Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 11, 1995

Gerhard's near-miss

GERHARD BERGER was fortunate to escape unhurt at Monza when his Ferrari's suspension was smashed by a camera which had fallen off his team mate Jean Alesi's car. Alesi was leading at the time with Berger right on his tail.

The camera - put on the car by FOCA Television - was mounted on the right-hand outside edge of Alesi's rear wing. The mounting broke and the camera fell off and bounced down the road into Berger's path. Although very small, the cameras weigh about 4kgs which at 180mph becomes an extremely dangerous projectile.

"It was terrifying," said Berger. "I saw the camera flying towards me and I didn't know which way to go. If it had hit me on the head it could have had terrible consequences."

Luckily the camera stayed low and smashed into Berger's left front suspension, breaking a push-rod and sending the car out of control. The front wheels were suddenly pointing in different directions and the Ferrari locked up, leaving Berger as an uncomfortable passenger as it slewed down the road and into a sandtrap.

After the race Gerhard spent considerable time talking to team bosses in an effort to find a way of ensuring that such an incident cannot happen again.