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10 Crashes That Changed Motor Sports Forever


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Jules Bianchi at the Japanese Grand Prix
Jules Bianchi drives in the rain at the 2014 Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Jules Bianchi drives in the rain at the 2014 Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

The death of Jules Bianchi in 2015 was the first Formula One Grand Prix fatality since the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994. Nine months after Bianchi crashed in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, he succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in France [source: Smith-Spark].

The 2014 Japanese Grand Prix took place in the pouring rain. During lap 42 of the race, driver Adrian Sutil crashed. In lap 43, Bianchi lost control and struck a vehicle responding to the earlier crash [source: FIA]. The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), Formula One's governing body, determined that no single factor led to Bianchi's crash. Rather, it said that factors including the wet track, Bianchi's speed and a mechanical error in his car led to the crash. Still, the organization acted to prevent similar crashes in the future. As a result of the crash, Formula One changed race start times so that no race would be run in the dark. It also changed drainage regulations for tracks and how emergency vehicles would respond to crashes.


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