Ayrton Senna, Williams-Renault FW16, Imola, 1994

New video of Imola 1994 race emerges

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: New footage of the fateful 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, during which Ayrton Senna was killed, has emerged.

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Comment of the day

Impressively, @ejay has made a stab at an F1 ticket price Big Mac index:

Ok I’ve quickly tried to figure out a Big Mac ticket price index and an index based on GDP (PPP) per capita (how much a country makes per person) this includes purchasing power within a country (e.g. it controls for local economic conditions).

I looked at the cheapest 3-day ticket (things would be a bit different for other ticket types and would be happy to give figures if people were interested). In short Malaysia is really good value according to both indexes. China, Canada, Japan, Italy and Austria also seem relatively good. Britain and Brazil are toward the bottom of both.

The best/easiest data I could find was all from 2015 (maybe someone knows of better data particularly for ticket prices): ticket prices, Big Mac Index and GDP PPP per capita.

Big Macs
Race Big Macs per Race
Malaysia 10.43
China 22.38
Canada 22.41
Italy 23.77
Japan 26.11
Austria 26.97
Australia 27.08
Mexico 29.85
Hungary 31.86
Belgium 32.63
Spain 34.52
USA 35.28
Monaco* 37.17
Brazil 40.12
Singapore 48.44
Britain 60.64
Russia 70.59
Bahrain No Data
Abu DhabiNo Data

* No Big Macs index for Monaco so used France’s

The Big Macs numbers are a bit strange. Weirdly Russian Big Macs are very cheap at $1.36 and Big Macs in Brazil are the most expensive at $5.21

As an alternative I put in the GDP per capita (all from world bank data from Wikipedia except Monaco which is an estimate from the CIA data). To make the numbers a little bit more interpret-able I’ve divided the GDP by 365 (I’d like to think of this is the number of days you would have to work to attend the race – but it isn’t really.

GDP per capita per day to attend a race
Race Salary GDP/365 per race
Malaysia 0.30
Singapore 0.73
Monaco 0.78
Japan 0.80
Austria 0.80
Canada 0.86
Australia 0.94
Italy 1.07
USA 1.10
Belgium 1.16
Bahrain 1.25
Abu Dhabi1.41
Hungary 1.43
Russia 1.43
Spain 1.54
China 1.57
Mexico 2.11
Britain 2.33
Brazil 4.96
@ejay

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  • 53 comments on “New video of Imola 1994 race emerges”

    1. Hmm 61 Big Macs or attend the Silverstone Grand Prix.. I know what I’d choose!

      Seems cheap when considered against Big Macs but at 2.33 days of work for the average earner, it’s certainly not cheap

      1. And the guy next you will not be invading your space because he did not eat those 61 Big Macs.

    2. That really is astonishing new footage of Imola ’94. What a terrible weekend. Incredible that they didn’t stop the race after the crash on Lap 1 – horrifically dangerous. Thank goodness safety is better these days.

      1. What struck me the most is how the drivers used to drive up to their grid slots! Not wheeled in like they do now.

        When did they start killing the engine when the drivers reach the rear end of the grid? I cant remember now.

        ..miss the fact that we had V8s, V10s and V12s on the same grid!

        1. @jaymenon10 they only stopped doing so quite recently. i think there were a few too many near misses as the drivers tried to weave through the mass of people on the grid. it probably saved the clutch some pain as well.

        2. 2006 – it was brought in after Juan Pablo Montoya accidentally ran over a power generator for the car starting behind him at the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix.

      2. A terrible weekend indeed, but having checked my emails immediately prior to logging in and receiving the news that a good friend of mine succumbed yesterday to the lung cancer they only diagnosed over Xmas/new year, I was struck by the thought that the sponsors products killed so many more than the race cars ever did.

        1. So true, truth be known Bernies deals probably indirectly killed tens of thousands..

        2. Huge point @hohum, sorry to read about your friend too.

        3. That is very sad, @hohum. It is so frightening, this terrible disease. It took my uncle a couple of years ago. And I was a smoker for 20 years in my younger days, so who knows if it will ever come back to bite me – for that reason or any other. It seems like such a random disease. And such a fast mover. I’m sorry for your loss. Try to dwell more on the fond memories.

        4. Sorry for your loss @HoHum. I know the feeling. It stings at first but, then when you think about them you will realize all the good memories and your friend becomes a smile on your face.. and that’s how we live on. Imho

        5. @bascb, @shimks,@wesley, @alexw, Thanks for your kind words.

    3. Quite chilling to remember that day so many years ago. None of us ever thought he would be the next one. Senna loved by so many left us that day and to relive it again shows through this remarkable film how things have changed because of that moment. If there is a best part of this let it be known that Grand Prix cars once sounded amazing. RIP Senna.

