Video: This F1 track invasion caused absolute chaos at Imola in 1996

11th June 2024
Simon Ostler

The year 1996 doesn’t feel like it’s that long ago… right? On the basis of this video it could be a whole different universe, especially when it comes to the state of Formula 1 almost 30 years ago.

You certainly wouldn’t see scenes like this anymore, at least that’s the theory. The promoters of the Canadian Grand Prix received a hefty slap on the wrist for a track security breach at the end of this weekend’s race, but generally speaking the sight of large-scale track invasions are a thing of the past.

Some things never change, though. A Ferrari racing at Imola still draws a hugely passionate sea of tifosi, and on this occasion in 1996 the Italian fans couldn’t help themselves, as Michael Schumacher ground to a halt after finishing the race with a seized front right brake.

Hundreds of spectators flooded the circuit as the rest of the field crossed the line in quite terrifying scenes, as the likes of Luca Badoer in his Forti, Eddie Irvine in the other Ferrari, and Rubens Barrichello in his Jordan all had to slam on the brakes as they came around the kink before Tamburello.

Fortunately no-one was hurt, but it’s an alarming visual as these people seemingly accept the risk of running onto a live race track for a chance to pat Gerhard Berger on the back. Schumacher was wise enough to get out of there quick smart, hitching a lift back to the pits from the passenger window of an Alfa Romeo GTV course car.

Moments like these have produced some brilliant memories in F1 history, who could forget Nigel Mansell being mobbed in Silverstone? But we’re glad this doesn’t happen anymore, because ultimately the risk doesn’t justify the reward.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Corvette Z06 roars around COTA

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