News & Multimedia

Pagenaud's '500' Helmet to Honor Senna

Wearing a specially-designed helmet in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 25 as a tribute to three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna, who died 20 years ago this month in a Formula One race in Italy, was an idea that began percolating in Simon Pagenaud's mind a few months ago though he's revered and privately honored Senna for years.
 
Pagenaud was choked with emotion as he explained what the Brazilian meant to an aspiring race car driver in France, who never had the opportunity to meet his hero.
 
"Ayrton Senna has been the inspiration for my entire life, whether I'm in a race car or not," said Pagenaud, whose helmet will intermix Senna's yellow/green design with his red scheme. "He was my hero as a child, my role model as a teenager and my example as a human and a race car driver."
 
Simon PagenaudPagenaud, with an introduction from 2003 Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran, contacted the Senna family several months ago to broach the idea. After the Indianapolis 500, the commemorative helmet will be auctioned to benefit the Ayrton Senna Institute, which promotes children's literacy efforts in Brazil.
 
"I have always found myself in Senna's explanation of what driving a race car feels like," Pagenaud said. "I have read, analyzed and studied his racecraft. I've always found so much strength in the dedication he committed to driving to perfection. Senna inspired people throughout the entire world, and his legacy lives on through the Ayrton Senna Institute, which was established by his sister, Viviane. I'm truly honored that Viviane and her son have allowed me to be part of this special opportunity to commemorate Ayrton's memory at the Indianapolis 500.

"I'm so excited to have this opportunity to thank Ayrton for what he has taught me up to this day and what he will continue to teach me in the future."

Senna won the Formula One World Championship in 1988, 1990 and 1991 and is universally considered as one of the greatest racing drivers in history after recording 41 victories, 80 podium finishes and 65 pole positions in 162 F1 races.

Pagenaud was joined at the unveiling of the helmet by three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, reigning race winner Tony Kanaan and de Ferran, who won the 2003 Indy 500.

"The Brazilians that are up here represent five Indy 500 (wins) and we're still not as big as him and never will be," Kanaan said. "Since he passed, the only ones who have won championships from Brazil are the three guys up here, which is a big deal but we're not trying to match him because we never could."

Added de Ferran: "This tribute is not only a touching tribute but a personal one because as everyone knows your helmet is something very personal. Ayrton is still a national hero and continues to inspire people to this day. To see somebody from another country feeling the same way as Helio, Tony and myself -- all Brazilians -- is also very touching."

Pagenaud, who won the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course May 10, will make his qualifying attempts for the 98th Indy 500 on May 17-18 in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports entry.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Pagenaud's '500' Helmet to Honor Senna
 
Pagenaud's '500' Helmet to Honor Senna
Wearing a specially-designed helmet in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 25 as a tribute to three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna, who died 20 years ago this month in a Formula One race in Italy, was an idea that began percolating in Simon Pagenaud's mind a few months ago though he's revered and privately honored Senna for years.
Read More
Related Media
Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone
 
Four-Time "500" Winner Al Unser to be Honored at Legends Day on May 23
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Firestone will honor four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser during the 45th anniversary of his first Indianapolis 500 victory on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at “Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone.”
Read More
2015 Rolex 24 Victory Podium
 
INDYCAR Drivers Continue 24-Hour Race Wins Streak
Victory in the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona will be quite the preseason confidence boost to Kanaan and teammate Scott Dixon, who co-drove the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates car with Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray.
Read More
Indianapolis 500 Parade of Bands
 
Indianapolis 500 Parade of Bands Recognized by Indianapolis House/Senate Resolution
The 90th anniversary of the annual Parade of Bands that will precede the 2015 Indianapolis 500 was recognized by the Indiana House and Senate in a concurrent resolution during the General Assembly at the Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis on Monday, Jan. 26.
Read More
A.J. Foyt
 
Sharing 'Super Tex' Stories on a Special 80th Birthday
Anthony Joseph “A.J.” Foyt, the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and the only driver to win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Daytona and Le Mans, turns 80 today. We asked a few veteran motorsports journalists and broadcasters to share tributes and stories about the man universally known as “Super Tex.”
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Hunter-Reay Presented With Baby Borg Trophy
The trophies are keepsakes for the winning driver and team owner. The 14-inch-tall, sterling silver Championship Driver’s Trophy – a replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy -- rests on a 4-inch by 8-inch beveled black marble base that includes a three-dimensional sterling silver image of the winning driver’s face hand-crafted by noted American sculptor William Behrends, and an inscription of the winning team and year of victory.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 879
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @jdouglas4: The @IMS Northwest Visit looks particularly inviting today! Blue sky & sun! Too bad it's not May! http://t.co/TA8CigwVPd
about 12 hours ago