Many people are remembered as having "lived fast," but few actually make a living by, well, living fast.
Possibly the most dominant driver in racing history, Ayrton Senna was one of those people, crushing the Formula One Grand Prix calendar year after year. Charismatic, outspoken, and a little bit insane, Mr. Senna drove with the belief that a higher power was on his side and had already codified himself into legend before he met his high-speed end while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. (For a deeper dive, check out the award-winning Senna—it's worth every minute of your time.)
He was a true winner, and we should all take note. Get your pens out.
1. “I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.”
2. “And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”
3. “Racing, competing, it's in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life; I have been doing it all my life and it stands out above everything else.”
4. “I am not designed to come second or third. I am designed to win.”
5. “The danger sensation is exciting. The challenge is to find new dangers.”
6. “It's going to be a season with lots of accidents, and I'll risk saying that we'll be lucky if something really serious doesn't happen.”
7. “Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.”
8. “Suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension.”
9. “When you are fitted in a racing car and you race to win, second or third place is not enough.”
10. “You will never know the feeling of a driver when winning a race. The helmet hides feelings that cannot be understood.”
11. “I was already on pole, then by half a second and then one second and I just kept going. Suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my teammate with the same car.”
12. “Winning is most important. Everything is consequence of that.”
13. “Wealthy men can't live in an island that is encircled by poverty. We all breathe the same air. We must give a chance to everyone, at least a basic chance.”
14. “There are no small accidents on this circuit.”
15. “Of course there are moments that you wonder how long you should be doing it because there are other aspects which are not nice, of this lifestyle. But I just love winning.”
16. "I continuously go further and further learning about my own limitations, my body limitation, psychological limitations. It's a way of life for me."
17. “If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs me my life, I hope it is in one go. I would not like to be in a wheelchair. I would not like to be in a hospital suffering from whatever injury it was. If I’m going to live, I want to live fully, very intensely, because I am an intense person. It would ruin my life if I had to live partially.”
Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. Follow him on Instagram, not the road.