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Ayrton Senna's legacy continues to hold a profound significance for Brazilians and motorsport enthusiasts worldwide. His remarkable talent, passion, and tragic end have etched him into the collective memory, making him more than just a racing icon but a symbol of Brazilian pride and resilience.

It is 30 years since his tragic death at the Imola circuit on 1 May, 1994 and fans of the three-time Formula One world champion placed flowers, photographs, and Brazilian flags at Senna's gravesite in his birthplace of Sao Paulo, where he was interred. Several individuals took part in a fun run organised on the intricate curves of the Interlagos motorsport circuit, where Senna clinched two poignant Formula One triumphs towards the conclusion of his career in 1991 and 1993.

At Rio de Janeiro's renowned Copacabana beach, a parade of supporters spanning different ages paused to capture memories with a bronze statue commemorating Senna. UNESCO acknowledged the Ayrton Senna Institute in 2004 for its educational initiatives dedicated to assisting children from underprivileged communities.

"Ayrton always said that if you wanted to change things you had to start with education," Ayrton's sister and president of the institute, Viviane Senna, said on social media. The Brazilian government announced a three-day period of national mourning for Senna, who passed away in an Italian hospital due to head injuries sustained in the crash.

One million Brazilians gathered in Sao Paolo to honour him, filling the airport and lining the city streets to witness his casket procession before a private burial ceremony. Bernie Ecclestone, the ex-Formula One chief, expressed remorse on Wednesday for prematurely informing Ayrton Senna's brother about the demise of the three-time world champion following his crash.

Brazilian F1 legend Senna's death has been mourned by many 30 years on. GETTY IMAGES
Brazilian F1 legend Senna's death has been mourned by many 30 years on. GETTY IMAGES

"As soon as Senna's accident happened I went into the control tower," Ecclestone told AFP by phone from Portugal. "Sid Watkins was at the scene of the accident. I thought he said 'he is dead' and told his brother (Leonardo Senna). When in fact Sid had said 'it's his head'.

"As a person you could not complain with Ayrton. He was a really complete person, who had his principles and his own way to think about things. One respected he was a bit different.

"He was one of the best at the time, probably the best," he added. I do not think anyone dominated as Max (Verstappen) is today. He was a flamboyant driver and a nice looking guy.

"Ayrton used to ring my children late at night in Brazil and chat with them," continued the 93-year-old Englishman. "The relationship soured a bit after his death with his sister (Viviane) and family, who thought that I should never have said he was dead when he was not.

"I never went to the funeral. I went to Brazil and my then wife stood at the front along with the Mayor of Sao Paulo as the funeral cortege passed. That is how close we were to him. I stayed in our hotel room and watched on television and came home straight afterwards."