For ardent fans of Formula 1, the season can be over very quickly. Whether it’s the sheer speed and ferocity of the cars, the fact the pitlane is the hotbed of political machinations or simply that pent up excitement that wills away the weekdays in between Grands Prix, the lure is different for all of us. For me it’s all three – and then some.
The speed in which time passes hit home this weekend as I’m sure it did for almost every Formula 1 enthusiast around the world. In case it’s escaped your notice, this weekend is the 17th anniversary of the deaths of both Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna, on consecutive days at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, racing on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola. It’s a sobering thought that someone born that weekend would now be old enough to be enjoying their first driving lessons now – reaching my own 17th birthday seemed to take forever, yet that darkest weekend in modern Formula 1 seems so recent.
Ratzenberger and Senna represented completely different ends of the Formula 1 spectrum. The former had finally made the big time, having slogged his way through various junior formulae to prove his worth. He’d made it to the pinnacle of motor sport and for now at least, that’d do very nicely. The latter was a legend in his own lifetime, a career behind the wheel that represented everything from the sublime and enchanting to the ridiculous and often wrong. Here was a triple World Champion embarking on a quest for further glory, racing for the man who gave him his first F1 test over a decade earlier.
There will doubtless be hundreds if not thousands of exquisitely crafted in memorium pieces in both the printed and online media. Instead, I offer these:
Credits for the video clips to those who posted on YouTube