Monday, April 30, 2018

RETRO: Remembering Formula One's Darkest Weekend

Roland Ratzenberger drives out the pitlane in his Simtek during a practice session at Aida. The Austrian would finish the race in 11th - albeit five laps down and last of the classified runners. (Image source:
Today marks the 24th Anniversary of the lesser known's F1 Pilotes' Death's that tragic weekend at Imola, Italy a longtime ago.

As the unheralded 33yr old  Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, contesting just his third Grands Prix weekend, was fatally injured when his Simtek S941-Ford suffered  a front wing failure at high speed before crashing at Villeneuve Corner. .

As I found it somewhat ironic that the Formula 1 Circus was at Sochi, upon thou Black Sea last year on the weekend of these tragedies, hosting the Russian Grand Prix, which has now moved to September 30th. As this year, Formula 1 visits the very unlike F1 confines of Azerbaijan.

Ayrton Senna sitting inside his Williams FW16 during practice for the 1994 Pacific GP,  the second race of the season alongside the team's engineering director Patrick Head. (Image source:
Naturally, Ratzenberger's Death will forever be Overshadowed in Perpetuity by the late, great Triple World champion Ayrton Senna's Death a Day later on May 1, 1994.

As what can I really say or type that hasn't already been written about the Brazilian Flash Senna? Or the events of that tragic weekend at San Marino.

As Ayrton would almost certainly have won more F1 World Championships for Team Willy, since Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve gave Sir Frank Williams his final two World Championships in 1996-97.

As you may also enjoy the Daily Mail's Lost Race Tracks story the pictures were borrowed from. Regarding the lost Pacific Grand Prix at Aida, Japan, featuring a relatively youthful Michael Schumacher challenging Ayrton Senna for F1 Supremacy in;