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Imola - 20 years on

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    Imola - 20 years on

    I guess there was going to be a thread tomorrow, but you cant simply look past the overall horror of that weekend.

    Ronald Ratzenberger - the first of two tragic moments over that weekend. It was nearly 3

    Ill probably write an essay tomorrow, but for now, vale Roland.
    Originally posted by brasher
    TJ is 99% African American.

    RIP Roland.

    This article is excellent.
    The most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. - Randy Komisar.


      The most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. - Randy Komisar.


        David Brabham talking about the weekend.

        Also video he mentioned.
        :worship: RIP Sir Jack Brabham AO, OBE (1926-2014) 3 World Titles, Legend.


          Attached Files


            20 years ago I was one devastated 10 year old kid.
            Social media marketing for the automotive industry (plus a motorsport blog) -


              I was 11.

              Its a tragic moment to watch a hero die - but in my case, he wasn't really my hero at the time. We didn't have social media, rolling 24hr coverage of the sport, or even very good coverage outside of the Australian race.
              It was 1994, Michael Jordan was at the height of his powers (well until his mini retirement), and I was a kid who played basketball and was lucky enough to have met most of the Perth Wildcats - James Crawford was closer to a hero than Senna was. NBA on TV Saturday mornings meant basketball was my first love.

              However, for some reason, and I have no idea why, I loved car racing. My dad wasn't into cars, I had no older brothers or relatives to steer me that way, but something just clicked and I from a young age loved cars. I watched Bathurst and as much of the ATCC as I could. F1 was harder, but I watched however I could. I believe my first memory of Senna was Murray walking screaming "that's Senna spinning spinning spinning" as he spun the McLaren is the horrid conditions in Adelaide, but I would have been 7 and I am not sure if its a true memory or one I have built. Regardless, I knew the Senna name.

              At the time, Channel 9 had delayed coverage of the races here in WA. I would be told to go to bed, but would sneak up and watch them in our spare room. If my old man happened to wake up and find me, I would cop it, but was well worth it. That's about all I want to say about the actual race itself. I have a good copy of it on my hdd, but have yet to actually watch it from start to finish. I just cant. You know what happens and I simply don't want to see it.

              I remember going to school the next day upset and sad, and no one understanding why. I am glad as time went on to find I am not the only one. End of the day never met, saw or knew the man. But you don't need to. History tells us everything you need to know, and why people, 20 years on, still mourn his loss as a F1 driver and as a person.

              His stats are remarkable considering the level of competition and the cars he drove. Sure, he had a dominant McLaren for a while, but he also had shitbox Lotuses, McLaren's and Tolemans. Was he the fastest driver ever? In my mind, without a doubt, on pure pace he was the best by far. As for best driver ever? Drivers have more wins, titles, etc, and we all know he wasn't perfect in his actions. People will argue this one forever and a day. I prefer a fast guy on the limit so to me I would give him that as well. Its little wonder why I like Lewis - he came into the sport driving very much the same way.

              Anything I really write here is a rehash of what others have already said many times over. But as a person he seems to have been incredibly smart, and importantly, caring. His charity still helps thousands of kids in Brazil every year, and no doubt will continue to do so for a long time. Almost as important as his talent was what he did for Brazil - a country in poverty given a beacon of hope. He was almost a god there, and in Japan, which as a nation loved him. Just watch the pics and footage from his funeral - the sheer volume of emotional outpour for a guy who simply drove a car fast... staggering. He was a man who lived with his heart on his sleeve, and to be honest, that reminds me a bit of me.

              He not only created history, but he shaped it as well. Had he not died, safety would of been much slower to have come forward. People like Kubica owe their life to Senna, and to be fair, Roland, having lost theirs that weekend. The last people to die in a F1 car, and I hope it remains that way.

              Had he not died there is very little doubt he would of won 1994 and 1995 - Hill was no match for him and he nearly won 94, and in 95 the car was better. He would of been 35 by then with 5 titles. Had he stayed on for 96 and 97 in that brilliant Williams, its likely Damon Hill and JV would never of been World Champions, who both created a slice of history being sons of legends going on to win the title. Schumacher's career would of panned out differently too. Perhaps it would of convinced Renault to stay on, rather then throwing Williams into mediocrity and beginning their slide downwards. The what if's though are painful to think about.

              On the flip side, he died at the peak of his powers. He drove that average McLaren to some astounding results in 93. Donnington, need I say more. He didn't get to an age where his reactions slowed a little, dulled the brilliance. We saw that in Michael, and it was a little sad. However, it would have been amazing to see him and Michael go at it properly.

