Chilton describes near-miss with Raikkonen debris

2014 British Grand Prix

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Max Chilton was fortunate to avoid injury when his car was hit by a piece of debris from Kimi Raikkonen’s crash.

Speaking to reporters after the race Chilton described the moment on the first lap when the Ferrari driver spun into a barrier on the Wellington Straight.

“I was pretty lucky to be honest after the first-lap incident. I just saw one of the Ferraris escape over the exit kerb. And then it rejoined, and it seemed to bottom out as it rejoined. He had a massive tank-slapper and it looked like he regained control and then it shot off again.

“I could see it was going to be a big one because the Armco on the right-hand side was at 45 degrees and there was no tyre [wall]. I was waiting for something to happen and it was like an explosion, everything shot diagonally left across the track.

“I could see a big bit of silver coming and I’m pretty sure it was the alloy [wheel] because I shut my eyes at that point and there was a big impact. Thank god it hit the front nose and went to the left-hand side of the car, hit my front-left and destroyed the brake duct.”

Chilton drove his damaged car back to the pits, but collected a drive-through penalty for coming in while the race was suspended.

“I thought my race was over,” he said. “They managed to rebuild the front-left during the long red-flag stoppage.”

2014 British Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “Chilton describes near-miss with Raikkonen debris”

  1. I heard him commenting on that. Scary… very, very scary.

    It could’ve been a very tough one… thanksfully nothing happened.

  2. That was the most dangerous moment of the whole incident, even worse that the actual impact for Raikkonen, and the avoidance with Massa.
    If that wheel was at helmet-height… good God.

    1. Grosjean’s visor was broken from something that hit him. Might have been the strip added after Massa’s incident was proven to work …

      All in all there were a lot of things that could have gone horribly wrong, but luckily it didn’t

  3. I know it took a while to rebuild the armco , but lets never get complacent about safety , if it takes an hour , so be it. Make it safe as possible ,
    These cars are so safe and the drivers so skilled but accidents can happen ,
    Hopefully Kimi is ok ,and how lucky are those guys dodging the exploding ferrari and its debris,

    1. I agree. I’m a marshal at castle combe and Lauda’s comments annoyed me, saying that the repair shouldn’t have happened, it was unlikely a car would hit there again but safety is paramount, hearing those words from a man who nearly burnt to death through a lack of armco made me angry.

      1. Yes, I was rather cross that Lauda (with his personal history, in particular) said it shouldn’t have been repaired. The moment that someone decides that something can’t happen twice . . . it does.

      2. Also for Bernie Ecclestone the repairing obviously was too long. In interview he stated that in earlier times the barrier would have been left unrepaired…no further comment needed…same person who is strictly against closed cockpits because “that wouldn´t be F1 any more”. Well it could have been today that Max Chilton wouldn´t drive F1 anymore….

      3. Hey @broke84, thanks for the marshalling work, we all owe it to you guys that we can go and watch (or even compete in for some) races.

        Just imagine they would have left it untended or “just put in a couple of stacks of tyres” (I think that was what Lauda mentioned as solution) and we would have another crash at that point – it could easily have gotten under the barriers as the support was also damaged. Hate to think about that.

        No, safety should always come first before entertainment or TV schedules

        1. I’dhave thought some anchored tec-pro in front of the damage would be safer than repairing the Armco…

  4. Interesting point about the lack of a tyre barrier at that point. I wonder if that should or will change.

    1. That’s the question I was going to ask. The ricochet of the Ferrari across the track was extraordinary, surely it’s better (safer) that the barrier absorbs as much energy as possible?

      1. On French TV Prost said it really needed some unforseeable circonstances for a car to hit the barrier at this point (this being one, obviously)

  5. Also, did anyone else notice how Kimi’s car bounced when he was rejoining the track (car under control at that point), seemed like a steep bump just between the track and grass area? The car seemed to bounce more than usually when F1 cars join from grass to track again.

    1. @lari maybe because Kimi went from tarmac to grass to tarmac in an instant, as he was running on the tarmac run off, before catching a bit of grass to rejoin the track.

      So the car went up and down quite fast, resulting in a more severe bounce?

    2. I heard someone say there was a gully (drainage?) at that point which threw the Ferrari up in the air.
      Although we generally dislike them, Kimi’s crash is quite a good reason to have large tarmac run off areas.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        7th July 2014, 0:52

        But there’s also an argument that the benign, giant run-off he sped through after running wide, allowing him to rejoin the track at speed, is what caused the crash in the first place.

      2. @timothykatz had it not been for the tarmac, he wouldn’t have kept his foot down. He’d have gone into the gravel or grass like many did back in Austria, and got onto the track, last, but slowly and safely…

    3. A drainage ditch.

    4. Well, that would explain it, the tarmac run-off (=high speed) + drainage ditch = result.

  6. Aus commentators said 48 g
    Impact . Quite impressive that. The armco held together like it did . Huge Shunt

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