The 11 most well-known F1 crashes in history

Thankfully, Formula One is a competition that is considered among the safest in all of the motorsport compared to other forms of racing.

To cut a long story short, the HALO, which serves to shield the driver’s compartment and has been used in racing competitions since the 2018 World Cup, has been responsible for the survival of multiple drivers.

Even though it does not have a particularly appealing aesthetic, it has been demonstrated to be effective in maintaining the pilots’ physical integrity.

The 11 most well-known F1 crashes in history

Sadly, many others were not as fortunate as we were and lost their lives on the circuits.

It should always be kept in mind, even though, fortunately, it does not happen frequently.

For this reason, in this issue of Motorbli, we are going to discuss the 11 accidents in the history of Formula One that are most well-known.

To paraphrase the words of the Spanish poet and philosopher Jorge Agustin Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana: “He who does not know his history is condemned to repeat it.”

What are some of the most notable mishaps in Formula One?

After all of this has been said, it is time to list and explain in detail those events that shocked audiences and those who work in the Grand Circus:

1. Prost and Senna’s performances in Japan in 1989 and 1990

It is impossible to forget the intense competition between the two drivers, which, in particular, reached its pinnacle on two separate occasions at Suzuka.

The first incident occurred in 1989 when Ayrton Senna attempted to pass Alain Prost on the inside of the chicane after the 130R, resulting in a collision for both drivers.

Because of that potentially dangerous move, the Brazilian driver was disqualified after the race, and the Frenchman was forced to withdraw from the competition.

The following year, at the beginning of the race, the two drivers collided again when Senna attempted to pass the Ferrari driver on the inside, and they both went straight into the gravel.

This time, however, they both went into the rock.

The three-time South American champion assumed control of the situation during the championship race because he was in the lead in the standings.

In doing so, he avenged himself for the previous year’s events.

2. Niki Lauda in Germany 1976

During the latter half of the 1970s, the three-time world champion from Austria competed in the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in 1976.

At that time, his life was in grave danger.

Lauda lost control of his Ferrari on the exit of a corner at the German track and crashed hard into the barriers, which resulted in flames appearing around his body and requiring the other drivers Arturo Merzario, Guy Edwards, Brett Lunger, and Harald Ertl, to pull him out of the car to save his life.

3. Senna and Ratzenberger at San Marino 1994

The weekend of April 29th through May 1st, 1994, was remembered as one of the most tragic in the history of Formula One.

The well-known Ayrton Senna and the Austrian Roland Ratzenberger were involved in fatal accidents at the Imola racing circuit, ultimately taking their lives.

Due to a break in his front wing, the former driver could not maintain control of his vehicle.

As he approached the Villeneuve curve during qualifying, he crashed his truck heavily into the crash barriers.

At that point in the race, the latter vehicle was traveling 320 kilometers per hour when it collided with the crash barriers located at the Tamburello curve.

Due to the collision’s impact, the front suspension’s right arm was launched in the direction of his head and pierced his helmet in the area just below the visor.

4. Felipe Massa at Hungaroring 2009

While qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa had a small nut hit his visor after it had been thrown backward off of Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn GP.

At first glance, it seemed strange to see the Brazilian driver doing a straightaway on the straight after the first corner and crashing into the barriers at speed greater than 93 miles per hour.

This happened while the race was being broadcast on television.

Nevertheless, everything made sense after the replay demonstrated that a spring had made contact with the glass of the then-Ferrari driver’s case, which caused him to lose consciousness.

As a direct consequence of the events that transpired, he suffered from a loss of consciousness.

He was subsequently airlifted to the military hospital in Budapest, where he received immediate medical attention.

There, he was hospitalized for a total of nine days, during which time he underwent not one but two operations, as well as a third plastic surgery to repair the portion of his skull that had been struck.

Before he was released from the hospital, he was even put into an induced coma.

5. Fernando Alonso in Brazil in 2003

The Spanish driver’s first significant scare was undoubtedly the one that occurred at the Interlagos circuit in 2003, the same year that he made his debut with the Renault team as a full-fledged driver.

The incident occurred in the year 2003.

