The 2014 German Grand Prix featured plenty of memorable moments, including Felipe Massa’s first lap crash, where his Williams car flipped over after some contact with Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren. Massa’s car was, at one stage, upside down with sparks lighting the area.
The crash was at the end of the start/finish straight, near where we were sitting, meaning that we had a good view of the incident. It was frightening. The initial gasps from the crowd was soon replaced with an ominous silence. The crash looked awful, and seeing the car move so far upside down, scraping against the ground could have had very serious consequences for Massa.
The car ended up back on its wheels against the fence, and there was a moment or two when we waited to see how Felipe was. After a few seconds – which seemed much longer – he got out of the car to great cheers from those around.
We watched as he climbed out of the car, the marshals came to help, and the car was recovered. Felipe got into a vehicle and was driven past us back to the paddock. There were plenty of cheers as he made his way back.
It is a good to see that the safety standards in modern Formula One are such that Felipe was not injured in he crash. A few decades ago, and the incident could have had a very different outcome. A sobering reminder of how far the sport has come.