Neil Winn profile picture Neil Winn 7 years ago

9 Safety Cars That Failed At The One Job They Had

Safety cars don’t always live up to their name, sometimes causing more havoc and destruction than good. Here are nine examples when safety cars went bad...

Remind me later

1. Taki taken down

Taki Inoue remains one of F1’s worst ever drivers, making even Crashtor Maldonado look professional. And when Inoue wasn’t causing a scene from inside the car, trouble followed him even when he got out of it.

In this video of a safety car going bad, Inoue’s car grinds to a flaming halt, after which he jumps out and grabs the marshal’s fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Unfortunately, he fails to see the approaching safety car which crashes straight into him.

2. Prang in Pau

Understanding how to leave the pit lane safely is one of the first basic skills you acquire as a racing driver. And on a street circuit like Pau, with its blind corners and high speeds, not checking before you pull out is always going to end with predictable results. Supposedly, the driver of the safety car was Pau’s chief of police who had insisted that he drove.

3. Last of the late brakers

To be a successful safety car driver in Formula One you have to be focused, consistent and calm. However, they are human after all, and Bernd Mayländer demonstrates that even the coolest of heads can experience the red mist.

4. It’s getting hot in here

Supplying the safety car for a major championship can be great publicity for a manufacturer. But I wonder if Chevrolet regretted its decision when it watched its new SS burst into flames on national TV…

5. Turning in Toronto

Clearly the driver of this safety car got a little overconfident in the slippery conditions. Luckily there was ample run off, otherwise this could have ended nastily.

6. It's go time

A rare example of race control allowing a race to get out of control. As the lights went green at this Le Mans Series round at Paul Ricard, the racers went for it. The only problem was that the safety car was still on track. Cue panic braking and a monumental pile up.

7. Sachsenring smash

Parking on the outside of the corner is never going to end well. Unfortunately that’s exactly what the driver of this medical Touareg decided to do, with predictable results. The race was abandoned after this massive shunt, but luckily no one was badly hurt.

8. Heidfeld is hurting

Safety car driver Alex Ribeiro pulled up quite sensibly at the side of the track to assist with Enrique Bernoldi who had just experienced a massive shunt at the first corner of Interlagos. What Ribeiro probably didn’t expect was Nick Heidfeld’s Sauber racing up the inside of his C55 medical car. This ended luckily for both parties as Ribeiro was a split second away from death.

9. Brake test

Alexander Wurz learned the hard way what happens when you brake check a Jeep in an F3 car…