The Biggest Crashes That Left F1 Drivers Shaking over the 2020 F1 Season

Published 12/29/2020, 7:50 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – General view of the wreckage of the car of Haas’ Romain Grosjean after he crashed out of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The 2020 season of Formula 1 proved to be one of the most eventful seasons in the sport’s history. After a rather long time, F1 witnessed a completely revamped calendar filled with new or returning tracks.


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However, what made the season even more eventful and appealing were the crashes that took place. There were some horrific crashes in 2020, with a few leaving the drivers shaken. Let’s take a look at the crashes that destroyed the cars into pieces.

Daniel Ricciardo (Renault F1) at Styrian GP


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During the FP2 session, while on a flying lap, Daniel Ricciardo ended up snapping his rear, going into turn 7. Consequently, he crashed into the wall deep outside the track, damaging his rear wing quite badly.

What’s worst about the crash is that the car was going in reverse and hence was tough for the Australian to anticipate the moment of impact. Eventually, he jumped out of the car as he limped off the track.

Later on, he revealed that he hit his knee onto the steering wheel. Thankfully, following a series of medical checks, he clarified that he escaped with bruising, as FIA permitted him to proceed with the rest of the weekend in Austria.

Alex Albon (Red Bull Racing F1) at British GP

The incident was a carbon copy of Ricciardo’s in Austria. Albon was on a flying lap in FP2, when his car started weaving while rounding the Stowe.

Eventually, he lost his rear, as the car went in reverse and slammed into the barriers, creating a puff of smoke from the gravel.

As the smoke of dust cleared, the car was more visible. The Red Bull had massive damages to the rear wing and had broken front and rear-left suspensions. Albon, however, escaped the crash with no injuries.

Kevin Magnussen (Haas) at British GP

The incident took place as early as lap 1 of the race. Magnussen had Red Bull’s Albon in the mirror. Hence, to keep him at bay, the Danish racer went a bit too deep into turn 17 and ended up going over the pointy kerbs.

Thus, he had a slower exit out of that turn compared to the ones behind him. Albon saw an opening going into turn 18 and went for it. However, before he could react, the door closed, as Albon had to brake hard to avoid a contact, but still had no effect, as he clipped the rear of Magnussen.

The Haas driver was just a passenger from there on, as he slammed into the barriers right after the exit of the final turn. Due to the impact, one of his wheel’s tethers broke off and rolled away from the car on its own.

The car had massive damages to the floor, the bodywork, suspensions, and the entire front part of the car. Thankfully, Magnussen escaped the crash unscathed.

Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri) at British GP

Another Silverstone crash on the list.

The gusty weather meant that driving between Maggots and Becketts was going to be quite tricky. Unfortunately, Kvyat turned out to be an example of that statement in a rather unfortunate way.

During the race, Kvyat ran a bit over the kerbs in turn 10, which may have deflated his tires. Hence, while nearing turn 11, the AlphaTauri’s rear tire burst as the car spun straight into the wall, leaving nothing but debris all over the place.

The car completely shattered into pieces as one of the tires dismantled from the tethers, while the rest were still intact.

Kvyat looked in good touch and was on course to score some decent points for the team. However, it instead turned anti-climactic for the Russian driver.

Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell at Belgian GP

During the race, it was a fierce battle down the order between the Alfa Romeos and Williams’ George Russell. Giovinazzi was doing a great job, keeping his teammate at bay.

However, misery struck the Italian on lap 10, as he lost his rear after running deep over the kerbs before turn 15, Stavelot. As a result, he slammed his car into the barriers. Unfortunately, one of his tires dislodged from the tethers and rolled across the track.

Russell tried his best to avoid the tire, but in vain. The clash with the tire broke his front-right suspension, as he, too, crashed into the barrier. Due to the massive amount of carbon pieces, the Stewards called in the safety car.

Charles Leclerc (Scuderia Ferrari F1) at Italian GP

Ferrari were witnessing some problems with the brakes throughout the weekend on their soil. During the race, Sebastian Vettel’s brakes went up in flames as he could not bring his car to a stop. Hence, he drove as slowly as possible into the pits and retired from the race.

Just laps later, there was his teammate, Charles Leclerc, slamming into the tire barrier just before the main straight. The initial assumptions were that it was another brake failure for the team. However, later, Leclerc clarified that he had lost his rear, going around the Parabolica.

As a result, the car went straight towards the Barrier, and Leclerc had no time to react. It was a massive crash for the Monegasque. In the end, he revealed that he had body pain “here and there.” Thankfully, he escaped the accident with just body aches due to the force of impact.

Multi-car crash at Tuscan GP

Following a crash just seconds after the lights-out, the safety car made its way into the race. As the marshals cleared everything out, it was time for the restart.

The massive straight at Mugello forced the race leader, Valtteri Bottas, to keep going slow till the line, and not let Lewis Hamilton get any slipstream. However, the rear-field assumed that the race had started, and picked up speed.

Unfortunately, it was already too late, when the rear pack realized that their pace was too fast. From there, it all went crazy, as cars collided with each other, making a mess parallel to the pit lane.

Giovinazzi collided with Nicholas Latifi and ended up deflating his tires and potentially damaging his suspension. Magnussen caught up in it as well as he crashed into the wall. Behind Giovinazzi, Carlos Sainz, too, slammed into the back of the Alfa Romeo.

The stewards immediately called for a red flag, as the carbon debris was flying everywhere. Although Williams tried to get Latifi’s car ready in the meantime, the damage was too much, as the team had to give up on their efforts.

Lance Stroll (Racing Point F1) at Tuscan GP

In the very same race, Stroll was looking all set to take his second podium of the season. He was rapidly closing in on Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault.

While going around the Arrabbiata 2, the Racing Point driver lost his rear, as his car crashed into the barrier, shattering into pieces. Although it looked like he had lost his grip, Racing Point later clarified that it was a puncture due to carbon debris.

It was a massive headache for the team as Stroll had new updates installed on his car. Due to the crash, Racing Point almost had to build him a new car.

Romain Grosjean (Haas F1) at Bahrain GP

Worst for the last.

This crash turned out to be one of the most horrific crashes in F1 history. During the race start, Grosjean got a better exit out of turn 3, while the cars ahead pulled away rather slowly.

Hence, to use that to his advantage, the Frenchman moved to the right lane of the track, hoping to pounce on the cars ahead. Unfortunately, he failed to notice that he had Kvyat by his side.

Although the Russian driver tried his best to avoid colliding with Grosjean, in the end, it turned out to be unavoidable. Kvyat clipped the Haas car’s rear, as Grosjean slid straight into the steel barriers. His car pierced through the barriers and broke into two pieces.


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It did not stop there, as damage in the fuel pod caused the car to burst into flames. Thankfully, spontaneous reactions from the Frenchman saved him from getting serious burn injuries.

He did not escape unscathed, as he had minor burns to both his hands. Due to the impact, he had lost one of his boots, and hence, the flames penetrated his ankle. Overall, the drivers termed it as a miracle that Grosjean survived the crash.

Well, the crashes in 2020 had everything, unlike in any other recent years.


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Will the upcoming season produce more such incidents? Or will the drivers keep their noses clean and avoid such scary crashes?


Rohit Kumar

623 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.