F1's 70 greatest influencers: 1990s
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F1's 70 greatest influencers: 1990s

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If you thought the decade of excess was over, think again. In the 1990s Formula 1 became an even bigger business - but with more money and power came more risk, writes RICHARD WILLIAMS

The death of Formula 1's most compelling performer on a bleak weekend at Imola overshadowed practically everything else that happened in grand prix racing during the 1990s. Ayrton Senna's appeal transcended nationality, reaching multitudes otherwise indifferent to motor racing, and the mystery of his fatal accident attracted worldwide attention.

The removal of the Brazilian's body from the wrecked Williams FW16 at Imola in 1994 was supervised by Sid Watkins, F1's safety and medical delegate. Sixteen years earlier, in 1978, Watkins had been the head of neurosurgery at the London Hospital when Bernie Ecclestone offered him a job, through which attitudes to driver safety would be transformed.

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Series Formula 1
Author GP Racing