When Senna Died...
Everybody was already shocked after Barrichellos big one, which he lived through, and Ratzenburgers, which he didn't.
F1 at this stage had thought that since nobody had died since Elio de Angelis, some 8 years before, it was safe, and standards had not been pushed.
Ratzenburger and Senna were a wake up call in this context. They were also fantastic drivers, Senna being of the greatest, if not the greatest who ever lived.
It was because two people died, and another was involved in a very bad accident, that people realised.
On the friday, Rubens crashes, some how he lives.
On saturday Ratzenburger crashes, and he doesn't.
On sunday Senna, carrying a flag in the car to honour Ratzenburger on the podium, has his 150 mph off, and dies, presumably from impact with the steering column.
There is a huge amount of work going on which is trying to improve safety, cars and bikes, trucks, boats, everywhere.
The fact of the matter is if you are racing at 200 mph inches from someone else doing the same thing, if something goes wrong, your dead.
You can be totally in control one second, hit a small bump in the road, and bang your dead like Francois Cevert. (Jackie stewarts Protege, who would have been tyrell no. 1 the next year.)
Or be in the situation Dan Wheldon was in just 3 weeks ago, something happens with the cars in front, and there is nothing you can do.
12 people have died this year in racing across all disiplines.
1 in Indycar, 1 at the TT, 3 at the Manx GP, 1 in MotoGP, and 5 in sidecars.
Between 1950, the start of the F1 drivers championship, and the deaths of Senna and Ratzenburger, F1 on average lost 1 driver a year.
Why does everybody remember Senna, but nobody remembers Ratzenburger?