1997 February 16
The British Sunday Times newspaper carries the headline:
and a picture which, according to the accompanying report, was taken "600 yards before the point where Senna left the road."
The article begins: "Startling new evidence..."
and goes on to say that track debris could have caused the accident, along with the theory: "Senna could have blacked out."
1997 February 17
Sagis, the company which runs the Imola circuit declares the picture to be nothing new and some 700 metres from where Senna left the track. It was given to the Italian magistrature immediately after the race, along with video footage.
Maurizio Passarini, chief prosecutor in the Senna trial, referring to the Sunday Times' article says:
"The photographic document makes no difference, even admitting it is reliable, and does not shift by one millimetre the conviction of the prosecution which has identified the snapping of the steering column as the cause of Senna's accident."
1997 February 19
The Brazilian media identifies Peter Windsor, co-author of the article, to be a friend of Frank Williams who had worked for the Williams team.
Windsor was a passenger when Frank Williams had the car crash which left him paralysed but Windsor unhurt.
1997 February 20
Senna manslaughter trial begins.
1997 March 05
Maurizio Passarini tells the court:
"I wish to clarify that I do not attribute any causal significance to the small object on the track."
"An inquiry by experts revealed that no blame can be attached to Ayrton Senna. He had not taken any drugs, he did not make a driving error and he did not pass out - contrary to reports in the British press."
"There was no illness because: