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Hamilton closes on seven
For Lewis Hamilton, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix marks the start of his reign as the most successful F1 race winner, as the Briton now looks to move nearer a record-equalling seventh World Drivers’ title at Imola.
After Rubens Barrichello had been hospitalised in Friday practice, Saturday’s qualifying then saw Roland Ratzenberger die as a result of multiple injuries, following a 195mph crash at Villeneuve curva.
With the Austrian’s death having rattled the sport, the race was thrown into doubt, but still went ahead.
On the morning of the race, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association was formed, with Senna, Schumacher and Gerhard Berger installed as directors, to improve car and circuit safety.
On Lap 7 of the race – the second after the safety had returned to the pits after an incident between Pedro Lahmy and JJ Lehto – Senna had led Schumacher approaching Tamburello.
As the Brazilian approached the bend, the Williams driver was unable to turn – ruled a steering column breakage in the subsequent trial – and slammed into the unprotected concrete wall, at what was estimated to be 190mph.
Lifted from the wreckage, Senna was third man to be taken to the nearby Maggiore hospital that weekend.
Senna was pronounced officially as having died later that evening, however, records still indicate his time of death as 2:17pm local time, meaning his death was instant.
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