I am a big fan of Ayrton Senna. Because I was involved in the sport throughout his career, I watched him in Formula Ford, Formula Three and in Formula One and feel that I could appreciate his talent at close quarters; which I was not able to do with Jim Clark, Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio or Tazio Nuvolari, who also rate as heroes of the sport in my book. I have often watched Moss driving historic machinery, but sadly never saw any of the others driving in their heyday.
I do remember Clark though, from watching races on television and from reading reports. And the trouble that sticks in my child's memory was that Clark was simply 'too good'. If he was in a race, then the others didn't get a look in. It took away some of the unpredictability of a race. And surely that is a sign of a true great.
Senna was similar. Put him in a race, and likely as not, he would win. His talent was matched by a commitment, a self-belief, a 'drive', if you will, that stood him head and shoulders above the rest. He also had a marvellous way of expressing himself. In many ways, he was a very emotional, open character.
However... (there had to be a 'however', didn't there?) in my view, by his very commitment he damaged motor sport irrevocably through the flaws in his character that introduced the current 'win at all costs' mentality.