Motor Racing: Williams to enter one car in Monaco

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THERE will be no attempt to replace the irreplaceable at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday. The only appropriate homage to Ayrton Senna was confirmed by his team, Williams-Renault, yesterday.

Williams have entered only Damon Hill for the blue riband event, delaying the selection of a second driver until the race in Spain, later this month.

But although the team maintain they are confident in the safety of Hill's car, Senna's former partner, Gerhard Berger, is considering retirement for fear of his life. The Austrian, now at Ferrari, is due to make an announcement tomorrow.

In a brief statement, Williams said their decision to run just one car this week had been reached 'as a mark of respect' to Senna.

Williams say that since the Brazilian's fatal crash, 'an intensive study of the data available has not revealed a system or component failure. However, these investigations continue and would be greatly assisted by access to the impounded car.'

Even without the car, impounded along with the Simtek-Ford in which Roland Ratzenberger was killed, Williams say that 'resulting from these investigations and in consideration of all the relevant information, the team has confidence in the security' of the car which Hill will race at Monaco, where the first two places on the grid will be left vacant as a tribute to Senna and Ratzenberger.

Hill tested at Silverstone yesterday, and was reported to be in good form. Berger was also due to test in preparation for Monaco, but he said: 'I am in a situation at the moment in which I have absolutely no desire to get in a racing car. I don't feel ready yet.'

Whether he will be ready by the weekend, or at all, should be revealed tomorrow. Berger, among the pallbearers at Senna's funeral, said: 'I have spent the past days thinking about it but can make no decision till my head is completely clear. I grew up with the sport. I live for it. But if my feelings tell me I am unable to take the necessary risk, then I will quit.

'Ratzenberger was an inexperienced driver in a small team. Senna's death was a bigger shock. He was so good it is as if the sun has fallen from the sky. He was the one driver so perfect nobody thought anything could happen to him.

'My big problem is that I have lost faith in technology. I've had so many accidents in which technical failures were the cause, I have just lost confidence. One of my best friends has been killed on the curve where I escaped death. I was lucky; he wasn't. It's like having a cheque book. You start pulling out the pages until one day no pages are left.'