New Raikkonen crash videos show his “one millimetre close” near-miss with Ocon

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Videos filmed by fans during the Brazilian Grand Prix give a new perspective on Kimi Raikkonen’s near-miss after crashing out of the race.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2016
Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures
Raikkonen’s car snapped out of control on the pit straight following a Safety Car restart on lap 19. His Ferrari struck the barrier on the outside of the track then came to a rest after hitting the pit wall.

He was running in third place at the time of his crash which meant almost the entire pack had to dodge his spinning car. Manor driver Esteban Ocon had the luckiest escape, passing dangerously close to striking the Ferrari head-on, as these videos show.

Raikkonen blamed aquaplaning for the crash. “I got it in a place where I was not expecting it,” he explained. “I spun off on the straight.”

“I almost got the car back, but then I went off in a pretty bad place.”

The race ran in constant rain which had begun falling hours before the race. “It was not raining heavily, but there was a lot of standing water,” Raikkonen added.

Raikkonen said afterwards his crash would have been less likely to happen on previous generations of Formula One’s wet weather tyres.

Ocon, who went on to finish in 12th place, described his near-miss with Raikkonen as “one millimetre close” on the radio. “It’s blind in the straight line now,” he added. The race was stopped for the first time following Raikkonen’s crash.

2016 Brazilian 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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40 comments on “New Raikkonen crash videos show his “one millimetre close” near-miss with Ocon”

    1. @gordess Indeed. The onboard videos from the two cars are also alarming. But that second video especially shows how much energy would have been involved in a head-on crash at that kind of speed. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

    2. Not for Kimi!!! That’s why he wears a helmet and a suit!

    3. I think it absolutely justifies the caution that Charlie takes.

      1. Or question whether the race should have started at all.

    4. The rain tires are inadequate and in fact were unsafe when cold as in Raikkonen’s case.

  1. Exactly what I though @keithcollantine. From the onboard camera it was scary but you don’t really get a sense for the speeds the other cars went by! The heavy rain might have produced a thriller but I think things could have ended very badly..!

    1. ^ This, what @gordess said. The speeds from this angle are truly scary.

      As was mentioned in a discussion a few weeks ago, the current broadcast camera angles just do not show the true speed of cars involved, and make them look slower than they actually are.

  2. Raikkonen s front wing part could hit Hulkenberg in head like Justin Wilson last year, also if Occon hit Raikkonen that could be fatal like Indycar crash of Paul Dana 2006. Dana collided with Ed Carpenter’s disabled car after Carpenter’, thrusting the car into a retaining wall, before sliding to the bottom of the track.. Dana had hit debris from Carpenter’s car just before impact, which caused damage to the right-front suspension and prevented effective braking.

    1. Should probably ban F1 then, safer for everyone that way.

      1. @f1bobby Or, we can use caution when deciding if it’s safe to race.

  3. I had my heart in my throat as soon as I saw him start to slide across the track. I jumped out of my seat when I saw Ocon coming down the straight, I thought for sure we were going to lose somebody.

    Later, I thought for sure that someone was going to hit Ericsson in the pit lane and Max almost did.

    Scary stuff indeed.

    1. Yes, for a second there I thought the camera panned away from Ericsson just as Max arrived because they knew he was about to plow right into him at speed and didn’t want to see the result. I guess it turns out just to have been a bad job.

  4. No matter how safe you make try to make it, at times like that you are putting a lot of trust in lady luck to get you through without serious injury or death. That really was very lucky that Räikkönen was not collected by another car, it would have been so easy in that instance for someone to just pile in to him. Scary.

    1. Correct, and that’s why I haven’t criticised the decision to red-flag the race. It isn’t a question of how good a driver you are, when you’re nothing more than a mere passenger due to aquaplaning, or when you get a collision with another car.
      Clearly some cars were much better to prevent aquaplaning, but everyone after the third car is in grave danger to be killed or to be the killer, due to poor visibility and a possible high speed difference between the crashed and the racing…
      Easy to say it’s OK to race if you’re running first & third (HAM & VES) but it’s another thing if you need to race blind an hope for the best in the middle of the pack.

  5. It’s incredible how different the speeds look from this angle compared to the one at the end of the straight.

    Whilst watching live I thought that Verstappen and Hulkenburg had slowed right down after seeing Kimi spin off, however from this angle the speed at which they are flying past is terrifying. Proper heart in mouth stuff.

    If I could wish for one thing from Formula 1, it would be that they reviewed their TV footage in order to really capture the speed of these cars. I’d care far less about processional races and all the other negative stuff if the footage on it’s own was good enough to elevate my pulse.

    1. Yeah I agree, I feel like they are throwing away from of their biggest draw cards. Even if they just have a static Camera fixed next to the track, just like the guys hand held one, just cutting to it once or twice would really change the feeling I think.

