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Roland Ratzenberger, Simtek S941
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How Ratzenberger beat the odds to realise his cruelly short-lived F1 dream

A late starter in motor racing, Roland Ratzenberger dedicated everything to reaching Formula 1 recalls GERHARD KUNTSCHIK. Turning down lucrative offers in IndyCars and sportscars, he’d just secured a foothold in F1 when tragedy struck on 30 April 1994

Gorianstrasse is a small, dead-end street in Salzburg’s Riedenburg neighbourhood, around halfway between the old city nestling at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress and the airport on the western outskirts. There, in a new-build block, Roland Ratzenberger bought a two-storey apartment with beautiful views of Untersberg mountain from the terrace.

For 29 years now this has been the home of Roland’s parents. Rudi, his father, soon turns 91, while mother Margit is 86 – but with a memory some much younger people would envy.

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