Ayrton Senna da Silva was a Brazilian Formula One racing driver who set the autosports world on fire by winning three world champions for McLaren in 1988, 1990, and 1991 — he is still considered one the greatest drivers in motorsports of all time. He succumbed to fatal injuries sustained at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, and despite being encouraged to retire from racing by FIA Medical Chief Professor Sid Watkins after a separate racing death during qualifying, Senna replied that he could not stop racing.
The sport of auto racing is now safer and more popular as a result of Senna’s participation, and his Race-Worn Lotus Renault Helmet in Brazilian flag colors is a tangible piece of his legacy and impact on the sport. The helmet was made in 1985 by Bell and features a clear wet weather visor, with visible traces of where the microphone was attached at the mouthpiece as well as asphalt indentations from particles on the track. This collector’s item has not been displayed or shown since it was added to a private collection in the ‘80s.