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Slightly different footage of Senna's crash...

Slightly different footage of Senna's crash...

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Discussion

Mr_Thyroid

1,406 posts

140 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
BlimeyCharlie said:
why did he appear to look down in the cockpit in the instant the steering wheel came towards him?
The reason he appears to look down is before he loses control he is straining the muscles on the left side of his neck against the G-force from making the turn. When he 'loses control' the car heads in a much straighter direction, the G-force diminishes and so his muscles pull his head to the left and more of his helmet can be seen in the mirror.

BlimeyCharlie

Original Poster:

712 posts

55 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
It always looked like an error to me. The car was bucking, hopping and bottoming all the way around the Tamburello - as remarked by Damon Hill as witnessed it all as he followed through that corner.

The early version of the FW16 was a total pig compared to the 1993 FW15 - which had been fitted with lots of electronic gizmos and which were removed for 1994. The fact that everyone had crawled around behind the so called "Safety Car" for quite a few laps had made its handling even worse. Senna himself was on the radio all through the safety car period warning that they were running too slow and they were losing tyre temperature and pressure.

It took until well into 1994 before the FW16 started running properly.

I'll leave it there because the Sennistas will never believe that their hero could make mistakes..
All you've done is wheel out your opinion that Senna made a mistake, which you are entitled to.

What I'd like you to do is show me where/how he made a mistake.


BlimeyCharlie

Original Poster:

712 posts

55 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Mr_Thyroid said:
The reason he appears to look down is before he loses control he is straining the muscles on the left side of his neck against the G-force from making the turn. When he 'loses control' the car heads in a much straighter direction, the G-force diminishes and so his muscles pull his head to the left and more of his helmet can be seen in the mirror.
At last!
Somebody has actually looked at the Youtube video posted at the beginning of this topic. Thanks for looking and commenting.

I can see where you are coming from, but what about the steering wheel coming towards him?

hora

22,450 posts

124 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
The steering column had been chopped and welded in the night before the race. Post crash it was sheered off.

Hence why the Williams team faced manslaughter charges for weeks after the incident. I'm sure upto a year later they were going to avoid the race until it was 'resolved'?

Is my memory right? I followed it religiously.

Eric Mc

91,146 posts

178 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
BlimeyCharlie said:
Eric Mc said:
It always looked like an error to me. The car was bucking, hopping and bottoming all the way around the Tamburello - as remarked by Damon Hill as witnessed it all as he followed through that corner.

The early version of the FW16 was a total pig compared to the 1993 FW15 - which had been fitted with lots of electronic gizmos and which were removed for 1994. The fact that everyone had crawled around behind the so called "Safety Car" for quite a few laps had made its handling even worse. Senna himself was on the radio all through the safety car period warning that they were running too slow and they were losing tyre temperature and pressure.

It took until well into 1994 before the FW16 started running properly.

I'll leave it there because the Sennistas will never believe that their hero could make mistakes..
All you've done is wheel out your opinion that Senna made a mistake, which you are entitled to.

What I'd like you to do is show me where/how he made a mistake.

0
The car bottomed going through the curve, Senna tried to correct but couldn't put enough directional correction into the steering because the front wheels just weren't effectively steering properly due to the bottoming. As a result, the car understeered off the track due to the g-loading. It was by no means the first accident of that type at Tamburello.

There is absolutely no need to invoke any sort of structural problem with the steering wheel or column. The dynamics of taking that corner at that speed in that car were enough to take it off the road - no matter who was driving at the time.
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BlimeyCharlie

Original Poster:

712 posts

55 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
BlimeyCharlie said:
Eric Mc said:
It always looked like an error to me. The car was bucking, hopping and bottoming all the way around the Tamburello - as remarked by Damon Hill as witnessed it all as he followed through that corner.

The early version of the FW16 was a total pig compared to the 1993 FW15 - which had been fitted with lots of electronic gizmos and which were removed for 1994. The fact that everyone had crawled around behind the so called "Safety Car" for quite a few laps had made its handling even worse. Senna himself was on the radio all through the safety car period warning that they were running too slow and they were losing tyre temperature and pressure.

