Date: 1st May 2013 at 9:14am
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Today is the 19th anniversary of the passing of Formula One’s greatest ever driver Ayrton Senna.

His records may have all been surpassed, while his three Formula One titles has even been matched by Sebastian Vettel. But records only show how successful a driver was in one particular era and doesn’t show the level of competition or a drivers single ability around a track.

Michael Schumacher may be Formula One’s most successive driver, holding the records for titles and race wins, but during an era of Ferrari dominance, Schumacher was in a field of one in an uncompetitive sport.

During Ayrton Senna’s time in Formula One, F1 was arguably at it’s peak, with four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost playing the part of his fierce nemesis, while three-time champ Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell added to the competitive nature of the sport.

Senna took the 1988, 1990 and 1991 Formula One World titles, as well as winning 41 races and standing on the podium 80 times from his 161 Grand Prix starts.

His pole positions to races ratio was second to none, with 65 in total.

He’s remembered for being the master of the rain, almost winning his first race at Monaco in a Toleman in 1984, before matching that master class at Donington Park in the 1993 European Grand Prix.

His McLaren Ford might have been a poor car, but that didn’t stop the Brazilian from lapping everyone in the field up to second place Damon Hill.

Senna’s brilliance just couldn’t be beaten when he was at his very best, none more so than at Monaco, Formula One’s most complex and difficult track, where one mistake leaves you in the wall and out of the race. Senna went on to win Formula One’s showcase event six times in 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 a feat no driver has ever equalled.

His 1994 title challenge may have started poorly after the switch from McLaren to Williams, but many expected Senna to recover to win a fourth World title that year. Only to be tragically killed leading the San Marino Grand Prix 19 years ago today.

With the loss of Senna Formula One changed. Safety changes to the cars and the tracks has meant that there has thankfully not been another death in the sport.

But unfortunately there has never been another driver like him either.