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Benetton Pit Fire (Germany 1994)

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By F1-history   |   
It was a bad weekend for the Benetton team. After the first lap mayhem, Schumacher went on to take on the leading Ferrari of Gerhard Berger but fell away with engine problems very quickly.

Also Benetton driver Jos Verstappen came into the pits; while refuelling, some fuel was accidentally sprayed onto the hot bodywork of the car, a few seconds later the fuel ignited and Verstappen's car was engulfed in a ball of flames.

The Dutchman escaped the incident with burns around his eyes, as he had his visor up during the pit stop. No other crew-members or any persons were injured severely or killed.

Video of the incident: [link]

1994 German Grand Prix, Hockenheimring
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QuantumInnovator's avatar
I am amazed that they were able to extinguish the fire that quickly, and thankful no one got killed.

It's a good thing that when the fuel ignited, you could see the flames.  In IndyCar racing, for a few years they used methanol, which burns with an invisible flame.  So in the 2000 Indy 500, when the lid when flying off one of the fuel tanks, they were spraying water all which way because they couldn't see the flames. 

In my opinion, all race car fuels should have clearly visible flames if they're ignited.  That way, if the fuel does ignite, you know there's a fire INSTANTLY, and you know exactly where to aim your fire extinguisher.
F1-history's avatar
I saw some videos of pit fires when methanol burns and they are scary as hell.
turbolover175's avatar
turbolover175Hobbyist Artist
Sometimes, you just have a really bad day.
rodriguis's avatar
rodriguisStudent Digital Artist
Yeah! I remember that! This is happened on the pit stop of Jos Verstappen. [link] Veri tense. :omg:
Really impressive shot.
UberKuhlMan's avatar
UberKuhlManHobbyist Photographer
I feel bad for putting this in my favorites but it's such an incredible shot of a terrifying moment.
F1-history's avatar
It's not like you feel good for what happened, you just appreciate the photographic side of the shot. It amazes me what reaction those mechanics had in putting down the fire in 4 seconds.
UberKuhlMan's avatar
UberKuhlManHobbyist Photographer
Thank you for understanding. By the way, just me being curious, what is your source for all of these incredible photographs?
F1-history's avatar
I dig the guts of the Internet to get them.
crepish's avatar
crepishHobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah. Amazing shot.. :O
Katalyst-23's avatar
Katalyst-23Hobbyist Photographer
Wow, amazing shot of a difficult situation.
anonymous's avatar
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