BEYOND THE GRID: Martin Donnelly on his Jerez crash, racing for Lotus, and friendship with Senna


At the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix, Martin Donnelly crashed into the barrier at 160mph, throwing him out of his Lotus 102 and leaving him motionless on track. On the latest episode of the Beyond the Grid podcast, Donnelly opens up about the devastating accident that cut his career short and much more with host, Tom Clarkson.

Donnelly begins the discussion by naming the three men who helped him reach his goal of competing in Formula 1, before revealing the little he can remember about the fateful weekend at Jerez when his horrific crash changed his life forever.

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He recounts the extent of his injuries and the intense treatment he had to go through on the road to recovery, before explaining the mechanical issue that could have been the reason behind the incident.

At the scene of Donnelly’s crash was three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, and Donnelly explains how the two became very good friends during their junior days – and how supportive Senna was after the crash.

Also in the pod, Donnelly reflects on his close relationship with the likes of Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert – and reveals the nicknames they gave each other – while also maintaining an intense rivalry on track.

And the Northern Irishman explains how a shrewd business move with team owner Eddie Jordan helped secure his place in Formula 1, and get him a drive with Lotus.

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Lastly, Donnelly reflects on his short time in Grand Prix racing, and reveals that while he may not have realised his full potential in the sport because of his accident, he is very content with how life panned out, before throwing praise behind former rivals Hill and Jean Alesi, and the success they achieved.

Listen to his insightful interview on Beyond The Grid in the player above or head here to catch it on your preferred platform.


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