Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso emerge from horrific crash - Video
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By Daniel Johnson in Spielberg
Formula One breathed an enormous sigh of relief last night (Sunday) after Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso emerged unscathed from a horrific accident in the Austrian Grand Prix.
The pair collided on the first lap at around 130mph before Alonso’s car became wedged on top of -Raikkonen’s Ferrari, perilously close to the Finn’s head.
The McLaren and the Ferrari then slid along the barrier before both drivers miraculously left their cars unhurt.
The stewards -investigated the nasty crash but found -neither driver to be at fault.
Alonso, a two-time champion, said: “It was obviously quite scary. The start was very good. Kimi had a lot of wheel spin out of turn two. We were overtaking him and he lost the car on the left. I was on the left. I could not see anything. I looked in the mirror and saw a car under my car.
"I jumped quickly to see he was OK. I saw he was so was happy."
While video footage was inconclusive, it appeared that -Raikkonen lost control coming out of turn two, -sliding to the left and collecting Alonso in the process.
Raikkonen, who, as recently as last week called for F1 to be “a little more dangerous”, said: “I got some -wheelspin and then went left, which was unusual so it’s hard to say [what happened].
”After the dreadful -accident last year at the Japanese Grand Prix which has left Jules Bianchi desperately ill - the -Frenchman collided with a recovery tractor in wet conditions - everyone was grateful to see Alonso and -Raikkonen walk away.
The collision was a stark reminder of the dangers of open-cockpit -racing. Three years ago Alonso narrowly avoided injury when Romain Grosjean’s Lotus flew over his head at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix.There was also Maria de Villota’s testing accident at Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, in 2012, which led to her death a year later.De Villota lost her right eye after hitting a support truck.
Henry Surtees, the son of 1964 world champion John Surtees, was killed at a Formula Two race in 2009 when a tyre from the car of Jack Clarke struck him on the head.
The FIA, particularly through the work of Professor Sid Watkins, who died in 2012, has worked tirelessly to improve safety in Formula One since the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994.The debate over open-cockpit -racing resurfaced after Bianchi’s -accident but a comprehensive report led by Ross Brawn, the former Ferrari team principal, found that it was not practical, safe or desirable to introduce any kind of structure to protect the drivers.
Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, said: “I thought he [Raikkonen] was pretty protected thanks to the angle that the McLaren came in. There is better protection and the regulations as they are protected him pretty well, thanks to the side panels and so on. It was good to see the drivers get out unscathed.”
Jenson Button, Alonso’s team-mate and a director of the Grand Prix -Drivers’ Association, said: “You never want cars to be in the air or on top of each other so I’m glad they’re both OK and can walk away from it.”
-The Daily Telegraph
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