Roland Ratzenberger disappeared 30 years ago: portrait of an adventurer

Archive from AUTOhebdo n°930 of May 3, 1994. He was 31 years old and had just come out of four years of exile in Japan. His name was Roland Ratzenberger and he could not have known that his recognition would be posthumous...

Published on 30/04/2024 à 14:04

Jean-Michel Desnoues

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Roland Ratzenberger disappeared 30 years ago: portrait of an adventurer

Roland Ratzenberger drove this Simtek at Imola (Italy) on April 30, 1994. © DPPI

Fourteen hours, fifteen minutes, this Saturday, April 30. After fifty minutes of a life and death struggle, Roland Ratzenberger, for the first time in his life, gave up; the Maggiore Hospital in Bologna declared him clinically dead. The extreme violence of the shock had undoubtedly left him no chance, and it was a safe bet that the body which the torn carcass of the Simtek had delivered after it had completed its mad race at Tosa, was already lifeless. From the first seconds, moreover, vaguely, everyone had already understood that the doctors' persistence would be in vain. Everyone, suddenly, without saying a word, had reconnected with a reality that we had ended up forgetting; namely that sport

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