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Author Topic: 6 of the worst F-1 accidents.  (Read 647 times)

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6 of the worst F-1 accidents.
« on: March 15, 2008, 06:03:35 PM »

Six of the worst

Ayrton Senna, Imola (1994)
Formula One's worst weekend.

It began with Rubens Barrichello leaving the track in Friday practice, lifting into the air and slamming into a wall fi ve metres off the ground.

On Saturday, rookie Roland Ratzenberger was killed after hitting a wall at 315 km/h and on the Sunday, F1's greatest talent, Ayrton Senna, also died.

He left the track at the notorious Tamburello corner and hit the concrete wall, his car's front-right suspension rod piercing his visor on impact.

Roger Williamson, Zandvoort (1973)
In the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, a sudden tyre defl ation pitched Englishman Roger Williamson's March Engineering Works car into the barriers, catapulting him almost 300 metres across the track.

Williamson came to rest upside down against the barriers across the road, then his car burst into fl ames.

Fellow driver David Purley abandoned his own race in a desperate attempt to turn the car over but couldn't.

Poorly trained marshals failed to assist, and as spectators tried to jump the fence to help, security staff with dogs forced them back.

It was eight minutes before the f re truck arrived, by which time Williamson had died from asphyxiation.

Gilles Villeneuve, Zolder (1982)
On a flying lap in a rash attempt to beat his teammate's pole-position time, popular Canadian Gilles Villeneuve rounded on Jochen Mass, who had slowed after his own flying lap.

Mass moved aside for Villeneuve, who had already committed to take the same racing line.

The front left wheel of Villeneuve's car clipped the rear of Mass', launching his Ferrari skywards.

The car flipped, then nosedived and somersaulted along the side of the track, disintegrating into pieces.

Villeneuve was thrown out of the car and across the track.

He died in hospital that night.

Niki Lauda, Nurburgring (1976)
On the second lap of the German Grand Prix, Lauda lost control of his Ferrari rounding a fast lefthand corner, losing the back end and then over-correcting, spinning around at full speed and slamming the left-hand side of his car into the barrier.

Both left-hand wheels flung up into the air in a hail of debris and the car burst into flames.

Lauda's Ferrari came to rest in the middle of the track, and while one car managed to evade him, the following car slammed head-on into Lauda.

As Lauda sat in the burning wreck, three marshals arrived - none armed with a fire extinguisher - and eventually his fellow drivers pulled him out of the car.

Lauda suffered horrendous burns to his face and body and badly damaged his lungs, falling into a coma.

He was back racing just six weeks later.

Gerhard Berger, Imola (1989)
On the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger speared straight ahead off the Tamburello corner at full speed, smashing head-on into the wall and then sliding along the barrier.

Almost as an afterthought, the car's full fuel tank then burst into flames.

Marshals arrived within 10 seconds and quickly extinguished the fire.

Everyone feared the worst but Berger escaped with bruises and a few small burns.

Robert Kubica, Canada (2007)
Kubica's BMW Sauber touched the rear of a Toyota and launched into the air, hitting one concrete barrier at high speed and then another before spinning and rolling.

Despite an impact that was 75 times the force of gravity, the Pole suffered a sprained ankle and a light concussion.

He returned for the French Grand Prix three weeks later.
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