Due to an earlier collision with Mark Webber, the blue and yellow single-seater driven by the Spaniard ended up with a detached tire, which caused the vehicle to crash in the middle of the entrance to the finishing straight.

Unfortunately, he could not avoid it and had to be taken to the hospital.

That picture of him lying on the stretcher with his thumb up as he tried to reassure everyone will stay in everyone’s mind forever.

6. Beginning of the year 1998 in Belgium

The beginning of that Grand Prix race, which took place at Spa-Francorchamps, featured the most congested collision in the history of championship within living memory.

The Scotsman David Coulthard, who was driving a McLaren, lost control of his vehicle and went off the track, which resulted in more than ten cars colliding with each other.

It should also be mentioned that this resulted from the heavy rain falling on the way, which obstructed anyone’s view of what was happening.

Only eight drivers could finish that race, which was won by Damon Hill, with Jordan and the yellow team signing a double thanks to Ralf Schumacher’s second place finish.

The worst part is that there were more incidents on the restart after the red flag, so only those eight drivers could cross the finish line.

7. Ralf Schumacher passing Barrichello while racing in Australia in 2002

At the beginning of the first Formula One race ever held at Australia’s Albert Park circuit in 2002, Ralf Schumacher’s Williams was involved in a rear-end collision with Rubens Barrichello’s Ferrari on the entry to the first turn.

This collision is one of the most memorable accidents in history. As a direct result, the German driver went flying, and as many as eight cars were involved in the accident.

8. Singapore 2017 start

At the first corner of the Singapore street circuit in 2017, which was wet, Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of winning the championship with Ferrari were dashed.

This was one of Vettel’s two great opportunities to win the title with Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen attempts to pass Max Verstappen on the inside, but the Dutchman barely gives him enough room to pass.

As a result, the two drivers collide and make contact with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

9. Jules Bianchi in Japan in 2014

The French driver was considered one of Ferrari’s young prospects to take home the drivers’ world championship.

On the other hand, everything ended abruptly on a Sunday in October 2014 when, through a series of unfortunate events, he drove off the track in his Marussia while a crane was removing Adrian Sutil’s Sauber from the racetrack.

The sad coincidence that caused him to collide with it at over 200 kilometers per hour caused him to sustain head trauma.

After spending several months in the hospital due to the severe aftereffects of that crash, he passed away when he was only 25.

10. Belgian competitions in 2012 and 2018

Romain Grosjean brought on an eventful beginning at the Spa Francorchamps circuit, which served once more as the location of the competition.

As a result of the Frenchman closing the trajectory on the inside to Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, in his Ferrari, was launched through the air, which resulted in more drivers being scattered across the track.

Six years later, a scene very similar to the one six years earlier played out again.

This time, Nico Hulkenberg caused the chaos by braking too late at the first corner, which resulted in Fernando Alonso again going airborne and also making contact with the Alfa Romeo driven by Charles Leclerc.

11. Grosjean at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2020

In the first season of competition during COVID-19, Formula One was marred by tragedy for the second time in as many years.

Although the protagonist’s history was well known, nobody could have anticipated what happened to him in the story.

At the exit of turn 3 of the Shakir circuit, Romain Grosjean touches the left front tire of Daniil Kyviat’s Alpha Tauri with the right rear wheel of his vehicle.

Because of this contact, the Frenchman lost control of his Haas while traveling 192 kilometers per hour, and he eventually crashed into the guardrail behind the safety area.

Because of this, large flares appeared around his single-seater, and he had to get out of the cockpit as quickly as possible to save his life.

The defenses gave way in the central portion, deformed in the upper and lower areas, and the survival cell made its way through the breach in the barrier.

The driver had to be taken to the hospital because he had burns, but his life was never in danger as a result of the incident because he was able to escape the fire.

How many races have car drivers been killed while competing in Formula One?

The total number of deaths among drivers came to well over thirty in more than three decades, nearly equivalent to an average of one driver passing away annually.

Only the tragic death of Bianchi has been documented in this century; therefore, the efforts of those who work at the racetracks and for the International Automobile Federation (FIA) should be commended.

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