“My left leg swiv­elled so badly on im­pact it crushed the nerves. There was a stand-up ar­gu­ment be­tween Prof Sid Watkins and the surgeons about whether to keep the leg or take it off”

In 1990 Martin Don­nelly’s first steps in F1 were halted by a ter­ri­ble crash at Jerez. Now polic­ing the grid as a driver stew­ard, he’s heard all the ex­cuses be­fore…


With a bur­geon­ing grand prix ca­reer cut short by an ac­ci­dent that wasn’t his fault, Martin Don­nelly has ev­ery right to feel ag­grieved. Yet al­most 24 years on, the only in­di­ca­tion of that ter­ri­ble crash is a stiff-legged walk as the Ul­ster­man bus­tles cheer­fully through what­ever op­por­tu­ni­ties life pre­sents. It is the key to the de­meanour of a man who knows he is lucky to be alive, even though wins in ev­ery for­mula up to and in­clud­ing F3000 ought to be the con­so­la­tion prizes in a ca­reer that, by rights, would have in­cluded suc­cess in F1.

Don­nelly will have none of it. His cheeky grin and ma­chine-gun de­liv­ery de­mol­ish point­less spec­u­la­tion and the an­tic­i­pa­tion of nd­ing a man who feels sorry for him­self. Don­nelly is, by his own chirpy deni­tion, a ‘blag­ger’; a match for Ed­die Jordan, a key player in Don­nelly’s life. Martin used a street­wise abil­ity – born of a fa­ther who worked all hours in Belfast’s veg­etable mar­ket and shaped by an op­por­tunist’s climb to F1 – to run his own team and now, in the lat­est phase of his life, to act as an F1 driver stew­ard.

He’s the per­fect choice. Be­cause when it comes to rac­ing ex­cuses, Martin Don­nelly has heard them all and, in some cases, in­vented them him­self. We’re meet­ing in Nick’s Diner, a fam­ily restau­rant with a mo­tor­sport theme in the re­mote vil­lage of Deopham in Nor­folk. The craic, as we say in Ire­land, is bound to be great.

Mau­rice Hamil­ton: I said this to Martin Brun­dle, and now I’m ask­ing you: why on earth would you want to set­tle here when it’s miles from every­where in rac­ing ex­cept Snet­ter­ton? Martin Don­nelly: Ralph Fir­man and Van Diemen. It’s where you had to be when start­ing out – in my case, in For­mula Ford 2000 in 1984. If it was good enough for Ayr­ton Senna, it was good enough for me! I was work­ing for Ralph and if we needed new parts – gear­boxes, en­gines, what­ever – I’d get in the van and head off to places like Chich­ester or Bath. Miles away. Only parts of the M25 had been built. It would take for­ever and a day. That was the works deal at the time. And I was glad to have it. MH: This was be­cause you were get­ting se­ri­ous, hav­ing served your ap­pren­tice­ship in club rac­ing in Ire­land. Had you al­ways been into mo­tor­sport? MD: It came through my dad. For him go­ing rac­ing was a hobby, but he had this idea that when I was old enough we’d go rac­ing to­gether. He raced Hill­man Imps, Sun­beam Rapiers and so on. Af­ter a long week at work in the veg­etable mar­ket, he’d go to Kirk­istown, meet up with his mates and have a few scoops [drinks], with a bit of rac­ing in be­tween. He never missed a day’s work in his life, so this was his ex­cuse to let go.

I was about ten years old. While he was in the mar­quee drink­ing with the lads af­ter the rac­ing, I’d drive his MGB with Alan McGar­rity. We would drive these cars round and round. So long as there wasn’t too much tyre squeal­ing, no­body gave a damn. But the downside came when my dad and his mates were kicked out of the mar­quee. They’d go off to the Mermaid

pub in Kir­cub­bin vil­lage and get en­sconced in the room at the back. I was stuck in the car and they’d send me out an or­ange juice and a packet of crisps.

