THE Senna Files

 

 

LetterSfile #02

I have not seen a single race of F1 after May 1 1994. The blue car took Ayrton Senna away.

Rick


How come no forensic evidence (blood residue, tissue shards) were taken from the pointed piece of suspension that perhaps fatally pierced Ayrton Senna's helmet?

Seems like a very easy thing to do in order to formulate some kind of theory in a highly public case ...

Mike


Great site you have, very informative with up to the minute news about the Senna trial.

Nick


This is to let the Senna fans know my thoughts from that dark Imola racing day.

As a corner worker from the Sports Car Club of America I have seen a lot of accidents in the last 10 years of being with them. I have seen accidents in which the driver loses control of the vehicle and crashes into the tire wall or sometimes rolls over.

In a case at one of the tracks here in the United States where the driver drove off on the grass, when a corner worker responded to the accident site, the driver was dead. The autopsy revealed that the driver died from massive head injuries and that the helmet had a little dent on the front and a huge deformation on the back side of the helmet. (I am not trying to be descriptive).

This driver was dead because of debris from the track, possibly a rock hit the helmet, he lost control. But in this case the driver did not crash into the wall such as Senna's accident.

I think Senna lost control of the vehicle: something hit the driver, lost control and tried to stop, but it was too late. From what I remember, Ayrton's head tilts to the left and the vehicle goes to the right. This is when (my theory) Senna lost consciousness for a fraction of a second and then hit the wall.

Francisco


I really enjoy reading the updates on this site, and get them quicker than our local news media.

Dan


I had the pleasure to be Senna's friend and I still miss him.

Carlos


Appreciate news on the trial etc. Thanks for keeping those of us who care up to date.

Pilot


We really need this info. I was waiting for a page like this!

Andre


I have been following your page for the last 8 months and am very impressed with your information gathering on the death of the GREATEST DRIVER OF F1! It is sad to see how bad the bigwigs try to 'cover up' the truth.

I was unfortunate to see my hero die... at the same time I was glad I got to see him race for the last time. Thanks to ESPN I watched my hero leave us to go to a better place in the heavens... I do miss hearing the commentators talking about the Brasilian sensation who alone carried F1 to the next level.

Schuey, Damon, Mika and all the rest owe a lot to his historic events and talented driving. Thank you for keeping the yellow helmet alive in all of our hearts. I appreciate news of the case, but I only wished he was back...

And remember one thing, as long as racing is alive so is Ayrton Senna Da Silva and the YELLOW HELMET!

Elio


Con Ayrton per sempre nel cuore. Mai per Schumacher.

Allessio

1997/09/06


I want to thank you for such comprehensive coverage of the trial and the aftermath of Senna's death, which still haunts so very many people.

What I'd like to add, is now that the on-board film footage has finally surfaced and been made available (I never thought I'd see the day), I also wonder what happened to the live-audio patch that Senna had on-board that day too?

I watched the race in a French-speaking country, and therefore was watching the French telecast on TF1. TF1 had hired Alain Prost to do race commentaries, which was very neat. Senna did a warm-up lap, which I understood was shown live. He talked about the track, and very touchingly, Senna made his peace with Prost, making up for hard-feelings of the past. I had assumed the microphone Senna was using was one he would normally use to talk to his crew during the race. Maybe his voice wasn't recorded during the race that day, but maybe it was. Does anybody out there know?

Courtney



Thanks for a non-sensational, accurate Senna page. Senna fans in the U.S. are in debt to you, as we get very limited coverage of F1 here.

Steven



Although the thought of such a home page depicting the tragedy was difficult to visit, especially considering this week is the 3rd anniversary of Senna's tragic accident, I found it fairly concise and informative. The effort is appreciated.

Thanks.

In the words of one of the pages "Words cannot express…"

Narinder



In my opinion we should forget that Imola weekend in 1994. But we should hold Ayrton in our souls and memories, looking at his, and our happy days and experiences. So I think you should not again and again remind us of that horrible day. That's my opinion.

