Top 5 F1 crashes at Nurburgring

October 6, 2020 10:54 am

The notorious Nurburgring circuit is infamous for the fatal accidents that have taken place over the years. Tight corners fused with a wide chicane makes the track challenging for the racers.

Therefore, when the F1 circus revisits the deadly track this year, the racers will be on the lookout to avoid a massacre. However, here is a list of the notorious past this track had.

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Niki Lauda-Nurburgring (1976)

The Austrian racer was one of the greatest to have ever sat in an F1 car cockpit. The Niki Lauda and James Hunt rivalry was a huge crowd puller during the 1976 F1 Championships. However, the 1976 German Grand Prix was not something that the crowd would have enjoyed.

After an initial pit stop in the race, Lauda was in a hurry to catch Hunt speeding away from him. Niki had a minor hinge problem in one of his front tyres. However, a minor hinge problem can be a colossal problem for an F1 car going 200mph.

Niki couldn’t keep balance on the hard turnings in Nurburgring and crashed hard into the barriers. His car caught fire, and the driver suffered serious facial and chest burns. However, the tough racer was not one to give up and found his way to the track six weeks later.

Pedro Diniz-Nurburgring (1999)

This crash will be one of the nastiest on the list. It took place in the very first lap of the 1999 German Grand Prix in Nurburgring. The Brazilian driver Pedro Diniz was going around the turn when a car from behind and knocked his left rear tyre.

The car lost its balance and hit the kerbs, toppling over two times before finally lying upturned. Fortunately, it didn’t catch fire, and the racer survived with minor cuts. Had a fire broken out, it would have been a deadly story altogether.

The Rain Chaos (2007)

F1 and drama are synonymous. In that context, what better than a classic rain story at the 2007 European Grand Prix at Nurburgring. The race began well enough with Kimi Raikkonen grabbing the lead along with Felipe Massa.

However, soon the clouds opened up and caused chaos. The wide chicane at the track started overflowing with water. Although the drivers were on their medium wet tyres, it wasn’t enough. 7 cars spun out on the spot, pulling a safety car out on the tracks.

The situations were so dire that they lifted the cars with a crane and put them back on the track. The spins could have been fatal if the cars had crashed into each other. Fortunately, nothing of the sort went down.

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Lewis Hamilton (2007)

Hamilton aimed to set a lap time in the Q3 at Nurburgring. With 5 minutes to spare, the racer was on a flying lap when he suddenly lost control over his Mercedes. The driver sped past the gravel trap and rammed into the tyre wall in front of him.

The crash could have sent the driver flying out of the cockpit, but Hamilton walked away with minor injuries. However, the shock from the crash left Hamilton unable to stand for a few moments. It took medical help for the driver to regain his composure.

Damon Hill (1999)

The driver spun off and started slipping on the grass until he finally hit the tyre wall. Nurburgring has seen far worse than this. However, it could have been fatal had the car turned upside down while spinning.

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Indrasish Ganguly

Indrasish Ganguly is an F1 author at Essentially Sports. An avid fan of the F1 championship, the Kolkata based writer admires Lewis Hamilton the most on the F1 grid. His interest in racing stems from his love for cars and speed. Besides his affinity for F1, he is pursuing his Bachelors Degree in English at Calcutta University.

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