Ayrton Senna was not only a great driver, perhaps the greatest: he was a living myth. Senna's unexpected and inexplicable death came as he drove towards another victory in yet another Grand Prix. Four years have past and the myth is untouched. Neither the passage of time nor the arrival of new figures imposed by the mass media can alter his fame. Today, instead of victories, it is Senna's trial and the unsolved mysteries surrounding his death that draw the attention of the media, fans and the common reader. Senna's trial provoked great controversy.
The International Automobile Federation threatened to withdraw from races in Italy. What could have been a simple search for facts and the truth of what happened that May afternoon at Imola, became an international case. This was made even more interesting by the doubts and questions that emerged in the hearings where figures like Damon Hill and Frank Williams testified.
Why did Ayrton Senna go off the track at Imola whilst leading his 161st Grand Prix? Why did he die? What happened to his car? Did the steering column give way? The book is more about the trial than the man. Everything possible has already been written about Senna's exploits in the world of sport. This trial is special. It is fascinating, full of questions, mysteries that render it interesting even to the layman. One enters into a rich and fascinating world, filled with light, sound, colour, behind which are hidden many shadows.
Commercially, a novel which draws on an event of great prominence like that of the death of Ayrton Senna in which all aspects of the event are investigated. This book offers the reader a panorama of the fascinating world of racing. It explains the development and less understood aspects of a trial that has entered into the history of sport, and renders all the trial documents and the many mysteries that Ayrton Senna's death seems to hide.
Only available in Italian.
Author: Nicola Santoro
years now - or a moment. It depends who you are and how you feel
about these things.
This is how Christopher Hilton's new book on Ayrton Senna - published to mark the fifth anniversary of Imola - begins.
Time has allowed Hilton to assemble a verbal monument to Senna: 110,000 words of interviews and original material never seen before - including some 80 colour photographs, the majority so far unpublished.
The book is in two parts: an in-depth reappraisal of Senna's career through the eyes of dozens of witnesses, and a detailed examination of all that has happened since May 1 1994. That embraces the campaign for safety, the inquiry and the trial, the Senna Institute to help deprived children and a potential Hollywood film.
Hilton travelled to Brazil to research Senna's childhood and conducted interviews as far apart as Florida and Bologna. These interviews range from early school days through to Ron Dennis and Max Mosely.
Hilton tells: Although I have written extensively about Senna before, I felt it was time to finally put his whole life and career into context. I was touched by how many people - humble and famous - opened their hearts to talk about him. I hope the result brings readers very close to him and his memory in a way never done before.
Author: Christopher Hilton