Senna crash

Here we go again ...

The sister publication to the British magazine Autosport launched its April edition onto an unsuspecting public this week. The front cover of F1 Racing, published also in Holland and Germany, carries the splash:


Inside the magazine there is a 'welcome' message from the editor to their new signing, the ex-Williams employee, Peter Windsor.

F1 Racing: the evidence they dis-missed

Headlined "Remember where you saw it first - The evidence they missed" - the article presents nothing to its readers that hasn't already been trumpeted.

It depicts the photograph first published by the British Sunday Times newspaper on February 16 1997 (which accompanied an article co-authored by Peter Windsor) plus another, which we are told is "the next frame, shot after Senna's car had passed by".

Any explanation regarding the exact position of the possible debris is not a fact that the unidentified author seems to value, for that information was not included.

Some time ago the photographer Paul-Henri Cahier was reported as saying the apparent debris was 5 seconds from the point where Senna left the track.

We think, in reality, 5 seconds may prove an underestimation.

"Schumacher's Benetton about to straddle the stray bodywork. Look very carefully and you'll see that it has been flattened, suggesting that Senna's car has just run it over…" says the photo's caption.

Has it ever been proved the object was bodywork? Has it ever been proved there was an object? If so, has anyone actually identified the object and/or its position?

For obvious reasons F1 Racing's scoop is not fully reproduced here, but we feel 'duty-bound' to make the following observations --

The article begins: "To the background of Italy's new-found legal correctness the Senna trial ground into motion."

Why say it is 'new-found' the 'law of the land' is nothing NEW?

"The public prosecutor, Maurizio Passarini, also declared that he would admit as evidence a photo taken by regular contributor to F1 Racing, Paul-Henri Cahier."

Maurizio Passarini, aware of the photographs since the accident, said they were nothing new and not relevant to the cause of the crash.

"F1 Racing's GP consultant Peter Windsor, pointed out that the bright colour - and location - of the bodywork could well have caused Senna to change slightly his trajectory into Tamburello - placing him on a series of bumps that he would have normally avoided."

Well... At the trial Formula 1 driver Pierluigi Martini said: The bump effect was normal.

Michele Alboreto said: Senna's shift to the right makes me think it was a mechanical failure. The bumps on the Imola track surface were minor and would not have forced Senna's car off the track.

Re Senna's Williams: "And at this point, remember that the tyre pressures were down and it's tyre surface temperatures low."

But were they? Reports stated Senna with a fully loaded car clocked 1 min 24.887sec on the sixth lap of the restarted race.

Only two drivers bettered it - Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher and that was at the end of the San Marino Grand Prix.

A feeble justification?

"The F1 world in part seemed convinced that Windsor's article, which also uncovered Senna's habit of occasionally holding his breath for the opening lap of a race, had been 'placed' by the Williams team in order to bolster their defence."

"Totally untrue," says Windsor. "I began to research the story in August last year, long before the trial dates were known, and always knew I would be unable to tap any sources I may have had at Williams."

Theories involving 'breathing' and/or 'mediums' deserve no further comment...

Press reports in June 1996 stated that Maurizio Passarini was asking for manslaughter charges to be brought.

The Sunday Times newspaper stated that when they learnt of the pictures Cahier agreed to publication.

So seemingly, it took from August 1996 until FOUR days before the start of the Senna trial on February 20 1997 for Peter Windsor's contribution: "Photograph explains riddle of Senna's Death" to be completed ...

Senna Files