Following the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola in 1994, the FIA demanded that aerodynamic changes be made to cars to reduce downforce and cornering speeds by up to 25 percent.
Lotus driver Pedro Lamy was at Silverstone circuit testing the upgraded Lotus 107 ready for the next race at Barcelona. Johnny Herbert was also on track in the new Lotus 109 and was following about a 100 yards behind.
Between Abbey curve and Bridge, Pedro’s car went out of control and became airborne at around 150mph. It hit the catch fencing and much of the wreckage was strewn across the track. The safety cell carried on over the ten foot fencing and then crashed down into the pedestrian tunnel catching fire in the process. Marshalls were quick on the scene and soon had the fire extinguished.
Johnny Herbert said “I had been following Pedro when his car spun, there was lots of dust and the car just took off. I stopped my car and jumped out but at first I could not find him. Then I could see the tub had been thrown on to the other side of the fence, I couldn’t believe it he was halfway down the tunnel”
Pedro was unconscious and was airlifted to Northampton General Hospital he had two broken knee caps and a smashed pelvis. This kept him out of racing until the middle of 1995 where he rejoined, this time with Minardi.
The remains of the car were left sat at Team Lotus gathering dust for many years. The nose cone was then purchased by a friend from Lotus which he also stored in his garage for several years. I purchased it from his collection where it now proudly hangs on the wall in my workshop. Considering what it’s been through it’s in remarkable condition and is testament to the strength of the car.