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Ratzenberger's father: Roland and Ayrton Senna's deaths improved F1 safety

Roland Ratzenberger

London, April 30: The father of Roland Ratzenberger believes the accidents that saw his son and Ayrton Senna killed in the same weekend were the catalyst for a safer Formula One.

This week marks the 25th anniversary since iconic three-time world champion Senna tragically lost his life as a result of a high-speed crash in the San Marino Grand Prix.

Just 24 hours before, Ratzenberger lost his life during qualifying at Imola after careering into a wall when a broken front wing that had lodged under his car meant he could not make a turn into the Villeneuve corner.

The tragic incidents led to a series of reviews on improving safety standards in F1, including for head and neck support, enhancing the ability of cars to withstand heavy impacts and alterations to track designs.

In the quarter of a century since Imola, Jules Bianchi's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014 has been F1's only fatality.

And Rudolf Ratzenberger credited former FIA chief Max Mosley for making F1 a safer sport.

Speaking to Omnisport in Imola, he said: "I am convinced that accidents to Roland and Ayrton the day after have changed the world of F1.

"If there is something positive in this tragedy it is that safety has increased considerably.

"Drivers contributed to these changes but a great credit must be given to former FIA president Max Mosley for making F1 a much safer place."

He added: "I am very happy to be in Imola among many people and friends who are very supportive.

"Like in 2004 and 2014 many people are here not only for Ayrton but also for paying tribute to Roland, that confirms that Roland has not been forgotten."

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Story first published: Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 15:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 30, 2019
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