People love watching motor sport racing, whether live at the racing courses or on a television. However, what makes you have fun also presents some potentially dangerous situations for the drivers and the spectators. Here are 5 of the worst Grand Prix accidents to have happened in the history of these races.
The 1976 German Grand Prix tragedy
One of the hotly contested Grand Prix events was the German’s 1976 racing. This left a dark history with the injury of Lauda. Lauda lost control on lap 2 in a fast left turn where he struck the wall causing the car to burst in flames. Another race car hit Lauda’s Ferrari just seconds later, with Lauda still inside engulfed in flames. He suffered severe burns, and this was the last Grand Prix event to be held in Nordschleife, Germany.
The 1978 Italian Grand Prix accident
A mix up with the start signal led to the drivers starting the race before others were in position. This resulted in a surge of vehicles causing a major crash. A nine-car pile led to ugly accidents with driver Ronnie Peterson being stuck in a burning car where he suffered leg injuries, though he was eventually pulled out of the car.
Unfortunately, Ronnie died the next day in hospital in what was thought to have been a result of poor communication in medics and decisions from race officials. Ronnie had to wait for close to 20 minutes before help arrived.
The 1982 Belgian Grand Prix tragedy
Just minutes left for a session to end, Gilles Villeneuve, driving a Ferrari, came around a corner only to discover there was a slower car ahead. Unable to slow down quickly to avert ramming into it, he tried to go around but the slower car cut him off launching the Ferrari into the air while cruising at around 130 mph.
Strapped into his seat, Gilles Villeneuve was thrown 50 m away from the car where he struck a fence. Though alive, but with a broken neck, Gilles was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died.
The 1977 South African Grand Prix
Renzo Zorzi, in his 22nd lap of the race, pulled off to the track’s side before a fire broke out. However, two marshals running across the track to help Renzo experienced the unexpected. They were caught on the track by two oncoming race cars.
The first marshal was able to cross, but the second, Jansen van Vuuren, faced the wrath after he was hit by a car driven by Tom Pryce and he was sent flying into the wall of the track. The extinguisher he was carrying smashed Tom Pryce’s head killing him on the spot.
The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix mishap
After successive bad news in previous races, the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix was marred by yet another ugly incident. On the race day, Senna’s car hit the wall during lap 7 cruising at a speed of 135 mph causing fatal injuries. Sources say that the front wheel separated during the crash and struck his head resulting in massive trauma.