It took until well into 1994 before the FW16 started running properly.

I'll leave it there because the Sennistas will never believe that their hero could make mistakes..
All you've done is wheel out your opinion that Senna made a mistake, which you are entitled to.

What I'd like you to do is show me where/how he made a mistake.

0
The car bottomed going through the curve, Senna tried to correct but couldn't put enough directional correction into the steering because the front wheels just weren't effectively steering properly due to the bottoming. As a result, the car understeered off the track due to the g-loading. It was by no means the first accident of that type at Tamburello.

There is absolutely no need to invoke any sort of structural problem with the steering wheel or column. The dynamics of taking that corner at that speed in that car were enough to take it off the road - no matter who was driving at the time.
Fact or opinion? What it "always looked like" is an opinion.

You say "Senna tried to correct" in relation to the the car bottoming out in Tamburello. Can you show me how he tried to correct? If not, how can you say that it was Senna's fault?

If you look into this you'll see that the lap previously he took the corner (without mishap) faster than on the lap he died. How do you explain that, given that on that lap, the tyres would not have been as 'hot' and several kilos of fuel extra on board?

I'm not 'invoking' any sort of structural problem with the steering column. I'm asking you (and anyone else) to comment on what they see in the Youtube video.

It really is as simple as view the footage, then comment.



Edited by BlimeyCharlie on Sunday 8th January 21:41

BlimeyCharlie

Original Poster:

712 posts

55 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
hora said:
The steering column had been chopped and welded in the night before the race. Post crash it was sheered off.

Hence why the Williams team faced manslaughter charges for weeks after the incident. I'm sure upto a year later they were going to avoid the race until it was 'resolved'?

Is my memory right? I followed it religiously.
I think (my opinion based on memory) is that Williams faced the manslaughter charges because 'they' were the constructor. The Law in Italy is thus, see Rindt and Lotus etc.



BlimeyCharlie

Original Poster:

712 posts

55 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
BlimeyCharlie said:
Eric Mc said:
It always looked like an error to me. The car was bucking, hopping and bottoming all the way around the Tamburello - as remarked by Damon Hill as witnessed it all as he followed through that corner.

The early version of the FW16 was a total pig compared to the 1993 FW15 - which had been fitted with lots of electronic gizmos and which were removed for 1994. The fact that everyone had crawled around behind the so called "Safety Car" for quite a few laps had made its handling even worse. Senna himself was on the radio all through the safety car period warning that they were running too slow and they were losing tyre temperature and pressure.

It took until well into 1994 before the FW16 started running properly.

I'll leave it there because the Sennistas will never believe that their hero could make mistakes..
All you've done is wheel out your opinion that Senna made a mistake, which you are entitled to.

What I'd like you to do is show me where/how he made a mistake.

0
The car bottomed going through the curve, Senna tried to correct but couldn't put enough directional correction into the steering because the front wheels just weren't effectively steering properly due to the bottoming. As a result, the car understeered off the track due to the g-loading. It was by no means the first accident of that type at Tamburello.

There is absolutely no need to invoke any sort of structural problem with the steering wheel or column. The dynamics of taking that corner at that speed in that car were enough to take it off the road - no matter who was driving at the time.
Again, based on the footage provided, how do you explain the wheels pointing straight ahead whilst the car leaves the track? I know what you mean about 'bottoming out' but that is momentary.

A car leaving the track with (apparently) no left lock being required of the driver (on a left hand bend) is odd? Or is that a continuation of Senna making a mistake?
It would seem seem you are suggesting that Senna made a mistake, then 'forgot' how to turn the steering wheel.
Or was the car still 'bottoming out'? In which case the driver (Senna) would be trying to apply left lock, but the car would understeer off the road.

What we have in the video is a car leaving the road with no 'request' from the driver to make it turn left. Is that fact or opinion?

jsf

5,461 posts

149 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
The quality of the image isn't good enough to get a proper sense of the tyre angle.

The slip angle on those tyres at those speeds is barely noticeable, you wont see much in the way of tyre movement between full cornering and straight ahead on such a large radius corner.

