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Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi is the most recent Formula One driver to have been fatally injured, during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix aged 25

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna is the only World Champion (excluding Jochen Rindt) to have been killed while racing in Formula One at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at the age of 34.

Jochen Rindt

Jochen Rindt secured the 1970 World Championship despite having been killed mid-season during practice for the Italian Grand Prix, making him the only posthumous World Champion

As with all motorsports, Formula One has witnessed fatal accidents. Since 1950, 32 drivers have been killed during a Formula One Grand Prix weekend, while 7 have been killed during test sessions and 12 during non-championship events.

The first driver fatality that occurred in the Formula One series was that of Cameron Earl, who was killed during a private test session for English Racing Automobiles at the Motor Industry Research Association's test circuit in England. He died in hospital at the age of 29 from skull fractures after his ERA R14B car overturned.

Chet Miller was the oldest driver to die in a Formula One car, aged 50. He was killed during practice for the 1953 Indianapolis 500, which was a part of the Formula One championship at the time. Ricardo Rodríguez, who is the youngest driver in history to have raced for Scuderia Ferrari, is the youngest driver to be killed while racing in Formula One, aged 20. The suspension of his Lotus 24 failed during an unofficial practice session for the non-championship 1962 Mexican Grand Prix at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

In 1970, Jochen Rindt became Formula One's only posthumous World Champion. He was killed while practicing for the 1970 Italian Grand Prix in a Lotus 72C, when he lost control of his car under heavy braking. He won the championship by 5 points over Jacky Ickx, despite missing the final three races of the season.

Often regarded as one of the darkest weekends of Formula One, the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix was marred by multiple incidents. Rubens Barrichello was lucky to escape a heavy airborne crash during Friday practice, being left unconscious after hitting the wall at more than 225km/h. On Saturday, Roland Ratzenberger was tragically killed when the front wing of his Simtek S941 failed at the high-speed Villeneuve Kink. He was killed instantly when his car struck the wall at more than 300km/h. Unfortunately, there would be one more driver killed that weekend. This time it was three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna, after a steering failure sent his Williams FW16 into the outside barriers at Tamburello and he was struck in the head by a steering arm. He is the only World Champion to have been fatally injured, excluding Rindt, who won the championship after his death.

Over the next 20 years, Formula One did not witness any further fatal accidents, thanks largely to the various safety innovations introduced into the sport over its long history. Some of these innovations were the direct result of lessons learned from previous fatalities in Formula One and other motorsport categories. The 2000's is the only decade to date in which no driver was killed.

However, at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, Marussia driver Jules Bianchi suffered a diffuse axonal injury after crashing into a recovery vehicle in severe wet conditions. At the time of the accident, the trackside vehicle was removing Adrian Sutil's car after he had crashed out of the race a couple of laps prior. The accident was eerily similar to that of María de Villota's testing crash in 2012 with the same team. Bianchi was transported to hospital where he spent nine months in a coma, eventually dying of his injuries on 17 July 2015. The accident was thoroughly investigated by the FIA, resulting in the addition of the Virtual Safety Car and the Halo.

The following is a list of drivers who were killed while driving a Formula One car, including those killed during a:

  • Grand Prix
  • Qualifying
  • Practice
  • Pre-race test
  • Private test session
  • Non-championship event
  • Historic event


