THE Senna Files


We publish a varied selection of the mail received and your comments are most welcomed.

LetterSfile #03

Ayrton Senna was the best driver ever!


Your Web pages about Ayrton Senna's death are very comprehensive and informative. It is good that fans of the late and great Ayrton Senna have somewhere to go for information.


I am a big fan of Ayrton Senna and shall not forget him. I was unaware of Ayrton Senna until March 17 1987 when my baby brother was born and my Dad chose Ayrton to be his name. I am glad my brother has been blessed with this name and shall keep building my collection of Senna memorabilia. The one item I want I cannot get. It is an autographed piece of paper that my brother has saying "To Ayrton, Best wishes Ayrton Senna".

My brother cherishes this paper. The day Ayrton died was so unbelievable. My family and I would not believe it and kept pinching ourselves in the hope that we would wake from this nightmare. It was like one of our own family members had died!

On each birthday and the anniversary of Ayrton's death I light a candle in remembrance of him as I adored him so much. In closing I would like to say how much I enjoyed your site and congratulate you on all the evidence that has been compiled.


Congratulations for this wonderful site. A homage worthy to our eternal Senna.


Bravo! A brilliantly constructed site. Ayrton Senna Forever!

I started watching F1 in the early 1980's when naturally aspirated 3 litres were the go. I never missed watching any race and would tape them to view over and over. At that time I was a devoted Nigel Mansell fan (and still am), when along comes this cheeky upshot displaying his cunning and winning at all costs. While I loathed this guys 'on track ' tactics, you had to admire him for his skill and outright speed.

Then one morning I woke to find the news reports that Ayrton Senna had died at Imola. I couldn't believe it ... I was in total shock ... When it finally, truly sank in, I was surprised to find myself emotionally distressed about the whole situation for months. In fact when I read the news or watched TV reports I openly wept, I bet I would not have been the only one.

Since then F1 has been on the back burner for me, I hardly ever watch it now, and certainly never tape it.

To sum it up I was pretty disappointed the way people covered up or twisted the events that happened on that fateful day, especially the Italian officials, like they had something to hide.

Could a man of Ayrton Senna's skill and experience have lost it on this bend? I really doubt it. With the possible looming of another WC title and the death threats he was reportedly getting I firmly believe he was taken out... And what better place to do it!


Senna in his life as a driver was always worried about safety and this could create problems for the FIA. And do you know what was the result... that he die.

Senna's death demonstrated to everyone that he was right. I think the FIA should have stopped the race but they didn't because of the money.


I would just like to say that the way you have designed this site is extremely impressive. Keep up the good work. You've done Senna proud.


I just want to say that Ayrton Senna has redefined GP racing. I'm very disappointed that he's not around now. I'm sure it would have been quite a show!

All I can say is: Heroes will always be remembered, however, LEGENDS like Senna will never die!!!

More power to you!


You have created a spectacular Web site in commemoration of Ayrton Senna's life as a professional racing driver. Thanks.


Every time I watch a F1 race on the TV I am trying to see the 'yellow' helmet. But then I remember that the 'yellow' helmet has now gone and I realise that Formula One races will never be the same again. We try to find that 'something' which is now lost. That 'something' which went with the best man of all years.

Those who know do not look any more because they realise that the dream has finished, that the man has gone and he will not be replaced by anyone else. The masters didn't manage to put together two pieces of metal. The learners designers didn't learn their lessons well.

For me Senna is the man of 1984 at the raining Monaco who managed to beat Prost by 4 seconds per lap, with a much slower car before they stopped the race. The Senna of 1991 at Suzuka, when on the last lap, he let his team-mate Berger pass him. The Senna of 1993 at the raining Donington, where again with a much slower car he made so much difference from the others, and he entered the pits just to wave to his mechanics and then went back to win the race.

As for the others I believe they had better wash their mouths first before saying anything bad about Senna. Ayrton Senna da Silva was, is, and he will be so high that nobody can ever reach him.

To the man Ayrton Senna - Thank you for all the things you teach us.


Monaco 1984, Estoril 1985, Spa 1985, Detroit 86, Suzuka 88, Interlagos 1991, Monaco 1992, Donington 1993 etc.

Senna is irreplaceable!


You've got a hard, hard page. Nice work for our idol Ayrton Senna. I've read all the files, everything. Good job! They concluded that it was the steering column that broke? But none of the Williams Team got judged?


Your site is the BEST site I have ever seen. Keep up the good work and add more pics.


Just did my 'first' search on Senna. Your site is the best I've seen so far. I can still feel the feeling of that morning when I see these pics, very disturbing still. Keep it up.



