The Senna cult is tarnishing his true F1 legacy

These days, big anniversaries are usually only designated by multiples of 5 or years ending in 0 since the event passed.

Take for example the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna in 1994. In 2019 – 25 years later – special reflective packages were produced and great tributes were paid while quiet respect was paid in the intervening years.

Of course, with the 30th anniversary of the murder of the rising Austrian and three-time Brazilian world champion, there will be a lot of focus around their deaths at Imola, especially with the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix being held just 18 days after three decades in the making. To four.

Expect a special Senna helmet like the one worn by Pierre Gasly at Imola and TV packages made up of a current driver – in this case also Gasly – driving the famous Senna as it was a demonstration of the 1993 McLaren MP4-8 by Sebastian Vettel on race morning.

But how much is enough, when will we become saturated with the myth and legend of Ayrton Senna rather than remembering the flawed genius he was?

Senna legend

Much of the legend and deification of Cena stems from the 2010 film Cinnamon tree Who presented his topic in the manner of the lives of the saints.

The film was released 16 years after Senna's death, portraying Alain Prost as the villain and disruptor of the calm, god-like Senna. Prost was “disturbed” by the way the film portrayed his relationship with Senna, but when introducing Senna's story to a new generation of fans, first impressions stick.

What also didn't help the rise of Cena's cult was having a segment broadcast on the air maximum speed Jeremy Clarkson interviewed Lewis Hamilton, who drove Senna's famous MP4-4 car. Clips from Senna's race were combined with another interview with Martin Brundle – Senna's old Formula 3 rival – in which the Senna carter was once again depicted as a god-like figure who donated huge sums of money to charity to help fight poverty.

To be fair to maximum speed, The most reckless and dangerous act in Formula 1 history as Senna took out Prost at the first turn of the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix to essentially settle the score and prove a point from 1989 and that was pole position on the “wrong” side of the race track, respectively. , was shown in a fairer light than the film.

In the In the film, this is depicted as Cena suffering some massive injustice and that he resolutely righted the wrong.

© Photo4

Kennedy comparison

Now of course, any time a global icon is brought down in their prime, as Cenna was in front of a global audience of millions, the legend surrounding them will, over time, begin to overtake their legacy.

Another notable example is President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

Just one week after her husband's assassination, widow Jackie Kennedy moved to protect her murdered husband's legacy immediately with her memorable “Camelot” interview. life Magazine at the Kennedy-Hyannis Port Complex.

It worked.

Today, Kennedy is remembered as a fallen icon of the 1960s, the man whose dream was to send man to the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade, the man whose civil rights voting legislation was shelved at his death for his successor, Lyndon Johnson, to attack in a divided Congress.

The World War II veteran who was poised to lead America and the free world into a new era of freedom—the man whose legacy can be summed up by one of the most famous lines ever said by an American president: “Ask not what you want?” A country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

But Kennedy's life and presidency were much more difficult. Here was a man who attempted to invade Cuba early in his term, failed at the Bay of Pigs, attempted to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro and who had multiple affairs while he was president.

His debilitating health conditions were also hidden from public view, because they did not fit the public relations model of an energetic, modern, youthful and energetic president who took medication daily. In fact, in a cruel twist of fate, Kennedy was wearing a back brace to keep him upright that afternoon in Dallas, preventing him from moving outside of Lee Harvey Oswald's gun range.

Even now, some 61 years after Kennedy's assassination, he still ranks as one of the greatest presidents, even though he served only 1,036 days — the seventh-shortest term of the 46 presidents to date.

But what does this have to do with Cena?

In the run-up to and aftermath of May 1, there was an abundance of content posted on Formula 1's official social media channels, emblazoned with the yellow, blue and green livery that Senna carried on his helmet.

And yet it might be so the McLaren driver, so it is not surprising that the team chose a special livery in these colors for Monaco.

But to fully evaluate Ayrton Senna, we must also take his bad side into account.

This is all good, and it's good to wonder what Cena would have done had he not been killed in terms of future World Championship victories and a run for the presidency of Brazil, but he didn't achieve that.

Getting killed while doing his job shouldn't count towards cementing Cena's legacy, but unfortunately it happened.

It is as if the legend Ayrton Senna is being worshiped instead of Ayrton Senna himself – and this is doing Senna a huge disservice.

© XP Images

© XP Images


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