List of fatal Formula One accidents
Formula One (F1) is the highest class of open-wheeled auto racing defined by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's world governing body. The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and vehicles must conform. The F1 World Championship season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held usually on purpose-built circuits, and in a few cases on closed city streets. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual Championships, one for drivers and one for constructors.
Safety standards have improved since the first World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950, where there was no medical back-up or safety measures in case of an accident. In the 1960s helmets and overalls became mandatory and the FIA assumed responsibility for safety at the circuits. Further steps were taken to improve the safety of the Formula One car in the 1970s: the cockpit opening was enlarged allowing the driver quicker escape in the event of an accident and outside mirrors became mandatory. In the 1980s the carbon fibre monocoque replaced aluminium, increasing protection upon impact. Following the death of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola in 1994, a number of measures were introduced in an attempt to slow the cars down, including a wooden undertray. In 1998 grooved tyres replaced racing slick tyres to reduce cornering speed. Safety measures continued to be introduced into the 21st century, with a number of circuits changing their configuration to improve driver safety.
This list includes drivers who have died during a FIA World Championship race weekend, and those who have died while driving a Formula One car outside of the World Championship. Track marshals and other race attendees who have died as a result of these accidents are not included in the list. Fifty drivers have died driving a Formula One car, with Cameron Earl being the first in 1952. Thirty-two of the drivers died during a World Championship Grand Prix race weekend, seven as the result of injuries suffered in a test session and eleven during a non-championship Formula One event. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has seen the most fatalities; seven drivers have died there during the course of the Indianapolis 500. Fifteen drivers died in the 1950s; fourteen in the 1960s; twelve in the 1970s; four in the 1980s and two in the 1990s. Following Senna's death in 1994, no driver had died from injuries sustained in a World Championship-related accident until María de Villota died in 2013 from complications of injuries she sustained in a testing accident for Marussia the previous year.[A] Only two Formula One Champions have died while racing or practicing in Formula One, Jochen Rindt in 1970, and Ayrton Senna in 1994. Rindt is the only driver to win the championship posthumously.
|Indicates the race was not part of the Formula One World Championship|
- The "During" column refers to what part of the Grand Prix weekend the accident occurred in.
- This does not include the deaths of spectators or marshals that are trackside during the event.
|Rhodesia and Nyasaland||1|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway||7||1953||1959|
|Autodromo Nazionale Monza||3||1961||1978|
|Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps||2||1960||1960|
|Circuit Park Zandvoort||2||1970||1973|
|Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari||2||1994||1994|
|Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez||1||1962||1962|
|Circuit de Monaco||1||1967||1967|
|Red Bull Ring||1||1975||1975|
|Circuit Gilles Villeneuve||1||1982||1982|
|Circuit Paul Ricard||1||1986||1986|
A. a Three drivers have died since 1994; John Dawson-Damer in 2000, Fritz Glatz in 2002 and Denis Welch in 2014. These drivers died while driving historic Formula One cars outside of World Championship Grands Prix.
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- "Historic racer Denis Welch dies in Silverstone Classic accident". Autosport. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
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- "Maria De Villota died from 2012 crash injuries, family told". BBC Sport. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.