During the winter of 1993 I started working on a book I was to produce with Damon Hill. It was going to be all about his 1994 season, racing with the all-time great Ayrton Senna.

Damon and I watched on like small children as Ayrton went about his duties within Williams GP team and his personal business. Damon and I would come back from eating dinner (we were at Paul Ricard in the south of France) to see Ayrton in his car drowning in faxes. He was non-stop.

Senna portrait

Over those few months before the start of that season Ayrton would chat with me and was interested in the work that Damon and I were doing. The team was very close and it was the most amazing experience to be part of such a huge set up like this.

On the Thursday of that weekend when we all arrived at the circuit, Ayrton handed me an envelope saying have a read and let me know on Sunday night what you think. It was an invitation to do some work with him too…

We all know what happened that weekend in Imola, but for me as a close observer it was just awful and still lingers in my mind to this day.

This Image of Ayrton has sat in the filing cabinet for 24 years. I came across it by chance whilst looking for something completely different.

I was standing in the middle of the garage and turned to watch him put his helmet on before he left the garage for the first session on Saturday morning.

I took the picture, not so special at the time, but twenty-three years later I can’t help but notice how incredibly poignant it is. The look on his face against the white wall of the garage tells such a story.