I was very sorry to hear of Ayrton Senna's fatal and tragic crash. The first race I ever saw Ayrton Senna competing in was at Monte Carlo - the first couple of years of his career. At that time, the television people always did a lap of the course from inside one of the race cars. This day, they showed a "hot" lap of Senna from within his cockpit. Jackie Stewart made the comment on television, paraphrasing, " ... based on his driving during the clip, Senna would undoubtedly be a World Champion driver." I was impressed with his comments and followed Senna's career. At the time, Nikki Lauda was my favorite driver, and I watched their rivalry through the years. After Mr. Lauda's final retirement, I naturally followed Senna as my choice for top driver. He was always a wild card at any race. Even if his car was under-powered, he should never be counted out.

I am no expert, but the telemetry provided on your site would indicate:

1. Senna was conscious.

2. Just prior to impact, indication is a dramatic deceleration. LONACC indicates a negative acceleration.

3. Best guess here! While still on the pavement, telemetry indicates a small increase in steering pressure in opposition to steering pressure differential near approach to turn. This could be somewhere near his mark to turn into the apex. I am not entirely sure what that could mean. After that, Senna started braking. To my mind, Senna snap-turned the front wheels after braking was initiated. It could be that he saw debris on the track and moved over to miss it. I could not see the toe-in from any pictures on your site. Toe-in prior to impact could be possible.

Question: Where are the pressures measured from?

If the steering pressures are measured in the tub and the differential measured near the wheel, then the differential in opposition would indicate that the front wheels want to go straight while the drivers pushes them to turn. Higher pressure means the driver was turning the wheel hard while the tires were not responding, or the car was turning, but turning poorly. Something in between the measuring points did not move.

The first indication of high steering pressure was just split seconds before Senna started deceleration. There was a reading there. The scale readings in opposition on the STGPR and the STGACT indicate that Senna most probably snapped the steering wheel loose himself just prior to, or at, impact. The measurements were present through impact. There is a spike in the steering error. I believe this is where the car probably left the ground momentarily. If STGPR and STGACC are measured more closely together, then this point hold no water.

He must have shifted to sixth just as he went passed the start/finish line. At the entry to the turn, he pumped the gas and the brake two times in the space of about a second. This indicates a possible decision process going on. Whatever happened, he must have realized that he was not going to make the turn. The brakes were applied fully.

There probably should be more data here. I believe there should be some steering direction data from the wheels showing the position of the wheels relative to the car.
This would show the toe in if a steering part were broken. Suspension data is also missing. It would show the compression of each of the wheels though these 11 seconds.

My conclusion is that Senna was trying to make the car turn. It most probably was responding very sluggishly. The steering box should be investigated. If it still exists, I would suppose the steering gears are going to show wear and/or misalignment. It would be hard for me to imagine that after a crash of this magnitude that the steering box is still intact.

I was shocked upon viewing the damage to the driver's tub. I was unaware that these things would crack like that. Don't they have a liner so that they will not crack open? Kind of like a modern windshield has a liner to keep shards from flying off. This would have kept the tub from splitting.

I believe to solve this puzzle, one will have to do the following;

1. Locate the points on the car from where the STGPR and STGACC telemetry are taken.

2. Find the car. Locate the steering box. Disassemble it. Inspect the gears.

3. Locate the missing telemetry data from transducers measuring suspension travel.

4. Locate the missing telemetry data from transducers measuring wheel direction relative to the car. All four wheels if possible and through the accident.

In closing, I believe that Senna would have been hard on the brakes both if he had mechanical failure or if he had lost it. The braking data by itself is inconclusive. I look at the data and see no sharp movements through our the graph until just before the braking. The graph is smooth until the just before the braking. I believe the telemetry from the wheel direction data will supply us with the information to see if the front wheels were responding to driver input. This data layered over the steering pressure will paint a much clearer picture of wheel travel left or right. If at the point where steering pressure is first sharp and there is a corresponding wheel turn, Senna lost it.

If at the point where the steering pressure is first sharp and there is no corresponding wheel turn, Senna experienced mechanical failure somewhere between the measuring points.

Thanks for letting me see this data and for letting me comment.


I'm Brazilian and I'm still hurt with what happened on May 1 1994. I've visited a lot of Senna sites, very nice sites, but nothing like yours. Congratulations!

You are real fans and you are looking for the truth, just like me, and your site is the most wonderful site I ever visit about Ayrton Senna. So please, if you have a 'banner' or anything to divulge your site, send it to me. I want to show all my Brazilian friends what they've been missing ...



Ayrton's death was on my birthday and I was very shocked. I have a Ayrton Senna collection in my house, in a corner specially for Ayrton as a tribute. Senna was, and still is, the greatest driver ever!

Greetings to all the Senna fans from Belgium.


