Roland Ratzenberger

List of Formula One drivers killed during a Grand Prix weekend following the death of Jules Bianchi on Friday night nine months after a devastating crash at the Japanese Grand Prix:


Onofre Marimon (ARG) aged 30

July 31, 1954: Horrific accident in a Maserati during practice for the German Grand Prix at the old Nurburgring track — he was given the last rites shortly afterwards.


Luigi Musso (ITA) aged 33

July 6, 1958: Daredevil driver who engaged in thrilling but dangerous contests with Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. It was while pursuing Hawthorn in a rival Ferrari at the French Grand Prix that he met his end, his car striking a ditch and somersaulting. Musso — who was heavily in debt at the time of the accident — was taken barely alive to hospital where he died of head injuries shortly afterwards. Hawthorn ironically was killed after he retired, in a car accident on the nondescript A3 Guildford bypass.  


Peter Collins (GBR) aged 26

August 3, 1958: It was Collins’s death that provoked Hawthorn into retiring. Collins, whose rebellious nature saw him expelled from school aged 16 for spending more time at the fairground than the classroom, was thrown from his Ferrari when it hit a ditch at the Nurburgring, in an eerily similar fashion to Musso, and he hit a tree suffering severe head injuries from which he died. 


Stuart Lewis-Evans (GBR) aged 28

October 25, 1958: Lewis-Evans, a team-mate of Stirling Moss, had secured two podium finishes that season in his Vanwall car. Died of severe burns he suffered in the season-ending Moroccan Grand Prix. The team owner Tony Vandervel was so marked by his death that despite the team winning the constructors championship he pulled out of the sport at the end of that year.


Chris Bristow (GBR) aged 22 and Aaln Stacey (GBR) aged 26

June 19, 1960: Bristow and Stacey died within minutes of each other in a double tragedy hit Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps track. Bristow, known as the ‘wild man of Formula One‘ for the reckless abandon he showed when competing, was decapitated when the impact of the crash at the Burnenville kink saw him fly out of his Cooper and into a barbed wire fence situated a few feet back. Unbelievably Stacey was killed at the same spot — Moss had been seriously injured in practice the day before — after a freak accident when a bird flew into his face blinding the Lotus driver.


Wolfgang von Trips (GER) aged 33

September 10, 1961: The thin line between success and tragedy were in full bloom in this instance as the German aristocrat only needed to finish third in the Italian Grand Prix to win the championship. However, instead his Ferrari clipped Jim Clark’s car and lost control spinning twice before striking a side barrier which also resulted in the deaths of 15 spectators.


Carel de Beaufort(NED) aged 30

August 2, 1964: Also from a noble family he was the first Dutchman to score points in Formula One and his car, most often a Porsche, always stood out as it was painted orange. However, an accident in practice for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring left him fighting for his life with chest, leg and head injuries and despite being moved to a specialist hospital in Cologne it was not enough to save his life.  


John Taylor (GBR) aged 33

September 8, 1966: Yet another victim of the Nurburgring this time from burns inflicted after a collision between his Brabham and the car of Belgian superstar Jacky Ickx in the opening salvoes of the German Grand Prix. He survived for four weeks before finally succumbing to his injuries.


Lorenzo Bandini (ITA) aged 31

May 10, 1967: Lorenzo Bandini was another not to survive serious burn injuries — which covered nearly three quarters of his body — when the fuel tank of his Ferrari exploded after a crash during the Monaco Grand Prix.


Jo Schlesser (FRA) aged 40

July 7, 1968: Even though test driver John Surtees said the Honda Formula One car was not fit for racing the team went ahead and entered it in the French Grand Prix. Surtees was sadly proved right as Schlesser was engulfed in flames when the car went off the track early on in the race. His death did not deter his nephew Jean-louis Schlesser taking up motorsport.  


Gerhard Mitter (GER) aged 33

August 1, 1969: Czech-born driver killed during practice for German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in his BMW.


