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 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. 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.
|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|
|Circuit Gilles Villeneuve||1||1982||1982|
|Circuit Paul Ricard||1||1986||1986|
- "About FIA". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- "The fifties and sixties". Formula 1. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "The seventies". Formula 1. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "The eighties". Formula 1. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "The nineties". Formula 1. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "The 21st century". Formula 1. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Williamson, Martin. "A Brief History of Formula One". ESPN. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Benson, Andrew (13 March 2012). "Formula 1's Greatest Drivers. Number 20: Jochen Rindt". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Killed While Testing Racing Car". The Times (London). 19 June 1952. p. 4.
- "Deaths in Formula One". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Charles de Tornaco". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "XVI Grand Prix de Pau". Motor Sport (Teesdale Publishing) XXXI (5): 264–265. May 1955.
- Diepraam, Mattijs; Muelas, Felix. "The dashing Milanese that stayed young forever". Autosport. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Silverstone '58 – Hawthorn & Collins' all-English affair". Formula 1. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Racing Driver Dies After Crash". The Times (London). 2 June 1961. p. 23.
- "Four die in Italian race car crash". The Times (London). 16 June 1961. p. 13.
- Williams, Richard (5 September 2011). "When motor racing was a matter of life and death". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Ricardo Rodríguez". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "John Taylor". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Lorenzo Bandini". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Bob Anderson". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Schlesser dies in experimental honda at Rouen". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Racing car death". The Times (London). 26 May 1970. p. 2.
- "Martin Brain". Motorsport Memorial. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- Edworthy, Sarah (19 July 2003). "Piers Courage lived life to the full and was tipped for GP greatness". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Jo Siffert". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "François Cevert". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Peter Revson". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Katz, Michael (7 October 1974). "Driver Is Killed as Fittipaldi Wins Title at Watkins Glen". The New York Times. p. 45. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Plaque to commemorate F1 winner". BBC News. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "News in Brief: Brands Hatch crash kills 2". The Times (London). 30 August 1977. p. 1.
- "Formula 1's Greatest Drivers – 19 Ronnie Peterson". Autosport. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Patrick Depailler". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Benson, Andrew (4 July 2012). "Formula 1's greatest drivers. Number 12: Gilles Villeneuve". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Elio de Angelis". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Benson, Andrew (21 April 2004). "A death that shocked the world". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
- Savill, Richard (26 June 2000). "Brother of earl dies in Goodwood hill climb". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "Fritz Glatz". GrandPrix.com. 19 July 2002. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Most: Qualifying report". Motorsport.com. 17 July 2002. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "United States Grand Prix history". Formula 1. 16 June 2004. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Ronnie Peterson". ESPN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Maria De Villota died from 2012 crash injuries, family told". BBC Sport. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.