Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna

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Discussion

A500leroy

2,450 posts

83 months

Sunday 2nd May
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For a brief horrible second i thought we were going to have it again a few weeks ago when Russel and Bottas had a coming together at that spot.

entropy

4,135 posts

168 months

Sunday 2nd May
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Simes205 said:
fesuvious said:
I was sixteen
I still have the front and back pages from the Daily Mail.

I cried, a lot.
I was 19, I still have the front cover of the Times.
I remembered it made the front cover of my local paper. You'd need to be one heck of a personality for that to occur. Shows you how popular F1 was and how Senna transcended the sport.

thiscocks

2,555 posts

160 months

Sunday 2nd May
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Penelope Stopit said:
thiscocks said:
Penelope Stopit said:
Hardly watched any F1 since

Was a horrible weekend

Hurts to this day when thinking about it

His protest about the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix pole grid position followed by the taking out of Prost still brings a smile though
Which could have ended up a lot worse, for both of them.
Feel that you've posted to the wrong topic, try searching PH topics using the search button found at top right of each page

I forgot no bad word can be said of Senna, my apologies. You carry on finding it amusing drivers smashing others off the track on purpose- then crying when you realise no one is invincible.

LaurasOtherHalf

19,821 posts

161 months

Sunday 2nd May
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Penelope Stopit said:
KR158 said:
fesuvious said:
I was sixteen
I still have the front and back pages from the Daily Mail.

I cried, a lot.
I was also 16. Popped into the Newsagents on Monday morning & was a little suprised to see that it was front page news. All of them if I remember correctly? I also still have those Pages. Somehow buying a copy bought it home to me that I wasn't imagining it, made it more "real" somehow. A terrible weekend.
Wouldn't wish the witnessing of the accidents on my worst enemy

Do understand how hard it was for both of you being so young and no doubt difficult to get away from

Many moons ago was at Oulton Park for a Formula 3000 meeting, was with partner and two nippers, kids were timing Paul Warwick and........................heartbreaking
I didn't realise this thread was running but I posted this in the "fondness for 1994 thread"...




LaurasOtherHalf said:
Always enjoy your posts DS and that's an interesting view. I came at it from a different point, I was only 16 when Imola happened and I'd supported Senna since 1985 (our teams back then was JPS Lotus and McLaren) when I was 8 or 9 years old. I'd got to very briefly meet him in '92 and without a doubt he was (and still is a bit) an utter hero to me.

Driving to Newcastle for dinner with my sister who was at uni there after the accident was utterly traumatic. We heard the news on the way home but it was merely a confirmation.

We were watching the European feed and they kept the cameras on Senna after the accident somewhat. What we saw meant we knew what had happened.

After watching your childhood hero die in front of you on TV, that was it basically. I completely loved F1 back then and after Imola it sucked out all the joy of the sport for me. I liked Damon but if I'm honest, I didn't like Williams at all before Senna and didn't think any better of them after.

I'm so grateful that Hamilton got me back into the sport, 2007 and '08 were such a rollercoaster it instantly hooked me back in. The sport has given myself and my family so much joy and good memories since then.
What is coincidental is I too was at Oulton Park that fateful day and in fact, I was sat on the opposite side of the track when it happened. We were obviously quite young at the time and didn't realise why the marshals weren't working on the car after the accident, rather than half way up the embankment.

When the grey sheets came out to hide the view I ran as fast as I could to my mates Dad who had taken us to tell him something was wrong.

I don't mind admitting, when I listened to Derek's interview on his Beyond The Grid podcast episode I really found it upsetting when he talked about that day. Warwick, Senna and Simoncelli were very hard events to witness.

pablo

15,553 posts

238 months

Monday 3rd May
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Eric Mc said:
I actually am far less morose and weepy about this than many. I grew up in an era where racing drivers occasionally got killed - even great ones. Senna's accident occurred in an era where many thought no more drivers would die in accidents.

I never thought that.