One day I got so bored, I found a head gas­ket and started try­ing to peel back the lay­ers of alu­minium but split my ngers quite badly. I thought: ‘Right! I’ll spread the blood up my arms and over my face and then walk in and tell my dad I’m bleed­ing badly and he’ll have to take me home.’ He took one look and said to the land­lady: “Take him up­stairs and get him cleaned up.” Which she did. Then I’m sent back to the car with more or­ange juice and crisps. My es­cape plan didn’t work at all. MH: I re­mem­ber go­ing to Kirk­istown and, on the way home, see­ing all these rac­ing cars on trail­ers and sa­loon cars with com­pe­ti­tion num­bers parked out­side the pub. Loads of them. Half the grid had to be in there. MD: Those were the days when you could drink and drive. It was pretty wild when you think about it now, be­cause a lot of them would then race each other home; a hand­i­cap race of sorts! MH: Kirk­istown was a very ba­sic place, wasn’t it? Cow shit every­where. MD: You’d go test­ing and the old guy on the gate would say: “Okay boys, just watch out for goats and cat­tle. They’re down near Debtors Dip [the rst cor­ner].” So you’d spot them and that would be okay – un­til sud­denly you’d no­tice they weren’t there any­more. You’d be go­ing at-out and won­der­ing where they’d got to. MH: So, as soon as you got yourself a li­cence, you went rac­ing? MD: For my rst cou­ple of races, I didn’t have a road li­cence. We scammed that one. We’d go to scru­ti­neer­ing and my dad would say: “Get your com­pe­ti­tion li­cence out, son.” And I would say: “You’ve got it,” and he would say: “No, you’ve got it. I left it on the man­tel­piece for you to pick up.” So dad would tell the ofcial this is what hap­pened and he’d tell us to bring it next time. We did that twice, but ob­vi­ously made sure it was a dif­fer­ent ofcial. I was 16 and rac­ing a For­mula Ford Crosslé 32F that dad had bought. MH: You turned out to be good enough to catch the eye of a guy called Frank Nolan. You had his name on your crash hel­met when I rst met you. What’s the story? MD: Frank was a builder who lived just out­side Dublin. He was spon­sor­ing a guy called PJ Fal­lon in 1981. When Frank re­alised that PJ was not keen on rac­ing out­side Ire­land, he was look­ing for some young kid to go to the UK and kick arse. I had been beat­ing a lot of good people in Ire­land, so he gave me a call.

The tim­ing was a bit awk­ward. My fam­ily had paid for me to go to board­ing school for seven years to get away from The Trou­bles in Belfast. Then I was ac­cepted by Queen’s Univer­sity to study en­gi­neer­ing. I had only been there for a fort­night when I got this call from Frank say­ing he’d like to back me in FF2000 in Eng­land. My mum was re­ally very un­happy about the whole sit­u­a­tion. She said to me, “You’re just like your dad. You’re go­ing off to Eng­land to piss away seven years of board­ing school and now you’re start­ing univer­sity, with all the costs for books and so on.” But I knew it was an op­por­tu­nity that was un­likely to come along again. I spoke to the dean at Queens. He said: “Okay. I un­der­stand the op­por­tu­nity is great, so go off, ll your boots for a year and, if it doesn’t work out, come back and pick up where you left off.” I never did go back.

By Jan­uary 1984, I’d packed my bags and was liv­ing in Eng­land with Ralph and Angie Fir­man. I did that for a cou­ple of months be­fore nd­ing lodg­ings with a lady called, would you be­lieve it, Mrs Hap­py­breeze. She was 80 years of age and

