F1 pauses to remember Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Emilia Romagna GP


Thursday was media day at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, as the paddock buzzed with journalists and reporters, and hospitality spaces were turned into press conference venues. Soon, Imola will roar to life with the sound turbocharged engines powering drivers around the historic track.

But before that happens today, the Formula 1 world took a moment to pause, and reflect.

This week marks 30 years since the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, also held at the historic Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, known as Imola. That weekend saw two tragedies that still hang over the sport, the death of Roland Ratzenberger during qualifying as a result of an accident, and Ayrton Senna’s passing death following his crash in the San Marino Grand Prix.

Tributes to both drivers have been pouring in around the motorsport world over the past few weeks, including the unveiling of this mural in Senna’s honor at the Miami Grand Prix a few weeks ago:

F1 Grand Prix of Miami - Previews

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

On Thursday in Imola, the paddock took to the track to honor both drivers, in an event organized by another legend of the sport, Sebastian Vettel:

Following those photographs, many participated in a journey around the circuit, including drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, and Charles Leclerc:

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna - Previews

Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images

Drivers also paused in front of a banner honoring Ratzenberger, flashing Austrian wristbands to honor the Austrian driver:

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna - Previews

Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

During the FIA Press Conferences on Thursday, Pierre Gasly discussed Ratzenberger and Senna.

“I’ve always admired [Senna] since I was a child. Obviously, in France, I grew up hearing a lot about Alain Prost, who is the most successful French F1 driver of all time. And obviously, with Alain always came Ayrton’s name. I watched a lot of documentaries and it’s probably the most, to me, iconic battle in F1 history. I always admired, I will say, the style of racing, but also the person he was – the values, the way he was caring about his community,” said Gasly during the FIA Press Conferences on Thursday. “And, you know, he’s one of the biggest champions of our sport and I think it was important to pay tribute, especially on this year, 30 years after the incident, it was important to me to pay tribute to one of the best of all time.”

Gasly is among many who will be honoring Senna this weekend, as the Alpine driver unveiled a tribute helmet late last week in the legend’s honor.

Other tributes are planned as well, such as this sticker that Ferrari will have on the SF-24 this weekend honoring Senna:

And this sticker on the Visa Cash App RB F1 Team’s RB01:

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna - Previews

Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images

Eventually the power units will roar to life, and 20 of the best drivers in the world will tackle the tricky Imola circuit. But on Thursday, the grid paused to remember two legends of the sport.



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