Jos Verstappen's F1 refuelling fire: "As if you are being put in a dark room"

25-07-2019 13:32 | Updated: 25-07-2019 13:51
by Matt Gretton
General
Jos Verstappen's F1 refuelling fire: As if you are being put in a dark room

Talk of bringing back refuelling to Formula 1 has started again after Jean Todt's statement earlier in the week. Jos Verstappen remembers his refuelling incident during the 1994 German Grand Prix as he explains the horrors. 

The German Grand Prix 25 years ago had a few high profile incidents. Michael Schumacher had a suspension issue during his home race and Mika Hakkinen's crash at the start. But that was elapsed when Jos Verstappen's car went up in flames in the pitlane. 

"I remember I came to what I thought, a normal pit stop. If I sat in the car and stood still, I would always open my visor. When I was not driving I sweated a lot, so I opened my helmet for some fresh air. But then I saw the liquid, that was even before I smelled something, so I waved my arm. Then everything went up in the blaze," Verstappen told Motorsport.com

“It was suddenly dark and I couldn't breathe. It was a situation that you normally don't think about as if you were suddenly put in a dark room. You just think you have to get out of there.  It was difficult to get the steering wheel off, it took me a few seconds. Then I had to loosen the belts. Those were many actions before I got up and realized what had just happened."

The Benneton mechanics were panicking as a result of the fire, but also because teammate Schumacher had arrived with a car problem. But first, Verstappen was treated. 

“I remember the team pouring water on my face and then applying the cream on it. I went to the hospital for a check-up, but everything was more or less in order. Also, my breathing, since I think I didn't breathe much during the events," he added. 

"In a fire in your racing car, just like when Nico Hulkenberg was upside down in Abu Dhabi, you smell the fuel or oil and you get scared. However, the pit lane is one of the safest places where something like this can happen. That is why I have never had any problems with the situation on a mental level."

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