Formula 1 Racing

F1 drivers gather to remember Senna and Ratzenberger · RaceFans

Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger tribute, Imola, 2024

Formula 1 drivers and other paddock members marked the 30th anniversary of the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel led the event which began on the pit straight at the Imola circuit where the pair lost their lives during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix weekend.

The event included running a lap of the circuit and stopping to pay tribute to the two drivers at the scenes of their crashes. Despite heavy rainfall later in the afternoon the drivers assembled at the statue of three-times world champion Senna by Tamburello corner before going on to complete their laps of the track.

The drivers who T-shirts bearing Senna’s helmet colours and the message ‘Forever Senna’, and wristbands carrying tributes to Ratzenberger, who was making his third appearance at a grand prix weekend when he crashed.

“Thirty years ago, people here at this place lived through a horrible set of events,” said Vettel in a video on social media. “We had an incredibly bad accident on Friday with Rubens Barrichello that, luckily, was only mildly injured.

“On Saturday Roland Ratzenberger – which the wristband is for – from Austria, lost his life crashing out in qualifying. And on Sunday, we lost a true legend of our sport, Ayrton Senna.

“Ayrton was a special man. Inside the car his achievements were, probably to this day, unparalleled. Look at the amount of pole positions and wins in that short amount of time, the cars that he wrestled around the track, the conditions he propelled and beat the opposition. Many reasons to be a Senna fan, even if he’s not your favourite driver, he was an incredible person in the car, but also outside the car. For the Brazilian people, the importance, the role that he played for the people in that generation for that time.

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“He was one of the first ones to stand up for causes outside racing. He inspired people to try to help and push education and try to fight poverty in Brazil. So lots of reasons to take inspiration from him.”

Some drivers have special tribute balaclavas which they will wear during the weekend and Pierre Gasly has produced a helmet in Senna’s colours.

“It’s a colleague that unfortunately many of us, all of us today driving the cars, never had the chance to meet to fight on the track – but also to meet and get inspired outside the track,” Vettel added.

“Today was about…

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