Jacques Villeneuve was among those unaffected by the death of Ayrton Senna, but the Canadian still remembers the black Imola weekend of 1994 for the death of a friend.


Roland Ratzenberger, a friend and adversary of Villeneuve's in Japanese F3, was killed 24 hours before the great Brazilian lost his life, but has never received the attention lavished on his rival. To Villeneuve, this is something that needed to be addressed at this year's San Marino GP, and the 1997 world champion spoke up.


"I didn't know Senna personally," Villeneuve said, "and it's difficult to say much, other than that his death was a big loss for the sport. But Ratzenberger was a friend of mine, so his death touched me more than Senna's."


"F1 was in shock because Senna died, and decided that something had to be done. But they forgot that another person died - and I find that annoying."


Benetton designer was another to remember the Austrian - a protege of his at the fated Simtek team: "The sad thing was that the Formula One world didn't get to know him," Wirth said, "What level he would have reached, I wouldn't like to say, but I don't think that's important. His dream was F1, and I'm just pleased that we had that Aida race, and he did it. That's about the only thing you can cling to. He was just a great, great guy."

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