Piers Courage (GBR) aged 28

June 21, 1970: Old style Corinthian – Old Etonian heir to the British brewing fortune who were better known for their interest in horse racing — who died when one of the wheels of his De Tommaso car broke off on impact in a crash in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Jochen Rindt

Jochen Rindt (AUT) aged 28

September 5, 1970: Fair to say his death was the most high profile one till Senna’s tragic accident. Unlike his fellow German-born driver von Trip death did not deprive him of the title as he is the only one to win it posthumously. Rindt, whose parents were killed in an Allied bombing raid during World War II and as a result he was brought up in Austria by his grandparents, died when he suffered fatal throat injuries as a result of slipping under his sseat belt in an accident during practice for the Italian Grand Prix.


Roger Williamson (GBR) aged 25

July 29, 1973: Unbelievably he crashed and died at exactly the same spot as Courage had in Zandvoort three years before. Despite the best efforts of his rival and close friend David Purley to try and right his burning car — while the track stewards stood by doing nothing — and extricate him Williamson suffocated. Purley was to be later honoured with a medal for heroism by Queenb Elizabeth II. 


Francois Cevert (FRA) aged 29

October 6, 1973: His family name was Goldenberg but during World War II — his father joined the Resistance — in order to not attract attention to their being Jewish the family had switched to that of their mother. Cevert’s death at Watkins Glen was doubly tragic as he was due to replace his Tyrell team-mate Jackie Stewart as their number one driver. His ability had persuaded the Scot to retire, and in death it prompted him to do so one race earlier than planned thereby he ended his career having contested 99 Grand Prix.   


Helmuth Koinigg (AUT) aged 25

October 6, 1974: Promising Austrian driver decapitated when his Surtees crashed at Watkins Glen exactly a year after Cevert.


Mark Donohue (USA) aged 38

August 19, 1975: Universally popular he complained of a headache after a crash in warm-up for the Austrian Grand Prix — which resulted in the death of a track marshal — but by the time he checked into hospital the next day it was too late as he suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and fell into a coma.


Tom Pryce (GBR) aged 27

March 5, 1977: A freak accident where Pryce ran into a conscientious track official running to the aid of a car that had come to a standstill during the South African Grand Prix for which the Shadow driver had secured his first ever pole spot. The fire extinguisher the marshal, who died, was carrying flew out of his arms and hit Pryce in the face with the impact killing him instantly.


Ronnie Peterson (SWE) aged 34

September 11, 1978: Top class charismatic driver who even though he was number two to Mario Andretti at Lotus had won twice going into the Italian Grand Prix that season, However he broke both legs in a crash in the race and the blood clots formed in the limbs sealed his fate, dying the following day. 

Gilles Villeneuve

Gilles Villeneuve (CAN) aged 32

May 8, 1982: Father of future world champion Jacques, Gilles was one of the most exciting drivers of his generation. However, his career came to a tragic end at qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder when he fractured his neck after being hurled into catchfencing following a crash in his Ferrari. Doctors kept him alive till his wife could arrive and visit him in hospital where he died later that night.


Ricardo Paletti (ITA) aged 23

June 13, 1982: In only his second Grand Prix the Canadian race, he failed to see that Didier Pironi, Villeneuve’s former team-mate had stalled in pole on the grid and ran into the back of him. Although Pironi and officials tried to free him their task was made impossible when the Onyx car burst into flames.


Roland Ratzenberger (AUT) aged 33

April 30, 1994: Journeyman driver who even in death was overshadowed by Senna’s fatal accident the following day. Died after fracturing his skull in a terrible smash into a wall in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola — his decision not to pit after going off the track on the previous lap and damaging his front wing making it even more tragic as he was so desperate to qualify for the grid in his Simtek.


Ayrton Senna (BRA)

May 1, 1994: The legendary Brazilian had planned to raise the Austrian national flag as a tribute to Ratzenberger following the San Marino GP, but instead he was to die as well. The three-times champion suffered skull fractures and brain injuries from a crash.


Agence France-Presse

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