I am new to this forum, although I have been reading it for quite a while now.
The theory that a sniper killed Senna is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard and it is a real rubbish story.
Having said this, it prompted me to once again look at the videos available on the net as well as reading some of the witness accounts. One thing that became apparent was that some cover up may have really taken place – it was said that the last 1.5 s of the Senna’s car camera footage had been lost and this appears to be confirmed by the film produced by Cineca (the Institute commissioned to investigate the available video footage http://www.cineca.it/sap/senna.htm
) - they have produced a video combining the on-board footage and the telemetry channels. The video stops well short of the car leaving the track. At the same time, the video posted by modbaraban, which I have seen before and which I think is a part of a program aired few years back, shows the car LEAVING the track and the on-board footage stops at the point where the car crosses the boarder between the grass and the tarmac (or concrete) pad in front of the barriers. I also clocked the time (with a chronometer) that has taken the car to cross this pad using the external footage and my timing shows anywhere between 0.7 to 0.8 s, which suggests that the on-board footage from modbaraban’s video stops more like 0.9 s before the crush and not 1.5 s, which I think is the case with Cineca’s (official) video material.
I apologise if this has already been discussed and at the same time I will wait to hear your opinions if I have completely missed something and I am wrong in my thinking.
Also, having worked in the motorsport industry for many years, I strongly disagree that the reason the car left the circuit is bottoming. To me, it sounds a lot more plausible that the steering column broke despite the clams that it was still transmitting torque at the time of the crush according to the telemetry channels. My reasons are in the movements of the steering wheel as depicted on Cineca’s videos and by the way the car left the circuit. In the National Geographic program devoted to the crush ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8adA0lJnHoA
), it was claimed that the movements of the steering wheel traced by Cineca are intentionally designed into the steering column, which (at least to me) sounds as ridiculous as the sniper story. The Williams team claims that the steering column broke after the crush (with a POSSIBLE and ADMITTED fatigue fracture happening before that), but to me it is unimaginable that the crush itself can break the column, taking into account that the part of the monocoque housing the column is intact and that a possible angular acceleration of the column during the crush will put as much torque into the column as to accelerate the steering wheel only (calculations of the forces involved is possible using the design scheme of the steering column http://www.cineca.it/sap/files/zip/disegno2_b.gif
). I would also like to see the steering wheel angle trace (from the telemetry channel), which if I am not wrong, for some reason is not shown on the combined Cineca video.