Twenty years ago this morning, Formula 1 drivers were invincible. Rubens Barrichello had proved it a day earlier by surviving a sickening impact with the fence at Imola's Variante Bassa.
He was back in the paddock on Saturday morning, unable to race but with only swelling to the nose and lacerations to the mouth. Today, the Brazilian's crash is seen as part of the grim narrative of that dark weekend, yet in the hours before Roland Ratzenberger's fatal accident Barrichello was a living, breathing tribute to modern grand prix car safety even though fellow drivers were shocked by the ferocity of the impact.
Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of Ayrton Senna's death, the last time a driver was killed on a grand prix weekend. Given the incredible escapes witnessed during those two decades, many feel that it will be the last.
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Edd Straw is Editor-in-Chief of Autosport, overseeing both print and digital versions of the brand. Edd has worked for Autosport since joining as a junior reporter in 2002. He became Editor in November 2014, having previously worked as National Editor, News Editor and Grand Prix Editor.
Originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, he joined Autosport shortly after graduating from university. He went on to cover a wide range of categories from club motorsport to the World Touring Car Championship and Le Mans to Formula 3 before switching to F1 full-time at the 2008 French Grand Prix. He continues to cover a range of international events in his position as Editor-in-Chief.
In his spare time, he was formerly a club racer whose abilities did not match his enthusiasm in a variety of categories.