      1. If there is a best part of this surely it was the slowing of the cars and increased focus on safety since that weekend (up until 2017 at which point it has been decided that going faster and sounding good are actually more important than drivers’ lives)

        1. @jerseyf1

          How does the sound of the car in any way affect the safety of a driver?

      2. I can still hear after all this time, Murray Walker say on that terrible day…….” It’s SENNA….It’s SENNA.”

    4. I miss Senna, but wow everytime I see an old race (even one as tragic as this one) I cant help but miss the engine noise. We have to bring that back imho. Sorry I know this has been posted many times but..

      1. @fletchuk

        agree with you 100%. I said in a post a while ago that to me F1 without the noise is like going to the cinema to see ‘Star Wars’ and the John Williams soundtrack having been replaced with music by Justin Bieber!

        It’s like its very soul has been removed somehow.

        Mixed feelings for me seeing 1994 footage. I remember the days and weeks after watching Senna (and Roland) die, feeling empty and down. I do miss F1 the way it was though, with that atmosphere it had back then.

        1. Have you heard last years cars live? I think they sound astonishing!

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            9th February 2017, 9:25

            I went to a couple of races and thought they sounded terrible. Just like the TV turned up a bit. It’s like going to an airshow but the jet is quiet, we’ve lost one of the main senses associated with being trackside. The old v10’s (wasn’t fortunate enough to hear the v12’s) used to make the hairs on my neck stand on end and was my favourite experience of Formula One live. But hey ho, technology changes, time changes, in the future we will have something different again and hopefully it can be spectacular.

            1. @rdotquestionmark

              They still sound terrible to me too.

              The airshow analogy is a good one. Anyone here seen the demonstration the Eurofighter does at Goodwood and airshows? That’s a great reminder of what sound can do for the senses and the soul.

              Seems to me there is really no reason for F1 not to get the sounds back. As Ross Brawn pointed out, if they are to be ‘cutting edge’, they will be driverless and electric. So why not have them normally aspirated and glorious?

            2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
              9th February 2017, 13:22

              Good point @paulguitar. They actually did a Eurofighter display at Silverstone last year and everyone was blown away by the noise (and sight). Then in 2014 they displayed a v8 Red Bull and the whole crowd around me jaws dropped to the floor after it went past, everyone was giddy and laughing about how spectacular it was and that was only a v8. The hybrids created nothing like that excitement all weekend. I fully appreciate some people either don’t mind/don’t care or genuinely do like the sound of the current v6’s but I’m a petrolhead as well as an F1 fan and I want that sensory overload back again to stir the soul!

            3. Hey I get the noise thing, not that it bothers me at all. And I get the analogy to a jet fighter. Sound can indeed be jaw dropping. But I just watched again the movie Grand Prix, and you know those cars from the 60’s sure didn’t scream either. Just wonder what those of you so disappointed that the cars no longer scream think of the fact that they didn’t always scream, and yet the sport had no trouble growing. The sound is only one aspect of the whole thing, and given that many don’t mind, I certainly don’t expect a return to the screamers.

    5. It was a sad weekend. But watching the video I realized how much camera work reduces the speed of F1. By keeping the cars the same size using the zoom, the actual speed of the cars through the corners is diminished. I was racing FF at the time and went to a CART race in Portland, Oregon (USA). Sitting on the hill behind the last turn onto the straight I was absolutely floored by how fast the cars actually were through the corners; and I had raced at this track many times. I think the CVC (now Liberty) camera work is NOT showing how fast the cars are. It was exciting watching this video; the cars were screaming out of the corners, obviously at the edge. It was amazing how quickly the cars accelerated at the start and how quickly they were going during a full yellow flag period. Bring this back (as well as the sound of an engine at its limit) and Liberty will attract viewers. What we see in the current broadcasts diminishes the reality of the speed of these machines. Liberty needs to look to the past and see how speed can be better presented.

      1. Made me think of this

        1. Its 1 thing I never liked about MOTOGP. They just look so slow on TV. There obviously not but I could never get into it until last year. I had no sensation of speed

    6. :-( Another qualified commentator giving the new rules the thumbs down, I hope he’s wrong but F1 history suggests he will be right, for every good idea we have to have an equal and opposite bad idea. Which reminds me I’m going to lose some weight, should be easy I’m going to do the raw vegetable diet and just to be safe I am going to combine it with the eat as much chocolate as you like diet.

    7. Great cotd. The GPD might be a little off scale but I think it gets the point across, bad to be a Brazilian f1 fan, I think it explains the stands at the Olympics.

    8. Interesting comments from Furbatto. In short, he’s saying the better your aero and grip, the more time you spend at full throttle, hence your advantage can be exponential if you have a strong engine.

      It looks like the perfect formula for Mercedes to dominate again, with Red Bull in the wings. This doesn’t look great for Ferrari, who aren’t particularly strong in either. This could also spell disaster for McLaren… they could end up being the new Manor.

