Hans Herrmann’s Close Call
Now this is exactly the position you probably don’t want to be in. Then again, by nearly any measure, sitting on the track watching your BRM tumble through the air, throwing wheels, exhaust, and everything else, is probably a damn fortunate position to end up in. Considering.
This is Hans Herrmann, watching his BRM barrel roll through the air at the South end of the 1959 German Grand Prix. This race was run on the steeply banked AVUS track in West Berlin. The track might have been more economical to run in place of the Nurburgring, but is it ever boring. Looking much more like a modern Speedway than a proper Formula 1 track, it’s simply two very long straights with two banked hairpins at either end. It was at the south end that it all went wrong for our friend Hans here; dropping from 4th to 3rd to slow for the turn. Looks like he got a bit too close to the hay bales, and it was all over. This might be one of only a few examples of being safer without the driver’s safety belts. Whew.