Andrew came up with an interesting comment in a facebook message the other day, he mentioned the deaths of Donald Campbell, Yuri Gagarin, Bruce McLaren and Jochen Rindt. There seems to have been a bit of a glut of high profile deaths at that time.
Andrew stated that he clearly remembered was playing out in the road with Richard Neep when Mum came out and told him about Campbell.
Well, I've looked into this, and found the following: Campbell died on January 4th 1967. Gagarin died the day before I was born, March 27th 1968. McLaren died June 2nd 1970 and Rindt died September 5th 1970.
Campbell was clearly doing something very dangerous, as was Gagarin, but Formula One was clearly the most dangerous thing you could do in the 1950, 60s & 70s short of signing up to shoot Vietnamese people. It has only become comparatively safe due the the efforts of Sid Watkins & Jackie Stewart.
35 Drivers have lost their lives in Formula One cars since the inception of the World Championship in 1950.
- Charles de Tornaco September 18, 1953 Ferrari Modena Test
- Onofre Marimón July 31, 1954 Maserati German Grand Prix Practice
- Eugenio Castellotti March 14, 1957 Ferrari Modena Test
- Luigi Musso July 6, 1958 Ferrari French Grand Prix Race
- Peter Collins August 3, 1958 Ferrari German Grand Prix Race
- Stuart Lewis-Evans September 19, 1958 Vanwall Moroccan Grand Prix Race
- Ivor Bueb August 1, 1959 Cooper Charade Circuit Test
- Harry Schell May 13, 1960 Cooper International Trophy (Silverstone) Qualifying
- Chris Bristow June 19, 1960 Cooper Belgian Grand Prix Race
- Alan Stacey June 19, 1960 Lotus Belgian Grand PrixRace
- Giulio Cabianca February 17, 1961 Cooper Modena Autodrome Test
- Wolfgang von Trips September 10, 1961 Ferrari Italian Grand Prix Race
- Ricardo Rodríguez November 1, 1962 Lotus Mexican Grand Prix Practice
- Carel Godin de Beaufort August 2, 1964 Porsche German Grand Prix Practice
- John Taylor August 7, 1966 Brabham German Grand Prix Race
- Lorenzo Bandini May 7, 1967 Ferrari Monaco Grand Prix Race
- Bob Anderson August 14, 1967 Brabham Silverstone Test
- Jo Schlesser July 7, 1968 Honda French Grand Prix Race
- Gerhard Mitter August 2, 1969 BMW German Grand Prix Practice
- Piers Courage June 7, 1970 De Tomaso Dutch Grand Prix Race
- Jochen Rindt September 5, 1970 Lotus Italian Grand Prix Qualifying
- Jo Siffert October 24, 1971 BRM Brands Hatch Victory Race Race
- Roger Williamson July 29, 1973 March Dutch Grand Prix Race
- François Cevert October 7, 1973 Tyrrell United States Grand Prix Qualifying
- Peter Revson March 30, 1974 Shadow South African Grand Prix Pre-race test
- Helmut Koinigg October 6, 1974 Surtees United States Grand Prix Race
- Mark Donohue August 19, 1975 Penske Austrian Grand Prix Practice
- Tom Pryce March 5, 1977 Shadow South African Grand Prix Race
- Ronnie Peterson September 11, 1978 Lotus Italian Grand Prix Race
- Patrick Depailler August 1, 1980 Alfa Romeo Hockenheimring Test
- Gilles Villeneuve May 8, 1982 Ferrari Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying
- Riccardo Paletti June 13, 1982 Osella Canadian Grand Prix Race
- Elio de Angelis May 15, 1986 Brabham Paul Ricard Test
- Roland Ratzenberger April 30, 1994 Simtek San Marino Grand Prix Qualifying
- Ayrton Senna May 1, 1994 Williams San Marino Grand Prix Race