The documentary 'Going Critical - The Death of Ayrton Senna' [*see below] was first premiered by Channel 4, a UK television station, on September 26 2001. According to its UK film-makers Darlow Smithson the programme, which they claimed had been 'thoroughly' researched, would provide the 'definitive' answer to the mystery surrounding the death of Ayrton Senna. The misspelling of Senna's name on the opening title gave viewers an insight into the quality of the forthcoming production. See screenshot left!
The pre-programme hype told us that Williams GP Engineering had given the makers access to "secret telemetry recordings from Senna's car", which "reveals the real story of the racing legend's death". Despite all this apparent co-operation and secret data etc., the Williams team were never credited.
Unfortunately, rather than 'sinking without a trace', this documentary, we use the term loosely, could be coming to a TV screen near you. Going Critical includes a video clip, as used by Williams' defence during the Senna trial, which shows driver David Coulthard demonstrating what both he and Williams claimed was a NORMAL amount of flexing and movement for the steering assembly onboard a FW16B. The claim that Coulthard's demonstration had not been accessible prior to the programme was somewhat tenuous for it had been available on this Web site for some years previous. View the video to form your own opinion!
So, by simply dismissing the evidence supplied by the Prosecution at the Senna trial, film-makers Darlow Smithson's 'definitive answer' to the death of Ayrton Senna proved to be merely a rehash of the case presented by the Williams' defence lawyers at the Senna trial.
* The programme 'Going Critical - The Death of Ayrton Senna' can also appear under various names. These include: 'Countdown to Disaster' and 'Seconds to Disaster'.