Most expensive crash in F1?

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dharmabum
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Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by dharmabum »

While watching the exciting Tuscan Grand Prix I began to wonder if maybe that scary crash during the safety car restart was perhaps the most expensive wrecks in a single incident in F1, in term of the cost of cars lost?

I'm taking some big liberties of course: I'm not adjusting for inflation, and though the 4 cars involved may have salvageable parts to them I really don't have a clue how to estimate that, so just broadly applying the rule that every car so heavily damaged that it can't even limp back to the pits is a write-off.


I would never be making such a post if anyone had been injured of course, but seeing as how everyone involved seems to be fine I thought I'd ponder it. :)

Jenson's Understeer
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Jenson's Understeer »

Belgium 1998, surely?
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Covalent
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Covalent »

I too think it's got to be Belgium 1998.

This minor kiss with a wall cost more than $400,000 though ;)
https://youtu.be/tFmXUh881vE?t=82

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DFWdude
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by DFWdude »

I agree. Spa, 1998. The whole race was a rolling accident in the wet.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o02s_g5AUUE&

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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Badgeronimous »

In terms of being the catalyst for so much change across motorsport - millions of pounds worth of track upgrades, redesigns of cars, etc - as well as the sport losing its biggest and most marketable star.

Imola 1994.

Belgium 98 is hard to beat though in terms of multi car pileups.

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Banana Man
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Banana Man »

I believe Spa had 15 cars written off in the first crash, with Mika, JV, Michael, Damon and Fisi being in front and Ralf and Tuero somehow avoiding contact in the pile up.

Out of the 33 cars which arrived at Spa (including the T cars) only 8 left the circuit undamaged

Somehow all three Jordans, the spare Williams, Arrows, Stewart and Prost, plus Tuero's Minardi.
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Mort Canard
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Mort Canard »

While, Spa 1998 probably had more cars written off than any other in the modern era, we can't forget inflation. Those cars 20+ years ago could be made for chump change compared to the current hybrid powered cars. One of today's cars probably costs at least five to ten times as much to produce as those old cars.

1998 cars had 3.0L V10 normally aspirated engines. This is a lot simpler than the current power units with MGU-H, MGU-K, Turbos, storage batteries and the necessary electronics to keep everything working together. You also have to look at all the aerodynamic inovations and extra wings and air foils that are now legal. All of that takes a lot more dollars than did the old cars from 21 years ago.
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Harpo »

Mort Canard wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:52 pm
While, Spa 1998 probably had more cars written off than any other in the modern era, we can't forget inflation. Those cars 20+ years ago could be made for chump change compared to the current hybrid powered cars. One of today's cars probably costs at least five to ten times as much to produce as those old cars.

1998 cars had 3.0L V10 normally aspirated engines. This is a lot simpler than the current power units with MGU-H, MGU-K, Turbos, storage batteries and the necessary electronics to keep everything working together. You also have to look at all the aerodynamic inovations and extra wings and air foils that are now legal. All of that takes a lot more dollars than did the old cars from 21 years ago.
... And don't make the racing better.
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Mort Canard
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Mort Canard »

Harpo wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:09 pm
Mort Canard wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:52 pm
While, Spa 1998 probably had more cars written off than any other in the modern era, we can't forget inflation. Those cars 20+ years ago could be made for chump change compared to the current hybrid powered cars. One of today's cars probably costs at least five to ten times as much to produce as those old cars.

1998 cars had 3.0L V10 normally aspirated engines. This is a lot simpler than the current power units with MGU-H, MGU-K, Turbos, storage batteries and the necessary electronics to keep everything working together. You also have to look at all the aerodynamic inovations and extra wings and air foils that are now legal. All of that takes a lot more dollars than did the old cars from 21 years ago.
... And don't make the racing better.
I am not saying it does. It does, however, make it much more expensive to make these new cars.
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Zazu
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Zazu »

The crash wasnt even that bad, just looked spectacular

In the late 90s before tobacco advertising was banned teams were still spending $200-$300million a year. With inflation that is similar to today so dont think the Spa crash will ever be topped

Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are still spending less than the manufactures in 2007 before the recession

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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Exediron »

Zazu wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:09 pm
Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are still spending less than the manufactures in 2007 before the recession
I don't believe that's true. Possibly adjusted for inflation (about 25% since 2007) but even so I doubt it. You have to consider what those teams are spending on their engine development outside of F1, something that's typically hidden on the balance sheet.
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Zazu »

The big teams ran wind tunnels 24/7 and did 100,000km+ of testing a year. There are plenty of interviews from the time where team principles talk about budgets before and after '08 and the lack of sponsors and manufacturer input

bashcrash
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by bashcrash »

Austria 1987 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwH_TWYKueU was a big one at the time, but agree 1998 Spa was bigger.

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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Exediron »

Zazu wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:45 am
The big teams ran wind tunnels 24/7 and did 100,000km+ of testing a year. There are plenty of interviews from the time where team principles talk about budgets before and after '08 and the lack of sponsors and manufacturer input
I don't doubt that they went down dramatically between 2007 and 2008. I just think they've recovered all of that and more by now.
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by F1Oz »

I wonder what the answer is for most expensive (or important) crash in terms of impact on championships?

What for instance would have happened if Senna didn't crash (or even didn't die) in 1994?

Zazu
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Zazu »

Exediron wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:51 am
Zazu wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:45 am
The big teams ran wind tunnels 24/7 and did 100,000km+ of testing a year. There are plenty of interviews from the time where team principles talk about budgets before and after '08 and the lack of sponsors and manufacturer input
I don't doubt that they went down dramatically between 2007 and 2008. I just think they've recovered all of that and more by now.

Theres an interview from the time where Nick Fry talked at the time of all the big teams spending in excess of $300million a year.
Toyota and Honda were spunking $billions, the car industry and sponsorship is still nothing like pre 2007

Ineos only pay £20million a year to sponsor Mercedes, I know they were title sponsors but Vodafone were paying 2-3times that to sponsor Mclaren a decade ago


Not on Senna levels but Jules Bianchi crash led to big changes as well. Halo in every series, not leaving cars on the track etc

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Exediron
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Re: Most expensive crash in F1?

Post by Exediron »

Zazu wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:05 pm
Exediron wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:51 am
Zazu wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:45 am
The big teams ran wind tunnels 24/7 and did 100,000km+ of testing a year. There are plenty of interviews from the time where team principles talk about budgets before and after '08 and the lack of sponsors and manufacturer input
I don't doubt that they went down dramatically between 2007 and 2008. I just think they've recovered all of that and more by now.
Theres an interview from the time where Nick Fry talked at the time of all the big teams spending in excess of $300million a year.
Toyota and Honda were spunking $billions, the car industry and sponsorship is still nothing like pre 2007

Ineos only pay £20million a year to sponsor Mercedes, I know they were title sponsors but Vodafone were paying 2-3times that to sponsor Mclaren a decade ago
Sponsorship levels are indeed down, and that's why the Big Three have so much more money than anyone else -- they're all backed by corporations that pay their bills.

Mercedes and Ferrari are both believed to spend $450-$500m per year, with Red Bull a little way behind -- and that's not counting hidden costs for engine development, where Mercedes at least is widely believed to be spending another whole F1 budget on engine development. But nobody knows the exact numbers.

The loss of the sponsorship revenue has meant, however, that the average budget has dropped considerably at the same time the top budgets have remained largely the same. That's the problem.
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