I would like to express my thanks to everybody maintaining the Senna files. It is only today that I found them - though I have not had my Internet connection for very long I enjoy the wealth of information provided.

Now that the so-called Senna trial is over and the accused acquitted, I still very much hope that somehow, despite of all the business interests involved, those who experienced the loss of Ayrton as a personal loss, will someday at least have an official confirmation of the cause that led to Ayrton's death.

Until then, the deep sadness felt by all in whose lives Ayrton had - and still has (!!) - his place will be mixed with the disgust felt at the ploys apparently not only constructed, but, at least partially, successfully so.

Thank you once again, and please keep up the good work.

God bless Ayrton, his family and those close to him.


In Senna's memory. In my opinion the true responsibilities for this terrible tragedy were:

Williams who failed to construct a safer car.

The organisers of the Imola GP because they knew how dangerous the turn was.

I respect Ayrton and I think he was the best driver ever. In our memory he will be the only CHAMPION.


This is the best Senna site I have ever found. My boyfriend races and his idol was Senna. I created for him an entire scrap book on everything that I could find on Senna. Your site was and is the best.


I'm disgusted! In my opinion Mr Damon Hill's behaviour during Senna's crash trial was totally offensive to Ayrton's memory. One question: Does he remember his name?


I still remember Senna's crash. I was watching the race 'live' on TV, it gave me a shock. (As I'm French, I have problems expressing my sentiments in English.) It was Alain Prost (in the pits) who was commenting on the race. His first reaction was wrath because Senna didn't have a lot of chances to survive, and Roland Ratzenberger had previously died. Nobody wanted to imagine that Senna could die. It's four hours later, by a special report I heard the terrible news ... Ayrton Senna is DEAD!

After only some weeks, except the fans, everybody forgot his death. It's only three years later, during the month of December, that the law-suit finished. The television didn't take some of their time to tell about Ayrton Senna. That's why I congratulate you for this Web site which makes it possible for me to understand the real facts of Senna's death. Even if I can't understand all the words the pictures are very expressive.

It's gloomy but Senna's death has made the FIA act by making rules that make F1 less dangerous. but I think the FIA is exaggerating because in the year 2000, F1 racing will be on two rails!


Senna was a great racer, a great driver and a great human being. I think he knew that accidents in F1, could happen, might happen and will happen. That's what they get paid the big bucks for. Living your life at speeds over 300km. an hour is hazardous to your health. I truly believe this was a racing accident. Just the same as Jim Clarke and Gilles Villeneuve. The past is the past, it is time for the living to move on.

Please do not turn his death into a mockery like they have done with JFK's. It is good to hear that you care deeply about him like I care for the loss of Gilles Villeneuve. When anger takes over the first thing you want to do is blame someone. Frank Williams is no more guilty than you or I for his death. Maybe you and I more because we the fans are the ones that pay the money to see them race.


Your site is the best! I propose it as the official site for all Senna's fans. What do you guy's think?


Hey! Who are we to argue. ;-) S-files Ed

I have to write and say what an incredible and reputable site you have put together, kudos! It has now been four years since the passing of my favorite driver of all time, and I can't help but grieve his loss. Time and again I study the graphic helmet photo's you have obtained and I need to put my two cents in.

My personal belief is that (due to virtually no lateral protection on the car) the force of the impact threw the weight of Senna's helmeted head violently against the wall, thus the indentation on the helmet. Coming off the wall, a piece of the car (suspension or not) pierced the visor making sure (so to speak) Senna did not have a chance to survive. All this taking place in a matter of a second or two.

I still to this day cannot believe the incredible intuition Prof. Sid Watkins had that day, even the day before when he told Ayrton not to race after Roland Ratzenberger's fatal accident. He (Prof. Watkins) put out a great book not too long ago that describes the whole weekend in detail.


The Senna Files is the best site I have ever seen and it reminded me when I was six years old that my father took a picture of me and Senna shaking hands.


Hey everybody out there! I couldn't believe it when it happened but I was out with friends and when we came home we found my Dad's Brazilian work clients outside crying and having a smoke. So I asked them why they were crying and they told me that Ayrton Senna was dead from hitting a wall. Later that evening the news came on and he looked so peaceful in the car with all the people around him. Although I can agree let the man's soul rest. I mean there's not going to be anything new on the case unless we turn it into a JFK file and in the future people find something new.


My name is Raphael and I am Brazilian. Senna was a great idol in my entire life from when I was a small kid. Everyday, and especially the 1st of May, is a hard day for all of us who loved him so much. Your site is a great tribute to him and I like it very much.

Today for me it is so hard to see a race without him driving in it. I saw the movie that you have on your homepage and it is clear to me that the steering wheel breaks at a certain point. It is so sad that the people in Williams did not get blamed for it, I hope one day they will pay!

