For all those people in Brazil, for all his fans all around the world, he will always be young. Ayrton Senna will always be fast. He will never be old. He will always be the champion of Brazil and of the world.
The grief, even today..., maybe the greatest statement I can make about what he did when I meet a Brazilian soon after that I have to say "I knew Ayrton Senna and I interviewed him over 100 times".
I was on a cruise in the Nile river, and I was with 33 Brazilians on this cruise with my wife and I. And I told one of them that I interviewed Ayrton Senna over 100 times.
Sometime during the next week, every one of those Brazilians had to come to me. They had to talk to someone who had talked to Ayrton, even had to touch someone who had touched, who had shaken hands with Ayrton Senna. It was like I had known and talked to and touched and shaken hands with God. And they had to do the same through me.
These were the people who were 8 or 10 years old when Ayrton won his championships. And as children they were taught that this is one of the greatest man that lived with a Brazilian passport.
When you dedicate 15 years to a sport, you are wondering did you spend those years wisely and I think I did. And I knew that Ayrton Senna thought he had.
Can you imagine? I mean I would've loved to see Ayrton with children and grandchildren out on the beach, but can you imagine hearing that a news report " Ayrton Senna dies of cancer after a long battle of the age of 50".
I don't know. In some poetic, unjust way, it was almost fit in that he died in a race car.
It is very sad about his tragic death, however, I sort of feel the same way as John Bisignano does.
His self-absorption did not preclude deep feelings for humanity and he despaired over the world's ills. He loved children and gave millions of his personal fortune (estimated at $400 million when he died) to help provide a better future for the underprivileged in Brazil. Early in 1994 he spoke about his own future. "I want to live fully, very intensely. I would never want to live partially, suffering from illness or injury. If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs my life, I hope it happens in one instant."http://www.formula1.com/teams_and_drivers/hall_of_fame/45/