The 2019 Brazilian F1 GP will go down in history by several reasons. Besides being one of the most exciting races of the last few years, this edition was also marked by the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s legacy.
Several tributes were paid to the three-time F1 champion, and some of them are highlighted below:
Bruno Senna takes the wheel of the McLaren MP4/4
Bruno Senna, Ayrton’s nephew, took part in one of the main homages to Ayrton in 2019. The driver had the honor of driving one of the most special cars in his uncle’s career: the 1988 McLaren MP4/4 that won 15 out of 16 races that year, besides securing 13 pole-positions.
That was the car with which Senna won his first world title, after an exciting duel with Alain Prost throughout the 1988 season.
Heineken F1 Festival – Senna Tribute
One week before the Brazilian F1 GP, the o Heineken F1 Festival – Senna Tribute attracted thousands of fans to the Ibirapuera Park Obelisk, in São Paulo (SP) in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ayrton’s legacy. The event moved the audience, with Ayrton Senna’s historic cars being driven by big motor sports stars, such as Emerson Fittipaldi, Felipe Massa, Pietro Fittipaldi, Caio Collet and Esteban Gutiérrez.
The Fest’s main event was the exhibition of Senna’s cars: The Toleman TG184 used by the Brazilian driver in his debut season, in 1984, and the iconic Lotus 97T, the car that gave him his first victory in the category, at Estoril, Portugal, on April 21, 1985.
The crowd was also excited to see modern F1 machines, brought by Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport and Renault F1 Team – not to mention the Mercedes 190E with which Senna won a commemorative race for the reopening of Nurburgring, in 1984, with one of the most star-studded starting grids ever, with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, James Hunt, Graham Hill etc.
Vettel at the Ayrton Senna Institute
During the week of the Brazilian F1 GP, the four-time F1 champion, Sebastian Vettel, made a “surprise” appearance at the Ayrton Senna Institute, in São Paulo. The German, currently a Ferrari driver, was able to see up-close several of Ayrton’s historic items, including the 1990 McLaren with which Senna won his second world title.
Vettel also received gifts from the Senna family after being welcomed by Viviane and Bianca. One of them was a bracelet in the colors of Ayrton’s helmet. The German sported the bracelet throughout the Brazilin GP weekend, including onder his racing suit at Interlagos. He also made sure to check out the 1988 McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo wearing the Nacional hat
Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, now at Renault, arrived at the Interlagos Raceway on the day of the Brazilian GP, wearing the classic Nacional Bank hat. The historic blue hat – along with his helmet – was one of Senna’s most iconic pieces of clothing throughout his F1 career.
Pietro Fittipaldi’s helmet
A test driver for team Haas in Formula One, Pietro Fittipaldi was one of the big names that paid tribute to Ayrton Senna at the Heineken F1 Festival – Senna Tribute. The Brazilian even had a special helmet, exclusively designed by Raí Caldato and made by Sid Mosca’s studio.
The piece mixed and matched the designs traditionally worn by the Fittipaldi with Ayrton Senna’s iconic helmet. The resulting layout received a lot of compliments from fans.
Senna Family meet
In order to watch the Brazilian GP and Bruno Senna’s lap with the McLaren MP4/4, the Senna family got together at the Interlagos Raceway, just like they used to do in the days of the three-time champion. Viviane (sister), Leonardo (brother), Bruno (nephew), Bianca and Paula (nieces) were visibly moved by all the tributes paid to Ayrton throughout the month of November, especially on the day of the race.
The helicopter of the official F1 broadcast was covered in the iconic colors of Ayrton Senna’s helmet. The Aerial footage of the race were generated by the helicopter’s camera, as it flew over Interlagos for three days, covering the event.