Adrian Newey has described Ayrton Senna's death in 1994 as a key event in his evolution as an F1 designer, admitting the Brazilian's fatal accident changed him.
"Well, the little hair I had all fell out in the aftermath. So it changed me physically. It was dreadful," said Newey, the chief designer at Williams when Senna was killed in 1994, in an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper. "Both Patrick Head and myself separately asked ourselves whether we wanted to continue in racing. Did we want to be involved in a sport where people can die in something we've created? Secondly, was the accident caused by something that broke through poor or negligent design? And then the court case started."
He added: "The court case was a depressing annoyance, and extra pressure, but it did not make me question whether I wanted to be involved in F1. It's the self-searching rather than the accusations that really matter."
Newey insisted, however, that he came close to quitting the sport after the accident.
"Yes. For the whole team it was incredibly difficult. I remember the day after the race was a holiday Monday and some of us came in to try and trawl though the data and work out what happened. They were dark weeks."
The Red Bull tech chief admitted he is not planning to watch the new Senna movie, as it would be too painful for him. "It would not be an easy thing to do," he said.