Helmuth Koinigg

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Helmuth Koinigg
Born(1948-11-03)3 November 1948
Vienna, Austria
Died6 October 1974(1974-10-06) (aged 25)
Watkins Glen, New York, U.S.
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityAustria Austrian
Active years1974
TeamsSurtees, non-works Brabham
Entries3 (2 starts)
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1974 Austrian Grand Prix
Last entry1974 United States Grand Prix

Helmuth Koinigg (3 November 1948 – 6 October 1974) was an Austrian racing driver who died in a crash in the 1974 United States Grand Prix, in his second Grand Prix start.[1]

Racing career[edit]

Koinigg was born in Vienna. Like several other Formula One drivers, Koinigg's first racing car was a Mini Cooper, which he had purchased from Niki Lauda. He raced in touring cars, Formula Vee and Formula Ford before a period in sports car racing. He subsequently found the finance to buy a seat with Scuderia Finotto driving their Brabham at his home Grand Prix in 1974, and although he failed to qualify, this led to a contract with Surtees for the last two races of the season.

After a good showing at the 1974 Canadian Grand Prix, Koinigg was beginning to establish himself as a good prospect for 1975. But running near the back in the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Koinigg's car suffered a suspension failure at turn 7, pitching it head-on into the Armco barrier. The speed at which Koinigg crashed was relatively low, and he ought to have escaped the accident uninjured. However, as with a number of other circuits at that time, the Armco was insecurely installed and the bottom portion of it buckled as the vehicle struck it. The car passed underneath the top portion, which remained intact, decapitating Koinigg and killing him instantly. Koinigg's accident was reminiscent of the death of Formula One driver François Cevert at the same track the previous year.[2]

Complete Formula One results[edit]


Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Points
1974 Scuderia Finotto Brabham BT42 Cosworth V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT
Team Surtees Surtees TS16 CAN

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1973 Germany Ford Motorenwerke Deutschland United Kingdom Gerry Birrell
France Jean Vinatier
Ford Capri LV TS 3.0 152 DNF DNF
1974 Germany Martini Racing Porsche System Liechtenstein Manfred Schurti Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo S 3.0 87 DNF DNF


  1. ^ Katz, Michael (1974-10-07). "Driver Is Killed as Fittipaldi Wins Title at Watkins Glen". New York Times. p. 45.
  2. ^ Saward, Joe (2020-10-08). "How the 1976 German Grand Prix Forever Changed the Fate of the Nurburgring Nordschleife". Autoweek. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  3. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 213. ISBN 0851127029.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Formula One fatal accidents
6 October 1974
Succeeded by