she be­came a sort of sur­ro­gate mother to me. She’d cook my sup­per, darn my socks, screen my phone calls… she re­ally was mar­vel­lous. I stayed with her for four years – I had a lovely com­fort­able bed and paid just £25 per week. Happy days! MH: Mean­while, Frank Nolan was as good as his word, but I seem to re­mem­ber that came to a very sad and un­ex­pected end. MD: He had a mas­sive coro­nary at his daugh­ter’s 18th birth­day party on 13 April 1986. There were three people – three Ir­ish people – who were very inuen­tial in my life when it came to get­ting into F1. My dad got me started; Frank Nolan took me to the UK; and then there was EJ [Ed­die Jordan]. I can say, hand on heart, that if Frank hadn’t died so un­ex­pect­edly, I wouldn’t have got to­gether with EJ. MH: You were into F3, driv­ing a Ralt with Frank pay­ing half of the £160,000 bill. You won at Ma­cau and, by then, the F1 teams were tak­ing a close look at you. Where did EJ t into this? MD: EJ had of­fered me a free F3 deal for ’87 us­ing his Spiess en­gine. I said no be­cause the Spiess en­gine would never work. He gave that deal to Johnny Her­bert, who then be­came Bri­tish F3 cham­pion. By 1988, EJ was in F3000 and one of his driv­ers, Thomas Daniels­son, had to stand down due to an eye prob­lem. EJ wanted £30,000 to put me in the car for the last ve rounds. He thought I had the money from Frank’s es­tate, but Frank hadn’t left a will and his as­sets had been frozen. I signed, know­ing I could never af­ford to pay. Un­der­neath this con­tract – sur­prise, sur­prise – was an­other one from EJ; a man­age­ment con­tract. He wanted 50 per cent of ev­ery­thing I earned, which at the time was about 50 pence. He wasn’t go­ing to get 50 per cent un­less I was earn­ing, so I signed. Job done. I thought: ‘I’ll drive the car and let that do the talk­ing. I’ll play EJ at his own game.’ MH: And the mes­sage came through loud and clear: you were quick. You got on the podium a few times then Johnny had an ac­ci­dent in the other Jordan at Brands Hatch and you took your rst F3000 win. Did EJ ever get his £30,000? MD: He stopped ask­ing be­cause he re­alised that it wasn’t com­ing. But he had me com­pletely tied up in a man­age­ment con­tract. It was like he was my pimp. He had me driv­ing sportscars in Ja­pan and all over the place – any­where he could make money. But I was get­ting re­sults, and it launched my name on the in­ter­na­tional scene; Martin Don­nelly was hot property. And then, of course, Lo­tus came call­ing. MH: How did that work with EJ when you got a con­tract as re­serve for Lo­tus in 1989? MD: It all started to hap­pen when Derek Warwick hurt him­self in a char­ity kart race. EJ was on the phone like a shot to Jackie Oliver of Ar­rows, of­fer­ing me as a re­place­ment based on some quick times I’d done in the Lo­tus dur­ing test­ing. I made my F1 de­but in the 1989 French GP. There was a big shunt at the rst cor­ner and I must have hit some de­bris; a wish­bone was bent. I took over the spare Ar­rows for the restart but it was set up for Ed­die Cheever; very difcult to drive with mas­sive over­steer. I nished 12th. MH: And you got a Lo­tus con­tract for 1990. You were start­ing to make progress by the time you got to the Span­ish GP at Jerez in Septem­ber. I’ve got your lap times from that qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion and you were ab­so­lutely on it when the front sus­pen­sion broke. The lap un­til that point had been an ab­so­lute blinder, hadn’t it? MD: A stonker, yeah. The rst two sec­tors were quick; they said it was go­ing to be P5. MH: Which, for that Lo­tus-Lam­borgh­ini, would have been like a Caterham be­ing in the top ten. MD: The tub was from the pre­vi­ous year. When they got the Lam­borgh­ini V12 for 1990, all they did was re­design the back end of the car. It was a heavy en­gine, so they made the tub lighter to save weight. When the car struck the bar­rier, it just dis­in­te­grated. MH: Ironic, isn’t it, that the chas­sis dis­in­te­grat­ing ac­tu­ally saved your life. You were thrown out of the car with the seat still at­tached to your back. Not that you knew any of that at the time. I’m sure you’ve been lled in since on the ex­tra­or­di­nary work Pro­fes­sor Sid Watkins had to do, just to get you sta­bilised. MD: My left leg swiv­elled so badly in im­pact, it ac­tu­ally crushed the nerves. The surgeons in the hospi­tal in Seville wanted to am­pu­tate be­cause they couldn’t con­trol the blood; the ar­ter­ies had been dam­aged badly at the top of my thigh. But Sid had grabbed a young guy from the cir­cuit and asked if he spoke English. When he said yes, Sid dragged him to the hospi­tal, right into the op­er­at­ing theatre, to trans­late what they were say­ing. The surgeons wanted this guy thrown out

