Everyone knows that racing is dangerous, but some of the things that happen to drivers can be downright bizarre.
Driving a racing car for a living puts some pretty unique stresses and strains on the human body. Whether it's the result of an accident, or just what people go through to get themselves into the car, motorsport does strange things to people. Here are a few of the weirdest from the past few years.
The inspiration for this list. A few weeks ago at the Pocono oval circuit, young Brit Jack Hawksworth lost the back end of his car while travelling at over 200mph. The resulting impact with the barrier gave him a myocardial contusion. Not a doctor so don't know what that is? Allow me to explain – a myocardial contusion is a bruised heart. Yes, he hit the wall so hard he bruised his heart. Just let that one sink in for a moment, and if you can do it without grabbing your chest you're a better person than I. And that isn't even the worst result of hitting a wall on this list...
When most people think of what's gone wrong with Webber in cars it usually involves him being upside-down, whether that be in a Mercedes at Le Mans or his Red Bull at Valencia. However, his worst time in behind the wheel probably came at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2007. It was bad enough that he was trying to drive an F1 car in torrential rain, but he was also fighting the effects of food poisoning. I think you can see where this one is going.
Yes, this is indeed a video of Mark Webber vomiting into his helmet as he tries to drive an F1 car in heavy rain. And I bet you thought turning up hungover to that stag weekend karting was bad.
Colin Kolles – Formula One, 2005 and 2006
This isn't so much about what happened to Kolles as what he did. During his stint as boss of Jordan F1 in 2005, Kolles awoke one Sunday morning to find that his driver, Tiago Monteiro, had an awful toothache. So naturally he did what any caring employer would do: he gave Montiero some asprin and let him go home early. No, wait, that's the opposite of what he did. Instead, Kolles performed dental surgery on his driver to make sure he could race.
It is worth mentioning that Kolles is a qualified dentist, which is an obvious bit of training for running an F1 team. He must also be pretty good at pre-race dental surgery, as in 2006 as Midland F1 boss he did it again on another of his drivers. Christijan Albers was the victim this time, waking up before a race with a toothache before Kolles came at him with a drill.
Think having your boss drill your teeth so you can go to work is bad? Then add this to it – as it was pre-race, they presumably couldn't be given any form of sedative. He went in raw on a sore tooth, then threw them in an F1 car to dive at close to 200mph.
It does all beg the question, though, of whether Kolles was bringing his dentistry kits to races just hoping this would happen? And I bet he billed them for treatment afterwards.
Jean Eric Vergne – Formula One, March 2014
Frenchman Vergne is a proper little fatty – six feet tall and having the audacity to weigh about 10 stones 8 pounds, which is around 69 kilograms in modern currency. His obvious affection for pies was costing him, by his reckoning, four tenths of a second per lap to his much more svelte team-mate Daniil Kvyat, who weighed some 18lbs/8kgs less.
As a response to this, Vergne went on a crash diet that left him hospitalised between this year's Australian and Malaysian races with a suspected case of malnutrition and dehydration.
In typical F1 fashion, there are no plans to increase the weight limit of the car so that drivers don't have to do this anymore. It means that 6ft, 69kg Vergne will still have to try to make himself as small as 5ft 5', 59kg Felipe Massa.
James Courtney – Formula One, July 2002
This is by far the nastiest accident on the list. But due to the amazing circumstances around it (plus the fact that, after a long recovery, no permanent damage was done) it seems worth including.
James Courtney was about to land his big break – leading the British F3 championship, he was testing for Jaguar at Monza with a race seat for the following year all but cemented. However, everything changed when he suffered a suspension failure at 190mph.
Courtney went backwards into a barrier so fast that when he bounced back off of it, he was still going at almost 50mph. It was an impact which was recorded at 67G, meaning that sixty-seven times the force of gravity was sent through his body. An astronaut going into space will only experience 9G.
The impact gave Courtney one of the nastiest sounding injuries we've heard of – blood in his head was forced into his face so violently, it started coming out of his eyes. The truly bizarre part, though, came next.
When Courtney, who was understandably a little groggy after such a crash, regained his senses, he did so to find himself looking at none other than Michael Schumacher. The German legend had seen the accident and pulled off the road to help. It was a good thing he did too; Courtney didn't speak Italian, and the marshals didn't speak English, so Schumacher acted as translator as they extracted Courtney from his car.
It was a year-long road to recovery for Australian lad Courtney, but despite seeing his F1 dreams evaporate, everything turned out for the best in the end. He moved back to Australia, met his wife, had two kids, and became a V8 Supercars champion. Not a bad recovery.
Lewis Hamilton – Formula One, 2014
Finally, the least impressive injury on the list until you actually think about it. At this year's Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton got a bit of dirt in his eye as he chased down his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for the lead.
A bit of dust in his eye? That's nothing, I hear you all say. But think where he was – the famed Monte Carlo street circuit. For the last quarter of the race, he managed to not only navigate it with just one working eye, but also to hold off the charging Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo to stay in second place.
When you consider that Monte Carlo is a track that regularly catches F1 legends out when they have all of their senses working, being able to race to a podium with one good eye is absolutely legendary. I couldn't parallel park with only one working eye. Well, I can't really do it with two...
Do you think we missed any weird ailments to strike down a driver? Let us know down below!