The 2018 F1 season had plenty of action, thrills and spills to keep us all entertained. This season was also the first full season with the HALO cockpit protection device. Every F1 season is riddled with crashes, some worse than others, and the 2018 season is no different. Here are the top 10 crashes of the 2018 season.
This incident took place during the Q3 session in Australia. The Mercedes driver was exiting Turn 2 when the back end of the W09 stepped out and pitched him into the barrier. The rear end of the car was an absolute wreck and the rear wing was torn off on impact. A visibly shaken Bottas clambered out and trudged back to the pitlane.
Alonso, Hulkenberg, LeClerc (Belgium)
This incident occurred at the race and looked devastating. It also gave the HALO a great opportunity to prove itself. Hulkenberg misjudged his braking and speared into the back of Alonso. The Spaniard was then sent skimming over the top of a startled Charles LeClerc.
Fortunately, all three drivers were able to clamber out and walk back to the pitlane unaided.
Alonso, Sirotkin, Hulkenberg (Azerbaijan)
In all honesty, three cars vying for the same corner was never going to end well. Force India’s Esteban Ocon even proved that two cars in one corner would be dicey as well. The Frenchman made an optimistic dive round the outside of Kimi Raikkonen. However, he turned in a little too early and collided with the Finnish veteran. As a result, it was curtains for Ocon and Raikkonen pitted for repairs.
Meanwhile, behind them, Sergey Sirotkin was an unwilling participant of a Spanish-German sandwich. Fernando Alonso on his left and Nico Hulkenberg on his right and they all squeezed each other. Sirotkin also joined Ocon on the sidelines while the others were able to continue after pitting. Hulkenberg would also join them a few laps later in an unrelated incident.
Verstappen and Ricciardo (Azerbaijan)
This was another big incident that occurred during the race as the two Red Bull drivers collided. The scene was already set up way earlier when there was wheel-to-wheel action between them. Verstappen had squeezed his teammate towards the wall a little while earlier. But then, on lap 40, Ricciardo misjudged his braking and speared into the back of his teammate. A gleeful Kimi Raikkonen snatched 4th as a result of the crash.
Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Gasly (Spain)
The Frenchman was running 8th at the time when he went a little too wide at Turn 3. He spun and the smoke from his spinning tires blinded everyone. When things were a bit less obscure, it turned out that Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly were innocent victims. Hulkenberg actually took the worst of it and Gasly was right behind him.
This was the pivotal moment in the 2018 championship as it heralded the start of Vettel’s downfall. The Ferrari driver was leading his home race by a comfortable margin when the heavens opened. Caught out by the weather, the local man skidded off the tarmac into the kitty litter at the hairpin. A gleeful Lewis Hamilton needed no second invitation and snatched the victory.
LeClerc, Hartley (Monaco)
The Monaco Grand Prix is a race where at least one Safety Car is guaranteed. Surprisingly, it did not make an appearance at all in majority of the race. However, Charles LeClerc rectified that little foresight when he lost control of his Sauber. Unfortunately, Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley was the innocent victim caught in the trajectory of LeClerc. Both drivers were out of the race and the Safety Car was brought out.
Stroll, Hartley (Canada)
In this incident, Hartley tried a move on the local man, Lance Stroll, but it ended in tears. Stroll took the outside line, following one of the Haas F1 cars. But he was unaware of Hartley trying to move around to his outside. The end result was the Kiwi getting pinched between a barrier and a Williams with both drivers out of the race.
Ocon, Verstappen (Brazil)
In all honesty, the actual incident itself didn’t seem so bad, given the other entries here. But it was the aftermath that was really ugly. The basic premise was that race leader Max Verstappen was putting Esteban Ocon a lap down. However, Ocon suddenly decided to unlap himself and the result was disastrous. The two collided and Verstappen lost the lead to eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton.
In al honesty, there was nothing wrong about trying to unlap yourself, provided you are quick enough. But obviously, the incensed Verstappen did not care about that and he engaged in a furious squabble with the Frenchman.
Grosjean, Hulkenberg (Abu Dhabi)
This crash was honestly quite frightening to watch. Hulkenberg was racing against Romain Grosjean when the accident occurred. On the opening lap, the German tried going around the outside of Grosjean. However, the rear wheel of his Renault F1 caught the front of the Haas and was sent into a double flip.
When gravity finally took over, the car was on its roof, leaving Hulkenberg trapped inside. The German driver was stuck in the car for nearly three minutes until the F1 marshals could right the car.