Williams surprised by Senna inquiry

The Williams F1 team has expressed its surprise that Italian judges have decided to re-open the inquiry into the death of Ayrton Senna. The last appeal was in 1999, when Williams' technical director Patrick Head and then-designer Adrian Newey were...

The Williams F1 team has expressed its surprise that Italian judges have decided to re-open the inquiry into the death of Ayrton Senna. The last appeal was in 1999, when Williams' technical director Patrick Head and then-designer Adrian Newey were acquitted of manslaughter. However, the Italian Supreme Court ruled this week that there were 'material errors' in the last hearing and the inquiry is to be re-opened.

A statement from Williams said: "WilliamsF1 confirms that it has received notice that the Italian Supreme Court has referred the investigation into Ayrton Senna's accident at Imola on May 1, 1994, back to the Court of Appeal in Bologna. WilliamsF1 has assisted in the detailed investigation of this matter over the last nine years and has been cleared of any culpability on two separate occasions."

"Accordingly, WilliamsF1 is surprised that the matter should not be considered closed after such an extended period and an extensive examination of all the facts. WilliamsF1 however respects the legal process in Italy, and will continue to fully assist the authorities as they require."

It's likely Head and Newey will have undergo a hearing all over again but Williams' lawyer, Roberto Causo, was not unduly disturbed by the recent turn of events and believes the acquittal will be upheld. Team principal Frank Williams was also originally charged with manslaughter alongside Head and Newey in 1997 but the charges against him were dropped.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ayrton Senna , Patrick Head , Adrian Newey
Teams Williams