Top 3 Biggest F1 Australian Grand Prix Crashes

George Howson

#2 Brundle's Mammoth Shunt in 1996

Martin Brundle had a scary crash at the opening Melbourne race.
Martin Brundle had a scary crash at the opening Melbourne race.

Martin Brundle is best known today for his work as a pundit and commentator on British TV, but the Norfolk native had a long career as a Formula 1 driver. 1996 was Brundle's final season of Grand Prix racing before he retreated to the comm box to join Murray Walker, and this horrifying crash was perhaps a reason why he hung up his helmet.

The first ever race in Melbourne was halted on the opening lap, thanks to a chain reaction of heavy braking. Going into the second braking zone of Turn 3, Jean Alesi cut in front of Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello, causing drivers behind to veer off-line and brake heavily.

Johnny Herbert swerved in front of Brundle to avoid the carnage, but Martin ended up smashing into the back of his Sauber and flew up into the air, scrapping its top along the floor, before ending up in the sand trap.

In the days before the HANS device, halo and a lot of the modern safety measures in place, this crash could've easily ended in tragedy, but it thankfully didn't. Incredibly, Brundle was unharmed and ran back to the Jordan pits to take the T-car (back when back-ups were allowed) to take the restart.

Sadly, however, Brundle would retire on the second lap of the race, another collision sealing his fate. Who said that motorsport was fair?

Edited by Debjyoti Samanta
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