The year 1993 was one of frustration for Senna, who, after 1992, had not received the technology from McLaren that year to compete with Williams for the season as a whole. In addition, he was no longer forced to watch the victories of Nigel Mansell, but of his arch-rival Alain Prost, who was returning after a year’s absence, while he had also won five races.

He achieved one of his most, if not his most, memorable successes, and his last victory in Monaco; and at the end of the season, after his last career victory, he begged the retiring Prost to accept McLaren’s offer to join the team in 1994.

Senna went on to Williams in 1994, Prost only tested for McLaren at the end but did not accept their offer. So it was at a go-kart race at the end of 1993 that the two legends faced each other for the last time on track. He appeared in two more races, both of which he crashed out of, but the one race that most people will remember about Senna from 1994 is the San Marino Grand Prix. On the black weekend at Imola (as it is known), first Roland Ratzenberger and then the three-time world champion Brazilian died in the next race.

The doctor was in the grandstand attending to spectators injured by debris flying into the grandstand after Pedro Lamy and JJ Lehto’s crash when Senna’s Williams spun out at the start of lap 7 at Tamburello corner. After the medical team reported what had happened, Dr Gordini immediately headed to the scene of the accident a few hundred metres away.

“I was immediately worried, because that corner brought back bad memories of Gerhard Berger’s 1989 accident, when he was trapped in a burning Ferrari and only the fire brigade’s quick intervention saved him,” he recalled to the Italian sports daily. I arrived a few minutes after Professor Sid Watkins. Senna was breathing on his own at the time, but had already slipped into a coma. He had lost a lot of blood from the wound above his right eye and the Williams’ suspension coming off had broken his neck.” This is how Dr Gordini remembers the incident.

As Professor Watkins, F1’s official doctor, wrote in his book, it was clear from the moment Senna’s helmet was removed that the Brazilian was beyond redemption. Nevertheless, everyone did their duty and the desperate fight for the three-time world champion’s life began. The medical team decided to take him to the Maggiore hospital by helicopter. His heart stopped, but we managed to restart it. The doctors did not give up after that, but soon had to admit that Senna was gone.

At the end of the San Marino Grand Prix, won by Michael Schumacher, several people rushed from the track to the hospital. Among them was Gerhard Berger, then back at Ferrari, who had spent three years with Senna at McLaren between 1990 and 1992, and who had a friendly relationship with the Formula 1 driver. Ayrton Senna was a driver of endless power and stamina who won many prizes throughout his career. His memory lives on to this day.

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