The #F1 Bar Exam: 6 February 2014

Welcome to another week of TheJudge13 F1 Bar Exam. We had a record number of entries last week so thank you to all who enters the Bar Exam.

Last week’s question(s): Can you name the driver in the photo and the team. Where did he make his F1 debut and for what reason is the driver remembered the most?

The answer(s) I was looking for were: The driver in the photo is David Purley who made his F1 debut at the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix, which he did not finish due to a fuel leak.

It would be at his second grand prix that Purley – along with fellow newcomer Roger Williamson – would find fame for reasons he would never have wanted. Williamson was also contesting his second grand prix at the Zandvoort circuit, having made his debut at the British Grand Prix two weeks earlier.

On lap 8 Williamson’s March crashed heavily as he approached Hondenvlak, flipping upside down and sliding along the circuit. The Englishman was alive, but the car was soon engulfed in flames.

As the field streamed past Purley stopped on the opposite side of the track, sprinted across to where Williamson’s machine had come to rest and began a desperate attempt to free his fellow racer. Hurling himself in to the flames he tried to overturn the March; unable to do so alone, and without help from the marshals, he found a fire extinguisher and tried to douse the inferno.

But it wasn’t enough to beat back the flames, and Purley once again began a vain attempt to overturn the car, waving frantically to the marshals for help but receiving none (in their defence the marshal’s clothing would have offered them no protection against the flames; they would have been terribly burnt and no help had they attempted to get their hands on the car). Purley was eventually dragged away, furious, heartbroken and in little doubt that his friend had perished in the flames.

He was subsequently awarded the George Medal for his heroism. Three years later Purley would tell Autosport magazine that his actions were the natural reaction of a man who’d spent time in the armed forces.

Purley also survived the highest ever G-force a human was subjected to. During practice at Silverstone the throttle of his Mike Pilbeam built Lec F1 car stuck open and he crashed with incredible violence. Purley was subjected to 179.8G – when the car went from 108mph to zero in just over half a metre. Purley’s life was saved by rescue crews at the scene but it took many months for him to recover from multiple fractures to his legs, pelvis and ribs. He did eventually return with a second Lec F1 car and later raced a Shadow in the British F1 series before deciding to quit racing to run the family business.

After retiring from motor racing he switched to aerobatics but in 1985 was killed when his stunt biplane crashed into the English Channel.

Well done to SpeedRcr, Kyriakos, Taflach, The13thDuke, AJ, Tony, ADG, John, Cassius42, Philip, Graham, Reinis, Jack, Vik, Stephen, Johnny, Mike, Sid, Dave and Tim!

This week’s question(s): Can you name the drivers and their cars in the photo? Can you also name the circuit this Grand Prix was held at and where the two drivers finished in the in the race?


Please provide your answers in the field below