On Friday, April 29, during the first qualifying session to determine the starting order for the race, Rubens Barrichello, a driver for Jordan, hit a kerb at the Variante Bassa corner at 140 mph (225 km/h), launching him into the air. He hit the top of the tyre barrier, and was knocked unconscious. His Jordan rolled several times after landing before coming to rest upside down. Medical teams treated him at the crash site, and he was taken to the medical centre. He returned to the race meeting the next day, although his broken nose and a plaster cast on his arm forced him to sit out the rest of the race weekend. Ten years after the incident, Damon Hill, who drove for the Williams-Renault team at the time, described the feeling after the crash: "We all brushed ourselves off and carried on qualifying, reassured that our cars were tough as tanks and we could be shaken but not hurt."
 Saturday qualifying
Roland Ratzenberger was fatally injured in qualifying after crashing due to a front-wing failure.
Twenty minutes into the final qualifying session, Roland Ratzenberger failed to negotiate the Villeneuve curva in his Simtek; he subsequently hit the opposing concrete barrier wall almost head-on and was critically injured. Although the survival cell remained largely intact, the force of the impact inflicted a basal skull fracture. Ratzenberger, in his first season as a Formula One driver, had run over a kerb at the Acque Minerali chicane on his previous lap, the impact of which is believed to have damaged his front wing. Rather than return to the pitlane, he continued on another fast lap. Travelling at 190 mph (306 km/h) his car suffered a front wing failure leaving him unable to control it.
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