Austrian Formula One driver. Born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1962, Ratzenberger was a promising race driver whose Formula One career was tragically cut short after completing just one full race. Having suceeded at lower levels, Ratzenberger joined the Simtek team in the 1994 season.
Ratzenberger failed to qualify for his first race at Interlagos, but placed an impressive 11th on his second time out at Aida, Japan. His third race would have been at Imola, but it was at the Italian circuit that Ratzenberger met his untimely end, in a horrifying crash during the qualifying session.
Ratzenberger's death was sadly overshadowed by the fatal accident that befell (arguably) the sport's greatest exponent, Ayrton Senna, five laps into the next day's race.