Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:09:16 GMT
Formula One accidents over the years

Roland Ratzenberger

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Roland Ratzenberger was an Austrian racing driver who died during qualifying for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, the same event that saw the death of three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna.

Ratzenberger went off-track on the previous lap, damaging his front wing, but rather than come into the pits he continued since he was competing for the final grid spot. Subsequently, the high speed on the backstraight, finally broke the wing off, sending it under Ratzenberger's car. His car failed to turn into the Villeneuve Corner and struck the outside wall at 314.9 km/h. After the car carried on down the track, spinning around and stopping at the next corner, Ratzenberger's lolling head was revealed. The cause of death was a basal skull fracture.