Thank you for your excellent work!



The last 3 seconds of the genius!

Thanks to the Cineca Betacam Senna in-car video, it was possible for me to read out almost all the important telemetry data. The video is not of the highest quality when viewed on a normal PC monitor, so sometimes maybe I read slightly wrong values. However it should still provide a very good idea as to what was going on.

All the comments in the file are mine (so they don't have to correspond with reality necessarily) but it is how I understood the sequence. I used the famous yellow button for the steering wheel movements but I did not take the 2cm flex of the steering column into consideration, in an attempt to be fair to both sides.

If we supposed that Senna's steering really started to flex by 2cm just 3-4 seconds before the crash (as the Cineca video reconstruction shows and state prosecutor, Maurizio Passarini, claims), then even if the column had not completely broken, it might have been very near snapping. This would have caused the steering to react completely differently in Senna's hands ...

Perhaps other people will contribute if they pick up on something important which has not been previously noticed.


Download: - Microsoft Excel file v4.0


I watched Senna's crash live on ESPN. I remember watching the on-board footage of the crash and seem to recall it showing Senna's car going all the way to the wall. ESPN regularly tapes the F1 races for re-broadcast; has anyone approached them (or any of the other F1 broadcasters) for their copies of this "missing" footage?


What I'd like to know is why the prosecutor in the Senna trial 'suddenly' dropped all charges against Frank Williams?


Fantastic site! Thank you for keeping us up to date with the Senna trial proceedings. I lost you for a while and it took time to rediscover the site, but it has been well worthwhile.


Been a fan of Ayrton Senna's since '85. I started racing go-karts in '88 and am now currently racing 125cc shifters.

In May of 1984 I was on the verge of joining a gang in the projects of San Francisco, dropping out of school and moving out of my parents house. That was really the only alternative in my neighborhood other than panhandling.

I remember it as if it were yesterday, one of the gang members was watching the Monaco GP on ABC. I was laughing because the cars looked so silly compared to the racing that Americans are used to. After I got it out of my system, I started to watch it and watched it until I was completely engulfed with it. There was this red and white car which my friend indicated to me was the best car out there. But who was this? Some nobody was catching and passing everyone in sight and this was in horrific conditions.

It was raining, no it was pouring and yet this no namer was still pulling in the front runners. I asked my friend 'who is that'? he just replied 'the hell I know'! Finally he was on the leader and finally passed him. but the race was stopped because of the rain and the results were taken from the previous lap. The win was given to the red and white car guy, as I called him.

Needless to say I didn't join the gang, there were probably a lot of reasons for that but I do have to thank in many ways that Monaco GP race for giving me the hope that I needed in a trying time in my life. In July of 1988 a video game called Super Monaco GP was at Disneyland and that was it. One guy there was absolutely flying in that game, he would name off the drivers as he passed them, and one name stuck out as he played. Of course Ayrton Senna! I also recognised the cars as being the same ones I'd seen in '84.

That was it! I did whatever it took to get into racing, my parents promised me if I stayed in school and got the grades they would buy me a go-kart and that was the history.

Thank you Senna for giving me direction in my life. The motivation and commitment you showed bled over into my actions!


Awesome coverage on the death of Senna and the trial! But what now?


Hey! It's not over 'til the fat lady sings... S Files ED

I have to congratulate you on a magnificent job on this web site! There is everything we need to know about the death of the god of Formula One and the trial going on in Italy.


I am living in Paris. I visit your site very often. I think you're right to continue this action. I am very interested in all you say here.

In France all the media have forgotten Senna. Everywhere you look you see only the power of Ecclestone and the FIA. I am disgusted at what they are doing to Villeneuve, in my opinion this is to keep a high audience to their circus. That's what happened at Imola in 1994.


I am saudades de Ayrton Senna. Obrigado!


The Senna Files are simply MAGNIFICENT. Words cannot express the brilliance that has gone into the making of The 'S' Files. What more can I say!


Surely all the on-board car footage of that era showed what the hands were doing with the steering wheel as opposed to the bottom of the frame obscuring this crucial evidence?

I have not seen any other person discussing this, but it does need examining. Please let me know if I've got it wrong!

Someone else who misses what Ayrton could do on a Sunday afternoon and just as much for what he was outside of the cockpit. The world needs heroes and the world needs good people!


These are a few words, said with affection, and they come from the heart!

Ayrton Senna you will always be the best!


Thanks for not forgetting Ayrton Senna ...


I have been a weekly visitor to your page for over a year. I really enjoy the news files about the trial and the information about Senna. I have to do a research paper, and I can choose any topic I want, so I chose the Williams trial.


u/d 1997/12/13

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