If you read Damon's new book he covers the crash in some detail and what they did at the factory post the crash to investigate it.

What isn't well known is that for the restart, Williams switched off Damon's power steering assistance. That meant that the torque Damon had to put through the wheel and steering column was much higher than normal. They wouldn't have done that if there was any question that the steering column was marginal in design strength.

stemll

1,901 posts

113 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
jsf said:
They wouldn't have done that if there was any question that the steering column was marginal in design strength.
Surely the force required between the steering wheel and the rack is the same whether it's applied by the driver or hydraulics?

F1GTRUeno

3,027 posts

131 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
jsf said:
What isn't well known is that for the restart, Williams switched off Damon's power steering assistance. That meant that the torque Damon had to put through the wheel and steering column was much higher than normal. They wouldn't have done that if there was any question that the steering column was marginal in design strength.
Damon's steering column wasn't chopped and welded like Senna's though was it?

I believe that would be key to knowing. If they both had the same modification to the steering column (something that Senna requested for himself to be more comfortable in the car) then the steering column argument doesn't hold too much water, but if they only did it (and I'm pretty sure it's the case) to Senna's car and in such a hasty manner, something that has been admitted by Newey and several other Williams employees then it's not a surprise if it failed before the crash.

Senna of course, wasn't infallible. It's known that he believed so strongly in God that he believed at times he transcended conscious thought whilst driving (Monaco 1988 for example). He was up against it having been a strong favourite going into 1994. I'm not a believer in his bullst to do with God or entering another level of consciousness but the state of the FW16 in the early rounds was well known and he got three poles from three so he was doing something right. He'd expected the car to be brilliant but the early FW16 was in Newey's own words, a cock up. Going back to standard suspension after a couple of years of active hadn't helped and they'd made some fundamental design errors which contributed to the handling balance switching violently from oversteer to understeer and back again in the space of a single corner. Tamburello though, wasn't a corner where drivers went off unless something went wrong. There's no question of it being a dangerous corner if something were to go wrong because it was bumpy and flat out and of course the lack of run off and the concrete wall (why were there no tyres in place?) made it worse but it's a relatively straight forward turn so driver error doesn't ring true for me. Certainly the ill-handling of the FW16 wouldn't have mattered too much in a corner where you're not really turning very hard.

He'd moved to the dominant team from the past two seasons with no Alain Prost to fight against so it was expected that he'd waltz away with the title. Having been treated as Ron's son effectively at McLaren though it was a completely new environment and experience for him to get to grips with. He'd not scored points in either race leading up to Imola in part because of the car being so ill-handling in Brazil and perhaps being too hasty and tense at the start in Aida. This was exacerbated by Schumacher winning both races. He said at the start of the Imola weekend that the season started there for him. It's well known from the people who saw him at Imola that the Barrichello crash had shaken him up extremely and the Ratzenberger crash had reduced him to tears. He didn't want to race that Sunday at all and everyone knew it.

He believed Schumacher and Benetton were cheating albeit he couldn't prove it nor did he know the full extent of it. We all know about the fuel rig tampering being used to create quicker pit stops, something that allowed Schumacher out ahead of Senna at the first pit stop in Brazil and gave him a further lead at the second round of stops. It can be debated ad infinitum about traction control and other such things but most people would agree the excuse Benetton gave was bullst, the FIA didn't investigate it properly and Briatore on his own is a dodgy bd, let alone adding Tom Walkinshaw to the mix so the overriding thought is Benetton couldn't possibly be where they were without 'help'. Williams placing a man on the roof of the pits to watch Schumacher's start, if true, suggests to me it was serious enough to be entirely possible.

Certainly I've heard Verstappen's claims about not getting near Schumacher be dismissed as sour grapes but then the counter claims about trying Schumacher's car and being on the same pace (though I don't know if that's true or not?). Lehto also gave that interview where he mentioned the extra buttons on Schumacher's wheel and was hushed up about it.

The tyre pressures would've been low at the start of lap 6 because of the laps behind the Cavalier/Vectra at slow speed so surely he would've gone off then rather than the next one if that was a factor.