              In a cruel sense of irony, dying the way he did simply cemented his legacy. He dedicated himself so hard to get to the top, and he died whilst leading. He didn't fade with years, only to die from cancer or a heart attack etc. And this makes it harder to cope with too - all your memories are of a still young man and his smile, or those eyes behind that helmet. Or watching him destroy the field at Monaco. Or, or, or...

              Ill probably watch Senna tonight again, and I will probably shed a tear again.

              Legends never die. Vale.
              Originally posted by brasher
              TJ is 99% African American.


                I remember it vividly and was devastated about it. I ended up doing a school project on him that year. I think I still have it somewhere, had just turned 13.

                Actually I remember writing, as the last sentence in the project, something along the lines of "I am so sad he has passed away" and my teacher wrote next to it "so am I"
                CAD Automotive Paint Correction, like us on the faceballs. Discounts on all detailing and ceramic coatings for PF members


                  bitter sweet day for me, still remember it like it was yesterday, being a teenager into racing cars he was god.. 18 years later my 2nd daughter was born on this day..
                  im a cunt
                  and apparently i dont know shit...


                    Well said TJ. It's so true what you say about his God like status in Brazil. When I visited Imola on a random summer day in 2003, there was a bus load of Brazilian school kids at Tamburello, paying their collective respects to their hero. I could scarcely believe it.
                    The most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. - Randy Komisar.


                      I was speaking to a Brazilian guy at work the other day, he's from Sao Paolo and would be early 30s. He and his family lined up with 1m+ others for hours & hours just to get a chance to catch a glimpse of the funeral procession back in '94.

                      He speaks about the guy with reverence - he clearly still means a huge amount to the country.


                        Yup I worked with and played ball with a Brazillian guy two years older than me during 2011 - I only asked him once about Senna. He simply went from smiling, to sad, said he was a hero to him and his family, but couldn't go as it was 6 hours away.
                        Originally posted by brasher
                        TJ is 99% African American.


                          I have never been the biggest F1 fan, preferring production based touring cars and sports cars (still do), but he was someone who had a presence outside of the regular F1 fanbase, and you couldn't but admire the guys talent and drive to succeed. I was 24 at the time and still vividly remember standing in my lounge room the morning I heard the news. It's certainly wasn't a weekend that motor racing fans will forget easily.
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                            McLaren remembers.
                            Originally posted by brasher
                            TJ is 99% African American.


                              From autosport plus.

                              Originally published in the May 5 1994 edition of AUTOSPORT's sister publication Motoring (now Motorsport) News.

                              Ayrton Senna was the most committed man I ever met.

                              The sheer depth of his approach to his profession was something few ordinary people could truly understand. We speak of breathing, eating and sleeping a subject; well, Ayrton did just that but nothing else mattered so much to him in the world.

                              He even subjugated his first marriage, and for a long time thereafter avoided serious relationships, just to pursue the on track excellence that he so often displayed and which was so vital to him.

                              His need for it was like his religion. And the commitment he brought to achieving it was fearsome and, at times, frightening.

                              Writing these words, I keep recalling times when his passion would bring tears welling into those deep brown eyes, which could sparkle with warmth at you, or rake you so coldly and disdainfully that you felt touched by an arctic wind.

                              Senna was often embroiled in battles on- and off-track LAT

                              In Adelaide in 1989, when he pleaded for the media's help to battle FISA ogre Jean-Marie Balestre, the tears were there.

                              "You have a lot of things behind you when you follow a passion," he said. "Anyone who prevents an athlete from going to the highest place strikes a major blow to his mind and motivation. In that situation everything goes against you in your heart."

                              It was an uncomfortable feeling to watch a man so plainly exposing his feelings, and not even his detractors drew any satisfaction from seeing him so vulnerable.

                              At Jerez in 1990 he was literally spellbinding as he spoke of why he visited Martin Donnelly, as he lay crumpled on the racetrack, and how he then went out and lapped faster than ever.

                              Later that year in Adelaide I asked him why he had done that. Had he deliberately ventured to the edge of the pit and looked over to learn something, to prove something to himself?

                              There was a long long pause, and again his eyes grew damp. Finally, his voice was just a croaky whisper that you had to strain to hear.

                              "For myself," he said. "I did it because anything like that can happen to any of us. I didn't see anything and I didn't know how bad it was. I knew it was something bad, but people just go crazy and say all kinds of stupid things. I wanted to go see for myself. Afterwards I didn't know how fast I could go. Or how slow."