I always thought that Senna himself had a misguided belief that somehow he was immune from such incidents. As a result I thought he wasn't very perceptive and lacked imagination - and also lacked a sense of hubris.
You’re about the same age as my father! wink he was at Brands Hatch for the BOAC six hours in 68 (considering he lived in Manchester at the time, that was dedication) and Clark’s death was announced over the tannoy, the atmosphere just went in an instant. He too lived through that same era when countless drivers died in many different series but his hero was Ronnie Peterson and that fatality in particular really upset him. I remember him saying the death of Piers Courage had a similar effect.

Edited by pablo on Monday 3rd May 09:52

DeejRC

2,020 posts

47 months

Monday 3rd May
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It’s interesting, but the flaming fireball of Berger into the Imola wall is actually a much more vivid memory for me. I was amazed anybody walked away from that.

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Monday 3rd May
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I still remember seeing the Barrichello accident and watching with disbelief when they righted the car by letting it drop when Barrichello was still sitting there.

Unbelievable even for 1994.

0.40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08xCZdj6VfY

KR158

470 posts

124 months

Monday 3rd May
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ELUSIVEJIM said:
I still remember seeing the Barrichello accident and watching with disbelief when they righted the car by letting it drop when Barrichello was still sitting there.

Unbelievable even for 1994.

0.40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08xCZdj6VfY
The way his Head jolts as it lands is absolutely sickening, even now, knowing his Neck was OK. Makes me shudder everytime I see it.

Sandpit Steve

2,759 posts

39 months

Monday 3rd May
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DeejRC said:
It’s interesting, but the flaming fireball of Berger into the Imola wall is actually a much more vivid memory for me. I was amazed anybody walked away from that.
One of my earliest F1 memories, I’d have been about 11. Almost the same accident as Senna five years later.

A long 20 seconds in the fire, as with Grosjean last year - but with significantly different safety standards. Still amazed they both got out. Bahrain last year was a big flashback for me, to Berger’s accident.

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Monday 3rd May
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Sandpit Steve said:
DeejRC said:
It’s interesting, but the flaming fireball of Berger into the Imola wall is actually a much more vivid memory for me. I was amazed anybody walked away from that.
One of my earliest F1 memories, I’d have been about 11. Almost the same accident as Senna five years later.

A long 20 seconds in the fire, as with Grosjean last year - but with significantly different safety standards. Still amazed they both got out. Bahrain last year was a big flashback for me, to Berger’s accident.
Yes, Berger's accident was horrific when the car set alight. It seemed to be burning for a while but the fire crews were quite quick. The fire was out for 20 seconds.

Berger's accident was hard but Senna crashed further around and it was more of a head-on hit when Bergers was more a side impact.

Every accident at Tamborello was due to a car issue. It was the one place you didn't want to have a problem.

I am sure even a thin wall of tires would have made a difference.



Blue62

6,096 posts

117 months

Tuesday
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My earliest memory of an F1 fatality is Villeneuve in 1982, I was shocked as the slow motion replay showed his body flying through the air and into the wire fencing. I was never a fan of Senna, though I recognised his genius, but I can remember exactly where I was and who I was with at the time.

Eric Mc

115,007 posts

230 months

Tuesday
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ELUSIVEJIM said:
Yes, Berger's accident was horrific when the car set alight. It seemed to be burning for a while but the fire crews were quite quick. The fire was out for 20 seconds.

Berger's accident was hard but Senna crashed further around and it was more of a head-on hit when Bergers was more a side impact.

Every accident at Tamborello was due to a car issue. It was the one place you didn't want to have a problem.

I am sure even a thin wall of tires would have made a difference.
Piquet had a big accident there in 1987. I don't think you can assert that all accidents at Tamburello were down to car breakages. It was pretty much a flat out left hand bend. The slightest bump could unload a car and G forces would skip it out to the right as the suspension unloaded.

The right hand bend before the main straight at the old Mexican GP circuit was something similar and oddly enough, Senna flew off that bend in a McLaren totally down to bottoming and being flung off the road by the G forces.