The only thing I think counters the steering column theory is the ride height. Partly with Williams adapting back to normal suspension, Senna's own setup requirements and the way it was bottoming out and creating the sparks on the ground I think perhaps it skated along the ground and off the track at which point no amount of steering would've helped. I would like to see any footage showing Senna going through Tamburello on lap 1 though to see if the car was acting the same as 6 and 7. I think it all got cut off because of the crash at the start but surely it's out there somewhere?

I just think the evidence around the steering column and the poor quality of the weld meant time just ran out and it fell apart at the wrong moment (is there a right moment?). He was going to crash or at least retire because of it, it just happened at a place where the circumstances added up to take his life.

I don't know what deal Briatore and Benetton had with Bernie and the FIA to allow them to cheat but we do know the organisers of the race stood to lose a lot of money had the race been cancelled so rather than doing the right thing and cancelling the weekend after Roland died. Italian law should've overthrown them but money talks. It's a travesty that it continued after someone died in front of millions watching. Everyone at Imola and everyone on TV knew Ratzenberger was dead as the car rolled down the hill after a nearly 200mph head on smash into a concrete wall and everyone could see his lifeless head rolling with the force of the car moving on top of his broken neck and yet they somehow managed to convince everyone that he'd died in the hospital away from the circuit. That's the biggest tragedy.

That said, had Senna not died that weekend, who's to say someone else wouldn't have died elsewhere? We don't know how much Ayrton could've done to improve safety but would it have been as much as what has been done since he died?

Also isn't that just footage from the Senna film?

Edited by F1GTRUeno on Monday 9th January 01:10

Thundersports

289 posts

58 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
It always looked like an error to me. The car was bucking, hopping and bottoming all the way around the Tamburello - as remarked by Damon Hill as witnessed it all as he followed through that corner.

The early version of the FW16 was a total pig compared to the 1993 FW15 - which had been fitted with lots of electronic gizmos and which were removed for 1994. The fact that everyone had crawled around behind the so called "Safety Car" for quite a few laps had made its handling even worse. Senna himself was on the radio all through the safety car period warning that they were running too slow and they were losing tyre temperature and pressure.

It took until well into 1994 before the FW16 started running properly.

I'll leave it there because the Sennistas will never believe that their hero could make mistakes..
I think you all need to read what Eric has said in his 2 posts and leave it there.;)

F1GTRUeno

3,027 posts

131 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
Thundersports said:
Eric Mc said:
It always looked like an error to me. The car was bucking, hopping and bottoming all the way around the Tamburello - as remarked by Damon Hill as witnessed it all as he followed through that corner.

The early version of the FW16 was a total pig compared to the 1993 FW15 - which had been fitted with lots of electronic gizmos and which were removed for 1994. The fact that everyone had crawled around behind the so called "Safety Car" for quite a few laps had made its handling even worse. Senna himself was on the radio all through the safety car period warning that they were running too slow and they were losing tyre temperature and pressure.

It took until well into 1994 before the FW16 started running properly.

I'll leave it there because the Sennistas will never believe that their hero could make mistakes..
I think you all need to read what Eric has said in his 2 posts and leave it there.;)
This first post doesn't account for the type of corner Tamburello was and the known defects in the FW16's handling though.

Even a car as ill-handling as the FW16 would've had to really act out of character to crash there. It's as straightforward as it gets really.

Eric Mc

91,146 posts

178 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
Damon Hill actually changed his line through the Tamburello from the normal racing line. He did this because he found his car almost uncontrollable on the racing line because the circuit was bumpier on that section of tarmac. Senna did not alter his line and paid the price.

People are correct when they say something went wrong. What went wrong was that Newey had designed a poor handling car and Senna made a bad decision as to what line he would take through the corner.

Edited by Eric Mc on Monday 9th January 08:06

hora

22,450 posts

124 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
F1GTRUeno said:
Damon's steering column wasn't chopped and welded like Senna's though was it?