                              There was another long pause, and I asked him if he felt he had to be brave to do that. His mind was totally focused on the grim events of that afternoon, and now his eyes were swimming.

                              Martin Donnelly's horrific crash changed Senna LAT

                              "As a racing driver there were some things you have to go through, to cope with. Sometimes they are not human, yet you go through it and do them just because of the feelings that you get by driving, that you don't get in another profession. Some of the things, you have to face them."

                              Whatever personal test he put himself through that day in Spain, he came through it with honour. The unenlightened may say a driver should never perform in such a condition, but what Senna did that day was abnormally brave.

                              It was Neville Duke breaking the sound barrier at Farnborough in 1952, to keep the crowd from panicking immediately after his friend John Derry had plunged to his death when the experimental De Havilland DH110 had broken up.

                              It was Jimmy Carruthers standing on the gas in his Eagle for 10 miles at 195mph at Indianapolis in 1973 the day his friend Art Pollard perished.

                              It was pure, cold anger and courage combined to produce an almost supernatural performance. I never admired Ayrton more than I did that day.

                              The trouble was, there were two Ayrton Sennas. The one, and sadly I never did more than scratch its surface or peek within its shadows, was an intense, funny, loyal and warm character. But the other could be a monster, the bully of the track. The intimidator.

                              I met him in 1982 when he came into Formula 3 and walked away with the non-championship race at Thruxton on the first run for Dickie Bennetts. But when his championship campaign got under the way the following year I illustrated my report with a photo of him spinning. Both caption and text explained that this was the sole mistake he made all weekend, the rest was appositely complimentary. Ayrton didn't like that. A little note went in his mental card index.

                              Senna had a mixed relationship with the media LAT

                              As race followed race, there was nothing one could write but how brilliant he was; it was clear from the outset that he was destined for greatness, and after we'd done the usual cautious bit about waiting for everyone else to reveal their natural pace after the first few races, it was clear that only Martin Brundle had the ghost of a chance of staying with him.

                              The trouble was that Ayrton often felt that the British press was against him even then, not because he was paranoid, but because he was a shy, unworldly kid who was learning about life in a tough environment.

                              As it happened, he was wrong, but he was the sort of person who could not really take criticism. Either you were with him all the way, or you weren't. For or against.

                              If you were critical, he became suspicious of your motives. The trust began to break down. In the middle of 1983 I interviewed him at Silverstone for our British GP meeting build up. We stood by his modest silver AlfaSud and he struck me then as a vulnerable character who would cloak that inner sensitivity with a hard outer shell. When things got tough on the personal front he would retreat into that shell, and over the years and as he became ever more successful, it became more and more impervious.

                              Though we had our spats, I liked the first Senna immensely. It was impossible not to. Time spent in his company was never wasted, was always interesting. He had that way of considering every word, not because he was unfamiliar with the English language (God knows, he was so fluent he could use all sorts of complicated expressions) but because he wanted to get his thoughts across precisely. You began to understand what he must be like at debriefs. By legend, he went on for hours at McLaren.

                              Senna never lacked aggression LAT

                              The second Senna I didn't like, the arrogant character who could completely blank from his emotions people that he didn't like or trust. But if I'm honest his was the most forceful style one would subconsciously adopt whenever racing karts or whatever. I'm not talking about speed, but about aggression and stealing a rival's track space. Mentally you would want to be Prost, all smoothness and grace; actually you were a very pale (virtually transparent) Senna, of course lacking his skill, but intimidators, fire breathing... Hypocritical maybe, but true. That's the way it was.

                              But I was always saddened that a man who was so clearly possessed of an awesome talent should resort to such tactics. Tuggers might, yes, as a means of trying to hide their basic inadequacies, but he really didn't need to, and that was the awful thing.

                              He will be remembered as a wonderful driver, a man whose sheer artistry at the wheel could be a joy to watch, but also as the one who set the tone whereby hard driving - and at times, it has to be said, dirty driving - has become an acceptable part of motor racing.

                              At Estoril in 1988 he had demonstrated the dark side of his character by deliberately swerving at Prost as they raced wheel to wheel down the pit straight at 190mph. Afterwards Prost told him: "If you want the world championship badly enough to die for it, you are welcome."

                              Time and again Senna's blend of impetuosity and self-righteousness led him into trouble. He railed against exclusion from victory the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix after that famous collision with Prost, accusing the sport's governing body of cheating him out of a second title. He was forced to make an apology of sorts to Balestre before he was granted a licence for the following year.