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Tuesday
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Eric Mc said:
ELUSIVEJIM said:
Yes, Berger's accident was horrific when the car set alight. It seemed to be burning for a while but the fire crews were quite quick. The fire was out for 20 seconds.

Berger's accident was hard but Senna crashed further around and it was more of a head-on hit when Bergers was more a side impact.

Every accident at Tamborello was due to a car issue. It was the one place you didn't want to have a problem.

I am sure even a thin wall of tires would have made a difference.
Piquet had a big accident there in 1987. I don't think you can assert that all accidents at Tamburello were down to car breakages. It was pretty much a flat out left hand bend. The slightest bump could unload a car and G forces would skip it out to the right as the suspension unloaded.

The right hand bend before the main straight at the old Mexican GP circuit was something similar and oddly enough, Senna flew off that bend in a McLaren totally down to bottoming and being flung off the road by the G forces.
Yes, Senna flew off that bend backwards which shows he still had control of the car. At Tamburello, he had nothing but the brakes.

I am amazed some fans still think Senna's accident at Tamburello wasn't the steering column.



Muzzer79

4,655 posts

152 months

Tuesday
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ELUSIVEJIM said:
I am amazed some fans still think Senna's accident at Tamburello wasn't the steering column.
Without wanting to debate this on a thread about marking his death, I'm surprised that some can't accept the explanation that he was pushing too hard on cold tyres in a skittish car and lost it.

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Tuesday
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Muzzer79 said:
ELUSIVEJIM said:
I am amazed some fans still think Senna's accident at Tamburello wasn't the steering column.
Without wanting to debate this on a thread about marking his death, I'm surprised that some can't accept the explanation that he was pushing too hard on cold tyres in a skittish car and lost it.
I can't see the issue about wanting to debate what happened to Senna.

The Williams was a skittish car but in slow corners. Both Hill and Senna made mistakes during practice and qualifying sessions. Hill spun the Williams on the last corner at Imola twice but all at low speed. Senna did the same at Villeneuve at low speed.

Regarding the cold tyres if this was the case then why did Senna not crash on the first restart lap? He set the lap record on that last lap which was only beaten later in the 2nd race. A lap of Imola would have had the tyres at the perfect temperature before the accident.

The simple fact is Senna was a passenger in the Williams after the car had an issue. The verdict as follows.

The Italian Court of Appeal, on 13 April 2007, stated the following in the verdict numbered 15050: "It has been determined that the accident was caused by a steering column failure. This failure was caused by badly designed and badly executed modifications. The responsibility of this falls on Patrick Head, culpable of omitted control".

LukeBrown66

704 posts

11 months

Tuesday
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There seem to be two threads about the cause.

One is the pressures were low, it grounded out and just went out of control, I find that hard to believe for a man of such experience, but this was all new ground in 94.

The other is the steering column break issue, but I have recently heard some F1 learned people speaking out vehemently against that on a few different podcasts.

Either way it was a tragic weekend for all sorts of reasons, was watching some amateur footage earlier at Tosa from a fan and the Simteks were spinning and making mistakes all the time there, it really was not a great track for them, there is footage of Brabs in the gravel, then spinning, and Roland spinning once then the awful scenes later. It was simply one of those weekends one wishes could be erased and started again or left alone.

Eric Mc

115,007 posts

230 months

Tuesday
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If a driver isn't pushing the boundaries of grip and adhesion, he isn't trying.

Nobody ever accused Senna of not trying.

Muzzer79

4,655 posts

152 months

Tuesday
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ELUSIVEJIM said:
Muzzer79 said:
ELUSIVEJIM said:
I am amazed some fans still think Senna's accident at Tamburello wasn't the steering column.
Without wanting to debate this on a thread about marking his death, I'm surprised that some can't accept the explanation that he was pushing too hard on cold tyres in a skittish car and lost it.
I can't see the issue about wanting to debate what happened to Senna.

The Williams was a skittish car but in slow corners. Both Hill and Senna made mistakes during practice and qualifying sessions. Hill spun the Williams on the last corner at Imola twice but all at low speed. Senna did the same at Villeneuve at low speed.

