Senna trial update 97-07-10

IMOLA, Italy., July 10, 1998 (AP) - Two experts testified Wednesday that the Imola circuit met safety standards set by the International Auto Racing Federation (FIA) and was not to blame for Ayrton Senna's fatal 1994 crash. ...

IMOLA, Italy., July 10, 1998 (AP) - Two experts testified Wednesday that the Imola circuit met safety standards set by the International Auto Racing Federation (FIA) and was not to blame for Ayrton Senna's fatal 1994 crash. Testifying in the manslaughter trial of six Formula One officials, Antonio Dal Monte and Roberto Nosetto also said that Senna could not brake the car properly when his Williams-Renault lost grip while speeding off the track at the Tamburello corner. But Dal Monte said even slowing the car before its impact with the concrete wall would not have saved Senna's life. "We can attribute Senna's death to the unfortunate trajectory of the wheel after the crash," said Dal Monte, a professor of sports science. The front wheel's suspension arm pierced the three-time world champion's helmet. The brain damage was fatal. Prosecutor Maurizio Passarini contends that the failure of a modified steering column prevented Senna from negotiating the corner. Trial observers said the testimony of Dal Monte and Nosetto, a former Ferrari manager and director of the Imola circuit for 10 years, could work in favor of the three race officials on trial: Federico Bendinelli, Giorgio Poggi and Roland Bruynseraede. Bruynseraede, a Belgian who is a race director for FIA, attended the trial for the first time Wednesday, but did not testify. The others standing trial in this town south of Bologna are Frank Williams, head of the Williams-Renault team; Patrick Head, technical director for Williams-Renault; and Adrian Newey, the team's former designer. The trial, now in recess until September, has drawn consider- able attention because it could threaten the future of auto racing in Italy. FIA says F-1 teams may be afraid to race in Italy if there are convictions. Italy plays host to two F-1 races a year, the San Marino GP at Imola in April and the Italian GP at Monza in September.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ayrton Senna , Frank Williams
Teams Ferrari , Williams