Five terrible F1 History: Part 1

Editor Sportzwiki / 19 September 2014

Here is a list of five striking Formula One accident, some of which were tragic and some with a happy ending.

NikiLauda (1976)

One of the most horrific crashes in the history of F1 was the one which almost cost the F1 sport one of its greatest drivers, NikiLauda in 1976 German grand prix.Lauda lost control of his Ferrari in the second lap of the race when his car spun into the barriers on the right side and then back across the track, collided with another car and burst into flames. His fellow drivers saved his life, pulling him out from the fire. Even though his face had been heavily burned and his lungs badly damaged by the flames and gasses, and he fell into coma and looked so critical that a priest was invited to read him the last rites, he survived. However, not only did he survive, just six weeks later he raced again in his Ferrari.


Gilles Villeneuve (1982) 1982 was a year of a great tragedy, a tragedy that claimed the life of one of the best and most impressive F1 drivers ever, Gilles Villeneuve. At Zolder, on his final qualifying lap for the Belgian Grand Prix, his Ferrari came into contact with Jochen Mass’s car and was launched into the air. His car was severely smashed and Villeneuve was thrown across the track still strapped to his seat. The doctors tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the scene, but his neck was broken and he died in a local hospital that evening.

Gerhard Berger (1989) Many probably remember the horrific accident of Gerhard Berger in his Ferrari in 1989 at Imola which happened at the Tamburello corner, when he lost control of his car and hit the wall at high speed, slid down the road and set on fire. No one could believe that he had escaped with nothing but bruises and a few burns.

Roland Ratzenberger (1994) It is almost unbelievable when we remember that black weekend in 1994 at Imola when two Formula One drivers died. The death of the unforgettableAyrton Senna is mourned, but not many mention the death of rookie Roland Ratzenberger who died a day earlier at the same race. Due to a front wing failure,his car crashed into a wall at 314.9 km/h and the impact was so strong that it broke his neck.

Ayrton Senna (1994) Sport fans around the world will never forget and never stop mourning the death of Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest drivers’ of all time. He was leading the race when he left the track and hit the concrete wall at Tamburello corner. There have been speculations whether he died at the scene or at the hospital and the lack of information on the cause of death brought up a lot of questions, but what is known is that the front right tire with attached suspension piece became loose on impact, hitting Senna on the head and piercing his visor, causing the fatal trauma.

Professor Sidney Watkins, head of the Formula One on-track medical team reported on Senna’s death: “He looked serene. I raised his eyelids and it was clear from his pupils that he had a massive brain injury. We lifted him from the cockpit and laid him on the ground. As we did, he sighed and, although I do not believe in religion, I felt his soul departed at that moment.” By Shamik Mukherjee

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