SEPTEMBER 22, 1997
Alboreto attacks Williams
MICHELE ALBORETO was back in the witness box at the Senna trial in Imola last week claiming that mechanical failure caused Ayrton Senna's fatal crash in 1994. It is the second time that prosecutor Maurizio Passarini has had Alboreto on the stand. "You do not go off in that corner unless you have a mechanical problem," Alboreto said. "I don't want to see anyone in jail but I am here to defend Senna's memory. Senna deserves the recognition that his death was not his fault."
While Alboreto's testimony seems to be a very powerful indictment of the Williams team, the defense argues that what he is saying is simply not true and intends to have David Coulthard - who was Williams test driver at the time - on the stand shortly to give his views. Alboreto is undoubtedly an expert witness having competed in 194 Grands Prix between 1981 and 1994, winning five of them. In that time Alboreto drove for Tyrrell, Ferrari, Larrousse, Arrows, Lola and Minardi. He never drove for Williams but came close to a deal with the team when he was dropped by Ferrari at the end of 1988. At the last minute Williams decided to opt for Thierry Boutsen instead and Alboreto was left without a top drive.
Frank Williams and engineers Patrick Head and Adrian Newey will be appearing for the defense within the next three weeks.
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