Jump to content
Worthing Paul

The Chequered Flag

Recommended Posts

Surely it's about time there was another?

Michael Schumacher to persish (painfully) would be great but being a realist, I reckon his brother Ralph is a prime candidate as are Fernando Alonso and Takuma Sato.

Also, in rallying I reckon Richard Burns' brain tumour could make him a contender...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't really know enough about F1 to comment on the various drivers, but we have already highlighted Richard Burns as a potential for next year.

 

Still on the sporting theme though, I noticed George Bush snr taking a parachute jump to celebrate his recent birthday. Reminded me that there seems to have been quite a few parachute deaths in the last few months. Perhaps we should ask some of the nominees if the would like to do a jump for charity - all funds raised going to support this site :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Surely it's about time there was another?

 

Michael Schumacher to persish (painfully) would be great but being a realist, I reckon his brother Ralph is a prime candidate as are Fernando Alonso and Takuma Sato.

 

Also, in rallying I reckon Richard Burns' brain tumour could make him a contender...

Michael Schumacher to persish (painfully) would be great but being a realist, I reckon his brother Ralph is a prime candidate as are Fernando Alonso and Takuma Sato. 

 

Anyone see Ralph getting friendly with that concrete wall yesterday? Several days in hospital it seems....

 

And the other big crash? Fernando Alonso at over 200MPH but he only hit polystyrene blocks.

 

Damn!

 

Close but no cigar!

 

Still, just call me Dr Death!

 

WP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sir Jack Brabham (b 1926) world champ in 1959, 60 and 66 and Phil Hill (b 1927) world champion in 1961.

 

A couple of things struck me the other day whilst thinking about these guys.

 

i - World champions who cheat death and get out of the sport alive seem to live a long time. Since 1950 27 men have held the title, 17 of them are still alive and only four (Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt and Ayrton Senna) died in competitive motor racing, practice or testing. Another (Denny Hulme) had a heart attack in a 'fun' race years after he'd quit the really hard stuff. Others like Fangio lived to ripe old ages. Phil Hill and Jack Brabham are in good shape for blokes pushing 80.

 

 

ii - There are some strange and deathly co-incidences involved where Phil Hill is concerned.

 

Phil Hill was the first American to hold the title. The only other one is Mario Andretti in 1978. Strange co-incidences include:

 

Both drivers won the title when the only other person who could win it died in a race accident.

 

Both accidents took place in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

 

Both the drivers who died (Wolfgang Von Tripps and Ronnie Peterson) were their team-mates.

 

British world champions (Jim Clark and James Hunt) were initially implicated in both accidents.

 

Enquiries cleared the drivers initially blamed.

 

Spooky!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, the driver we are looking for at DeathList, is the team-mate of the American driver who looks like he is going to win the championship.

 

I'll stop looking then - I feel German domination of the race track will continue!

 

DWB <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw Stirling Moss on the grid at the Grand Prix this weekend. Although in his 76th year looked remarkably sprightly. Maryportfuncity's theory regarding world champions living to a good age could have some validity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, the driver we are looking for at DeathList, is the team-mate of the American driver who looks like he is going to win the championship.

 

I'll stop looking then - I feel German domination of the race track will continue!

 

DWB  ;)

For God's sake.....don't mention the Germans!!!!!! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing I should've mentioned is that with notable exceptions like Phil Hill and Mario Andretti Americans have been conspicious under-achievers in Formula 1. Some highly rated drivers like Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther and Michael Andretti have come with glowing reviews and departed with poor results. Since Mario Andretti a quarter of a century ago no American has got within sight of the Championship.

 

Maybe there's a conspiracy to stop Americans getting close to the title and save the lives of their team mates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new GP masters series starts in November pitting the fading reflexes and rusty talents of old grand prix champions against each other. Like seniors golf or tennis but with the added spice of high performance machines.

 

Emerson Fittipaldi, Alan Jones, Alain Prost are already signed up. Damon Hill has opted to stay safe and away from the track.

 

We could have another ex-champion becoming an ex-human being late on this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i - World champions who cheat death and get out of the sport alive seem to live a long time.

I think James Hunt is decidedly "peaky" at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i - World champions who cheat death and get out of the sport alive seem to live a long time.

I think James Hunt is decidedly "peaky" at the moment.

He could be "the exception that proves the rule".

 

I generally care not when a celebrity or other 'famous' personage passes over, but I was a little saddened by James Hunts early death. His disdain for authority and the vigour with which he attacked life is something I have always wished to emulate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Former grand prix driver John Love has passed away at the age of 80.

 

The Zimbabwean won the 1962 British Saloon Car Championship in one of Ken Tyrrell’s Mini-Coopers as well as a string of South African titles.

 

His Formula 1 career encompassed only nine grands prix and was confined to the world championship's visits to South Africa.

