So, once in a while you come accros a post on social media that talk about so called horror crashes in racing. Usualy those are no horror crashed to me by far. Sure there are some bad ones and if people die then they obviously are horror crashes or just freak accidents. But in the case of a crash where the driver is alive in the end most of them do not qualify as a horror crash to me. There are a few exeptions that come to mind.
Romain Grosjean at Bahrain
During the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2020, Romain Grosjean experienced a dramatic crash that led to his car splitting in two and catching fire. The accident occurred when Grosjean’s Haas car collided with a protective barrier at a high speed, resulting in a 53G impact. The force of the collision caused the car to break apart and burst into flames. Remarkably, Grosjean managed to escape from the fiery wreckage with only minor injuries, which was considered a miraculous outcome given the severity of the crash.
Sophia Floersch at Macau
Did not see this one live, but I think I did see it pretty quikly after it happened. The incident occurred when her car collided with another vehicle while approaching the Lisboa bend. This collision caused her car to lose control and become airborne, traveling at an estimated speed of 275 km/h. The car then flew over other competitors and ultimately crashed into the track’s fence and a press box. The impact of the crash resulted in Floersch sustaining a spinal fracture, but she got back in the car after that injury was healed.
Robert Kubica in Canada
During the 27th lap, Kubica’s BMW collided with Jarno Trulli’s Toyota, his car hit a hump in the grass, which caused the nose of the car to lift into the air. This left him unable to brake or steer effectively. As a result, his car crashed into a wall at a speed of approximately 290km/h. Everything flew of the car and the monocoque spun accross the track and did 1 barrel rol and came to a hold on the side of the track. Even though Robert had to sit out the next race at Indianapolis he was back in the car for the next race.
Rubence Barricello at Imola
Barrichello hit a curb at the Variante Bassa corner at a high speed of approximately 225 km/h. This impact launched his car over the curb, causing it to crash into the debris fence where he almost instantly got to a stop. Barrichello was knocked unconscious by the collision and suffered a broken nose. He did not race the rest of that weekend, but got into a car soon after again. This was of course the first major incident that weekend, that gave us 2 actual horror crashes resulting in the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger.
Alex Zanardi in Germany
Not sure you can say this was a good outcome, I mean Alex did loose both legs, but he survived and was back in a car racing. I think this was one of those crashes where any safety measures would not have mattered. He spun of the track and slid back on where he was hit in the side by another car going full speed and that basically ripped of the front af the car, together with Alex’ legs. I can’t see what would have helped him in this case
Potential horror crashes
W-series at Spa
During the fifth round of the W Series at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, a significant crash occurred involving six drivers. The incident took place at the Eau Rouge corner, a challenging and renowned section of the circuit. The crash involved drivers Sarah Moore, Beitske Visser, Abbie Eaton, Belen Garcia, Ayla Agren, and Fabienne Wohlwend. It happened during a qualifying session, and was severe enough that the session was interrupted. Notably, the crash occurred as rain began to fall on the circuit, adding to the challenge of the already demanding track. Of the six drivers involved, two needed to be taken to the hospital for further assessment due to the magnitude of the crash.
So nothing to bad and therefor not a horror crash, but more a ‘what could have been’ in this case.
Indy 500 wheel flies off
During the 2023 Indianapolis 500, a dramatic incident occurred involving drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood. With less than 20 laps remaining in the race, Rosenqvist collided with a wall, causing him to lose control and veer onto the track. This led to a subsequent collision with Kirkwood, whose rear left tire was dislodged from his racecar. The dislodged tire then bounced off the track and flew over the fencing, narrowly missing the spectator stands. It ultimately landed on a parked white Chevrolet Cruze in a small parkinglot
So not a big crash itself, drivers got out OK, without any issue, but the fact a tire got loose and by some sort of mirracle went over the grandstands and hit an empty car in the parkinglot is what makes this a potential horror crash
Allen McNish at Le Mans
Not so much the crash itself to be honest, those LMP cars are very strong and Allen got out OK, but in this case so much debris whent into people like photographers standing along the track that made it pretty scarry.