Due to the on-the-edge nature of driving in F1, it’s inevitable that things will go wrong when driving. One car torn in half. Another flipped upside down. Topped off by a marshall running across the track.
The Bahrain Grand Prix wasn’t particularly eventful. Which other incidents do you remember from the Formula 1 history so far?
Three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna’s fatal crash was a turning point for the safety measures in Formula 1.
In the above video, Senna’s car ran off-track, crashing into an unprotected barrier at 211 kmph. He died shortly after.
The safety protocols added thereafter include:
Higher norms for crash tests and reinforced protection around the driver’s head
The head and neck support system (HANS) was introduced in 2003 to protect the spine Wheels were attached to the car via tethers to stop them from flying off
Major changes to tracks like Imola
There has only been one fatal crash in F1 since then- Jules Bianchi in 2014.
Jules Bianchi skidded off the rain-slicked tracks of the Suzuka circuit and crashed into a crane lifting up a Sauber that had crashed in the same spot the previous lap.
The accident occurred on the 5th of October 2014, but Bianchi passed away on 17th July 2015 after being in a coma for a little over 9 months. The severity of the crash was heightened considerably because the FailSafe software designed to shut down the engine upon impact was not compatible with the Marussia car that Bianchi was driving.
He was the first driver to have sustained fatal injuries since Ayrton Senna’s crash at the San Marino GP nearly 20 years ago.
Bianchi was Charles Leclerc’s godfather and inspiration- Charles fulfilled Jules’ wish of driving for Ferrari’s F1 team.
Since Jules’ crash, safety protocols have become even stricter, and new technologies like the Halo have been introduced to keep the drivers safe.