      1. You can also say “the weaker your engine is the more time you can spend full throttle” Which i always rant about is the big problem in F1. To much grip and to little power and its getting worse this year. We wanted faster F1 cars but not as the result of even worse power to grip ratio….

        1. I don’t expect the pu’s to be hugely more powerful. If anything, with the lifting of tokens, the pu’s should be merging in performance. Perhaps they will all be a little more powerful but a little more equal across the grid too. But what they will have much more of is mechanical grip and drivers with the ability to sustain a push longer in dirty air. The added mechanical grip could even see them getting away with running as little wing as possible for straight line speeds and to make up for the draggier big tires while they got more tire to rely on for the corners.

          1. @robbie You dont make up for anything because thats not how physics works. If more aero gives you better laptimes you go for more aero no matter how much grip you get from the bigger tyres. The cars will be sadly be slower on straights this year.

            1. @rethla I beg to differ. The tires they will now have will greatly affect what they can do with wings. It is a compromise at every track as to running more downforce but taking the hit on the straights or less downforce for higher top speeds if the car can still be good in corners. Has RBR not been known for better chassis and therefore higher cornering speeds while suffering on the straights due to less Renault power?

              I agree IF, as you say, more aero gives you better lap times you go with more aero. But there’s a reason they don’t already run Monaco setups at Monza. More aero is certainly not always the fastest way around a track and can make one a sitting duck
              at the end of a straight or on a high speed corner, or harm tires premature, or harm fuel economy too. It’s a balancing act. I just ponder that with much better tires they may feel more confident in running the bare minimum of aero while relying on tires on the corners more than before, in order to achieve maximum race lap performance.

              So I don’t think you can say ‘you don’t make up for anything because that’s not how physics works’. I think that’s exactly how it works. Or…explain why they don’t use Monaco setups of maximum downforce possible, everywhere?

            2. @Robbie They balance the aero to the track they run at. With more straights they dont gain anything with more aero. Thats the same no matter what tyres they have. It will still be high downforce setups at monaco and low downforce at Spa.

              Yes RBR is considered the masters of aero but its the same for them.

            3. @rethla Not sure where we’re going with this. You seem to be lamenting too much grip, not enough power, and top speeds not high enough.

              Personally I don’t want to see artificially less grip in the pinnacle of racing as that is too limiting as we have just seen in recent seasons, and makes them even more dependent on downforce which in turn makes them more negatively susceptible to dirty air. And sitting there badly affected by dirty air, but not having good tires to deal with that spells processions. As to top speeds…with less grip they are not coming out of a corner and starting on a straightaway as quickly so have less chance to hit high top speeds, and having to run more wing to make up for the poor tires hurts them on the straights too. Bottom line for close racing…more mechanical grip and less aero dependency in the ratio. The relaxing of the token system should see them evolving more power.

            4. @robbie The top speeds doesnt matter. Keep the current topspeeds/enginepower and lower the grip if you want. Right now its to much grip vs power and it doesnt matter if that grip comes as “aero” or “mechanical”. Just look at the rainraces where the grip to power ratio gets overturned and we have great races.

            5. @rethla Ok…earlier you seemed concerned with top speeds being too slow. ‘Lower the grip if you want?’ No I don’t want. Doesn’t matter where the grip is coming from? Of course it does. When there is little mechanical grip and more aero there are processions from cars too dependent on clean air. And I have never cared for rain races. Sure Max was fun to watch, but generally I don’t enjoy F1 cars tiptoeing around a track like on ice. The fact that so many people do enjoy rainy races is to me just an indication of how badly F1 needs a better mechanical grip to aero grip ratio so that we actually have close racing and excitement such that it doesn’t take rain to create that to shake up the order. Most races are dry. They need to deal with the racing in the dry.

    9. LovelyLovelyLuffield
      9th February 2017, 6:05

      Chilling. So chilling.

      I still maintain that Senna would have lived had he hit something considerably softer, but damn. Let’s make sure such a similarly tragic ending (or race) will never happen again.

      1. Not sure what I’m supposed to be seeing with that Scarborough pic…

        1. @iota The two little horn things by RoGro’s elbow.

    10. One random fellow
      9th February 2017, 6:44

      If the new cars will be at full throttle for more of the lap, will that mean they’ll be burning more fuel, thus requiring more lift and coast to stay within the fuel limits?

      1. That’s why they’ve increased the minimum amount of fuel from 100kgs to 110kgs (or 105kgs). But I do expect a lift and coast phase from the more fuel hungry PUs.

        There seems to be a decent amount of paradoxical consequences as a result of these rule changes –
        1)They have bigger cars more aero downforce and mechanical grip, thus enabling them to go faster, but the engine spec stays the same, so this might make the cars slower on the straights and faster around the corners.
        2) Tyres will be built for drivers to really push the limits and drive flat out, but the fuel consumption will now limit drivers from pushing flat out through out the race. So maybe, the tyre strategy won’t be as important as the engine mode/fuel conservation strategy.

