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Slightly different footage of Senna's crash...

Slightly different footage of Senna's crash...

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BlimeyCharlie

Original Poster:

736 posts

61 months

Saturday 7th January
quotequote all
This footage I found on Youtube is 'cut' slightly less than any other footage I'd previously seen, and also has a clearer view of the cockpit.

If Senna "made a mistake" can it be explained why the steering wheel (noticable by the yellow button on the steering wheel for clarity/reference) appears to come towards Senna, as if he were removing the steering wheel, i.e pulling the wheel towards him at the precise moment the car begins to change direction?

If you watch the in-car footage from 3.14 he does not move his head forward anywhere near as much as in the moment I've described above, even under heavy braking/sharp left bends. His head/crash helmet is not visible at any other time (except in rear-view mirror).

If Senna "made a mistake" why did he appear to look down in the cockpit in the instant the steering wheel came towards him? Drivers never normally do that. The same question arises that If he had a puncture, why would he look down?

The key moment(s) I refer to are at the 4.0-4.05 mark...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYh3RLEzQlI

The yellow button mounted on the steering wheel (to the right of Senna's left thumb) clearly comes towards Senna as if he has in effect 'pulled' the steering wheel towards him, in the same way a driver would pull the steering wheel off the steering column prior to vacating the car.
I watched it several times as it is easy to miss.

What is also clear (if paused at the right moment) is that there is no left lock/steering input applied (visible by the wheels being straight ahead still) as the car leaves the tarmac and heads towards the wall.

I realise this isn't the most pleasant topic, but this footage is new to me and possibly to many other people, and I thought it relevant enough to merit a new topic.

Finally, I realise there was an 'official' investigation etc etc but it was vague on actual evidence, but more a conclusion based on opinion. This footage I feel may not explain a lot, but the wheel 'movement' towards Senna is not something I've seen or read about before.

stemll

1,961 posts

119 months

Saturday 7th January
quotequote all
I think it's just when the angle of the daylight changes. When the light is on the button it appears closer (look around 3:41) but when the light is in shadow, it looks deeper into the cockpit so no, I don't think the wheel moved towards him

BlimeyCharlie

Original Poster:

736 posts

61 months

Saturday 7th January
quotequote all
stemll said:
I think it's just when the angle of the daylight changes. When the light is on the button it appears closer (look around 3:41) but when the light is in shadow, it looks deeper into the cockpit so no, I don't think the wheel moved towards him
Really?
I agree with you about a different part of the circuit will mean the shadow/light is different, but have you looked at how the steering wheel moves towards him at the point I mentioned?




Edited by BlimeyCharlie on Saturday 7th January 23:02

ELUSIVEJIM

2,017 posts

70 months

Saturday 7th January
quotequote all
BlimeyCharlie said:
This footage I found on Youtube is 'cut' slightly less than any other footage I'd previously seen, and also has a clearer view of the cockpit.

If Senna "made a mistake" can it be explained why the steering wheel (noticable by the yellow button on the steering wheel for clarity/reference) appears to come towards Senna, as if he were removing the steering wheel, i.e pulling the wheel towards him at the precise moment the car begins to change direction?

If you watch the in-car footage from 3.14 he does not move his head forward anywhere near as much as in the moment I've described above, even under heavy braking/sharp left bends. His head/crash helmet is not visible at any other time (except in rear-view mirror).

If Senna "made a mistake" why did he appear to look down in the cockpit in the instant the steering wheel came towards him? Drivers never normally do that. The same question arises that If he had a puncture, why would he look down?

The key moment(s) I refer to are at the 4.0-4.05 mark...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYh3RLEzQlI

The yellow button mounted on the steering wheel (to the right of Senna's left thumb) clearly comes towards Senna as if he has in effect 'pulled' the steering wheel towards him, in the same way a driver would pull the steering wheel off the steering column prior to vacating the car.
I watched it several times as it is easy to miss.

What is also clear (if paused at the right moment) is that there is no left lock/steering input applied (visible by the wheels being straight ahead still) as the car leaves the tarmac and heads towards the wall.

I realise this isn't the most pleasant topic, but this footage is new to me and possibly to many other people, and I thought it relevant enough to merit a new topic.