Nic



I was wondering if you have noticed on the race video that just before the camera switches to inside Schumacher's car you can see a small white object fly across the screen in the bottom left corner. It's very quick so you may have to look closely. Does anyone know what this object is?

Neil



Nice job. We lost Formula One on May 1 1994.

Dennis



My opinion about the accident is that his steering column broke. Here in Belgium the trial doesn't have much attention but thanks to you I know what is going on. In April I went to Brasil and they still haven't forgotten him, every Sunday they give a race he won!

I printed out the pictures of the steering column, and took them to school (I'm studying electro-mechanics) and showed them to my physics teacher who said, in his opinion, it's clear it broke before the accident.

Anyway I hope, well I demand, we will know the truth! The truth is out there!

Kenny



I have a passion for car racing. I never understood the relationship between Alain Prost and Ayrton until the day of the 1st May 1994. In the morning of the race day Ayrton sent a message to Alain via the TV cameras. It was a very human and sensitive action. Prost was TV consultant at that moment and he was touched.

Your site is very serious and necessary.

Nicolas



Is this some sort of joke? Ayrton Senna was a racer, he died a racer. People may wish to know what happened to Senna, but I never thought someone would have the audacity to publish something like this. You make me sick.

Jenni



Thank you for a great web site. Finally a voice of reason in the media mix that surrounds the Senna case. If all players are to be believed then it is truly a tragedy, not just for the loss of my hero but the sheer stupidity of those that surrounded him.

Gil



I liked you site, I found it very interesting. You really have a lot of information on Senna's accident. Perhaps one day we'll know?

Micki



I happened upon your S Files site whilst F1 surfing one Saturday evening and found myself transfixed. I read every word of every page. A trip back to 1994 and that shocking afternoon. Now, after reading the S-Files, and browsing other Ayrton linked sites, with all their graphic images, I feel emotionally drained. And the trial isn't over yet.

So much hypocrisy. So much disrespect, not just for Ayrton, but also for Roland Ratzenberger. One of Ayrton's last acts was to take the Austrian flag with him to wave in his memory if he made it to the podium. What will the trial really achieve, apart from feeding the coffers of the Italian justice (sic) system? Is this what Ayrton would have wanted?

Ayrton is gone. As far as I am concerned, the S-Files, like all other Ayrton sites around the planet, form the one true purpose of the Internet. His memory will live on in cyberspace.

Adieu Ayrton

Andy



Re - Senna's death. I feel those undertaking this inquiry are focusing their attention in the wrong direction. I have been searching for Frank Williams address but this is the nearest I have come to finding a route. The cause of the accident was due to a number of elements, all of which had they acted on their own, would not have caused the fatality.

1. The car set-up did not give enough downforce to the front of the car. Although the set-up was probably correct for the speed it did not take into account the effect of prevailing weather conditions with 'gusting winds' on the day of the race, as witnessed by the other fatal crash that occurred during practice.

2. Ayrton was driving to the limits of the cars set-up, this left no margin of safety should something go wrong.

3. The crucial factor is that the car was subject to a number of oscillations on the high speed straight, which Ayrton may have mistaken to be either bumps or debris on the track, just prior to the bend. This may be seen as a sequence of three emissions of sparks beneath the undercarriage of the car, that is assuming you have the video of the race as shown on BBC TV.

It is my opinion that the car was caught by cross turbulence due to gusting winds, which eventually lifted the front of the car into the air. As a direct consequence the braking capability of the car was negligible, if of any effect whatsoever. This meant that the car was no longer in the control of the driver and resulted in the car leaving the track.

As a secondary note, it has been mentioned in some article that the steering column had been adapted and this was the cause of Ayrton's death. I believe that if you seek medical advice Ayrton was possibly technically dead before the car stopped moving, due to the following factors - the speed, direction and force of the impact, due to the car hitting a solid wall, rather than a flexible object, which would have absorbed much of the shock.

I sincerely hope you find the information of some use.

Granville



Apparently, we here in South Africa are treated like mushrooms, we are kept in the dark and fed a lot of crap. We do not get to hear much about the death and subsequent investigation into our hero's death. Where do you find all this relevant information, is it published or do you have good friends in the know? Thanks for keeping the world at large informed in such a sympathetic way.

