I think in the end it was a ‘racing accident’ even if it was clear Senna would go for it. Senna put his car on the inside and prost didn’t lift.. sure he didn’t have to :) But in those days they weren’t so strict with those moves I guess.
What Senna did to Prost in 1990 was far more dangerous than what Prost did to Senna in ’89. ’89 was a slow-speed accident with no risk to the drivers’, marshals’ or spectators’ wellbeing; in ’90 it was fortunate no one was hurt.
In one discussion I compared this incident to the Piquet one in Singapore; in my view what Senna did was just as bad, if not worse due to the higher risk in those days of drivers being hurt. With all due respect to Senna, I think the fact that he was killed means that people tend to overlook his faults. If the likes of Alonso, Schumacher or Hamilton were to take their championship rival off in order to win themselves, there’d be outrage.
No, of course not – no accident is risk-free – but as far as they go, 1989 was a lot less risky. For a start both drivers were braking into the chicane in 1989 whereas in 1990 they were accelerating into a high speed corner; I don’t know what speeds they were travelling at (does anyone have that information?) but I imagine it was considerably higher in 1990. There was very little chance of wheels being ripped off the cars or flying debris in 1989.
Also, a few things to bear in mind: as far as I’m aware (please correct me if I’m wrong) Prost’s block on Senna wasn’t premeditated in the way that Senna openly admitted his taking out Prost was; it could therefore be argued that 1989 was a ‘racing incident’, as the two drivers came together when one attempted an overtake, the other tried to defend the position and neither was prepared to back off. Also, had Senna not rejoined the track using the escape road, he would have won and the title race would have continued (whether this would have been possible with the respective positions of the two cars is a debate for another day!)