On this day of May 1st in 1994, three-time Formula 1 World Champion Brazilian Ayrton Senna lost his life when his Williams-Renault crashed at very high speed almost straight on in the concrete wall of the Tamburello corner at the Imola circuit.
Senna had switched teams from McLaren to Williams for the 1994 season. He had hoped to drive the best car of the moment.
Unfortunately for him, the Williams FW16 was far from being perfect, especially the position of the steering wheel that was causing Ayrton some concerns.
On May 1st, the Grand Prix of San Marino started bizarrely with a huge collision on the starting grid. After having completed several laps behind the Safety Car, the field led by Senna got the green and started racing for real.
One lap later, the Williams – in the lead – bottomed badly in Tamburello and went straight off course.
The impact against the wall was hard but Senna received fatal injuries when a piece of the front right suspension went through his helmet and damaged his brain. He was declared clinically dead upon his arrival at the hospital.
His nephew Bruno today carries the family flag in F1, also racing for the Williams team.