Monday, 2 May 2011

Senna & Ratzenberger Remembered

This weekend saw the 17th anniversary of the passing of two great Formula One drivers.

The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix saw young Austrian, Roland Ratzenberger, lose his life whilst qualifying for the Grand Prix in his Simtek.

The next day during the race, Ayrton Senna's Williams crashed from the lead of the race, killing the famous Brazilian.

Ratzenberger had failed to qualify in his first Grand Prix in Brazil, and qualified at the back of the grid for the Pacific Grand Prix. His third attempt was the Imola circuit in San Marino, but it was also to be his last, crashing at Villeneuve corner with a suspected front-wing problem.

Senna was, and still is, considered by many to be the greatest driver of all time. Having won three Drivers World Championships, and now looking for a fourth, the often controversial driver was leading the race before his car inexplicably left the circuit at the high speed Tamburello corner. He was airlifted to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Many people have left messages remembering the two drivers:

Lotus-Renault Test Driver Bruno Senna (Ayrton's nephew) - @BSenna:
"Thanks for all the good wishes! The most important thing is to keep the best Ayrton left for us always!! His best memories are what I keep."

BBC F1 Presenter Jake Humphrey - @Jakehumphreyf1:
"Unbelievable isn't it. This weekend SEVENTEEN years ago F1 lost #RolandRatzenberger and then the following day #Ayrton Senna. Lest we forget"

Formula One Journalist Craig Scarborough - @ScarbsF1:
"17 years since we lost senna & ratzenberger, surely a tough time today for team members who were at williams & simtek at the time."

The silver lining however, is that following increased safety requirements which have been introduced as a result of these accidents, no Formula One driver has been killed since this tragic weekend.

Roland Ratzenberger 4 July 1960 - 30 April 1994.
Ayrton Senna 21 March 1960 - 01 May 1994.
Rest In Peace

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