Regarding the cold tyres if this was the case then why did Senna not crash on the first restart lap? He set the lap record on that last lap which was only beaten later in the 2nd race. A lap of Imola would have had the tyres at the perfect temperature before the accident.

The simple fact is Senna was a passenger in the Williams after the car had an issue. The verdict as follows.

The Italian Court of Appeal, on 13 April 2007, stated the following in the verdict numbered 15050: "It has been determined that the accident was caused by a steering column failure. This failure was caused by badly designed and badly executed modifications. The responsibility of this falls on Patrick Head, culpable of omitted control".
Numerous analyses of the accident and the Williams car point to it grounding out at high speed and suddenly losing downforce, making it unpredictable and skittish.

Williams acknowledged that the steering column had failed, following a clumsy modification at Senna's request, but only on impact with the wall. Footage is available of the steering wheel moving around (up/down/side to side) but nothing I've seen shows the steering itself failing.

It's a polarising topic. I believe he was going too fast, lost control and couldn't get it back. He was then very, very unlucky to strike the wall in such a way that pieces of the car impacted his head.


Eric Mc

115,007 posts

230 months

Tuesday
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This has been debated forever on PH.

Too many people seem to imbue Senna with God like qualities and can't countenance the fact that he might have made an error or stepped over the limit. After all, Gods have no limits.

Senna was not God. He was a great driver - but like all drivers, he occasionally made mistakes.

Crafty_

12,802 posts

165 months

Tuesday
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There are a few other factors too:

- Active suspension ban. Teams had to revert to a passive car setup which was a bit of a struggle - Williams included. The car was a bit rough to be honest. Senna spun out of the race at interlagos, driver error but even at the time the suggestion was the car was difficult to handle.

- Safety car. Use of the safety car to control pace under yellows was still in its infancy and they were very much still finding their way with its use. At Imola the suggestion is that the safety car (Opel Vectra A turbo, better known to you as a Vauxhall Cavalier turbo - 1.5 tons/204hp - a fast road car but a sloth compared to an F1 car) was too slow, allowing tyre heat & pressures to drop, whch then contributed to the car grounding out - there is video from Schumacher following Senna right after the restart and the car chucking sparks up everywhere, especially in Tamburello.

I don't think we'll ever know for sure if the column broke on track or at impact but what we do know is that the car wasn't perfectly fine before the accident - awkward to drive, column had been changed to allow him better control because he wasn't comfortable, after the restart it was grounding out significantly and so on. If the car had been 100% and then he'd suddenly left the track I tend to think it'd give more strength to the "the car broke" argument, as it is, its not clear.

Looking back I think it all had a sad inevitability about it. Ayrton was deeply shocked by both Ruben's and Roland's accidents/ He actually got in a car and went out to see the scene of Roland's accident. There is footage of him in the garages and its quite uncomfortable to watch, he looks unsettled, combined with the chat he had with Watkins (who encouraged him to quit and go fishing with him) and alleged late night phone calls to Adriane in tears.

I think he was troubled and was coming to the realisation that he wasn't immortal, but he was trapped, racing was everything what was he to do ? quit ? thats far too much like losing in his mind and anyway, what else was he going to do ? yes he was already doing a lot of charity work for kids, but that was because the racing provided the money. Some claim he had a bunch of business deals set up but I don't think it really interested him.

Incidentally, Brundle once said that one of the worst things in the aftermath was holding a minutes silence for Roland and Ayrton before the Monaco race, all the drivers shuffled to the front of the grid, stood there and then got in the cars to go racing. Martin found that pretty difficult. If you recall, this was the race that the German rookie Wendlinger collided with a barrier and knocked himself out, we all held our breath, no, not again! Thankfully he did eventually recover after some time in a coma. He did drive the Sauber again in '95 but was unsable to recoup form / live up to his pre-accident potential and was replaced by Boullion.

Edited by Crafty_ on Tuesday 4th May 13:26