Driver Age Date Of Accident Event Car Session
United Kingdom Cameron Earl 29 June 18, 1952 N/A ERA Test
United States Chet Miller 50 May 15, 1953 1953 Indianapolis 500 Kurtis Kraft Practice
Belgium Charles de Tornaco 26 September 18, 1953 1953 Modena Grand Prix Ferrari Practice
Argentina Onofre Marimón 30 July 31, 1954 1954 German Grand Prix Maserati Practice
Italy Mario Alborghetti 26 April 11, 1955 1955 Pau Grand Prix Maserati Race
United States Manny Ayulo 33 May 16, 1955 1955 Indianapolis 500 Kuzma Practice
United States Bill Vukovich 36 May 30, 1955 1955 Indianapolis 500 Kurtis Kraft Race
Italy Eugenio Castellotti 26 March 14, 1957 N/A Ferrari Test
United States Keith Andrews 36 May 15, 1957 1957 Indianapolis 500 Kurtis Kraft Practice
United States Pat O'Connor 29 May 30, 1958 1958 Indianapolis 500 Kurtis Kraft Race
Italy Luigi Musso 33 July 6, 1958 1958 French Grand Prix Ferrari Race
United Kingdom Peter Collins 26 August 3, 1958 1958 German Grand Prix Ferrari Race
United Kingdom Stuart Lewis-Evans 28 September 19, 1958 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix Vanwall Race
United States Jerry Unser Jr. 26 May 17, 1959 1959 Indianapolis 500 Kurtis Kraft Pre-race test
United States Harry Schell 38 May 13, 1960 1960 BRDC International Trophy Cooper Practice
United States Bob Cortner 32 May 19, 1959 1959 Indianapolis 500 Cornis Pre-race test
United Kingdom Chris Bristow 22 June 19, 1960 1960 Belgian Grand Prix Cooper Race
United Kingdom Alan Stacey 26 June 19, 1960 1960 Belgian Grand Prix Lotus Race
United Kingdom Shane Summers 24 June 1, 1961 1961 Silver City Trophy Cooper Practice
Italy Giulio Cabianca 38 June 15, 1961 N/A Cooper Test
Germany Wolfgang von Trips 33 September 10, 1961 1961 Italian Grand Prix Ferrari Race
Mexico Ricardo Rodríguez 20 November 1, 1962 1962 Mexican Grand Prix Lotus Practice
Rhodesia Gary Hocking 25 December 21, 1962 1962 Natal Grand Prix Lotus Practice
Netherlands Carel Godin de Beaufort 30 August 2, 1964 1964 German Grand Prix Porsche Practice
United Kingdom John Taylor 33 August 7, 1966 1966 German Grand Prix Brabham Race
Italy Lorenzo Bandini 31 May 7, 1967 1967 Monaco Grand Prix Ferrari Race
United Kingdom Bob Anderson 36 August 14, 1967 N/A Brabham Test
France Jo Schlesser 40 July 7, 1968 1968 French Grand Prix Honda Race
Germany Gerhard Mitter 33 August 2, 1969 1969 German Grand Prix BMW Practice
United Kingdom Martin Brain May 25, 1970 Nottingham Sportscar Club Meeting Cooper Race
United Kingdom Piers Courage 28 June 7, 1970 1970 Dutch Grand Prix De Tomaso Race
Austria Jochen Rindt 28 September 5, 1970 1970 Italian Grand Prix Lotus Qualifying
Switzerland Jo Siffert 35 October 24, 1971 1971 World Championship Victory Race BRM Race
United Kingdom Roger Williamson 25 July 29, 1973 1973 Dutch Grand Prix March Race
France François Cevert 29 October 6, 1973 1973 United States Grand Prix Tyrrell Qualifying
United States Peter Revson 35 March 22, 1974 1974 South African Grand Prix Shadow Pre-race test
Austria Helmuth Koinigg 25 October 6, 1974 1974 United States Grand Prix Surtees Race
United States Mark Donohue 38 August 19, 1975 1975 Austrian Grand Prix Penske Practice
United Kingdom Tom Pryce 27 March 5, 1977 1977 South African Grand Prix Shadow Race
Australia Brian McGuire 31 August 29, 1977 1977 Shellsport Championship McGuire Practice
Sweden Ronnie Peterson 34 September 10, 1978 1978 Italian Grand Prix Lotus Race
France Patrick Depailler 35 August 1, 1980 N/A Alfa Romeo Test
Canada Gilles Villeneuve 32 May 8, 1982 1982 Belgian Grand Prix Ferrari Qualifying
Italy Riccardo Paletti 23 June 13, 1982 1982 Canadian Grand Prix Osella Race
Italy Elio de Angelis 28 May 15, 1986 N/A Brabham Test
Austria Roland Ratzenberger 33 April 30, 1994 1994 San Marino Grand Prix Simtek Qualifying
Brazil Ayrton Senna 34 May 1, 1994 1994 San Marino Grand Prix Williams Race
United Kingdom John Dawson-Damer 59 June 24, 2000 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed Lotus Demonstration
Austria Fritz Glatz 58 July 14, 2002 2002 EuroBOSS Series Season Footwork Race
France Jules Bianchi 25 October 5, 2014 2014 Japanese Grand Prix Marussia Race
Not part of the Formula One World Championship

Track Marshalls[]

Name Age Date Of Accident Event
Günther Schneider 19 4 August 1963 1963 German Grand Prix
Jansen van Vuuren 19 5 March 1977 1977 South African Grand Prix
Paolo Gislimberti 33 10 September 2000 2000 Italian Grand Prix
Graham Beveridge 52 4 March 2001 2001 Australian Grand Prix
Mark Robinson 38 9 June 2013 2013 Canadian Grand Prix


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