I believe that would be key to knowing. If they both had the same modification to the steering column (something that Senna requested for himself to be more comfortable in the car) then the steering column argument doesn't hold too much water, but if they only did it (and I'm pretty sure it's the case) to Senna's car and in such a hasty manner, something that has been admitted by Newey and several other Williams employees then it's not a surprise if it failed before the crash.

Senna of course, wasn't infallible. It's known that he believed so strongly in God that he believed at times he transcended conscious thought whilst driving (Monaco 1988 for example). He was up against it having been a strong favourite going into 1994. I'm not a believer in his bullst to do with God or entering another level of consciousness but the state of the FW16 in the early rounds was well known and he got three poles from three so he was doing something right. He'd expected the car to be brilliant but the early FW16 was in Newey's own words, a cock up. Going back to standard suspension after a couple of years of active hadn't helped and they'd made some fundamental design errors which contributed to the handling balance switching violently from oversteer to understeer and back again in the space of a single corner. Tamburello though, wasn't a corner where drivers went off unless something went wrong. There's no question of it being a dangerous corner if something were to go wrong because it was bumpy and flat out and of course the lack of run off and the concrete wall (why were there no tyres in place?) made it worse but it's a relatively straight forward turn so driver error doesn't ring true for me. Certainly the ill-handling of the FW16 wouldn't have mattered too much in a corner where you're not really turning very hard.

He'd moved to the dominant team from the past two seasons with no Alain Prost to fight against so it was expected that he'd waltz away with the title. Having been treated as Ron's son effectively at McLaren though it was a completely new environment and experience for him to get to grips with. He'd not scored points in either race leading up to Imola in part because of the car being so ill-handling in Brazil and perhaps being too hasty and tense at the start in Aida. This was exacerbated by Schumacher winning both races. He said at the start of the Imola weekend that the season started there for him. It's well known from the people who saw him at Imola that the Barrichello crash had shaken him up extremely and the Ratzenberger crash had reduced him to tears. He didn't want to race that Sunday at all and everyone knew it.

He believed Schumacher and Benetton were cheating albeit he couldn't prove it nor did he know the full extent of it. We all know about the fuel rig tampering being used to create quicker pit stops, something that allowed Schumacher out ahead of Senna at the first pit stop in Brazil and gave him a further lead at the second round of stops. It can be debated ad infinitum about traction control and other such things but most people would agree the excuse Benetton gave was bullst, the FIA didn't investigate it properly and Briatore on his own is a dodgy bd, let alone adding Tom Walkinshaw to the mix so the overriding thought is Benetton couldn't possibly be where they were without 'help'. Williams placing a man on the roof of the pits to watch Schumacher's start, if true, suggests to me it was serious enough to be entirely possible.

Certainly I've heard Verstappen's claims about not getting near Schumacher be dismissed as sour grapes but then the counter claims about trying Schumacher's car and being on the same pace (though I don't know if that's true or not?). Lehto also gave that interview where he mentioned the extra buttons on Schumacher's wheel and was hushed up about it.

The tyre pressures would've been low at the start of lap 6 because of the laps behind the Cavalier/Vectra at slow speed so surely he would've gone off then rather than the next one if that was a factor.

The only thing I think counters the steering column theory is the ride height. Partly with Williams adapting back to normal suspension, Senna's own setup requirements and the way it was bottoming out and creating the sparks on the ground I think perhaps it skated along the ground and off the track at which point no amount of steering would've helped. I would like to see any footage showing Senna going through Tamburello on lap 1 though to see if the car was acting the same as 6 and 7. I think it all got cut off because of the crash at the start but surely it's out there somewhere?

I just think the evidence around the steering column and the poor quality of the weld meant time just ran out and it fell apart at the wrong moment (is there a right moment?). He was going to crash or at least retire because of it, it just happened at a place where the circumstances added up to take his life.

I don't know what deal Briatore and Benetton had with Bernie and the FIA to allow them to cheat but we do know the organisers of the race stood to lose a lot of money had the race been cancelled so rather than doing the right thing and cancelling the weekend after Roland died. Italian law should've overthrown them but money talks. It's a travesty that it continued after someone died in front of millions watching. Everyone at Imola and everyone on TV knew Ratzenberger was dead as the car rolled down the hill after a nearly 200mph head on smash into a concrete wall and everyone could see his lifeless head rolling with the force of the car moving on top of his broken neck and yet they somehow managed to convince everyone that he'd died in the hospital away from the circuit. That's the biggest tragedy.

