Formula 1: Alonso accident. He wasn’t the first star to crash

These racing drivers crashed off the track

Fernando Alonso is not the first racing driver to have an accident outside of a racetrack. That’s how dangerous motor sports people live on bicycles and Co.

“Motorsport is dangerous.” This is written on every admission ticket and other passport when attending Formula 1 races. Alone: ​​Not only the bicycle accident of Formula 1 superstar Fernando Alonso (39) last Thursday shows: Formula 1 drivers often live more dangerous off the racetracks and cockpits. History has already shown that.
Alonso was injured while training his bike in Switzerland when he collided with a car near his home in Lugano. The Spaniard suffered a broken jaw, had an operation and has already been able to leave the hospital. The test drives for the Formula 1 season in Bahrain in four weeks are not at risk.

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But Alonso is not the first Formula 1 star to be injured while preparing.

Nick Heidfeld had to pause

In 2005 Nick Heidfeld was hit. The German, who was under contract with BMW-Williams at the time, collided with a motorcyclist while training on his bicycle in Switzerland and was still lucky: he suffered a tear in his right shoulder blade, a finger sprain and several abrasions. He had to end the season early.

Like Alonso & # x96; these stars crashed off the track

Red Bull rider Mark Webber had a serious crash with his racing bike at a charity event in Tasmania in November 2008. The Australian collided head-on with a car and was flown to a hospital by helicopter. Webber broke his leg in the accident. At least that’s what he announced to his team. It was later revealed that he also suffered a complicated fracture of the collarbone, which could affect him more while driving than the broken leg. He kept this injury from the team – for fear of losing his cockpit. Webber was fit again at the start of the season in his Australian homeland.

In 2016, Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson was lucky. During fitness training in Thailand, he tried to avoid a chicken on his bike at top speed and fell. “I was lucky enough to get away with only bruises and scratches,” said the Swede later. The chicken was unharmed. The Swede was able to take part in the next race in Malaysia.

Alone: ​​Not only racing drivers are at risk on two wheels. In 2014, the Mercedes team boss had a hard bike crash when he was involved in a mass collision of his team on a bike trip in Vienna. Wolff broke a shoulder, a collarbone, an elbow and a wrist. As a driver, he should have paused a few races. At the following race in Budapest he was still able to manage the fortunes of his racing team with a strong bandage. “We have decided to leave it to the professionals now. Lewis and Nico are better wheel to wheel at 300 km / h than we are at 30 km / h!” Tweeted Wolff a day after the accident.

By the way: Not only cycling is dangerous for the PS professionals. Nothing more needs to be said about Michael Schumacher’s fateful skiing accident in December 2013 in the French Alps.

Montoya’s motorcross crash cost him his career

About Juan-Pablo Montoya on the other hand. The Colombian had just switched from BMW-Williams to McLaren-Mercedes in 2005 and was considered one of Michael Schumacher’s great challengers in Ferrari. He broke his shoulder during pre-season tennis training. At least that’s how the Colombians communicated. It was later discovered that he had crashed on a motocross motorcycle. According to the contract, he was forbidden to ride a motorcycle – hence the “white lie”. The “tennis accident” cost him his career. Not only did he have to pause the first two races of the season, the break turned out to be so complicated that Montoya was impaired in driving all year round and no longer performed. In 2006 he switched to the NASCAR series, exasperated.
Niki Lauda also had his experience with accidents that had nothing to do with racing cars. In 1976 he rolled over his tractor while doing agricultural work on his country house in Hof near Salzburg. Lauda once revealed: “It was very lucky that I survived. I had serial broken ribs and the problem of having to get fit again quickly for the Spanish Grand Prix. With the help of Willi Dungl, the fitness guru at the time, I succeeded. Within 14 days he got me so fit with injections and his medication that I came second with broken ribs. From then on we worked together. “
The French Patrick Depailler was a passionate hang-glider. In 1979, he crashed and suffered several broken bones from which he found difficult to recover. In 1979 he moved from Ligier to the Alfa-Romeo works team. During test drives on August 1st, he had a fatal accident during test drives in Hockenheim.

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His compatriot Didier Pironi lost his life in a speedboat race in 1987. The French wanted to continue to live out his passion for speed with speed boats. After a serious accident with Ferrari during the rainy Friday practice session in Hockenheim in 1982, that was no longer possible. Pironi, who came to Germany as the world championship leader, crashed into the rear of Alain Prost’s Renault at top speed. The Ferrari soared into the air and broke into several pieces on impact. Pironi suffered more than 20 fractures, some of them extremely complicated, in the foot and leg area. His Formula 1 career was over.

Mike Hawthorn fell victim to his Mercedes phobia

Like Alonso & # x96; these stars crashed off the track

The British world champion from 1958, Mike Hawthorn, fell victim to a “Mercedes” phobia. Throughout his life he had built up the “Silver Arrows” as an enemy. In 1955, the brutal duel with Mercedes culminated in the fact that Jaguar driver Hawthorn triggered the fateful collision at Le Mans that killed 82 spectators and the French Mercedes driver Pierre Levegh.

Hawthorn was hunted by Merceders star Juan-Manuel Fangio. He didn’t want to waste any time turning into the pits and braked his Jaguar sharply without warning. The already lapped Levegh could no longer evade and flew into the fully occupied grandstand. The Mercedes exploded, its parts turned into a projectile. In 1958 Hawthorn became world champion, but then resigned with severe kidney disease.

On the evening of January 22, 1959, in heavy rain, he ran into a Mercedes 300 SL with his Jaguar on a country road and spontaneously overtook it. While overtaking, he recognized the driver as an acquaintance, the Scottish racing team owner Rob Walker, whom he challenged to a race. Hawthorn’s Jaguar crashed into an oak tree and the Briton died of severe head injuries.

Motorsport is dangerous, but driving fast outside of a racetrack is even more dangerous …


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