Johnny



If Italian law states that when a participating sportsman dies at a sports event, the whole event should be cancelled - then that means that the Imola Grand Prix should have been called off on the qualifying Saturday. This would have meant that Ayrton would have stayed alive. If it turns out that the decision to halt the GP was aborted due to financial losses, then not only does Frank Williams, Patrick Head etc. need to stand trial, but all the people who decided the race should go on.

I would love to see any promoter that values financial gain higher than loss of human lives be jailed for life. I would love to see any such immoral person(s) be blamed for the death of Ayrton Senna, and have to live with it.

Emre



The Sfiles section are amazing, let me thank you for this job. I just don't know how you've obtained such pieces, but it's a great job. Perhaps one day we'll have the explanation of this awful and still dolorous event.

Vince



I think the pictures of Ayrton's last ride from Schumacher's onboard camera suggest what Martini said in the court: bottoming effect was normal. There are some sparks coming from underneath the Williams shortly after the interference in the picture, about 2 seconds before the accident, but then nothing. Only when the Williams is already heading to the wall, some 1 second before its own onboard camera was switched off (Bernie Ecclestone's view), a huge amount of sparks is generated by the FW16, like it would be dragging something… As far as Cahier's pictures are concerned, I think it's supposed to be like this: From Ayrton's trajectory and from 2nd photo of Schumacher where debris is flattened, he drove over it by left wheels only. BTW, why not look at Williams' onboard camera pictures - it must be seen there what he had done in that moment. If the debris is not a fiction anyway…

Martin



I think you guys are doing a great job. I agree with almost everything that is written here, I know that Ayrton was the best driver of his time. It is really sad he died, he had so much to offer racing. He gave a lot to racing and was really involved on the safety aspect before his death. I think Formula One and fans of the sport owe it to Senna to find out the truth. I must say since that day in May '94 the sport has not been the same. When Senna died a big part of the sport died with him.

Warren



I watched the Senna crash as it happened, along with millions of others on the BBC. To me it clearly showed that Senna was not conscious, his head dropped and he made no visible movements to steer. Also there were no real attempts to brake. I race open wheeled cars, and believe me, if you lose your steering the first thing you do is brake, then panic. At the very least you try to scrub off some speed either by spinning or weaving, not driving towards a right angled bend at 200mph and definitely not looking down to see if you can see what the problem is. Apart from anything you are so squashed into the car that you cannot see below your waist. Let the legend of Senna carry on and stop souring it with these ridiculous theories. He knew the risks, they made him very wealthy but also killed him. If he knew what lay ahead that day, he would have still driven, it's what all racers would do.

Andrew



We saw your page after visiting the Long Beach GP, we are fans of both F1 and CART. Unfortunately, we did not get into racing until after that tragic day in May. I have heard a lot of Ayrton Senna and have a great deal of respect for how you pay homage to his life and career. Thank you for having taste and letting the many learn about the life of this great racer with taste.

Atig



I am very proud of what you are trying to do. It has always been apparent that the column broke, but only the Senna family and his countless Brazilian fans are speaking for the dead. I must say I do not necessarily agree with Italian law, which states that any similar death must have someone accountable for it.

Senna knew that he was in a projectile, and that it could have happened to anyone (it did, after all, happen the day before). The only difference is that unlike Jacques Villeneuve, he cared about safety. If only someone would do something for dear Roland Ratzenberger… I forward your page to all who care.

JP



It doesn't make sense that Senna could blackout before going off the track. Why? Because the 'G' loading on his head would cause it to flop to the RIGHT of the cockpit, not to the left after blacking out! Did anyone stop to think about this before jumping to this speculation?

As a former Pro motocross racer, it would be a common occurrence to hold one's breath during tough sections or periods of a race. Sometimes you would be totally unaware of it until an easier section or 'relaxed section' of the track. I also noticed that it looks as though he tilts his head twice to the left as if he is willing' the car to 'catch' again. These are my thoughts on it so far…

Paul



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