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There have been several theories regarding Ayrton Senna’s death, but none has proved to be true. One of the most interesting theories is that Senna was murdered by Formula One officials. It is claimed that the doctors and the organization conspired to keep the two drivers’ deaths a secret until after they had left the circuit.

The result of unpredictable circumstances and unlucky actions caused the death of one of the greatest drivers of that era Ayrton Senna. Moments after the tragic impact in Imola, lots of people started talking about more or less confirmed sources about what ”really” happened and what was the ”real” cause of the accident. There were theories that are that Ayrton was under heavy psychological stress after the death of Ronald Ratzenberger and personal love issues.

What caused Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident at Imola? A number of court hearings and studies over the years have not been able to finally clarify this. And where did the last few seconds of the car’s onboard camera go? Some believe they went “missing” to cover up the true cause of the accident and to protect the Williams team. The corner was typically easily flat-out, but Damon Hill (his teammate) reported that the Williams was bottoming out there something awful, which you can see on the previous laps. So according to him, it’s plausible that Senna made a mistake.

A second, theory talks about his Williams driving over debris from a previous accident and getting a tire puncture. That is possible but it was never proven All the information about the ride height of a car was immediately available in the pits, but there was no sign of any puncture. Some might argue that the team covered something but the following investigation concluded that Senna’s crash was an unfortunate accident and not a conspiracy.

The biggest theory of them all is the one about the poorly welded steering column. That column was fixed especially on Ayrton Senna’s request before the race  The fact is that the steering column was broken yet it remains a mystery if that happened before or after the crash. The footage from the camera is showing what everybody would want to see, however, the tape stopped when the crucial moment came. The big process in Italy found the team guilty, yet nobody was sent to prison. And after years of trials what remains is just theories without any strong proof.

Adrain Newey, the man who designed the car Senna was driving, later said: ” The honest truth is that no one will ever know exactly what happened. There’s no doubt the steering column failed and the big question was whether it failed in the accident or did it cause the accident? It had fatigue cracks and would have failed at some point. There is no question that its design was very poor. However, all the evidence suggests the car did not go off the track as a result of steering column failure… 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.”

So, the mystery about Ayrton Senna death has two ways of thinking:

  • The steering column broke halfway through the corner.

  • Senna made a mistake and crashed, as he was under pressure from Schumacher behind him and attempted to take the corner too quickly on cold tires, two laps after a safety-car restart.

It’s never been conclusively proved either way because vital information from the car’s onboard computers (including video footage from the FOM cameras) was deleted shortly after the accident. Of course, there is also the theory, that FOM deleted them intentionally. The onboard footage suggests that he increased the steering lock but the front wheels remained straight. The rubber on the surface of the gravel suggests he was on the breaks. Berger had an accident at Tamburello in 88 or 89  and burst into flames but walked away. The suspension went through Senna’s visor and caused his fatal injuries, without this he would’ve walked away with probably some bruising, but we will never know.


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