F1: Most controversial crashes of all-time
Formula 1 has had many iconic rivalries over the years, with varying degrees of respect and controversy between the drivers.
The latest pair to be vying for the drivers’ title is Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, and their title battle has inevitably been tainted after what had been for a while, was a friendly rivalry.
Their clash under the safety car in Baku will go down as one of the defining moments of the V6-hybrid era. But that is far from the first time that two competitors have got tangled up in an altercation like this, so here’s a look at F1’s most controversial crashes ever!
#5 Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna (Japan 1990)
The former had joined Ferrari for 1990 and the Scuderia had a much more competitive car for that season. Senna had a 9-point advantage headed into the final round in Japan though, ensuring that the Brazilian would win his second championship if Prost failed to finish.
Senna was still simmering after 1989, and his mood wasn’t helped when pole position was moved to the dirty side of the grid after he was fastest in qualifying. At the start, Prost predictably got the jump on the McLaren man off the line, but when the pack funnelled down into Turn 1, something extraordinary happened.
Senna didn’t brake for the first corner, which was required to get around it successfully, and impaled himself into the Ferrari’s sidepod. That sent them both flying into the gravel trap and out of the race, giving Ayrton his revenge in the most spectacular way.
This clip from the Documentary film, Senna (which you should definitely check out if you haven't already) shows what happened:
This was not their most controversial incidents though, far from it...