The day after Roland Ratzenberger died during a crash with his Simtek, the circus prepared themselves to start the Grand Prix of San Marino at Imola. It was a sunny Sunday, and it seemed everyone was ready to race hoping no more accident would happen. Sadly it would become worse, during the start Lehto stalled his Benetton and Pedro Lamy in his Lotus hit the back of Letho’s car. It would not be the last accident this weekend; Ayrton Senna would die a couple of rounds later due a horrible accident.
Perhaps Ayrton Senna was one of the few drivers worried on the Sunday morning of the Grand Prix. He was the only driver who went, after Ratzenberger crashed, to the crash site to see himself what happened with Roland, he saw the badly damaged Simtek and went to the medical centre. Where he heard from Sid Watkins that Ratzenberger already died. Advising Senna to quit racing and have a nice fishing on Sunday. Senna however refused. And decided to race on the Sunday.
It has been said that Ayrton Senna, after visiting the medical centre, went to his hospitality truck from Williams and had a emotional meltdown. It was not known if he was capable to drive the next day. I cannot imagine what went through his mind on the Sunday when he stepped in his Williams for the Warm-Up session. He was nine tenths of a second faster than the number two during the Warm-Up. A good prospective for an, in memoriam of Roland Ratzenberger, amazing race.
Everything looked fine. The cars were presented on the starting grid and ready to start the race. JJ Lehto stalled his Benetton, and Pedro Lamy was unable to avoid and collision with Lehto. Many body parts and tyres flew around the tracks. Some visitors had minor injuries though everything seemed to be fine. The car drove on a considerably speed for 6 rounds behind the safety car, at that time an Porsche 911, before the cars were released in lap 6.
Once again, Ayrton Senna was quick, very quick. He had a quick start and had Schumachers Benetton in his mirrors. However, during lap 7 the Williams came of the track and with a speed of 310km/h Ayrton Senna became more likely a passenger of his car. However, he managed to downshift the car twice to a speed of 218 km/h before he would hi the concrete wall. A piece of his suspension would the cause of his dead…
Ayrton Senna, died an hour later; the Formula One lost a big legend. A driver that could do the impossible with less cars. Remember his lap during the Grand Prix of Monaco. A driver similar to Jim Clark. A drive with a lot of flair but still just a normal boy.