Hamilton: Senna will be remembered forever
1 May 2014 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton believes Ayrton Senna will be 'remembered and admired forever' and on the 20th anniversary of his tragic death at the San Marino Grand Prix, he has hailed the Brazilian as 'a genuine hero'.
Hamilton's admiration for Senna is well known and in his latest column for BBC Sport, he explains how he feels he has had a connection with the three-time Formula 1 World Champion since he was a kid, even though he only actually met him once.
"Ayrton Senna was one of the greatest winners this sport has ever had. But more than that, he was a genuine hero - an iconic character who inspired people from all over the world," Hamilton said.
"It was the fact that Senna was just an out-and-out racer, though, that was most important to me," Hamilton continued. "I can really identify with that. It's exactly how I feel I am. That's why I feel I have had that connection with him since I was a kid."
"A lot of the way I drive today is inspired by the way I saw him drive," added the Mercedes driver. "People say I have an aggressive style and sometimes I don't think that is all just me. I think it's partly because I watched Senna when I was young and I thought: 'This is how I want to drive when I get the opportunity'.
"And I went out there and tried it on the kart track. My whole approach to racing has developed from there."
Reflecting on the fact it is now 20 years since his fatal accident, Hamilton remarked: "This 1 May will be a day of reflection for me. I remember the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix 20 years ago when he crashed and it was very difficult for me to show my emotions in my family so I went off to a quiet place.
"I was only nine, and it was very difficult for several days to really understand the magnitude of what had happened. Your hero's gone."
"Ayrton Senna was an incredible legend, who will be remembered and admired forever," Hamilton concluded.