 

On one of those occasions, at Kyalami in 1967, Love came within an ace of pulling off a fairytale victory before a late fuel pump problem handed the win to Pedro Rodriguez.

 

The following year Love made F1 history, becoming the first driver to enter a grand prix in a car bearing commercial livery in a Brabham decked out in the colours of Gunston, a local tobacco brand.

 

Love continued to race well into the 1970s before retiring to his native Zimbabwe. After a lengthy battle with cancer he succumbed early last Monday morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The following year Love made F1 history, becoming the first driver to enter a grand prix in a car bearing commercial livery in a Brabham decked out in the colours of Gunston, a local tobacco brand.

............

After a lengthy battle with cancer he succumbed early last Monday morning.

Ironic if it was lung cancer.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those blissful days of bonfires on the track and hapless rescue arriving too late may be long gone but the ghouls amongst us may be in for a boost. Mika Salo - a Finn whose best ever finish was second in the 1999 German Grand Prix - has recently had an operation in which an alarming quantity of carbon dust was discovered in his lungs. The dust had clearly collected as he breathed in flecks thrown from his brake pads during his racing career. As Salo pointed out many drivers had longer F1 careers than him, Michael Schumacher has started about twice as many races.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IYD: Yeah I started another Formula 1 thread but this dust in the lungs news deserves its own little corner. You can't have too many high octane threads in my book.

 

Thinking of starting another one soon where we relive those great accidents of the heady sixties and seventies, you know: Jo Siffert, Piers Courage, Jim Clark.

You mean that occasion when the chap got beheaded by a fire extinguisher or something?

 

South Africa wasn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well remembered. That 'beheading' was more of a bludgeoning when Tom Pryce's Shadow car ran close to a marshall and the driver's helmet collided with the fire extinguisher. South African Grand Prix 1977.

 

Piers Courage collected a few yards of catch fencing in the early laps of the Dutch Grand Prix 1970, not smart when he was driving an alloy bodied car full of fuel. There was bound to be a spark. The resulting fire reduced pretty much everything - including him - to ashes.

 

Jim Clark - who has some rightful claim to being the best driver ever to step into an F1 car - collided with a tree in a meaningless formula 2 race at Hockenhiem in 1968 in an accident never fully explained. Thankfully the tree - though shaken - survived.

 

Jo Siffert rather pooped the party when Brands Hatch staged an end of season race meeting in 1971. Officially it was to celebrate Jackie Stewart's second world championship although it had rather more to do with the Kent track wanting a cash windfall because the British Grand Prix was at Silverstone that year. Anyway, Siffert's race ended in a bit of flame grilling as the pathetic marshalling at the track battled for what seemed hours to put out the fire. In all honesty one of the most ghoulish bits of sports film in existence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MightyMoose

Actually, the worst fire related accident is Roger Williamson's at Zandvoort in 1973.

 

When his car rolled and caught fire, Williamson was uninjured though trapped. A fellow driver, David Purley stopped and tried to roll the car over to allow Williamson to escape, but was unable to. Despite Purley urging the marshals to come and help him, they were not wearing flame proof clothing and didn't help him.

 

Purley eventually had to watch his friend burn to death.

 

The worst bit of this story is that after the fire was eventually extinguished, Williamson's body was left in the car, covered with a tarpaulin and the car was taken back to the pit, where his team owner had to formally identify him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed Mighty Moose and there is footage of the said accident. Purley putting his own life in danger as the marshalls stand off. Niki Lauda's autobiography includes an interesting twist on the crash. The drivers were criticised for continuing to race past the wreck. These were the days before pit to car radios. Most of them assumed Purley was Williamson, helping the marshalls put out the fire in his own car.

 

Interesting to see how things went for Purley afterwards. His daredevil ways saw him make the Guinness Book of Records for experiencing the greatest G-force and deceleration of any human when his throttle stuck open and he went head on into a barrier. His leg bones looked like rows of Lego bricks in the resulting x-rays. Predictably he made a miraculous recovery, got back in a car, married a stunning rich woman and died young in a spectacular light aircraft accident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst accident - ever - was Pierre Levagh's crash into the crowd at Le Mans in 1955, he died, took 82 spectators with him and maimed another 76 or thereabouts. His magnesium bodied car doused spectators with fuel as it went, exploded on impact and disintegrated as it flew through the air. Several spectators were beheaded by the bonnet, others took fatal injuries from the axle.

 

An interesting twist - though something I find hard to believe - is that the accident started when Levagh's car hit the back of Lance Macklin's much slower Austin Healy. According to an anorak F1 web site I surfed recently Macklin - b 1919 - is still alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An interesting twist - though something I find hard to believe - is that the accident started when Levagh's car hit the back of Lance Macklin's much slower Austin Healy. According to an anorak F1 web site I surfed recently Macklin - b 1919 - is still alive.

