FORMULA1

The most frightening accidents in F1 history

Formula1 is one of the most watched and followed sports shows in the world. The premier category of motorsport features the most extreme, fastest cars and the most talented and skilled drivers in the world. Over the years, safety has also made great strides, mindful of past tragedies.

So many great champions have in fact lost their lives whose World Championship circuits, others have come very close, and still others, in more recent times, have been saved by luck and technology, which today makes it possible to safeguard the lives of drivers despite traveling at over 300 km/h.

In this article we offer a brief sequence of what have been the most frightening and terrible accidents, including fatal ones, in F1 history.

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Gilles Villeneuve - 1982 - Belgium
Villeneuve lost his life during qualifying for the Belgian GP in 1982. On the circuit at Zolder, there was contact with the March of Jochen Mass that resulted in the death of one of the most spectacular drivers, considered one of the strongest ever despite never winning a World Championship title.
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Niki Lauda - 1976 - Germany
In 1976, behind the wheel of Ferrari, Lauda lost control in the wet at Nürburgring, the fuel tank ruptured and the single-seater caught fire, leaving Lauda severely disfigured but alive. This, however, was not the end of his career.
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Tom Pryce - 1977 - South Africa
One of the most horrific accidents in F1 history. The single-seater of Shadow, teammate of Pryce, had stopped at the side of the track and caught fire. Two young rescuers crossed the track to go to the driver's aid, but at that precise moment Pryce came over at full speed, mowing down a rescuer with his single-seater, killing him on the spot. The boy was holding the fire extinguisher, which due to the impact smashed the head of Pryce, with his single-seater continuing to go for several hundred meters, with the driver dead on board, before stopping at the edge of the track.
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Wolfgang von Trips - 1961 - Monza
This is the most serious accident in F1 history. On the first lap of the 1961 Monza GP, the single-seater of von Trips touched with the Lotus of Clark. von Trips lost control and crashed into the middle of the spectators, separated from the track only by a small mound. The final death toll would be 16, the driver plus 15 spectators.
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Ayrton Senna - 1994 - San Marino
A steering column gave way during the San Marino GP in 1994. The Brazilian went off the track at Tamburello, crashed into the barriers, and an arm of his Williams stuck in his helmet. Thus died one of the best drivers in F1 history.
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Roger Williamson - 1973 - Holland
A tragic story, Williamson burned to death inside his own single-seater at his second career GP at the age of 25. The accident was caused by the sudden failure of a tire. No one was able to save him when the car flipped over and caught fire. Only the driver David Purley, tried, but there was nothing he could do.
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Robert Kubica - 2007 - Canada
One of the most serious accidents in recent years, a crash that jeopardized Kubica 's career at a high level in F1. The Pole crashed at 300 mph into the barriers. He was saved only because it was 2007, and technology in terms of safety was already far ahead of even 10 years earlier. It was the safety cell, which contained the sudden deceleration, that saved him.
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Jules Bianchi - 2014 - Japan
The latest death to occur in F1, and a huge scandal for F1 safety. The young driver lost grip at Suzuka due to rain, and crashed into a mobile crane, stopped in the escape route to remove the Sauber of Adrian Sutil, which had gone off the track the previous lap. The boy remained 9 months in a coma before he died on July 17, 2015. There was also an internal F1 investigation to ascertain responsibility, the failure to enter safety car for the accident on the previous lap and the presence of the crane. No one was found guilty.
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Romain Grosjean - 2020 - Bahrain
In terms of pure accident, this was the last really dangerous one. At Bahrain, the Frenchman's Haas crashed into the barriers and caught fire. Grosjean was caught in the flames for 28 interminable seconds before emerging with deep burns to his hands. To date, there do not appear to be plans for his return to F1. The driver really risked his life in this case.
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Hamilton & Verstappen - 2021 - Italy
Holy Halo in this shot. During the Monza GP, the single-seater of Verstappen literally "climbed over" that of Hamilton, while the two were fighting for the championship. If there had been no Halo system, there is no telling what might have happened to the Flying Dutchman, World Champion at the end of the season.
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