and there was ma­jor ag­gro; a stand-up ar­gu­ment be­tween Sid and the surgeons about whether to keep the leg or take it off. MH: And Sid had to ght all over again when you got to the Lon­don Hospi­tal and the artery burst. MD: That’s right. His col­leagues wanted to am­pu­tate. Then there were the jump starts he had to deal with when my heart stopped twice. Your body only has a cer­tain amount of elas­tic­ity to it. Your neck will go so far and your in­nards will go so far. I hit the bar­rier at 42G but, ac­cord­ing to Sid, I went with the in­er­tia when I came out of the car.

Sid knew that bones heal. But he said with a body go­ing through that amount of G-force, all the in­ter­nals go into shock and fail. He gave me one of those in­jec­tions that paral­ysed ev­ery mus­cle in my body for the ight back to his hospi­tal in Whitechapel. The very next day,

“Hand on heart, if Frank Nolan hadn’t died so un­ex­pect­edly, I wouldn’t have got to­gether with EJ”

what he pre­dicted hap­pened. All my in­ter­nal or­gans just shut down. My kid­neys, my lungs; ev­ery­thing stopped. I was on a res­pi­ra­tor for six weeks and kid­ney dial­y­sis for a month. MH: I went to see you in ICU. It was hot; there was a lot of tick­ing and whirring and clank­ing, tubes go­ing in all di­rec­tions. You were ly­ing there, one eye shut, the other open. Your mouth was open; I could see the llings in your teeth. You were a translu­cent grey. Your an­cée, Diane, hav­ing been through it with other people com­ing to visit, was look­ing for the signs. At one point, she grabbed me by the arm and said: “I think you’d prob­a­bly like to leave now.” I was on the point of pass­ing out. MD: Derek Warwick is a hard man, as you know. Diane had primed Derek be­fore he came in, telling him he was about to see some­one he knew but might not recog­nise, so to be pre­pared. He took one look at me – and col­lapsed. MH: You weren’t a pretty sight, Martin. But you were ab­so­lutely de­ter­mined to walk down the aisle for your wed­ding. It was quite an emo­tional mo­ment. That was the rst time I’d been to

a wed­ding where the con­gre­ga­tion ap­plauded as the cou­ple walked by. But you were still in a very wob­bly state, weren’t you? MD: My weight was down to about 58 or 59 ki­los. I’d bad­gered Sid. I had these pins in my leg; four at the top, four at the bot­tom. I had them taken out be­cause I was go­ing to Willi Dungl’s place in Aus­tria. I had it in my mind that Willi had got Niki Lauda driv­ing again af­ter six weeks in 1976; he’d got Ger­hard Berger back again af­ter his burns at Imola in 1989. He was the guru at the time. I thought I’d go to Willi’s, he’d wave his magic wand and, in two or three months’ time, I’d be back be­hind the wheel. That’s what I hon­estly be­lieved. I didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tent of my in­juries.

There were two plas­tic casts on my leg with a hinge at the kneecap. If you moved the leg even 4mm, I was in ab­so­lute agony; it was hor­ren­dous. For the jour­ney out there, I had to be car­ried up the steps to the plane in a wheel­chair, down the aisle, onto the seat, and people would bang into the leg. I don’t know how many times I was in tears go­ing to Willi Dungl’s.

