Richard Hammond, Top Gear Track 2006
The violent crash of the former Top Gear presenter (and current Grand Tour presenter) was the topic of discussion in the world media in 2006. At 460 km/h, the Vampire jet dragster’s front tire blew out, causing the car to lose control and flip over. Hammond was promptly taken to the hospital and did not return home until 33 days later.
Fernando Alonso, 2016 Australian Grand Prix
It’s hard to believe there was any chance of salvation in this carbon mess. Nevertheless, Fernando Alonso confidently left the car after a dramatic crash in the first round last year. The accident occurred after the Spaniard tried to pass Esteban Gutierrez.
Marc Webber and Peter Dambreck, Le Mans 1999
A technical miscalculation turned the Mercedes CLR into one of Le Mans’ most famous cars and nearly killed Mark Webber and Peter Dambreck. The car’s too long front overhang allowed air to run underneath the bottom of the car in the gradients, causing the CLR to go flying twice over the course of the weekend. You must have seen this “show”. Or read our article.
Loïc Duval, Le Mans 2014
Loïc Duval’s accident in an Audi R18 sports prototype happened during practice before the 2014 Le Mans 24-hour marathon. The 2013 race winner lost control of his Porsche in a corner and slammed into a guardrail, causing serious damage to the car (especially its rear end). Amazingly, Audi mechanics were able to rebuild a new fighting car from the remains of the R18 overnight.
Mark Blundell, 1996 Rio
There is no quality photo of this incident, as the crash occurred at over 315 km/h! Mark Blundell, the 1992 Le Mans winner, experienced 155 G’s of overload and… After the crash, he left the car on his own. This accident happened in the CART series, and you can appreciate its severity in this video.
Jeremy Foley, Pikes Peak 2012
This pile of metal was once a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, but a brief loss of the “grill” on the Pikes Peak High Mountain Trail turned it into what you’re looking at right now. From the outside (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwdC1Yi3OG8) it looked as if Jeremy Foley and his navigator had no chance of surviving, but a state-of-the-art safety cage allowed them to get away with only a couple of scrapes and bruises.
Nicky Lauda, 1976 German Grand Prix
Perhaps the most famous racing accident, which is depicted in all its colors in Ron Howard’s “The Race”. Nicky Lauda, trying to make up time after a forced pit stop at the end of lap one, too aggressively attacked the kerb of the Bergwerk, whereupon his 312 T2 Ferrari slammed into the guardrail and caught fire. Lauda suffered severe burns and combustion product poisoning, but was back on track just six weeks later in Italy.