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Formula 1: Memories of the tragedy of Imola


Salzburg Ratzenberger died April 30, 1994 in qualifying. Senna crashed through the day as the leader of the race with his Williams into the wall, the 34-year-old suffered fatal head injuries while. Nearly four hours after the accident doctors at the hospital Maggiore in Bologna he declared him dead.

Senna was world champion in 1988, 1990 and 1991 and was regarded as far back as one of the best riders in history. Especially in difficult conditions, such as rain Senna seemed unbeaten. "As if God would have died," once said that his longtime physiotherapist, Salzburg Josef Leberer. Myth Senna explained, of course, the fact that one can not say that he would have reached the sport.

Destroyed car after the accident of Ayrton Senna at Imola circuit, 1994.

APA / AFP / Jean-Loup Gautreau

The terrible images of Senna destroyed cars went around the world

By the weekend terrified not Formula 1 driver in the race no longer has died after the death of Paletti, 1982 in Montreal. Comparable fateful day Imola probably crashed with 19 June 1960, when the Belgian Grand Prix on the old Spa course the British Alan Stacey and Chris Bristow two drivers with a fatal outcome.

Disaster takes its course

As a result of an accident at Imola took its course in several stages. On Friday, the claimed successor Senna Rubens Barrichello ran in an accident involving a rollover with minor injuries.

Ratzenberger crashed Saturday after breaking the front wing of his Simtek-Ford at more than 300 km / h Death skull fracture during a frontal impact on a concrete limit – 33-year-old died at the scene.

On Sunday, the terror reached its peak. First, the violent collision of Pedro Lamy and Yarvilehto caused by the use of the safety car. Some spectators and policemen were injured by flying debris.

Shortly after the restart, Senna went to the so-called Tamburello curve tracks and fell from approximately 220 km / h in the concrete wall. The Brazilian was taken with severe head injuries, in part because he was struck by the right front wheel to Bologna. At the hospital, doctors fought for his life in vain.

As "the sun fell from the sky"

Gerhard Berger put Ferrari shortly after the accident with failures with. Tyrol, three years a total of Senna's teammate at McLaren wanted to take any more risks. "Ayrton was my good friend," Berger, who himself was a bad accident at the Tamburello curve 1989 said.

His death was so much for him, "as if the sun falling from the sky." The Williams Wreck, by the way, the Austrian flag was found, which is likely to Senna after the race at Imola in honor of Ratzenberger would like to show.

Gerhard Berger, Ratzenberger and Wendlinger

GEPA / Franz Pammer

Berger (l.) C Ratzenberger Wendlinger and (g), which was then continued Clean

Accelerated Security Discussion

It is quite clear that the topic moved to Grand immediate safety in focus. On May 13, 1994, the GPDA drivers union was revived in Monaco, Senna who has already proposed in Imola.

At the instigation of her then bosses Max Mosley FIA crash tests worsened, schemes have been provided with large washing areas, which have disappeared concrete walls. The cabs were higher sidewalls, and then the direct protection of the head and neck has improved significantly thanks HANS system.

"Without the events of Imola, we took more than 20 or 30 years to reach terms of road safety, where we are today," said Mosley later. In Formula 1, the next 20 years should no longer be a driver involved in a fatal crash.

Then Jules B & # 39; Yankees crashed on October 5, 2014 at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka in the wet. The Frenchman died of complications from the suras & # 39; oznyh injury in nine months.

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