  6. I have one word for this: Bwoah!

    1. I know what you did there…

    2. Get pitted, so pitted

  7. I’m baffled.

    FOM’s key role is the broadcast of the F1 races, and it staggers me that they don’t show enough views of camera angles like this during the race. You’d think that the race director or someone else would want to intermix some of these “speed” shots with the traditional angles that they telecast.

    The only reason I can think of is that these angles have the cars zooming past at such a rate that people can’t read any of the sponsors’ logos on the cars. And we can’t have that now, can we?

    1. exactly my thoughts, the speed is truly incredible, but watching the race it alwayd seems pedestrian

    2. I agree as well. The cars seem so much faster from these angles; it really conveys how fast they’re going.

      Also, the engines once again sound better on a fan shot video than on the official broadcast.

      1. @tim-m – +1 to the sound, and the sweet Doppler effect of the cars rushing by.

      2. I’m happy to hear you saying the cars sound better, and IMHO, in real life they even sound better than what you can hear on these fan-videos. To give an idea about the speed: About 25 years ago, I was at the SPA race, with my pre-digital DSLR, and I was sure to capture a few images from the McLaren-Hondas. On ONE picture on two 32-rolls I had half a car, all others showed empty track. Today, the top speeds are even higher.
        I had some experience photographing other race series, and had a success rate of about 50% well framed pics in the other races that year.
        Setting a pivoting camera near the straight, and let it keep track of a car, and I’m sure a lot of people will stop complaining about the lack of speed. Set a camera at the end of the straight, and let them film head on how late the cars start decelerating, and I’m sure people will jerk backwards in their chair, if filmed decently… Yes coverage has been better before, but then the professionals could set their equipment nearly on top of the kerbs …

    3. I’m pretty sure you are right Phylyp, but I suspect the angles are designed to highlight the static ads around the circuits, after all those are the sponsors paying Bernie to be there.

  8. We were talking about this yesterday: RAI could have been hit right on the head would Ocon hit him, using the nose of the Ferrari as a rail.

    1. @anunaki – never thought of that, but now… oh man, that mental picture won’t go away.

      1. The question is say Kimi had been collected head on and had Halo fitted where would the other car have ended up? Halo would (should) of saved Kimi’s life but it it then launches the car into the pit lane awnings/catch fencing.

        I appreciate every effort is made to make the sport safe but there comes a point where the sheer multitude of “what if’s” cannot be addressed as some of them are so unlikely/freakish that how do you realistically plan for them?

        I’m not advocating no safety in F1, just giving some food for thought that despite the best endeavours sometimes there are events that are beyond our control.

        1. If the car had reached his head, you’d be better with the what if for the car going over that, than the what if of it hitting his head.

  9. i blame Obama first, then Pirelli full wets.

  10. Man that’s the worst spot to be turned around on that track. So lucky to be alive today as a head on would have taken his head off for sure.

  11. This just shows how poorly TV feed conveys speeds these cars travel at.

    Now as for danger, it also shows F1 is plenty dangerous enough.

    1. Not really. Have no knowledge about how TV works, but I think they try to cover as much space as possible with a single camera. So, to do that, you have to place them at a certain distance from the track. And, at distance (20-50m), of course nothing seems so fast as it seems at 5m away. Finally, if they use close-shots, they’ll have to use many cameras and switch the image from one to another too fast in order to keep up with the cars OR play with the zoom too much. Either way, I think things won’t look good if they do that. So, I think what we have now it’s the way to go.

      1. @corrado-dub – I agree that having all cameras close in is not reasonable.

        The panning style they use when showing two cars battling it out is fine for that purpose, since it allows us to focus on the motion of the cars relative to one another, even as we don’t quite see their true speed.

        But there’s no reason why they can’t have a few cameras placed on the one or two straights of a circuit in this close-up manner, and intermix those shots with their traditional shots (e.g. when they don’t have to focus on a particular battle, these “speed” shots can be a good filler).

        Right now, the closest we come to a camera that captures the speed of a car is the “bug’s eye view” camera placed inside the apex of some curves. While it shows the speed of a car speeding by, it isn’t from the viewpoint of a spectator, and in my opinion, not as awe-inspiring.

  12. Halo seems completely needed after seeing this.

    1. A halo wouldn’t do much if he was hit head on.

  13. Like many of those who posted, I was scared that someone was going to die as Kimi’s car moved across the track. One thing I noticed then and is really evident in this video is that it doesn’t seem like anyone slowed until the Renault and even then the car was probably going too fast given the conditions. A driver’s survival shouldn’t be so dependent on luck and it seems like luck was the only thing that prevented a loss of life or very serious injury. Given the weather conditions and visibility the drivers should have slowed significantly when they were notified of the caution or immediately put into a VSC.

    1. Whilst I found this incident spine chilling, the other incident equally chilling was Ericssons ending across the pit lane, especially when the last shot you were shown was the rapidly approaching red bull…

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