Finally, I realise there was an 'official' investigation etc etc but it was vague on actual evidence, but more a conclusion based on opinion. This footage I feel may not explain a lot, but the wheel 'movement' towards Senna is not something I've seen or read about before.
Something happened to the Williams which is the reason Senna crashed. It was not driver error.

Whether it was the steering column or a slow puncture we will never know exactly the cause and the reason died with Senna that day.

I still personally feel we do not have the full story but alas I doubt it will ever be disclosed unless someone talks down the line.

The sad part it all it would have taken to save Senna and perhaps Ratzenberger during that horrendous weekend was a simple tyre wall.

stemll

1,961 posts

119 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
BlimeyCharlie said:
stemll said:
I think it's just when the angle of the daylight changes. When the light is on the button it appears closer (look around 3:41) but when the light is in shadow, it looks deeper into the cockpit so no, I don't think the wheel moved towards him
Really?
I agree with you about a different part of the circuit will mean the shadow/light is different, but have you looked at how the steering wheel moves towards him at the point I mentioned?




Edited by BlimeyCharlie on Saturday 7th January 23:02
I really do not think the wheel moves. The button looks brighter and looks like it gets bigger (and so looks like it gets closer and makes it look like the wheel is closer) but it looks the same a number of times before the crash. Whatever the reason for the crash (and I do not believe the steering wheel came off or the column broke meaning the wheel moved) it was a freak that the suspension did what it did to the helmet and killed him.
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Prohibiting

520 posts

37 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Go to 13:40 regarding the steering wheel and column https://youtu.be/luLFMoW1IuE


mybrainhurts

87,992 posts

174 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
That's that, then...

Eric Mc

94,603 posts

184 months

Sunday 8th January
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Off we go again.

Why are people unable to accept that he could make mistakes. He made plenty. And he crashed often.

He wasn't infallible.

Have a read of Damon Hill's biography and you will learn how ill handling that car was.

Mark A S

1,089 posts

107 months

Sunday 8th January
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I have never understood why people can't see that obviously he had a steering failure. The truth will come out one day, sadly it won't bring him back.

Eric Mc

94,603 posts

184 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Why is it so obvious?

Are you unable to accept that he might have got it wrong in a car that wasn't easy to drive?

HustleRussell

12,373 posts

79 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
Why is it so obvious?

Are you unable to accept that he might have got it wrong in a car that wasn't easy to drive?
Personally I would find it easier to dismiss it as driver error if I thought it looked like driver error. However...

Eric Mc

94,603 posts

184 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
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..

Evilex

334 posts

23 months

Sunday 8th January
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"Safety Car"

A Cavalier/Ascona.

What a joke.

That entire race weekend was a nightmare.
Four separate incidents. 2 resulting in injuries, 2 in fatalities.

Perhaps they should have cancelled it after Ratzenburger's death.

Derek Smith

28,192 posts

167 months

Sunday 8th January
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He was up against a car with loads of driver aids. He was struggling to get on terms with Schumacher with 'everything but launch control' according to his mechanics, and this was later supported by Jos Verstappen. There were the rapid stops for fuel because the fuel rigs were tampered with. Everyone in the pits knew they were doing something illegal but the FIA didn't feel the need to investigate how one team, using the same rig as everyone else, had refuelling stops so much faster than everyone else. Many suggested the FIA was fully aware of the cheating but chose to ignore it. I don't have any inside information of course, but the FIA's response to the flagrant cheating of Benetton is an indicator of the problems Senna was experiencing. The argument that they 'couldn't find it' didn't go for the fuel rig tampering.

See http://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1... There's a bit headed Long but worth a read. If you haven't read it then it is the understatement of the year.

Senna's best chance of a result was to jump the cars in front after the restart. Part of the reason was that the tyres of all cars were under-pressurised and the cars in the lead were unlikely to push as hard as he would after the start.

I believed the ride height explanation at the time and I've seen nothing, including the Italian investigation, that has convinced me that those in the know who put that forward time and later are wrong. The sparking was indicative of the problem.

