On This Day: Huge Wreck at Spa

On this day, August 30th, 1998, fifteen years ago, one of the biggest wrecks in Formula 1 history occured at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix during the 1998 season. After making unscathed through turn one, the field of 22 cars bolted towards Eau Rouge. With heavy rain pouring down and an already soaked track, conditions were less than optimal. David Coulthard lost control of his car after hitting the wall. After making contact with the wall, his car came to a crawl directly on the racing path of the oncoming field (keep in mind Coulthard qualified P2). Coulthard collected drivers Eddie Irvine, Alexander Wurz, Rubens Barrichello, Johnny Herbert, Olivier Panis, Jarno Trulli, Mika Salo, Pedro Diniz, Tora Takagi, Ricardo Rosset, and Shinji Nakano. That was twelve drivers in all, with Jos Verstappen limping his way back to the pits. The race was red flagged. A full nullification of the start was issued and the race was restarted. Longtime legendary racing commentator Murray Walker described it as the worst crash he had ever seen.

The race itself was really epic, with Damon Hill going on to win the race. Drama existed between Michael Schumacher drove into the back of David Coulthard, causing them both to retire.

The destructive aftermath (Photo: Sutton images)

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-Matthew Hickey