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Adrian Newey admits that he will not be watching the film dedicated to the life of Ayrton Senna, which will hit UK cinemas next month. As Chief Designer at Williams in 1994, Newey designed the car in which the triple World Champion lost his life at Imola.
“The little hair I had all fell out in the aftermath,” Newey, now at Red Bull, described in an interview with The Guardian.
“So it changed me physically. It was dreadful. Both Patrick Head (Williams Technical Director) 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? And then the court case started.
“The court case was a depressing annoyance and extra pressure, but it did not make me question whether I wanted to be involved in F1. It's the self-searching rather than the accusations that really matter. For the whole team it was incredibly difficult. I remember the day after the race was a bank holiday Monday and some of us came in to try and trawl though the data and work out what happened. They were dark weeks.”
Newey also regrets not knowing the full cause of the incident, which took place at the flat-out Tamburello corner.
“The honest truth is that no-one will ever know exactly what happened,” the Englishman continued. “There's no doubt that the steering column failed and the big question was whether it failed in the accident or did it cause the accident? It had fatigue cracks in it and it would have failed at some point. There is no question that its design was very poor. However, all the evidence suggests the car did not go off the track as a result of steering column failure.”
When asked if he will be watching the Senna movie, Newey replied: “No. It would not be an easy thing to do.”
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