During the Styrian GP, Martin Brundle and David Croft reminded us of the time when an F1 car hit a deer in what was a disturbing incident.
The McLaren of Stefan Johansson hit a deer during practice in the 1987 Austrian GP. The encounter between Stefan Johansson and a deer (yes!) has come into spotlight after Sky commentators were discussing about it as the Styrian GP was on.
On that bizzare Friday, a deer ran across right in front of Stefan’s McLaren. As expected, it hit the deer with full impact, killing it on the spot. He suffered minor injuries, and was rushed to the hospital.
Stefan Johansson – Austrian GP practice, 1987 pic.twitter.com/umat34VGr5
— Senna 🇧🇷 (@sennatheking) June 28, 2018
Stefan spoke to MotorSport magazine 30 years later, recalling the incident.
Stefan Johansson says he was lucky to be alive
Stefan spoke about how he reacted to seeing the deer on the racetrack.
“It was very small, thank God! I had no time to react. None. The signal from my brain to brake didn’t even reach my foot it happened that quickly. I was doing 170 mph over a brow and the deer’s just sat in the middle of the road.”
He also revealed that the deer was on the track was sometime then, but the stewards hadn’t stopped the session for some reason.
“It tore off the left-front suspension – there were four gaping holes where the pick-up points had been – and that corner carried back and sliced off the sidepod and rear suspension. The whole left side was pretty much gone.
“Apparently it had been walking around for a while. So it was a mystery why the session hadn’t been stopped.” he added.
Great comeback from Stefan to finish 7th
Stefan miraculously came back the next day, fighting the pain in his ribs. He finished 5th fastest in Saturday’s qualifying.
On Race Day. Johansson finished seventh, earning him well deserved championship points. His team-mate, the legendary Alain Prost, finished right ahead of him.
The Osterreichring is now known as the Red Bull Ring, where the Austrian and Styrian GPs were held over the past fortnight. Stefan says he still loves the track and is one of his favourite.
“But I loved that track even so. It was probably my favourite. Superfast, you were balancing the car on the limit the whole time. In a turbo F1, it was fantastic, awesome in every way. Very cool.”