Motor Racing: Prost's touching tribute to Senna: Friends and colleagues bear a champion's body to his grave

FORMULA ONE drivers from the past and present helped to bear the coffin of Ayrton Senna to his grave in Sao Paulo's Morumbi cemetery yesterday as Brazil continued to mourn its three-times world champion.

Alain Prost, who retired at the end of his title-winning 1993 season to be replaced in the Williams team by Senna, was joined at the funeral by two other former champions, Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi. Gerhard Berger, Derek Warwick, Thierry Boutsen, Michele Alboreto, and Senna's compatriots, Rubens Barrichello, Christian Fittipaldi and Roberto Moreno, also helped to carry Senna's body to the graveside.

As well as Senna's former racing rivals, the mourners included Frank Williams, the head of Senna's team, and the McLaren chief, Ron Dennis.

Prost, four times the world champion, said after the funeral that as a mark of respect for his former McLaren team-mate, he would 'never get into a Formula One car again'. The Frenchman, who had several bitter disputes with Senna and was often not on speaking terms with the Brazilian, added: 'He was the only opponent I truly respected.'

Senna, who died after crashing in Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix, was buried with the honours of a head of state. For the second day running, Sao Paulo came to a near standstill as hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to pay tribute. At the end of the funeral ceremony, Air Force planes used smoke to draw a huge heart in the sky with the letter S at the top. In Rio de Janeiro, the Sugar Loaf mountain cable car was stopped half-way to drop flower petals to the ground.

Senna's body lay in state at the Sao Paulo legislative assembly for 24 hours until the funeral yesterday morning. During that time, about 8,000 people an hour had filed past the coffin, which was covered by a Brazilian flag with one of Senna's crash helmets placed on top.

Brazilians said the event had only ever been matched by the state funerals for the former president, Getulio Vargas, who committed suicide while in office in 1954, and Tancredo Neves, who died in 1985, days before he was to take office as president.

'This is an unforgettable sight for all Brazilians,' a commentator said. 'This is Ayrton's Senna's last journey.' Another said: 'The man has died, the myth has begun.' Yesterday's funeral was broadcast live on all television stations in Sao Paulo.

The Williams team are likely to enter only one car, for Damon Hill, in the Monaco Grand Prix on 15 May but will make a final decision early next week after a testing session at Silverstone on Monday. A spokeswoman said yesterday the team had cancelled a test planned for this week. She said Monday's test would be a 'totally closed and private session with no one allowed in. We don't want either of the drivers on duty, Damon Hill and David Coulthard, to be subjected to unnecessary pressure.'

The Simtek team have already said they will run just one car in Monte Carlo as a mark of respect for Roland Ratzenberger, the Austrian who died 24 hours before Senna during qualifying for the grand prix at Imola.

(Photograph omitted)

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport