Sunday, April 30, 2017

Roland Ratzenberger Killed At San Marino - April 30, 1994

July 4, 1960 – April 30, 1994
Roland Ratzenberger
(Photo; www.ayrtonsenna.de)
Born in Salzburg, Austria.
During Saturday qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix at the Imola, Austrian rookie Roland Ratzenberger was killed after the front wing of his Simtek-Ford broke entering the 190 mph (310 km/h) Villeneuve corner, sending the car into a concrete wall. Ratzenberger was pronounced dead on arrival at Maggiore Hospital in Bologna, having been airlifted there from the Imola circuit's medical centre, where he had initially been transferred to from the crash site by ambulance. The cause of death was a basilar skull fracture.

Ratzenberger was the first racing driver to lose his life at a grand prix weekend since the 1982 season, when Riccardo Paletti was killed at the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Ratzenberger was also the first driver to die in an F1 car since Elio de Angelis during testing in 1986.

The following day on May 1, 1994, seven laps into the race, three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna was killed in another accident that brought the sport of Formula One under international scrutiny. The double tragedy was marked before the start of the next race in Monaco, with the front row of the grid left empty and the two slots painted with a Brazilian and Austrian flag.

When track officials examined the wreckage of Senna's racing car, they found a furled Austrian flag. Senna had planned to raise it after the race, in honour of Ratzenberger.

For more; Remembering Ayrton Senna

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