                              By then Prost had left for Ferrari, and the two fought for the championship again at Suzuka. There, in the move that prompted many to question his equilibrium and the depths to which his sheer competitive intensity would drive him, he smashed into the back of Prost's Ferrari when the Frenchman beat him to the first corner. With both retiring on the spot, he clinched his second championships at Prost's expense.

                              An infamous clash handed Senna the title in 1990 LAT

                              Two weeks later when I showed him a series of photographs of the incident, and asked him why he had apparently driven Prost off the road, he refused pointblank to accept the damming evidence in front of us, denying even the physical positions of the of the cars despite what the photographer had recorded.

                              A year later, in an extraordinary, expletive-peppered outburst following victory in the Japanese Grand Prix, which had clinched his third world championship, he finally admitted what we all knew: that he had deliberately driven Prost off the track, that it had been tit for tat for what he had seen as Prost's role in his 1989 downfall.

                              Born of wealthy parents in Sao Paulo in 1960, Ayrton Senna da Silva began racing karts when he was four, with the encouragement of his father Milton. Such was his progress through the motorsport ranks that he was one of those rare individuals: a man so clearly marked for greatness that a world championship was inevitable.

                              When he arrived in Britain in 1981 he raced with the colourful Dennis Rushen.

                              "He was so quiet," Rushen recalled, "that he was always the guy you found standing shyly in the kitchen at parties."

                              He remained thus for many years, although it was only a short time before his English improved to the point where he no longer could be duped into greeting fresh acquaintances with earthy Anglo-Saxon that the team had coached him in...

                              Such was that extraordinary level of commitment that he brought to his motor racing, that clashes with fellow rivals and the media was inevitable. He had a towering self-belief that sometimes bordered on zealotry.

                              The first manifestation of that came at Cadwell Park in 1983. He'd won nine consecutive F3 races, but crashed heavily in practice for this 10th round.

                              Senna made his F1 debut with Toleman on home ground in 1984 LAT

                              But even while his car was out of control, he kept his foot hard on the power. He would never surrender anything without a fight.

                              He won the championship that year and immediately sprang into Formula 1 with the Toleman team for 1984.

                              He scored his first world championship point in only his second grand prix, when despite heat exhaustion he brought his car home sixth in South Africa. Two races later he would have won in Monaco in the wet if there had been any justice in the world.

                              Later that year came more signs of the other side of his nature, when he left the team in acrimonious circumstances to join Lotus.

                              Alex Hawkridge was the manager of Toleman, and once the news of Senna's impending defection had been revealed, he suspended him from the Italian Grand Prix before the end of their relationship. Senna was stunned.

                              "I did it," Hawkridge revealed, "because it was important to teach him that for every negative action you perform in life there is a penalty."

                              It was a lesson that Senna never forgot, even if he never came to approve of any sanction against himself.

                              Victories came in 1985 with Lotus LAT

                              With Lotus he won his first grand prix, in Portugal in 1985, but by 1987 he had lost patience as he covetously eyed Alain Prost's situation at McLaren.

                              Their partnership there in 1988 would eventually make all other sporting feuds look like kindergarten kids scrapping over Lego blocks, but by the end of that season the first world championship had been delivered, in true Senna style.

                              He stalled his car at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, before storming home to win on a track rendered greasy by rain. On the way he beat Prost soundly. The rest, of course, we know.

                              Without question Ayrton Senna was an extraordinary individual. The kinder Senna was the sort of man who would give up his seat to usher an old lady down the stairs while once waiting for an appointment with Professor Syd Watkins, that great character who admired him so much and for whom we all felt so much as he ultimately had to administer to him at the Tamburello corner which claimed his life.

                              In his homeland Senna was lionised, and he made significant charitable donations which he never remotely attempted to publicise. He loved children, too. "They are the honest ones," he once said.

                              If he didn't like you, you knew it; in 1986 he was at war with the British press after preventing Derek Warwick from joining him at Lotus. Over the years that animosity mellowed, but often the feeling he nurtured that his trust had been betrayed causing flare-ups.

                              He was roundly condemned last year for striking rival Eddie Irvine - again, almost inevitably, at Suzuka - and the cold war began again.

                              But whatever some of his failings may have been, he was a man with whom you always knew where you stood, and though his tactics on the track were frequently and deliberately intimidatory, he was without question one of the greatest racing drivers the world has ever known. To see Senna on a quick lap was to be awed by majesty.

                              Senna was one of the greatest exponents of the flat-out qualifying lap LAT
                              Originally posted by brasher
                              TJ is 99% African American.