Report into Senna crash leaked

It has been reported in todays (10th December 1995) News of the World that the report into the crash of Ayrton Senna has been leaked. Professor Enrico Lorenzini said that the "steering was not working properly". However, he goes on to state that ...

Report into Senna crash leaked

It has been reported in todays (10th December 1995) News of the World that the report into the crash of Ayrton Senna has been leaked.

Professor Enrico Lorenzini said that the "steering was not working properly". However, he goes on to state that he is certain that the steering column broke before the crash, and was due to the column being "badly welded together".

"The rod joining the steering wheel to the wheels was virtually sliced in half. It had been badly welded together about a third of the way down and couldn't stand the strain of the race. We discovered scratches on the crack in the rod. It seemed like the job had been done in a hurry, but I can't say how long before the race. Someone had tried to smooth over the join following the welding. I have never seen anything like it".

It is reported that the column was reduced in size because Senna wanted a clearer view of the instrument panel. To carry this out, according to Lorenzini's report, the column was split into two sections - both of different diameters - and welded together. "The two parts were of different diameters and I have heard that the job was done so that the steering whell could be lowered for comfort. But this is the first time I have ever seen such a job. Generally, these simple steel rods - around 70cm long - are always in one piece. This one had been welded together at the 23cm mark. The thinner part was next to the steering wheel, and stayed stuck to the steering wheel on the floor as you see it after the crash. The thicker part was below and the difference in diameter was made up by a joint welded onto a hollow tube. This is where the break happened. I believe that the rod was faulty, probably cracked, even during the warm-up. And moments before the crash only a tiny piece was left connected and therefore the car didn't respond in the bend".

On the subject of video evidence, Lorenzini was similarly forthright "This is the tragic part. Here you can see how Senna tried to avoid the crash. He had incredible reactions and was physically far superior..... He wrenched the wheel and the car kept going straight on. This was the point where only a tiny piece of metal was connected to the rod. Then he hit the brakes, but he was already flying above the ground so he just kept going. This is the dip in the road. But that, even though it didn't help, was not the cause of the accident... The fact is that the metal couldn't stand the strain of the race".

Williams' lawyer, Roberto Causo, has said that "Our data shows the steering was working until the moment of impact". The News of the World also contacted Frank Williams, and put the following questions to him:

Q: Was any welding carried out on the steering rod before the race? FW: No comment

Q: Have you seen a copy of the crash report? FW: No.

Q: Did you know that your chief designer (Adrian Newey) admitted altering the car's steering rod? FW: No comment.

>From http://turnpike.net/metro/vollans/index.html

-- Stephen M Baines

"[The Autosport sticker] started to peel off in the middle of Eau Rouge and it distracted me. In fact it was the first thing to hit the barrier" Tiff Needell - Jaguar XJR-15 Challenge - Interview with Autosport

F1/TouringCars http://turnpike.net/metro/vollans/index.html

shares
comments
CHAMPCAR/CART: Villeneuve to drive in F1 in 1996

Previous article

CHAMPCAR/CART: Villeneuve to drive in F1 in 1996

Next article

Standings after Argentinian GP

Standings after Argentinian GP
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021