Top five most crash-prone drivers in Formula One history

People might expect a lot of drivers who have been towards the back of the grid most of their careers, but surprisingly, there is a world champion in the mix.

Romain Grosjean in a file photo. (Image credits: Twitter/Romain Grosjean)
By Nilavro Ghosh | May 4, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

With its thrills, Formula One brings its own share of spills which go a long way in making a race interesting. Although no driver wants to crash his car instead of finishing a race (unless you’re thinking about crashgate). Over the years, there have been drivers who have won more races than anybody, and there are some who have had more DNFs than points in their careers. There can be a number of reasons why this happens: the skill of the driver, the reliability of the machinery, their luck on the grid and tyre conditions among other things.

People might expect a lot of drivers who have been towards the back of the grid most of their careers, but surprisingly, there is a world champion in the mix. This is not uncommon. If a driver is good enough to last in a sport like Formula One for a fairly long period of time, it is only natural that they will have more crashes or DNFs. With all that in mind, here is a list of five drivers infamous for sending their car into the barriers.

Pastor Maldonado

Venezuelan motorsport driver Pastor Maldonado was perhaps more infamous than anyone else for crashing the car under him. His career in motorsport was riddled with accidents and not just in Formula One. In the 2012 F1 season, Maldonado crashed in the season-opening Australian GP and slammed into Sergio Perez in Monaco the same year. He has crashed into the likes of Lewis Hamilton as well. Maldonado had an unwanted streak of seven straight races with crashes, penalties or other incidents one might consider dangerous.

Read More – F1 Academy 2023: Who are the drivers? Which teams will compete? All you need to know

Romain Grosjean

When one things of dangerous crashes, they think of Romain Grosjean. It is quite hard to forget the Frenchman’s horrifying crash at the 2020 Sakhir GP when his car burst into flames and he came out of the fire relatively unscathed. However that was not the only incident Grosjean has been a part of. His most infamous moment in the sport came in 2012, the result of which saw him serve a one-race ben. The Frenchman took out three driver at once, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez, and sent Pastor Maldonado spinning. He was involved in a nasty incident at the 2018 Azerbaijan GP as well.

Andre de Cesaris

Andre de Cesaris perhaps is the unluckiest driver in the history of Formula One. The Italian motorsport athlete has the arguably the highest retirement percentage in a single season in the history of F1 with 14 retirements in 16 races. Over the course of his career, de Cesaris has had 148 retirements and a whopping 18 consecutive retirements. 1981 saw him crash his car 18 times which earned him a rather unfortunate nickname, “Andre De Crasheris”. He was fired on the spot by Ligier team boss Guy Ligier in 1984 after he crashed at the Austrian GP. “I can no longer afford to employ this man,” Ligier had said at the time.

Jody Scheckter

Here it is, the most crash-prone Formula One world champion. At the 1973 British GP, Scheckter caused one of the largest car pileups in F1 history. He spun during the opening lap, causing 10 vehicles to stop racing. Without the cars involved in the collision, the race was restarted. Weeks after the amazing accident at the 1973 British Grand Prix, Scheckter crashed in Canada. However, he still was Ferrari’s last world champion until Michael Schuamcher brought the glory back to Maranello 20 years later.

Read More – 2023 Azerbaijan GP: King of streets Sergio Perez wins in Baku, cuts championship deficit to teammate Max Verstappen

Timo Glock

Timo Glock’s F1 career was relatively brief and crash-filled. The crashes involving Timo Glock are well-known to F1 followers. He famously crashed during the German Grand Prix in 2008, the Japanese Grand Prix in 2009, the Australian Grand Prix in 2008, and the Belgian Grand Prix in 2010. For a relatively brief career in Formula 1, there were a lot of crashes. Timo’s Formula One career began in 2004 when he took Giorgio Pantano’s place at Jordan after the latter’s accident. Then, he returned for a total of 5 seasons in 2009, including 2 with Toyota, 2 with Virgin, and 1 with Marussia.