They took the wheel­chair away when I got there and I was given crutches. I was so weak, I could hardly move an inch. All the mus­cle had gone. The rst cou­ple of weeks, I was learn­ing to walk again. Then we re­alised the mus­cle was stuck to the fe­mur. Willi was say­ing there was noth­ing more he could do un­less I went back to Eng­land and had an oper­a­tion.

We took the cast off the leg and, ob­vi­ously, your skin dies when it’s been un­der a cast for some time. They ran me this hot bath with spe­cial chem­i­cals to soak in and just to freshen up. As I stood up in the bath to dry my­self, I put some weight on the left leg and, from the knee down, it just bent like an S-bend. It wasn’t hurt­ing be­cause I’d no nerve down there. The guy at Dungl’s said, “Oh God, that’s not right!” The doc­tor ar­rived and said: “That’s still not xed. Back to hospi­tal.”

I told ev­ery­one I was get­ting mar­ried and that I had to walk down the aisle. We made a plas­tic splint, start­ing un­der the foot, over the back of the leg with four Vel­cro straps. I wore that un­der my trousers to give the leg the sup­port I needed to walk. I’d made a prom­ise. Job done! MH: And the prob­lem re­mains with that mus­cle fused to the thigh. Is it difcult get­ting yourself mo­bile in the morn­ing? MD: I guess it is, but I don’t no­tice any more. It’s not that I don’t think about it. I’m re­minded when it comes to slopes be­cause I can’t bend the leg. If there are ban­is­ters ei­ther side, I can be as quick as any­body go­ing up or down be­cause my bi­ceps are strong. The kids [from his sec­ond mar­riage to Julie] can’t get over it; I’m down the stairs like a fer­ret. The ner­vous sys­tem feeds your mus­cle. If the nerves don’t op­er­ate the mus­cles, the toes re­tract. The sole of your foot is ba­si­cally one big mus­cle but, be­cause it’s not been fed, it wastes away. So, over time, the bone in your foot be­comes more and more ex­posed on the sur­face. You end up walk­ing on bone and be­cause my foot got man­gled, the heel is now un­der­neath the foot. So you go to the hospi­tal and they at­ten off the bone so you can walk. My left shoe is built up by an inch and ve-eighths be­cause of the amount of bone I lost. MH: Do you have to have an au­to­matic car? MD: No, I drive with a man­ual gear­box but, in­stead of be­ing able to ex my foot and stretch the left leg, I have to push from the hip. I’ve de­vel­oped a tech­nique – which I re­fer to as ‘River Dance’. If my left foot is off the clutch pedal for some time on a mo­tor­way, I haven’t got the mo­bil­ity or the ex­i­bil­ity to get it back onto the clutch pedal. So, I take my foot off the throt­tle, dip the clutch pedal with the right foot then ick the left foot onto the clutch. I don’t even no­tice it now. Any­one sit­ting in the back seat would have no idea what’s go­ing on. It’s very smooth. MH: You al­ways were! The one ma­jor hand­i­cap from a rac­ing point of view was that the leg stopped you from evac­u­at­ing the cock­pit in ve sec­onds. With­out that, could you have driven a For­mula 1 car again? Could you left-foot brake? You’ve got to hit the pedal re­ally hard these days. MD: I prob­a­bly couldn’t man­age that. When I walk, I can’t feel the pres­sure on my left foot or leg. So if I stood up now, I couldn’t tell you if it was 100 per cent or 10 per cent. MH: I could for­give you for feel­ing bit­ter about a car fail­ure tak­ing away a bright fu­ture, but you seem in­cred­i­bly sto­ical about it all… MD: Mau­rice, driv­ing F1 cars is a for­mer life. And that’s it. I’m lucky to be alive. Lis­ten, the only grief I have in life is that I wish I was more nan­cially se­cure. On the day of my ac­ci­dent, I had con­tracts on the ta­ble from Jordan, Tyrrell and Lo­tus. I had signed a £1.2 mil­lion deal with Lo­tus; £200,000 for 1990, £400,000 for 1991 and £600,000 for 1992. MH: So was that null and void af­ter the ac­ci­dent? MD: All null and void. They paid me £200,000 and £200,000 med­i­cal costs. The in­sur­ance paid out, thank­fully, but by the time we got to the last cou­ple of op­er­a­tions, the money was spent; it was all gone. The BRDC paid for the last two op­er­a­tions. That was good of them; won­der­ful. MH: With driv­ing no longer pos­si­ble, you ran Martin Don­nelly Rac­ing and were quite suc­cess­ful. Why don’t you do that now? MD: We won races in ev­ery class we raced in. The big re­sult for us was the Bri­tish Grand Prix F3 sup­port race. Back in those days, there were ve teams in Bri­tish F3 that could of­fer driv­ers cheap deals. So, any­body left in the mar­ket ei­ther had money but no re­sults, or talent but no money. It was be­com­ing more and more difcult. Then Johnny Lewis ap­proached me. He was set­ting up his new World Se­ries by

