Drivers and fans have paid tribute to Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger during a memorial at Imola.
After a holy mass on Wednesday evening at the circuit, thousands of fans took to the track on Thursday for a ceremony remembering both Senna and Ratzenberger – who were killed at Imola 20 years ago this week – with Gerhard Berger, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Jules Bianchi, Riccardo Patrese, Jarno Trulli, Ivan Capelli, Andrea de Cesaris, Emmanuele Pirro, Pierluigi Martini and Luca Badoer all present.
A number of drivers paid tribute to Senna during the ceremony – which took place where Senna's car came to rest on the outside of Tamburello – with Berger remembering the time he and his former McLaren team-mate attempted to make Imola safer after Berger's own crash at Tamburello. Speaking after the memorial, Berger said the turnout from fans had impressed him.
“It's a great thing,” Berger said. “I was just coming here not knowing what was going to happen. What I'm seeing here, I'm so happy that it was organised in this way. It's fantastic because my job and to know that people are also there if something happened to you, it's impressive. When something happens like here today, thanks to everybody who organised it, who think about and we are all happy to be here.
“It's my generation and we've been here racing a lot. It was also great to see all the race drivers here today from this generation. On one hand it's a sad moment but on the other hand we are here to have respect for Ayrton and for Roland and it's great that we still talk about them and still remember them.”
On Senna himself, Berger said during the ceremony: "I think we all agree that he was the best driver of all time."
Raikkonen paid tribute to the positive steps that have been taken within the sport since both drivers were killed in 1994.
“Obviously it's very emotional memories from 20 years ago during this very difficult weekend for F1, when we lost Ayrton and Ratzenberger on the same weekend,” Raikkonen said. “It's nice to have all the people here and like Gerhard said it's good to have happy memories of both the drivers. Unfortunate things happen but I think it made a big change to Formula One and it gave a lot of good things for Formula One.”
After the ceremony, a small group including Ratzenberger's parents moved on to the old Villeneuve kink to have a minute's silence in private.