        If I had to bet, I’d say the new regulations aren’t going to shake up the order, or make racing any more interesting. I think it will reduce the amount of overtaking due to the difficulty of overtaking cars with increased dirty air, and it will reduce the amount of flat out racing due to the engines falling short on fuel. Overall, it’s a 50:50 chance of next season being more disastrous than 2014-2016 seasons.

        1. @todfod I remain optimistic as none of us know what the racing will be like until they race in anger. As far as I know, F1 was not trying to, nor ever will be able to, come up with the perfect formula that will suit everyone. But it is like the changes, which were badly needed, have already been shot to the ground before any of us has even seen a car, let alone seem them race together. I don’t get it quite frankly.

          They had to get off those tires. They had to get faster. The cars had to be more challenging to drive. And the cars will have way more potential to be tweeked for good racing. I think there is a good chance that teams will find the big tires draggy enough on the straights that they won’t run all the wing they can, in order to hit respectable top speeds and not be sitting ducks at the ends of straights, and after all, they’ll have much better mechanical grip to make up for any less wing they choose to use.

          I take heart that Brawn gets that the mechanical grip to aero grip ratio is the key to closer racing. What I don’t get is that as bad as F1 needed to change, upon changing they are being shot right down. Very frustrating. Can’t we just see how the racing is, and then see them tweek things further, like they always are doing anyway? Can’t we give them a chance to evolve what should be much better F1 cars on real F1 tires going forward? It’s like people think F1 had one last chance to make everything magically perfect.

    11. 1994. All the signals were there, but noone did anything before the tragedies in Imola. During the tests that year several accidents involved different drivers: Jean Alesi suffered an injury at Mugello (Larini was in his car in Aida and Imola), JJ Lehto had an accident at Silverstone (Jos Verstappen took his place in the first gps) and his career in F1 ended that year. At Imola on friday Barrichello had an huge accident. Then the deaths of Roland and Ayrton. Even after in Monaco was time for Wendlinger to pay the price (another one that was never the same in a F1 car) and in Silverstone for Pedro Lamy (on a wheelchair for a while before recovering and came back to F1). Another huge crash involved Montermini in Spain, in this case the italian driver did a great mistake as he was not able to compete properly (he had fever), it was his debut in F1 and noone stopped him in the team (Simtek).
      Terrible year.

    12. Nice article on how the 2017 rules will impact the breaking system by Craig Scarborough in AutoSprint :
      http://autosprint.corrieredellosport.it/news/formula1/2017/02/09-707135/formula_1_le_nuove_monoposto_avranno_freni_esagerati/

    13. Evil Homer (@)
      9th February 2017, 11:54

      Wow- that footage of Imola was quite eerie, like many I still miss Ayrton to this day, he was my hero as a youngster- I was 17 when he died. A simple tyre barrier may have been enough to save him.

      @hohum – sorry to hear about your mate, must have been very aggressive if they were diagnosed only at Christmas !

      1. @evilhomer, thanks, he went down very quickly, pneumonia in Nov. COPD inDec. became lung cancer over Xmas/Newyear. he was over the average USA life expectancy but worked in his old age at being fit, apart that is, from his one cigarette a day, but as he told me in Dec ” 1 a day couldn’t hurt “.

        1. @hohum
          Yep- is a nasty one that doesn’t discriminate! My old martial arts instructor was a guy as easily fit as Webber or Button (probably more so), vegetarian (could have been his issue), never smoked, drank very little, trained every day, it got him at 53.

          Another mate is 40, carries 30kg he doesn’t need, Dad died at 52 but smokes a pack a day- will probably out live all of us!!

    14. Having been to quite a few Grand Prix, the thing that hits home for me and makes this video even more poignant, is hearing Ben Constanduros’ circuit commentary. Made it quite real, like I was there.

    15. I still cant imagine what that weekend was like. Its almost as if it was cursed. Rubens’ crash in Practice was a big shunt. Then you had Rolands crash on Saturday. I’m still shocked the race went ahead. The crash at the start, there was a scare in the pit lane and obviously Senna’s crash. Just can’t how the teams, the staff, the drivers and the fans etc felt. The only question I can think of is did F1 get lazy. Were these incidents avoidable, could they have done more?

    16. Aha! Well if Max and Bernie are against it, then it must be good.

    17. Nothing remotely “remarkable” about the video. The only thing surprising to me is that there are not many, many more videos like it online than there are. There would have been hundreds of people with cameras on that day that have not chosen to upload them, that is more surprising to me.

      1. Just to remeber – it was 1994, not 2014 where everyone has a smartphone with a camera.

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