La Source Carnage 1998

La Source Carnage
Belgian GP 1998 — Spa
While 2012’s first-lap disaster at Spa is legendary, an earlier pile-up at the same corner was even larger. The shunt at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps during the 1998 Grand Prix of Belgium involved unbelievably 14 cars: David Coulthard in his McLaren, Eddie Irvine’s Ferrari, Alex Wurz in his Benetton, Shinji Nakano’s Minardi, and all of the Prost, Sauber, Stewart, Tyrrell and Arrows cars. Belgium 98

It happened at the first start on the hill going down from the La Source hairpin, when Coulthard used too much throttle in his McLaren in wet conditions, snapping sideways into the Armco. On the narrow track, shrouded by a wall of spray, the consequences were dramatic — just a lucky handful of drivers behind Coulthard escaped from the clutches of the multicolored mass of carbon fiber sliding down the hill. Surely only the video can best describe the thorough devastation caused by this massive shunt. And the race itself? After a restart Michael Schumacher built up a lead of more than 30s, only to plow into the rear of Coulthard — driving the McLaren spare car now banned by FIA’s sporting regulations — in the fog and rooster tail, shearing off the side suspension of his Ferrari. Only six cars finished. Damon Hill survived to take the checkered flag, memorably giving Jordan Grand Prix its first GP win.

From the 6 Best F1 Crashes | F1A&G collection.


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