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DPA

Berlin

The 30th anniversary of the death of three-time Formula One champion Ayrton Senna was commemorated on Wednesday with a memorial at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy where he crashed during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

A minute of silence was held at 2:17 pm (1217 GMT) and flowers were laid down at the Tamburello corner to observe the exact time and place that the then 34-year-old Brazilian suffered the fatal crash in his Williams.

The event also remembered Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger, who died a day before Senna during qualifying. Flowers were laid down at the Villeneuve corner, where Ratzenberger crashed.

Senna won F1 titles in 1988, 1990 and 1991 with McLaren.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and politicians from Brazil, Italy and Austria attended the ceremony.

The track, which will host the Emilia Romagna GP on May 19, was open to all fans who wished to pay tribute to one of the greatest drivers ever.

Photo exhibitions, the screening of a documentary and a theatrical monologue were part of Wednesday’s programme.

Senna was leading the race when he rounded the high-speed Tamburello corner on lap 7 before his car left the racing line at around 307 kilometres per hour, ran in a straight line off the track and hit the concrete retaining wall at around 233 km/h.

The driver received initial treatment by the side of his car, but had already suffered significant blood loss. He was airlifted to hospital and his death was announced in the evening.

His death triggered several safety improvements at the Imola track and throughout F1, resulting in shorter straights, more room around dangerous turns and less powerful engines.

Four-time world champion Sebatian Vettel annonced on Instagram that he would attend the grand prix at Imola later this month and pay tribute to Senna by driving one of his old McLarens.

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02/05/2024
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