F1 » Roland Ratzenberger, remembered by David Brabham


Twenty years to the day F1 was rocked by the death of Roland Ratzenberger, his team-mate at the time David Brabham looks back at that fateful weekend.

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richard

April 30, 2014 12:02 PM

i am glad to see that amongst all the tributes to senna, that roland has not been forgotten by some. he was a charming and talented driver who was just beginning to live his dream. r i p roland

Taz

April 30, 2014 12:12 PM

@richard

Well said, his death gets overlooked so often. Was watching qualifying that day, it was shocking to watch. When you saw the side of the car and the way he was slumped over you knew it was bad.

shpongled

April 30, 2014 12:22 PM

Well-written and thoughtful, very sad to read but couldn't be more appropriate. I was 11 and it's unfortunately my first real memory of F1..... At least he went whilst living his dream I guess......

dale

April 30, 2014 1:58 PM

richard: i am glad to see that amongst all the tributes to senna, that roland has not been forgotten by some. he was a charming and talented driver who was just beginning to live his dream. r i p roland


Well said richy, it truly was a unforgettable weekend.

MartinJSUK

April 30, 2014 3:42 PM

Sorry to nitpick, but Roland was the first death in 12 years, not 22 - Ricardo Paletti at the 1982 Canadian Grand Prix.

I didn't see Roland's death, but it was shocking when I heard about it - I hadn't lived through the dangerous years and really believed this was a safe sport. Thankfully changes were made and the safety record is now exemplary, and so much of it found in road cars too. Roland clearly wasn't the most gifted driver, but he had determination and self-belief, and was seemingly a really nice guy too. There's a lovely tribute to him on the F1 Rejects website that's worth looking up as well. Interesting to note that Sam Brabham is now a racer himself, having first attended a GP while in the womb.

Texas Roadhouse

April 30, 2014 4:24 PM

That weekend was one never to forget - we were at a wedding - I remember getting back to the hotel for the reception, only to see the headlines, then, after spending the Sunday at Snetterton (BTCC practice/qually) picked up our children, only to be met with a distraught son telling me about Senna......terrible time.

tommytrojan1

April 30, 2014 4:55 PM

If I'm not mistaken, wasn't that the same weekend when Reubens Barichello had a near fatal crash in practise as well? It was a VERY black weekend, for sure. Remembering those painfully tragic events only highlights again how silly we sometimes are when we take swipes at F1 drivers, for whatever reason. These men (and soon to be) women are risking everything each weekend for (among other things) our entertainment and enjoyment. Of course they are highly paid and are doing it of their own volition, but it nevertheless needs bearing in mind that it doesn't take a whole lot for something to go horrifically wrong in the blink of an eye - certainly worth remembering before posting something sniping or petty.

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