994. Formula One driver Alex Caffi survives horrific crash in 1991 Monaco Grand Prix practice run

Worst of the Worst: Motorsports CrashesMultimedia compilation of the Top 1,000 "WORST of the Worst: Motorsports Crashes" captured on video or still images, with an emphasis on the need for constant vigilance in keeping drivers, crew members, emergency workers, and especially spectators, safe at racing events around the globe.
 
Race car drive Alec Caffi snapshot profile / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer / Formulas One driver Alex Caffi crashes during a practice session for the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix race in his v12-engine Footwork Porsche, escaping virtually unscathed in the horrific wreck. But his race car is destroyed. A video of the crash by Käyttäjän elmeri57 kanava was downloaded from YouTube to help illustrate this story.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Alex Caffi's 1991 season in Formula 1 driving was dreadful, punctuated by a bad wreck in a practice run for the Monaco Grand Prix that saw his Footwork Porsche shattered in a collision, though somehow he escaped serious injury.

Caffi was asked by RichardsF1.com if he remembered the horrific wreck: You failed to make the grid in the opening rounds and suffered a massive accident during practice at the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. "Do you remember much of the crash? 

"No, I don’t remember anything of it," Caffi responded. "Sometimes I watch it on YouTube."

Alex Caffi / Headline Surfer®Formula One driver Alex Caffi Caffi was asked by RichardsF1.com if he remembered the horrific wreck in a practice run for the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix: "You failed to make the grid in the opening rounds and suffered a massive accident during practice at the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. "Do you remember much of the crash?" 

"No, I don’t remember anything of it," Caffi responded. "Sometimes I watch it on YouTube."

The 1991 season saw the return of Porsche to Formula 1, with Caffi's car outfitted with a v-12 engine in the back. But the car was described as "overweight, underdeveloped and horribly unreliable.Caffi failed to qualify for the first four races of the 1991 F1 season. He then broke his jaw in a road car accident following the Monaco Grand Prix, ironically after he had escaped injury in a serious crash during the race weekend. And so went a bad year for Alessandro "Alex" Giuseppe Caffi, the Formula One driver from Italy, who participated in 75 Grands Prix races overall, debuting on Sept. 7, 1986.

With Caffi out with non-life threatening injuries in the Monaco crash, Footwork turned to Stefan Johansson. When Caffi was ready to get back in the car, he found the team wanting to keep the Swedish replacement instead.  Caffi had to seek legal action to get his ride back. But then he failed to qualify for six consecutive races races, before qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, in which he finished 10th. By then, however, Footwork had announced Aguri Suzuki would replace Caffi for the 1992 season.

So Caffi signed on with the new Andrea Moda team. But with registration issues, Caffi was eventually replaced by Roberto Moreno, and Caffi's Formula One career had come to an end. Caffi turned to sports car racing in GTs, FIA Sportscar, and American Le Mans Series. 

FAST FACTS: Formula One Racing
Formula One is lesser-known in the U.S. than the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or the domestic open-wheel racing series, the IndyCar Series, but in terms of budgets and global TV audiences, F1 is bigger than both combined. Estimates for Ferrari's racing budget in 1999 were around 240 million USD, and even tailender Minardi reportedly spent 50 million. Estimates of TV audiences are around 300 million per race.
 
Did You Know?
In 2006, Alex Caffi raced in the inaugural season of the Grand Prix Masters formula for retired Formula One drivers. Sources: Wikipedia 
 
Premise for the series:
Motorsports fans are drawn to racing for different reasons: The excitement of speed, skill of drafting & passing; strategies on when to pit for fuel, tires or repairs; the will to win and so forth. Ultimately, though, it's the big crashes that fans seem to like more than anything. And though nobody wishes serious injury or death to drivers, crew members, emergency personnel & especially spectators, the sad reality is carnage is always lurking. Despite the latest technology & improvements in aerodynamics of vehicles, driver equipment and enhanced track safety features, the fine line between life & death is always at play in any given sanctioned motorsport. Given that Headline Surfer® puts such an emphasis on racing with Daytona Beach International Speedway, the 24/7 internet news outlet is counting down its listing of the top 1,000 WORST of the Worst. While on the surface it may come across as gratuitous gore to critics, there can never be enough discussion about the need for constant vigilance in looking at safety.
 
Recap: WORST of the Worst Motorsports crashes:
2017-01-17 05:29:43 -0500
 
2017-01-08 01:38:12 -0500
 
996. Biggest pile-up in racing history in 1960 at Daytona
2017-01-07 12:56:38 -0500
 
997. Phil Krueger smacks wall hard in 1981 Indy 500
2017-01-05 00:30:38 -0500
 
998. Disgruntled ex-Mercedes employee in rain coat interrupts 2000 F1 Grand Prix in Germany
2017-01-04 10:35:00 -0500
 
999. BMW flips after intense contact with another car in Nürburgring VLN endurance road race; driver unscathed
2017-01-02 02:33:36 -0500
 
1,000. Rusty Wallace flips violently in 1983 Twin 125 qualifier at Daytona International Speedway
2017-01-01 16:05:48 -0500
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.