Fifteen years, wow. Five years since I wrote about Imola 1994 on the now defunct Fun-1 blog where Ewan and I used to scribble things that amused us about motorsport. A lot of things have changed in Formula 1 in the decade and a half since Ayrton and Roland paid the ultimate price for the sport they loved. High cockpit sides, HANS, smaller long-life engines, moveable front wings, KERS, night races, old tracks losing races (Imola, Indy and Montreal amongst them), new (but ultimately boring) circuits in new countries, ITV winning (and eventually handing back to the BBC) UK TV coverage; Frank, Flav (Swiss Tony), Bernie and Max somehow staying in charge, Ronzo putting on his slippers, Michael winning many titles (and at least one without cheating). Far too many things to fit into one sentance.
One could speculate about what Ayrton would have done if he had survived; World Championships at Williams (instead of Hill and Villeneuve), running a team (like Emerson), ice racing (like Prost!?), Indy 500 (like Andretti, Mansell, Hill, Montoya), or even politics (like Reutemann)? At the end of the day though those are just wild guesses, or possibly hopes. My thoughts about Ayrton have changed too, 15 years back I did not like him, 5 years back I was still rather harsh on him, but I'm much more mellow these days; he was a sportsman driven to win by any means he could, without that drive he would not have got where he did, and we would not have had the opportunity to witness his great skills.
Am I going to spend the day with a black armband? No, I will be celebrating their lives and that of the human spirit. Take Ayrton and Roland's example, do a good job of what you do and enjoy life to the full.