Graphed: Formula 1 Driver Fatalities

Features I By John Beltz Snyder I April 21, 2011

Racing is a dangerous sport, and our beloved Formula 1 is no exception, as we were reminded with Felipe Massa’s frightening injury in July of 2009. Thankfully, safety has come a long way throughout motorsports history, and gone are the days when deadly accidents were a regular part of racing. We put together this graph to illustrate the fatal history of one of the world’s favorite racing series, Formula 1.

Fortunately, we haven’t seen a driver fatality in Formula 1 since Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix (preceded the day before in qualifying by the death of Roland Ratzenberger). But Formula 1 has a dangerous past, with 45 drivers having been killed since 1952, including races, qualifying, testing, and non-championship events.

What this graph doesn’t show are the fatalities of crew, spectators, and other unfortunate individuals. For Instance, during the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, Wolfgang von Trips was on course to become champion. His Ferrari went airborne after a collision, killing von Trips and 15 spectators.

The most deadly venue for Formula 1 has been the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has claimed the lives of seven Formula 1 pilots, all Americans, and all during the 1950s.

Scroll down for the complete list of Formula 1 driver fatalities by year.

Cameron Earl

Chet Miller
Charles de Tornaco

Onofre Marimón

Mario Alborghetti
Manny Ayulo
Bill Vukovich

Eugenio Castellotti
Keith Andrews

Pat O’Connor
Luigi Musso
Peter Collins
Stuart Lewis-Evans

Jerry Unser
Bob Cortner

Harry Schell
Chris Bristow
Alan Stacey

Shane Summers
Giulio Cabianca
Wolfgang von Trips

Ricardo Rodríguez
Gary Hocking

Carel Godin

John Taylor

Lorenzo Bandini
Bob Anderson

Jo Schlesser

Gerhard Mitter

Martin Brain
Piers Courage
Jochen Rindt

Jo Siffert

Roger Williamson
François Cevert

Peter Revson
Helmuth Koinigg

Mark Donohue

Tom Pryce
Brian McGuire

Ronnie Peterson

Patrick Depailler


Gilles Villeneuve
Riccardo Paletti

Elio de Angelis

Roland Ratzenberger
Ayrton Senna

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