In light of f1 driver, Fernando Alonso’s crash in testing at Barcelona and his return to the f1 calendar at the Malaysian Grand prix last weekend, we will take this as an opportunity to look back at F1’s most devastating accidents.
I’ll begin with the death of Jim Clark, the darling of Formula 1, who many believed was on his way to becoming the greatest ever before his crash in a Formula Two race at Hockenheim, in Germany. Before his untimely passing, many thought it wouldn’t happen to them even though others had crashed and died, because there was always some sort of explanation as to why it happened. Then Clarke, the best in the paddock died, and people began to realise it could happen to anyone. Jim broke his neck and skull, after veering off the track and crashing into trees, tragically dying before he had even made it to hospital! The incident marked what felt like a permanent state of mourning in the formula 1 paddock for over a decade.
For those of you who have seen the film, Rush, the setting of Lauda’s rivalry with the loud James Hunt, as well as his remarkable return to racing just six week later, will be familiar. For those of you who aren’t aware, the three-time champion Niki Lauda came close to death after inhaling toxic gases and severe burns at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, an f1 race he urged his drivers to boycott because of the tracks safety arrangements. His Ferrari, at the time, hit a left kink on the second lap, which caused his vehicle to swerve off the track and hit an embankment, bursting into flames. He lost most of his ear and suffered extensive scarring but still managed to survive, winning a further 2 championships in 1977 and 1984. Ayrton Senna’s death in 1994 marked the unthinkable. The sport’s greatest ever driver at the time, died on television in front of millions of people, in an era when fans did not expect drivers to die in F1. His death capped off a particularly dark weekend for motorsport, as Austrian Rolan Ratzenberger died the previous day, in f1 qualifying. The exact reason of his death has been argued for many years now, but what we do know is that the three-time world champion hit a wall at Tamburello at around 145mph. His suspension assembly penetrated his helmet visor, causing him to die from fatal fractures.
Fortunately, no driver has since been killed in a formula 1 car, but they do still have accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident, we will do our bit to make the incident as stress free as possible. At the Bodyshop, Essex, we provide an accident body repair service, which also includes a recovery service. For more information and assistance, call us today on 020 8500 9228.