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Formula 1's five BIGGEST crashes of 2021

Formula 1's five BIGGEST crashes of 2021

F1 News

Formula 1's five BIGGEST crashes of 2021

Formula 1's five BIGGEST crashes of 2021
GPFans Staff

The 2021 Formula 1 season was packed with drama, thrills and spills from start to finish but which ranked as the biggest?

Motorsport is dangerous, it says it on the back of every ticket purchased, and the drivers know this more than anybody.

Despite this, all 20 drivers on the F1 grid strap themselves into their cars week in, week out to compete at the limit of adhesion. The thing with limits is they are very easy to overstep, something discovered by those listed below.

Although he does not feature on this list, we do accept the argument that Nicholas Latifi's crash in Abu Dhabi was the biggest of the year given the championship-altering consequences that came through the ensuing safety car.

Remember to let us know your thoughts on what was the biggest crash of the year in the poll at the bottom of the page!

5. Hamilton and Verstappen - The Italian Grand Prix

This was the second bout of major contact between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in 2021, more on the first later, and it instigated a level of needle in the battle that would last to the end of the year.

After both suffering from poor pit stops, Verstappen's 11-second howler far worse than Hamilton's 4.2-second delay, the two drivers that had previously been nowhere near one another headed into the Rettifilo chicane level pegging.

With neither willing to give way, the seemingly inevitable contact was made with the impact made to look far worse after the sausage kerbs launched Verstappen's Red Bull onto the roll hoop of Hamilton's Mercedes.

The rear right tyre of Verstappen made contact with Hamilton's helmet but, as has been the case in a number of incidents in recent years, the halo proved its worth by preventing him from sustaining serious injury.

4. Bottas plays skittles - The Hungarian Grand Prix

Following immediately on from the British Grand Prix - again, more on that later - all eyes were on Red Bull with the team believing Mercedes had gotten off lightly for contact between the title rivals.

It was not a Red Bull at fault for the chaos in damp conditions on lap one in Hungary, but Valtteri Bottas, whose brake-locking caused not only his own retirement but also that of Sergio Perez and Lando Norris.

Max Verstappen also sustained major damage in the meleé with Lance Stroll causing a separate incident at the same corner spinning both Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo.

The scenes, all triggered by Bottas' poor start, will not feature on the Finn's career highlights reel.

3. Mazepin and Russell - The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Nikita Mazepin and George Russell may be the main incident here, but this ranking encompasses the Saudi Arabian weekend as a whole.

Dealing with the top line, the two drivers were victims of chaos at the first red flag restart, the pause caused by a heavy crash for Mick Schumacher.

After Perez was spun around through the turn three kink after contact with Leclerc, the traffic bottlenecked with Russell and Mazepin the innocent bystanders as the Russian was left with nowhere to go but into the gearbox of the Williams.

The contact lifted Russell's car off the ground and caused both to take a break to catch their breath before claiming out of the wreckage.

Leclerc also crashed in practice with Verstappen hitting the concrete during qualifying.

2. Bottas and Russell - The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

With Bottas and Russell both out of contract at the end of 2021, to many, it appeared obvious the two were in a straight shootout to secure the coveted second seat at Mercedes for 2021.

Things came to a head early on at Imola with the two enjoying contrasting fortunes and fighting over the final points-paying position.

As Russell made his move, the Williams driver dipped a wheel onto the damp grass with the ensuing contact doing significant damage to both cars and causing both drivers to retire.

At only the second race of the year, it was a surprise Russell was this reckless against what wound transpire to be his future team.

1. Verstappen and Hamilton - The British Grand Prix

For the second year in succession, the 'winner' of this list was a slam dunk with no argument.

The title battle between Hamilton and Verstappen had been simmering to this point with a few spills, but the Dutchman's 51g impact with the Copse barriers was the spark the campaign had been waiting for.

After going wheel to wheel for much of the opening lap at Silverstone, depending on your viewpoint, either Hamilton failed to adequately yield and concede the corner to his rival OR Verstappen cut across Hamilton and left no space.

The stewards' ruled Hamilton was "predominantly to blame" but that didn't stop everyone from having an opinion.

Without a doubt, the venom in the championship battle was induced here.

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