Monumento ad Ayrton Senna – Imola, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Monumento ad Ayrton Senna

Imola, Italy

Everyday, fans from across the globe visit the statue of one of the greatest Formula One drivers in history.  

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On May 1, 1994, the history of Formula One racing changed forever.

On that unforgettable day Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest F1 drivers, and three times World Champion crashed and died against the concrete wall of the Tamburello curve during the San Marino Grand Prix. 

It was a terrible conclusion to a damned weekend. Just days earlier, driver Rubens Barrichello crashed rounding the Variante Bassa curve. Roland Ratzenberger also crashed during the race and died attempting to navigate the Tosa curve. Senna was shocked by the death of the Austrian driver and decided to place an Austrian flag in his cockpit during the race to honor Ratzenberger. However, his race would last only seven laps before the crash. 

For all F1 fans, the 1994 Imola San Marino Grand Prix is viewed as one of the worst weekends in the history of the sport. After the incidents, the attitude towards safety measures drastically changed around F1. The Imola track was also revamped, as two chicanes were added to the dangerous curves. 

In 1997, a small statue from artist Stefano Pierotti was erected to celebrate Senna’s memory in front of the Tamburello curve where he died. The corner has since become a pilgrimage destination for F1 and Senna fans where letters, t-shirts, and flags are left in remembrance.  

Know Before You Go

The memorial is inside the Acque Minerali Park, so you can reach it only on foot or by bike. If you arrive by car, you can park in Via Kennedy or in Via Malsicura and then take the short walk. 

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