Death of Ayrton Senna

Death Of Ayrton Senna

Death of Ayrton Senna

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The death of three-time Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna on May 1, 1994, occurred as a result of his car crashing into a concrete barrier while he was leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy. The previous day, Roland Ratzenberger had been killed when his car crashed during qualification for the race. His and Senna's accidents were the worst of several accidents that took place that weekend and were the first fatal accidents to occur during a Formula One race meeting in twelve years. They became a turning point in the safety of Formula One, prompting the implementation of new safety measures and the re-formation of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

While Senna's crash remains the most recent to claim the life of a Formula 1 driver, two accidents have since claimed the lives of trackside marshals.

Background

On May 1, 1994, Senna took part in his third race for the Williams team, the San Marino Grand Prix at the Imola circuit. Although he would not finish it, Senna started his final Formula One race from pole position.

That weekend, he was particularly upset by two events. On Friday, during the afternoon qualifying session, Senna's protégé, F1 newcomer Rubens Barrichello, was involved in a serious accident that prevented him from competing in the race. On Saturday, the death of Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger in qualifying deeply upset Senna, reinforcing his safety concerns and made him consider retiring from the...
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