1994 was a dreadful season because of the deaths of drivers and injuries to marshals, mechanics, spectators and other drivers. Barrichello crash was shocking. Another, albeit more minor, aspect was the dreadfully slack way the sport was being run. There was the lack of oversight with regards the policing of the sport, together with what appeared to be favouritism and the way the regulatory body worked. Setting fire to the pits, probably the most serious breach of the regulations I can remember, was more or less covered up.

Senna wasn't just this guy, but he wasn't superhuman either. His job consisted of calculating risks. He was brilliant at it, maybe the best, but that doesn't make him the pope. He was placed in a position where the risk threshold had to be dropped if he was to compete. I know who I blame for his death.

All I know is that he, alongside Ratzenbeger, died during the worst weekend in the sport.


Eric Mc

94,603 posts

184 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
I wouldn't call it the worst weekend. Have you ever watched the film of the Dundrod TT in 1955?

Or the 1955 Le Mans 24.

Derek Smith

28,192 posts

167 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
I wouldn't call it the worst weekend. Have you ever watched the film of the Dundrod TT in 1955?

Or the 1955 Le Mans 24.
Not F1. That's what was meant by the sport.


heebeegeetee

25,145 posts

167 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
I do rally find it genuinely surprising that people think Senna couldn't have made a mistake, given what a mistake and poor decision-laden career Senna had.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not offering this up as a criticism, just a statement of fact. Senna was a fantastic and fabulous driver and I love reading the old stories as much as the next man, but we shouldn't let our sadness over his death gloss over the facts.

His karting career wasn't quite as successful as it could have been; in FFord he was regarded as a very dirty driver; in British F3 he could have walked the championship but instead chose to make it herder than need be -

Dick Bennets: "He was very focused and he was a bad loser, he didn’t want to lose because when we started having the problems, accidents, I sat him down and say “look, you’re 36 points ahead, if we’re careful you can finish second and we will win the championship easy.”

“I don’t want to finish second.”

“Ok, so what do we do?” We had a few dramas, we went through two or three chassis, but at the end of the day it all came out the way I think it should have".

In F1 he was known as a dirty driver and collision prone, to paraphrase Jackie Stewart: "You'll have more collisions in one season than I did in a whole career".

In the first race in '94 he span out of a solid second place for no good reason. Second race he made a poor start and was shunted off from behind. Third race (Imola) he's identified that the inside of Tamburello was bumpy and the Williams could't really handle it, yet that's where he went, at 10kph more than Hill and his car left the track and Hill's didn't.

I don't know whether the steering column broke or not, but: the theory that the Williams lost downforce at the rear is entirely plausible, the explanation that Senna couldn't have made a mistake goes entirely against the grain of his whole career.

Derek Smith

28,192 posts

167 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
The suggestions from the technical guys, although not supported by Williams, but then they were worried about saying anything, was that Senna had lowered the car more than advisable as it was the only way to keep up with the traction-controlled benetton. He had the skill to cope with the problems it would cause.

Come the pace car laps, come the reduction in tyre pressure, and all of a sudden he had problems. He was complaining of pressures just before the restart. If anything he should have taken it easy for the first lap or so, in the hope of getting pressure back up. But then he was a racer, and what racer would do that?

It wasn't so much an error on Senna's behalf, more that he was forced into taking risks. A few laps later, with the fuel level a bit lower, and he'd have had no problems.


heebeegeetee

25,145 posts

167 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
It wasn't so much an error on Senna's behalf, more that he was forced into taking risks. A few laps later, with the fuel level a bit lower, and he'd have had no problems.
Yeah, that's how I see it, not an error on this occasion as such, more an incorrect decision making process. To be fair he wasn't forced into taking a ris, more that he allowed himself to take too big a risk, and by that I don't mean with his life, but the risk of not finishing while his rival takes another full bag of points.

Also, to be fair, I agree with all conclusions that for many reasons (some obvious) he wasn't in the best frame of mind at the time.

Still very sad indeed.

Eric Mc

94,603 posts

184 months

Sunday 8th January
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
Eric Mc said:
I wouldn't call it the worst weekend. Have you ever watched the film of the Dundrod TT in 1955?

Or the 1955 Le Mans 24.
Not F1. That's what was meant by the sport.
Fair enough. I was always a "Motorsport" fan as opposed to purely an F1 fan - especially in the era when drivers drove in multiple categories.