Imola to mark 30 years since Senna and Ratzenberger’s deaths at grand prix

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The promoters of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will put on a series of events at this year’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix to mark the 30th anniversary of the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the Imola circuit.

The two drivers died in separate crashes during the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. Ratzenberger was killed when his car struck a barrier at the high-speed, right-hand Villeneuve corner during qualifying. The following day, Senna crashed and died at the Tamburello curve on the sixth lap of the grand prix. Both corners were subsequently altered.

The Automobile Club d’Italia announced a series of initiatives will be held at this year’s grand prix to mark the deaths of both drivers. F1 will return to the track it last raced at in 2022, having cancelled last year’s race due to severe flooding in the area.

“As a region we strongly wanted the return of Formula 1 to Imola, a central event in the very rich calendar of sporting events in Emilia-Romagna,” said Stefano Bonaccini, president of the Emilia-Romagna region.

Ayrton Senna was killed in a crash during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola
Race report: 1994 San Marino Grand Prix
“This year the grand prix is ​​enriched with further profound meanings: the memory of a much-loved champion like Ayrton Senna and a strong sign of a restart in Romagna hit by the flood.”

The 10th anniversary of the deaths was marked during the 2004 San Marino Grand Prix weekend by Gerhard Berger, compatriot of Ratzenberger and former team mate of Senna, who drove one of the three-times champion’s former Lotus cars around the circuit. A Senna memorial stands near the scene of his crash at the circuit.

Imola has also added five new grandstands for this year’s race, increasing capacity by 17,000.

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Pictures: Berger’s 2004 demonstration run for Senna and Ratzenberger

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “Imola to mark 30 years since Senna and Ratzenberger’s deaths at grand prix”

  1. So glad that people remembered to remember Ratzenberger.
    Most of the time it’s all about Senna, and while he was a great loss to the sport, the reports so often talk about him to the exclusion of Ratzenberger

  2. For the love of god, please be tasteful about it? i’m still cringing from the 2020 trophies

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