As we pointed out yesterday in our little tribute post, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit. On this occasion Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, went down to the track and paid their homage to the fallen drivers.
Accompanied by an entourage that included Jules Bianchi and Pedro de la Rosa, Alonso and Raikkonen walked from the pit straight to the infamous Tamburello corner, where they held a commemoration service in honour of Ayrton Senna. At 14h17, the exact time that the driver crashed at the wheel of a Williams on lap 7 of the San Marino Grand Prix, a minute’s silence was observed.
Here’s a few pictures from the ceremony:
Fernando Alonso: “I can well remember the photos in the papers and seeing on the TV news the stories of the duels between the McLarens of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. He had the number 1 on his car and I raced karts thinking about him, of his yellow helmet that was always winning. I also competed in karting in Italy, working with someone who had been his mechanic when he raced in that category and so you can imagine how important that was for me. I had a poster of him up in my bedroom. The only positive thing to come out of the weekend that took Ayrton and Roland Ratzenberger away from us was that, from then on, safety in Formula 1 improved significantly. In fact, we can say that inside our cars there is something of the legacy of Senna and Raztzenberger, because after that terrible 1994, nothing was ever the same again.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “I was very young. I saw the accident on TV and what I remember most is that, the next day at school we talked about it. Senna was very important for Formula 1, as a driver and a person and his death led to a rapid acceleration in the process of increasing the level of safety in our sport. That has avoided other tragedies from occurring. Unfortunately however, one cannot change the past, neither for Ayrton nor for Roland Ratzenberger. The only thing we can do is remember this champion, whose exploits defined the history of Formula 1 for a long time.”