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Roland Ratzenberger - 20 Years on from 30/04/1994


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#1 Laura23

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 22:47

He's often the forgotten man of that horrible weekend in late April/early May 1994. But his life was equally as important a loss as Senna the following day when it came to safety in Formula One.

I recently went onto google to search for images of Roland, just normal photos of him driving, and stumbled across some rather horrific looking crash pictures. What shocked me was how much damage was done to his car. Previously I'd only ever seen grainy pictures and two rather grainy videos of his accident so details were spared. I wanted it kept that way. But these photos were quite detailed and showed just how hard the impact the Simtek took was. There was a hole that punctured straight through the Simtek's chassis side, you can see Roland's elbow and arm through it and you can see the damage the impact made to his helmet. Or at least I rather hope it is impact damage and not something rather more horrifying. He really stood no chance in that car with that impact that day. 

But ever since chassis have become stronger and stronger to the point I doubt a crash like his today would leave such damage. He may have even walked away. 

I know Senna's accident is credited to a lot of the safety efforts that were made in the years after Imola 1994, but Roland's crash contributed to just as much. It forced the FIA to make side impacts far tougher, chassis far stronger and cockpit sides higher. 

Let's not forget the Austrian who also died that weekend doing the thing he loved so very much.

RIP Roland



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#2 R Soul

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 23:16

Agreed. RIP



#3 OvDrone

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 23:19

What a dreadful day. I recall Irvine thinking highly of him, more so from a friendly perspective. Even though I was five-years old at the time, I still remember those images.



#4 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 23:51

http://www.racer.com...bers-imola-1994



#5 917k

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 00:15

The movie ''Senna'' has an incredibly foreboding scene with Roland talking with his engineer the morning of his crash, where he said something like,'' I need to calm down, I'm doing things with this car that I shouldn't be.''

 

It's chilling to watch.


Edited by 917k, 30 April 2014 - 00:15.


#6 akshay380

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 00:24

Yes RIP. And I share my birthday with Sennas death anniversary :(



#7 DavidI

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 00:25

I've heard Roland made a tremendous impression here in Australia during his visits to race touring cars, for his attitude and personality as well as his driving abilities. I was never a Senna fan, so whilst his (Senna's) death shocked me, I was saddened more by Roland's.



#8 ASFA2011

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:40

The movie ''Senna'' has an incredibly foreboding scene with Roland talking with his engineer the morning of his crash, where he said something like,'' I need to calm down, I'm doing things with this car that I shouldn't be.''
 
It's chilling to watch.


I also noticed that particular scene just a couple nights ago and he rather struck me a cocky full of nonsense and over confident young driver , the people around him was cheering that reckless attitude of him saying that he was throwing the car around a bit too much and laughing about it and I wonder if that kind of attitude ( that of nothing can happen to me ) played a role on his demise

#9 917k

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:43

I also noticed that particular scene just a couple nights ago and he rather struck me a cocky full of nonsense and over confident young driver , the people around him was cheering that reckless attitude of him saying that he was throwing the car around a bit too much and laughing about it and I wonder if that kind of attitude ( that of nothing can happen to me ) played a role on his demise

 

I disagree completely. Roland appeared nervous and a bit over-his-head, and he seemed to know it - and he also seemed to know that he could really hurt himself.



#10 Andrew Hope

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:55

Hard to forget about him as he died on my birthday.

 

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#11 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:14

Hello, this forum is for discussing current Racing Comments, so I'm closing this. However, The Nostalgia Forum has quite a few threads about Ayrton Senna's and Roland Ratzenberger's fatal crashes, I suggest having a nose around in there.