19 Years

Westy

Pole Sitter
It was a horrific weekend that has lead to a remarkably safe period in F1. It is sad that it took the death of two drivers, and a near miss of another, to bring about such changes. There are more things that can be done and should be done, think of Alonso's near miss at Spa last year. I'd hate to think that we need another weekend like San Marino '94 to get those changes enacted.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I'm still convinced that part of the reason those cars were so unsafe in the first place is because of the last minute (by F1 standards) and poorly thought out, removal of all driver aids making those cars completely unstable. That whole 94 season was one to forget for many reasons, from the terrible loss of life, to the near loss of life, from the shady antics at Benetton right up to the "what me guv? deliberately turn in on Mr Hill? I wouldn't do a nasty thing like that!" end to the season. Oh and Team Lotus going bust and closing its doors for the final time. In my humble opinion, a truly shit season. RIP Roland and Ayrton.
 

Olivier

Race Winner
What a shocking weekend, besides the deaths of Roland and Ayrton and Barichello's close call, there were also "several mechanics and spectators injured". I couldn't get myself to watch another live race until Australia '96.

RIP
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
On this particular weekend I was "lucky" enough to be on a protest march in London. On the Sunday, It was the "Criminal Justice Bill" march.

We had a flat-bed van with a rig on it, thumping out the sounds, pissing off the pigs! We went on from Trafalgar Square to Wimbledon Common for a rave. Oh, the sounds, the different rigs, the booze, the :censored:....

The next morning we gingerly made our way home...

It wasn't until we stopped at a service station on the M4, that I bought a newspaper. The headline stopped all the joy.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I was in Padstow in Cornwall for the weekend. I remember Ruben's crash on the Friday and we watched Roland's tragic accident live on British Eurosport during qualifying. I can still remember John Watson's commentary. For the actual race itself, I was stuck in the middle of town with my dad for some reason which I can't remember. We both missed the start of the race but I can remember not being particularly bothered about watching it. My mum and sister had already gone back to the cottage we were staying in. I quite clearly remember, and this is the gods honest truth, saying to my dad "come on, I suppose we better go back and watch the race, the way this weekend is going it could be Senna hurt next". It was unthinkable that it would be. I remember going into the front room of the cottage and my mum was just sat there looking stunned. Jim Clark had been her hero when she was younger and she was a huge Senna fan. A tragic weekend.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
To be honest I can't get sad over it, these guys were racing drivers they lived their lives doing the thing they loved to do, they knew the risks and were prepared to take and accept those risks, I could name a dozen other racing drivers who have been killed doing the sport they loved since then and not one of them choose to quit or not take up the sport knowing the risk they were taking, even Senna's nephew wanted and still does want to be in F1....

To be honest if the sport was completely safe I don't think people would bother doing it, or even watch it.....

It is the danger and the rush of adrenalin that drives them on, take that away and you have nothing, I have been on so called extreme rides at theme parks, but knowing I was completely safe made me feel nothing about the ride, other people screamed but I just got off at the end thinking, what a waste of money....

I agree with Sir Sterling Moss modern day F1 is far to safe as it is.
 

Westy

Pole Sitter
Mephistopheles - I understand you point about the rush of adrenaline that the drivers experience and some long for. However, is F1 a racing sport or an extreme sport? Do we watch for the thrill that others are experiencing or for the spectacle that racing is (lets not cloud this discussion by bringing up processional races i.e. Bahrain 2010)?

I love to go karting whenever I can, but not for the rush of speed (again, lets not talk about the relative slow speed of a go kart and an F1 car) but for the duels that my brother and I have when we race wheel to wheel. I am fairly sure that the majority of F1 drivers are there to race, not get their rocks off with the speed.

F1 may be considered "too safe" by some, but let me ask you do you want it to be dangerous? Do you want to see a death of one of your favorite drivers every year? When I listen to interviews of some previous F1 drivers who talk about "dark days" when their friends and colleges died in a race I don't hear them say "I'll miss him, but you know what, I bet he went out with a boner because he was absolutely flying around that corner!" They miss the guy, they understand the risks, but they aren't their to enjoy the risks. They are there to win.

I come to school to teach students, not the enjoy the rush of wondering if little Johnny is packing a gun today or not. I understand the risks in my job (limited though they may be), but I am not here because of them. I am here in spite of them to do what I love. Teach. I am sure racing drivers feel the same when they compare the risks of their job and the thrill of winning.
 

ZakspeedYakspeed

NeverUnderestimateThePredictabilityOfStupidity
Premium Contributor
Ayrton was the first driver I followed in F1... first race I watched on the telly flag to flag was Spain '86 ... (saw a little of Adelaide in '85, but was only starting to get into it)...

There are moments in your life when you remember vividly what you were doing ... I had graduated from university almost two years before this fateful day (in the "recession we had to have" as our former PM Paul Keating down under had said)... was working a lot of jobs whilst looking for something in my field ... the old reliable pizza delivery job at Chelsea Pizza in a nice part of Perth was my go by ... I didn't watch the race ... I was probably drunk in a bar chasing young fillies that night... Monday afternoon at 5pm was "pick up your pay" time ... old school ... in a little white envelope... at the shop ... and then we would invite anyone to our share house down the road from the pizza store for some cards - poker (a little supplemental income from the newbies at the pizza shop)... I remember one of the guys I worked with Sam ... who knew I liked F1 ... saying to me "unbelieveable eh Tinman ... Senna dying last night" ...

...
...
...
shock
cue incredulous look on my face...
...
...
hahahaha ... the guys just winding me up ahead of me taking their money later at poker...
...
...
I think I said something like "no that was Ratzenberger on Saturday"
...
...
and then one of guys I shared the house with said "no mate... smacked into a wall at 300 ...
...
...
I probably said "get :censored: that is bull :censored:"
...
...
and then one of shop owners said it was true...

I can remember where I was standing ... I remember the pay packet in my hand... I remember where I sat down ... I remember the beer I opened ... I remember I swore several times... and I remember getting hosed at poker later than night ... and having a helluva hangover the next day...
 

Westy

Pole Sitter
You are correct ZakspeedYakspeed you do tend to remember shocking moments like that. I was out with some friends going to Ponds Forge (a swimming complex) in Sheffield for a birthday party. My parents were recording the race so that I could enjoy it later, I was fairly anoyed that I wasn't going to get to see it live but a party is a party.

We were sat at some traffic lights listening to Five Live, which I had always found borring and wasn't enjoying as I didn't want to hear the results of the race. The F1 section began and I tried to focus on the Ford Escort sitting next to us. *BAM* "Ayerton Senna has died in hospital from wounds that he suffered during today's race"

.
.
.

I couldn't believe what I had heard. It took so long for me to process what I had heard that the rest of the car journey happened in a blur. The party was fun, but I kept thinking about what I had heard and wondered how it had happened.

When I got home my parents told me what had happened and asked if I still wanted to watch the race. I sat on the carpet and held the tape in my hands weighing up the fear of watching one of my heros die and the sense of loyalty I had that told me I should watch it as a mark of respect. I watched the race and I was surprised at how early it was in the race. It was a very tough race to watch but I was glad I did.

I really hope that the sport never has to go through a moment like that again. The world of motorsport lost one of the greats and another racer with some potential. Just think if Alonso had been hit by RoGro's car at Spa, or if Webber flip in Valencia had been his last. I scary thought if you ask me.
 
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