That said, had Senna not died that weekend, who's to say someone else wouldn't have died elsewhere? We don't know how much Ayrton could've done to improve safety but would it have been as much as what has been done since he died?

Also isn't that just footage from the Senna film?

Edited by F1GTRUeno on Monday 9th January 01:10
Some good points. It was very much public knowledge at the time yet Schumacher got away with it. What else did he do/manage? We'll never know or what other teams got upto over the years.

Mark A S

1,057 posts

101 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
Probably like many on here, I watched that race live and my first thoughts were that his car had broken.
Nothing I have seen or read since has changed my mind.

AS for all this bottoming out, tyres not gripping the road etc, the lap before he took the corner ok.
Odd that the in car footage stops before he would have turned left.

I believe still the steering column failed, the OP’s video appears to confirm this clearly to me, I suspect that if ever the deleted few seconds of in car before impact are ever “found” it will show Senna applying left lock with no effect.

Of course Senna made mistakes, his only one that day was starting the race.

Eric Mc

91,146 posts

178 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
Mark A S said:
AS for all this bottoming out, tyres not gripping the road etc, the lap before he took the corner ok.
Odd that the in car footage stops before he would have turned left.
Hill was following and states categorically that Senna took a slightly wider line and was travelling faster than on the previous lap at the point he went off. He was right behind and could see everything.

He knew how badly handling his own car was. It was also porpoising badly because of the suspension being unable to maintain consistent downforce under the car - exacerbated by the bumpy track and bottoming on the bumps). The fact that the power steering was turned off did not help either.

Mark A S

1,057 posts

101 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
Eric, I understand what your saying re ill handling car etc etc, this still does not explain why his car just went strait on without any deviation, there was no steering, either Senna passed out or the column broke.

I have no issue agreeing to disagree.

Derek Smith

26,603 posts

161 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
F1GTRUeno said:
I believe that would be key to knowing. If they both had the same modification to the steering column (something that Senna requested for himself to be more comfortable in the car) then the steering column argument doesn't hold too much water, but if they only did it (and I'm pretty sure it's the case) to Senna's car and in such a hasty manner, something that has been admitted by Newey and several other Williams employees then it's not a surprise if it failed before the crash.

Edited by F1GTRUeno on Monday 9th January 01:10
It is unknown when the steering column failed. The engineers might have done the welding as quickly as they could, but an emotive word like hasty is not the one I would have used. Williams had engineers at the peak of their skills. Like Senna, none of them were perfect, but then they were doing a simple cut and shut job that is meat and drink to any mechanic.

Much fog was generated by the Italian legal system. It has the requirement, more or less, to have someone to blame at every death such as this. It made assumptions that would have been challenged in a UK court. We should not take them at face value. I don't know what caused the crash any more than you do but my money would not be on a Williams engineer making a basic mistake that an apprentice wouldn't.

It is convenient but there's little to support it. If there had been more then the Italians would have jumped on it.

There are certain facts and many point one way. I've got a lot of time for Hill and I'd go with him. Having the car bottom with little extra loading is indicative of a poor setup. Did that cause the crash? Who knows.

CraigyMc

9,659 posts

149 months

Monday 9th January
quotequote all
Mark A S said:
Eric, I understand what your saying re ill handling car etc etc, this still does not explain why his car just went strait on without any deviation, there was no steering, either Senna passed out or the column broke.

I have no issue agreeing to disagree.
If the car was skidding on its floor (this was prior to the plank being mandatory) due to low tyre pressures and consequently low ride height, it wouldn't matter which way the front wheels were pointing, as they'd not be taking the weight of the car. The floor would be.

Equally, if there was a tyre issue (front or back), for example a puncture, then again the front wheels may simply have been understeering while still pointing in the correct direction to make the corner.

We'll never know what happened.