F1 driver escapes in seconds as his car erupts into a fireball at Malaysian Grand Prix 3 years ago

F1 driver escapes in seconds as his car erupts into a fireball at Malaysian Grand Prix

Kevin Magnussen is a very lucky man.

The Danish F1 driver was near toast after his car burst into flames during the practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Magnussen, who drives for Renault Sport F1 Team, pulled into the pit lane but moments later his car caught fire behind his head.

It didn't appear he realised that flames were engulfing his Renault vehicle until the very last second.

TV cameras just caught the moment he leapt out of the drivers seat with a split-second to spare before it went up in flames.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_240Gm6Ahc

But it was perhaps the on-board camera which showed the most dramatic view of the pit stop blaze, giving us a driver's eye view of flames suddenly swirling around the overhead camera.

The frantic efforts over the radio to get him out of the car made the urgency pretty apparent as fuel leaking from the airbox appeared to catch fire.

Safety staff were all over it in seconds with fire extinguishers after Magnussen jumped out of the front of the car - although he was fortunate to get out unscathed.

This tweet from the driver himself shows just how close he was...

Renault engineers said the fuel breather system was to blame for the blaze but said the car had amazingly suffered very little damage.

"Everyone's okay, that's the main thing,'' said technical director Nick Chester afterwards.

"Fortunately the car doesn't seem to be too badly damaged so we'll try and get it out for P2. There is obviously a fair bit of work to do, and a fair bit to clean, but we'll try to get him out for as much of the session as we can."

Magnusson was indeed out again later in the session, but could only manage a 19th place finish out of 22.

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