Motor Racing: Prosecutor given data on Senna

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The Independent Online
ITALIAN investigators took charge yesterday of the black box from the car in which the three-times Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna died last month.

Senna died from massive head injuries after crashing his Williams-Renault into a wall during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on 1 May. The black box, which records driving data, was damaged in the accident.

Patrick Head, the Williams-Renault chief engineer, also handed to Maurizio Passarini, the deputy state prosecutor, a file of documents and a computer disk concerning the last moments of Senna's life, from his acceleration away at the start of the race until he smashed head-on into a security wall at the side of the track.

Investigators are also carrying out a detailed examination of the wreckage of Senna's car.

A similar examination is planned for the Simtek car driven by the Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, who died on the same circuit in practice a day before Senna.

The deaths provoked a furore over safety standards in the sport. The International Automobile Federation has since announced measures to reduce car performance and the danger to drivers.