The anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death has come and gone but the recent film bearing his name has most F1 fans taking a moment to consider the reality of Senna’s impact on F1 and the vacuum he left upon his untimely death. One person intimate with that fateful day was Red Bull’s Adrian Newey. Newey was then working for Williams and had designed the car in which Senna perished.
An interesting article at the Guardian was posted today by Donald McRae in which Newey reflects on the dreaded day of Senna’s death as well as offers his thoughts on what may have caused it. There were many years of litigation following Senna’s death but the Williams team was exonerated of blame. Here, Newey explains why he thinks the champion perished.
“If you look at the camera shots, especially from Michael Schumacher’s following car, the car didn’t understeer off the track. It oversteered which is not consistent with a steering column failure. The rear of the car stepped out and all the data suggests that happened. Ayrton then corrected that by going to 50% throttle which would be consistent with trying to reduce the rear stepping out and then, half-a-second later, he went hard on the brakes. The question then is why did the rear step out? The car bottomed much harder on that second lap which again appears to be unusual because the tyre pressure should have come up by then – which leaves you expecting that the right rear tyre probably picked up a puncture from debris on the track. If I was pushed into picking out a single most likely cause that would be it.”
This is just a snippet but it is an interesting article so go check it out. A nice round of golf applause for Mr. McRae for a fine story.