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8 Formula One drivers who died when racing

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Ricardo Palleti
Ricardo Palleti. Photo/Twitter
  • It is a bitter pill that families of the best F1 drivers who incidentally died while racing had to swallow
  • Among the gentle hearts that passed on when racing is Peter Collins who started racing when he was only 17
  • The British driver crashed during the 1958 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring while trying to chase Tony Brooks

Imagine the shock that comes with an emergency situation on the tracks, but it never compares to Formula One drivers who died when racing.

It is a bitter pill that families of the best F1 drivers who incidentally died while racing had to swallow.

Nevertheless, when it comes to high-performance vehicles and their drivers, there’s something magical about it all. Full-throttle driving requires a lot of courage, grit, and talent, as well as an understanding of the track and other vehicles.

More than five decades since the debut of Formula One, death has been a reality on the tracks. It is a testament that speed comes with a tremendous degree of risk. Sadly, racing has claimed the lives of many elite athletes.

Here are Formula One drivers who died when racing.


These two great minds raced for Simtek Ford. And Two of Formula One’s top dogs died tragically at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, earning the race the moniker “Black Weekend.”

Due to his injuries from a skull fracture, the Austrian Formula One racer Roland Ratzenberger died on the Saturday of the Black Weekend.

Exactly a day after Ronald died, Ayrton Senna was killed in a car accident when his right front wheel was severed by his collision with a wall.

They are the most celebrated Formula One drivers who died.


Ricardo Palleti.

Ricardo Palleti. Photo/Spins Mag

Osello team driver Riccardo Paletti was killed in a tragic accident at the 1996 Canadian Grand Prix.

His vehicle slammed into Dider Pironi’s and caught fire. Paletti was confirmed dead after his arrival at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and his body was sent to his family.


The Ferrari team never forgets Formula One drivers who died because Musso was a promising character behind the wheels.

The Italian race car driver Luigi died on July 6, 1985, during the 1958 French Grand Prix in Reims. His Ferrari leapt across the track on the 10th lap when racing Mike Hawthorn in the 50 lap race.

And one of the Formula One drivers who died on this day was Musso as a result of head injuries.

Hawthorn won the race, nonetheless.


Many drivers were unlucky in 1978 since the Italian Grand Prix wasn’t planned in advance.

There was a 10-man collision at the start of the race. And one of the Formula One drivers who died was Ronnie Peterson.

Despite being saved, he died from a fat embolism in the hospital. He is still remembered as Formula One’s fastest driver in history.


Peter Collins

Peter Collins is among Formula One drivers who died racing. Photo/The Times

While joining the plaintive list of Formula One drivers who died Peter Collins’ Legacy with his Ferrari team is rich.

A just 17-years-old, Peter launched his racing career. The rest is Formula One history, as he went on to become one of the most highly awaited champions in the sport.

However, the British driver crashed during the 1958 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

He tried chasing Tony Brooks and he ended up crashing after taking the bend hastily He lost control of his vehicle and it came to rest upside down.


Nothing pains like Formula One drivers who died but the story of Roger Williamson is painful. He raced for March.

Williamson’s death could have been avoided. Due to a flat tire, he was forced to make an emergency stop at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix.

And for lack of experience, the marshals were unable to assist. He was saved by his friend, David Purley, who got out of his car and rushed to help.

Extinguishers, on the other hand, the fire handlers were unable to control the blaze. Roger suffocated to death.


The death of Tom Pryce is widely regarded as one of Formula One’s most harrowing incidents.  Pryce was a driver for Token Racing and Shadow Racing Team.

His car caught fire during the 1977 South African Grand Prix in Kyalami, and he was trapped inside.

A car in front of Pryce blinded him, and he slammed into one of the marshals at 170 mph, killing him. Before the main impact, the fire extinguisher the marshal was carrying smashed into Pryce’s head.

It is one of the most tragic tales of Formula One drivers who died on the tracks.


He is a legendary Ferrari, Porsche, Scuderia Centro Sud driver.

Disappointing on an entirely new level was the death of Formula One World Championship leader. He died along15 other fans, at the 1961 Italian Grand Prix.

A collision with Jim Clark’s car made him crash into the side of the barrier during the race. He was thrown from the vehicle, and 15 bystanders were killed in the collision.

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