Part I of Encounter Down Under available for download

Yes, finally, part I of The Encounter Down Under is available for download.

Read it, share it, copy, distribute and transmit it, as long as you attribute the work to me, and use in in a non-commercial way — a Creative Commons license applies.

And I’d like to hear what you think. So, feel free to comment below. I’m looking forward to your thoughts.

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7 thoughts on “Part I of Encounter Down Under available for download

  1. Great stuff there! 😉

    A few things I think could be changed:

    – Senna’s crash was actually in lap 7, not 6.
    – Senna spent six seasons, not seven, at McLaren (1988-1993).
    – “Fourth in the championship in ’93”? Didn’t understood that one. Senna & McLaren finished 2nd on the ’93 WDC and WCC, respectively.
    – Funny mistake in Tyrrell’s commentary: you wrote “five times in sex years” instead of “six years”, haha.
    – In the warm up lap for the Brazilian GP, Schumacher overtook Senna, in a very similar offence to the one he did several months later, at Silverstone, although no one protested. It would be a fun touch if you added it 😉
    – Senna was somewhat catching Schumacher at the moment he spun off. The gap had gone down from 9 to 4.7 seconds. I suppose Schumi was taking it easy, but still…
    – You put the qualifying times for the San Marino GP, but didn’t for the previous ones.
    – IIRC correctly, Paul Belmondo was offered to race in Ratzenberger’s place, but he refused to do as a sign of respect for him.

    Now comes the hardest part… you’ll have a hard time writing it, so good luck! Keep up the good work 😉

  2. Ferrim, thanks for the comment. I fixed most of the issues, but I’ll wait a bit longer before I update the PDF file.

    Interesting that you say that the hardest part is yet to come. I myself believe that the next bit should be somewhat easier, because I no longer have to write stuff exactly as it happened. That way, I can let my imagination run (modestly) wild, which make writing easier and faster.

    Time will, of course, tell…

  3. Well, the thing is, I like history. A lot. And I like reading historical articles, and writing myself about historical events.

    If I had to write this “alternate history” book, I would find myself in trouble, because I would think a lot about the different outcomes. I would never get satisfied with anything I wrote, because I would look for different possibilities that could have happened, and so on.

    I would get the feeling that everything I was writing wouldn’t have happened IRL, wouldn’t be historical. And of course it wouldn’t! That’s why it’s called alternate history.

    But when you write, you have to be satisfied with what you are writing. I am when I do historical research, but I am not when I create something on my own. I have such a love and respect for historical things that I got bad feelings about changing them.

    That’s probably why I’m yet to write anything about alternate history. 🙂

    Other people find history boring and are good at letting their imagination run. For that kind of people, the next part of this history would be easier to write, of course.

  4. Hey,

    I read part 1 and it’s very good. It’s very detailed and you’ve obviously put a lot of effort into it. I was dissapointed to see that you attrubuted the cause of Senna’s accident to the “bottoming out” theory, rather than the broken steering column which I find to be a more likely reason. Fair enough though, it was your decision. Also, after Senna’s accident you still describe the slight movement of his head whilst in the car. This involuntary movement of his head is common for those who have suffered massive head and brain injuries. If, as you say, Senna had only suffered a concussion, then his movement would not have happened. It’s only a minor point I know, but I’m a perfectionist. On the whole though, you’ve done a really great job and it’s a great read so far. Keep up the good work 🙂

  5. Gerhard, thanks for your reply. I’m glad you liked part I.

    The reason I chose the bottoming-out explanation as the reason for Senna’s crash, is that — and I don’t have my data at hand right now — the steering column break was likely to have occured due to the crash rather than the cause of it. Most drivers at the time thought Senna had made an error, too.

    Plus, I don’t reckon that, had Senna survived the accident, there would have been such a thorough investigations into the cause of the accident, and the investigators, if any, might have just accepted the broken steering column as fact.

    Your remark about Senna’s head moving right after the crash is very interesting. On the concussion part, I consulted a friend of ours who is a physician/MD. I might have a chat with her about this particular phenomenon, too.

  6. It’s true that the final break most probably occurred on impact, though judging from the break, it looks like it was aleady close to breaking before impact. I don’t buy the “bottoming out” theory because I believe such an incident would cause the car to spin out rather than go straight on. But fair enough, you have to go with one theory and no matter which one you go with, there will always people who disagree – it’s a highly controversial topic and a whole other story in itself!

    Just wondering, did you think about Senna giving an interview explaining the crash? Or would he not have been able to remember it given that he was concussed?

    I am no medical expert but I read about it in this article – http://www.sportspromedia.com/senna.htm , which is probably the most in depth account of Senna’s death i’ve read, though some parts may be exagerated.

    Here is the specific part i was referring to:

    “But before the marshals could get to Senna and the first medical car had reached the scene, his head moved forward in the cockpit and unknowing viewers were encouraged that the champion was intact. Another man, sitting thousands of miles away in Balcarce, Argentina, knew different. Five-time, world champion, 82-year-old Juan Manuel Fangio knew the outcome when he saw the spasm, the sign of a massive head injury. He switched off his television. He said later: “I knew he was dead.” ”

    Good luck with part 2, I look forward to it!

  7. Gerhard, thanks again for your elaborations. You seem quite well-informed, I must say.

    Interesting quote from the Sports Pro article. And indeed something I should look into… and perhaps rewrite that bit in the San Marino GP chapter. I’ll read the article later on.

    I hadn’t thought about Senna giving interviews until earlier this week, but I guess his accident will come up during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, which I’m working on right now.

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