Ayrton Senna – The Last Night

Words by Raj Hunjan

This book is a celebration of the life of a great, one that lives on in legends, stories, pictures and videos. It is safe to say that Ayrton Senna inspired a generation of race car drivers. Without his unwavering commitment to always go for a gap, we may not have seen the likes of Lewis Hamilton. Looking through this book took me back to watching Senna when I was a child on the television, in fact as a result of looking through the book, I went back and watched the movie Senna, the extended edition.

Ayrton Senna. The Last Night recounts the captivating story through the writings of Giorgio Terruzzi and the photography of Ercole Colombo, who combines a passion for Formula One and an innate journalistic talent with the aesthetic touch of a great photographer.

Some believe that pictures capture part of the soul of those that are in the images. Looking through The Last Night, you can see why some may believe this. Senna had great talent, but also expressed his emotions for all to witness and share. In the pictures laid out in this book you can easily pick out some of the thoughts and emotions inside of the late Brazilian F1 champion during his career. I am incredibly grateful that there are incredible images of Senna, doing what he loved and couldn’t taken himself away from, despite winning three F1 titles.

Everyone who followed Formula One remembers where they were during that fateful F1 weekend at Imola in May 1994. It marks a point in time when a pause was necessary, to reflect on the tragic passing of a great icon, to millions of people in Brazil and worldwide.

I often think about Senna, what would he be like now, what would he think about the current state of Formula One, how would he rate the drivers of today. I believe that Hamilton, who idolises him to this day, would have been a great friend and mentee of Senna. I still question whether Senna’s passing was destined or not. Regardless, this book stirs the conscious and encourages you to take a wider perspective on life.

The story of Ayrton Senna is not easy to tell. It involves retracing an intense competitive career, looking into the vulnerable soul of a complex man, and reliving his tragic death, which occurred during the bloodiest weekend in the history of modern motor racing. It also means paying homage to a truly heroic figure, whose grace and appeal remain intact.

The book covers the most important moments in Senna’s life: his brilliant wins, his defeats, the loss of his friends, his great rivalries with other drivers, his emotions and family relationships. It concludes with the thoughts, contradictions, and feelings of Senna’s last night, and the terrible accident that cost him his life.

For me, this book is a time machine, a look at the past when Senna had the Formula One world at his fingertips with no end in sight. I find it eery seeing those pictured with him that are still alive. I imagine that most are still deeply touched by their time with Senna, remember their shared moments with him well and often reflect on that period in their lives. The images in this book capture that and invite you in to the inner sanctum of Senna’s life.

About the Author
Giorgio Terruzzi is a writer, journalist and great expert on Formula One racing. He has worked with many newspapers including Corriere della Sera. In 2015, his book Suite 200: L’ultima notte di Ayrton Senna (2014) won the Bancarella Sport prize.

Published October 2016
160 pages
30 x 20 cm
Price: £ 34.95
ISBN 978-88-572- 3153-2