Excerpt from the motorsport archives: that day in 1994 Car News

The recent Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola could hardly have contrasted more with the Formula 1 competition that the Italian circuit hosted 28 years ago.

A dark cloud gathered during the third event of the 1994 season just 17 minutes from the first qualifying on Friday, as youngster Rubens Barrichello lost control of his Jordan and was thrown onto a curb into a wall of tires. Incredibly, he escaped.

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Then, in qualifying on Saturday, rookie Roland Ratzenberger died as his Simtek lost its front wing in the Villeneuve curve at 195mph and hit a concrete barrier. His death was the first at a Grand Prix weekend since Ricardo Paletti in 1982.

Visions of Paletti then came back to haunt F1 veterans when the race started on Sunday, as Pedro Lamy crashed blindly into the back of a stalled JJ Lehto. Fortunately, the two men left.

The safety car arrived after lap five, and minutes later another tragedy unfolded, as Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest racers of all time, fatally hit a wall at 190 mph. Surprisingly, the race continued and gave one last unpleasant surprise: four mechanics injured in the pit lane.

The race was understandably a turning point, heralding many important changes to improve safety in F1.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-06 04:01:24

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