Red Bulls Adrian Newey Changed by Senna Death

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Adrian Newey tells how Senna death changed him

17 May 2011

Way back in 1994 the tragedy that was Ayrton Senna’s death swept not only the motoring world of Formula 1 but everywhere.

He had become such an iconic sportsman that his death was treated as a national tragedy in Brazil and they had three days of mourning following his passing. To anyone else, it was accepted as a tragic accident and after the death of Roland Ratzenberger the day before on the exact same corner it would have immediately been deemed as a severely unfortunate set of circumstances. However, when you’re the man responsible for the design of the car that Senna drove it’s a different story.

Both Patrick Head and myself separately asked ourselves whether we wanted to continue in racing. Did we want to be involved in a sport where people can die in something we've created? Secondly, was the accident caused by something that broke through poor or negligent design?

Adrian Newey is one of Formula 1’s most praised engineer, for his cutting edge methods and incredibly successful car designs that have helped shape the future of F1. I personally feel that Newey’s decision to stay was incredible, after having been witness to such a terrible accident to come back was inspiring. I feel that he has done nothing short of striving to perfect the design of Formula 1 cars and lead the way in their safety so that we may avoid such incidents as Senna’s in the future. When asked if he would go to see the upcoming Senna documentary film, he said:

No. It would not be an easy thing to do.