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via Reuters

Max Verstappen equaled Ayrton Senna’s straight pole position record at the Emilia Romagna GP and explained how it is special since this was the very place where the legend crashed 3 decades ago and passed away. However, in a surprising turn of events, Max Verstappen’s reason for not wearing the Ayrton Senna T-Shirt during the tribute run has come out and it is believed to be related to the Piquet Family.

Max Verstappen has always spoken highly of Aurton Senna and has never disrespected the legend in any way. However, questions were raised when Max Verstappen failed to wear the Senna Tribute t-shirt during the Imola GP run to Tamburello, the corner where Senna crashed. The T-shirt was provided by Sebastian Vettel, who organized the whole thing and had Senna’s name on the front, Forever written on the back with the driver’s number on the sleeve.

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It was revealed a couple of days later that the actual reason was the fact that both Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas T-shirts were stolen, as advised by Sebastian Vettel’s advisor, who spoke to the reporter Mariana Becker. But still, a few people raised some eyebrows as Mariana Becker got her tribute T-shirt signed by all the drivers. Questions were raised over the fact that if a reporter can have a T-shirt, why didn’t Verstappen get an extra one?

And now, Julianne Cerasoli, while writing for uol.com.br has reported that there were plenty of T-shirts around, and Verstappen was even offered to wear one, but he did not, so as not to displease her girlfriend Kelly Piquet’s father Nelson Piquet. Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet had history back in the day and there have been many instances of dispute between the two, most of which are reported as Piquet saying things about Senna. 

Regardless, as Julianna Cerasoli explained the whole thing, she wrote, “I found out that it was really his choice, especially because there were plenty of t-shirts that were offered to him right before the race started. And there was no impediment in relation to sponsors or anything like that. It was a personal choice linked to the desire not to displease his girlfriend Kelly Piquet’s family.”

Regardless, Max Verstappen took part in the run and paid his tribute to the legend at his statue that’s made at the Tamburello corner as Sebastian Vettel spoke about Senna. And that’s not all, the 4X champ also drove Senna’s championship-winning car as a tribute at Imola.

Sebastian Vettel’s Tribute to Ayrton Senna as he Drove the 1993 McLaren MP4/8

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Not only did Sebastian Vettel organize the tribute run, but he also drove Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Championship Winning MP4/8 around the track before the race began. Vettel wore a special race suit, that was the color scheme of Senna’s iconic helmet. Vettel’s helmet featured his iconic German flag down the middle, and on either side was Senna and Ratzenberger’s helmet design.

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Speaking after the run, Sebastian Vettel said, “It’s difficult to put in words – it was one of the strongest emotions I’ve felt behind the wheel despite being alone on track and not even racing. Incredible. When I got the flags out it was so powerful. We had a very strong and emotional moment on Thursday when we ran the track and another one today. It’s overwhelming and I’m happy that I had the courage to address my idea and come forward and invite the Senna family on the idea. We only got positive feedback and it seemed like the right thing to do.”

Ayrton Senna, Roland Ratzenberger, and many other F1 drivers lost their lives and were the reason why the sport focuses so much on safety now. Godspeed legends.