Remembering Roland Ratzenberger

Remembering Roland Ratzenberger

Twenty years ago today, Roland Ratzenberger died in a qualifying crash at the San Marino Grand Prix. ADAM COOPER looks back at the career of a true F1 fan

October 26 1986 is remembered as the day that Nigel Mansell's spectacular tyre failure in Adelaide handed the world championship to Alain Prost. It was also the day that Roland Ratzenberger won the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, firmly marking himself out as a man of the future.

That evening the beaming Austrian celebrated in the Kentagon, the crowded bar at the top of Paddock Hill Bend. Among the first to congratulate him was Johnny Herbert, winner of the previous year's event. Inevitably the two men chatted about their hopes for the future. Roland had recently signed to drive for BMW in the new World Touring Car Championship, while Johnny was heading towards British Formula 3 with Eddie Jordan. Both men had loftier ambitions.

To continue reading this feature...

You must have an AUTOSPORT+ subscription. Prices start from just $1.50 per week and give you full unrestriced access to all news and features. View package options? Magazine subscriber?


from just $1.50 per week

  • Get unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Explore every F1 stat in the world’s best motorsport database

Pay as you go

Read this feature right now for just