Not according to Wiki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re Williamson's accident, there are videos available online although they sometimes come up as unavailable and/or oblige you to pay for them.

 

Williamson AccidentShould give you the still images. I couldn't get the link to work directly to the page so you have to spool down the home page to the piece about Roger Williamson.

 

It was a shocker, the safety at the track was pathetic and the reaction of the authorities and the marshalls made things worse. The worst of it was that David Purley could hear Williamson begging him to get him out.

 

It's a bit different now. The last two fatalities in Grand Prix racing were marshalls hit by debris from accidents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, the worst fire related accident is Roger Williamson's at Zandvoort in 1973.

 

When his car rolled and caught fire, Williamson was uninjured though trapped. A fellow driver, David Purley stopped and tried to roll the car over to allow Williamson to escape, but was unable to. Despite Purley urging the marshals to come and help him, they were not wearing flame proof clothing and didn't help him.

 

Purley eventually had to watch his friend burn to death.

 

The worst bit of this story is that after the fire was eventually extinguished, Williamson's body was left in the car, covered with a tarpaulin and the car was taken back to the pit, where his team owner had to formally identify him.

Well, That's a close one to the equally gruesome death of Swedish F1 driver Ronnie Petterson. I'm from 1969 and this is one of my earliest memories of Formula one, seeing him baking in his car on the Monza circuit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

M.Lawrenson

 

Thanks for your contribution and respect to your site. I don't know why I couldn't get the link directly to the Williamson accident photos but hopefully those who used my link found the rest of your site interesting.

 

Are you sure Piers Courage's De Tomaso was made of Magnesium? I thought car builders had learned the hard way at Le Mans and that Courage had an alloy car - with a fair percentage of magnesium - in which the company had gambled he'd have a chance to get out before a fire started.

 

How much of Courage was left when they'd doused the flames? Judging from the car body he'd have been taken away in a shoebox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest M.Lawrenson
M.Lawrenson

 

Thanks for your contribution and respect to your site. I don't know why I couldn't get the link directly to the Williamson accident photos but hopefully those who used my link found the rest of your site interesting.

 

Are you sure Piers Courage's De Tomaso was made of Magnesium? I thought car builders had learned the hard way at Le Mans and that Courage had an alloy car - with a fair percentage of magnesium - in which the company had gambled he'd have a chance to get out before a fire started.

 

How much of Courage was left when they'd doused the flames? Judging from the car body he'd have been taken away in a shoebox.

I've seen a photo of the aftermath of Courage's accident from the side (offline atm, but I've requested a repost). It's not pretty, but you can see the shape of a human body in what used to be a racing car. If you must know, I've drawn a circle around Courage's head here in another version of one of the above photos.

 

As for the De Tomaso's construction, the book 'Piers Courage - Last Of The Gentlemen Racers' by Adam Cooper says this :

 

The still unpainted F1 car was unveiled outside the factory in Modena.  Dubbed the 505, it looked a little bulky, but closer inspection revealed it was extremely well made...it featured front and rear bulkheads made from cast magnesium - a material that most manufacturers has avoided since Jo Schlesser's fiery crash at Rouen in 1968.

 

"We took a lot of ideas," he (designer Gianpaulo Dallara) admits.  "We were completely new, and Frank (Williams) had a Brabham, so we had a big look at it.  But our chassis was much stiffer.  We used magnesium because we considered that for machining everything, it would be more accurate when it came to fitting the suspension and engine on."

 

Magnesium is light, cheap, and strong, making it an ideal construction material for racing cars except for one reason. The reason being seen in this photo of the Schlesser accident mentioned above.

 

Also, in those days the racing scene was blase about accidents. F1 had only just adopted seat belts because before this time drivers said that, in the event of an accident, they'd prefer to be thrown out to a quick death than burn while trapped in the car.

 

The Le Mans 1955 accident was a different case altogether. While Levegh's Mercedes did burn, it's magnesium body was virtually foil-thin. Nobody died as a result of the fire, as the car didn't set alight until it had stopped moving.

 

Well, That's a close one to the equally gruesome death of Swedish F1 driver Ronnie Petterson. I'm from 1969 and this is one of my earliest memories of Formula one, seeing him baking in his car on the Monza circuit.

 

While Ronnie Peterson's Lotus did explode into a massive ball of flame upon crashing at Monza 1978, the fire died down long enough for James Hunt to haul Peterson out of the wreck within about 20 seconds. Peterson had only slight burns, but badly smashed legs. He lay on the track without medical assistance for about 20 minutes, conscious and rational the whole time, before medical assistance arrived. He was taken to hospital, but died the next morning from fat embolism, due to bone marrow from his broken legs forming globules of fat in his lungs and brain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

Your use of this forum is subject to our Terms of Use