Formula 1 is perhaps the most glamorous motorsport event on the planet today. Adorned with superior technology and fighter plane like aerodynamics, an F1 car is the symbol of speed and glamour that surrounds the sport. With cars travelling at 200mph and more, Fourmula1 is awe-inspiring. Just when the heady concoction of rock-star like drivers and their mean machines starts to suck you into its charm, a mishap occurs that jolts you off your seat. The very sport that captivated your attention now displays its frailties. And the drivers are the ones worst affected.
Like gladiators, they mount their vehicles knowing all too well that a split second error could cost them a limb if not their very lives. 25-year-old Jules Bianchi was at the tragic receiving end of the haunting spectrum the sport offers. His crash was visibly innocuous. There have been more horrendous accidents through F1 history where drivers have walked away from their wreckages. Sadly, Bianchi wasn’t to be as fortunate as the others.
In this context, here are five drivers that were involved in life-threatening crashes but were lucky enough to make it out alive.
#1 Robert Kubica
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Leading up to the Canadian Grand Prix, Kubica was enjoying a fairly good season with BMW Sauber. However, midway through the Canadian Grand Prix, he was to receive a reality check. On lap 27, his car made contact with that of Jarno Trulli’s Toyota and veered onto to the grass. Moments later the Sauber was airborne after hitting a hump on the grass. With the nose of the car up, Kubica was at the mercy of things unfolding thereafter. His car crashed head-on into a wall and rolled across the track into the path of oncoming cars. The car would eventually come to a standstill after striking and rolling along the opposite wall. When Kubica’s car pommeled into the barrier, the car was clocked at 300 kmph.
Such was the impact of the crash that the Polish driver was found to have been subject to a maximum G-force of 75G. When his car came to a standstill on its side, the nose was completely shattered revealing his feet. Miraculously, Kubica suffered just a slight concussion and a sprained ankle. Recalling the incident later in a hospital, Kubica said that he remembered “nearly everything” and that he was very lucky to come away unscathed from a big accident.
After sitting out of the subsequent US Grand Prix, he returned to racing at the French Grand Prix and finished fourth.
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