Senna inquiry to be re-opened

Senna inquiry to be re-opened

The Italian Supreme Court has decided to re-open the inquiry into the death of Ayrton Senna after judges decided there were legal errors in the original appeal. Senna died after an accident in his Williams at the Tamburello corner during the 1994...

The Italian Supreme Court has decided to re-open the inquiry into the death of Ayrton Senna after judges decided there were legal errors in the original appeal. Senna died after an accident in his Williams at the Tamburello corner during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix weekend.

Ayrton Senna.
Photo by Renault.
In 1997, Williams' technical director Patrick Head and then-designer Adrian Newey, now at McLaren, were acquitted of manslaughter but in 1999 they had to face charges again. That year the prosecutors in the case were demanding suspended sentences for Head and Newey. As in the original trial, the grounds were that, as technical chiefs, they were responsible for the failure of Senna's steering column, which caused the accident.

Once again the pair were acquitted but now it seems they will have to go through it all again, nearly nine years after Senna's death. The previous not guilty to charges of manslaughter verdict on Head and Newey has been annulled after "material errors" were discovered in the previous appeal.

Roberto Causo, the lawyer representing Williams is not unduly concerned: "This has an importance in terms of the formalities but in substance it changes nothing for us. We are calm -- we won in the two other (trials) and I do not see why we should fear losing in the third," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

The continuation yet again of the Senna inquiry could start a resurfacing of the doubts that teams might not take part in the San Marino event if they are open to legal action in the case of an accident. The legal system states that even in the event of accidental death, someone must be held accountable.

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