he managed to make sure of it with his charismaknightly epic of the ancestor heroes of speed: the idea of ​​Italian Futurism, the new man who mastered the machine with heart and reason, a man worthy of fame and perhaps just because of that worthy of an early death. A death that freed him from the abundance of life and from the sense of torment that made him different from the others, as if he were striving for something, as if he were born to pursue that something that has never been explained.

“His death, tragic as it is, is a complete victory. beauty should die youngeverything else that lives as long as possible.

Maybe it’s just like Yukio Mishima wrote about James Dean in “Star” (a story published in 1960 by Gunzo, a literary magazine published by Kodansha). Back then, Mishima had fallen in love with the incredible and Tragic Story of the “Rebel Without a Cause”, who died at the wheel of a Porsche 550 Spyder at the age of 21. Mishima and Senna never met: the first died when Ayrton was 10, but the Brazilian lived through an existence and death that would surely have inspired Mishima, so tormented if not obsessed with the subject of heroic death, both personal and artistic.

«The conditions for an early death are cruel. In the meantime, you must be perfect for the role; then chance must play its part, it must glorify you». And like James Dean, Ayrton Senna fulfilled both conditions flawlessly. He had an extraordinary sensitivity and an expression that embodied his way of life: a mystical way the stature of a young animalclenched in pain, shaking as if her arms were wounded, with a dark and childish smile.

“A life that has only to face death to be marked and broken by it may be nothing more than one brittle glass».

The years to come would see Senna give up racing, retire into private life, maybe write novels, who knows, or at worst become a commentator on a motorsport so involved that he loses his sense of purpose, becoming little more than a show where adrenaline is injected with a syringe and not produced by the hearts of the pilots. Who knows how he would live today, after 60 years. Ayrton wouldn’t have gotten it right today.

A man who was not afraid of death because it made him live and win face to face. Ayrton produced art not only through instruction, but it was a work of art in personthat gives us the bitter taste of emotions but also the power of inspiration that transmits its deepest and most melancholic contrasts: that levitation that keeps us alive, a sensation perfectly represented by “A Morte”, the final soundtrack of the becomes Movie by Asif Kapadia. So died Senna da Silva, the beloved of the gods, spared the decline of life and Formula 1.

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