Ayrton Senna: The Last Night (Book Review)

It’s not that often that we do a book review, but we’re always delighted to do one if it’s a book about our love for Classic Cars, Motorsport, Supercars or Hypercars.  We were recently asked to take a look at this new book by Skira, titled Ayrton Senna – The Last Night. Now I have to say this is just my sort of book, big on pictures, little on words.


This is a great coffee table book for sure, and if like me you have a place in your heart for Ayrton Senna, then you should love this book.  This book is mainly photographs by Ercole Colombo, the most experienced photographer in Formula 1.  His photos, his passion for F1 shine through in this book.

Giorgi Terruzzi writes a few pages as an introduction to the book, and that is adequate.  A picture can tell a thousand words after all.

The book tries to tell the story of Ayrton Senna, which is very hard through pictures.  It book is broken down into the following subjects titles:

The Racing Driver

So Different, So Alike

Actions & Reactions

The Phenomenon Revealed

The Family Man

The Zen Monk of Racing

Holy Water

Meu Deus

Dear Enemies

Love on the Racetrack

Imola 1994

Some of the categories have a few pictures, others have 10-20.

Ayrton-SennaThe book retraces pictorially an intense competitive career, looking into the vulnerable soul of a complex man, and reliving his tragic death, which came during the bloodiest weekend in the history of modern motor racing.  This is not a book that dwells on Senna’s last race, as there are only several pictures near the end of the book on this, more it pays homage to a truly heroic figure, whose grace and appeal remain intact.  It’s a journey into the collective memory, within which each racing fan cherishes particular moments, personal memories, emotions and grief related to a figure who in some way continues to appear and to race in a highly colourful firmament. This brings us to Ercole Colombo. His photos. His passion for Formula 1, and his innate ability as a reporter, combined with the aesthetic touch of a great photographer.

We highly recommend this book, it covers the most important moments of 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.  This book gets a firm double thumbs up from us, and will be a keeper on our coffee table.

You can buy a copy here on Amazon.


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