“I stood up and put some weight on the left leg and, from the knee down, it just bent like an S-bend”

Re­nault team in 2006 and he asked me to work for him. He was of­fer­ing three times what I was pay­ing my­self, and it was ba­si­cally a role as op­er­a­tions man­ager and driver coach. It wasn’t rocket sci­ence, so I wrapped up my com­pany and worked there un­til 2009. Some­times it was seven days a week. So you work dur­ing the week, travel, race the week­ends, then you’re back in again. I’d got a young fam­ily, and I thought: ‘Well, they don’t stay young very long.’ I’d been pulled in by the Lo­tus Academy to run their thing and give pri­vate tu­ition, which meant I could spend my week­days at home, and work week­ends as and when I wanted to. I am now the chief driv­ing in­struc­tor for the Lo­tus Driv­ers’ Academy, FIA driver stew­ard and I do some per­sonal coach­ing as well.

I was very for­tu­itous in meet­ing Paul Gold­ing, a good guy and a very good friend. He runs four cham­pi­onships, all of them over­sub­scribed two months be­fore the rst race. They had a Lo­tus Elise S1. I asked if I could use their car as a mar­ket­ing tool; Paul wasn’t both­ered at all. I ap­proached ID sys­tems, a bi-fold door specialist in Nor­wich. With their sup­port, my son Ste­fan and I are rac­ing to­gether this year. MH: You talked about be­ing a race stew­ard; do you en­joy that? MD: I do. You go there ba­si­cally to make yourself un­pop­u­lar, a bit like it was when I was do­ing F3 and F3000. If you win, you’re un­pop­u­lar, and if you’re go­ing to do a stew­ard’s job and make a few calls, you’re un­pop­u­lar. So it’s noth­ing new to me. Ob­vi­ously there’s more tech­nol­ogy in­volved than be­fore, but it beats work­ing. I do

en­joy it. MH: Do you en­joy lis­ten­ing to the driv­ers com­ing up with their sto­ries? It must make you smile be­cause you’ve been there. MD: They try to be so clever, I think: ‘Well you must be­lieve I’m some mup­pet.’ It’s great craic! MH: Al­though you’re younger than me, I’d de­scribe you as be­ing more old school than new school. When you see the start of a grand prix and the guy on pole is slightly slow to get away, he im­me­di­ately pulls across to block the driver on the out­side of the front row and al­most has him against the pit­wall. I know you’re al­lowed to de­fend but, to my way of think­ing, that’s not right. What do you think? What wor­ries me is the young­sters watch­ing that sort of thing. MD: Mau­rice, we’ve all done it. You make a bad start then try to de­fend as best you can. If some­one has more mo­men­tum, they’ll be in there and they’ll get past, but you won’t give up that po­si­tion un­til the last mo­ment. That’s rac­ing. MH: What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween what Ros­berg did from pole in Bahrain when he tried to squeeze out Hamil­ton, and when Schu­macher had Bar­richello al­most into the wall dur­ing the race in Hun­gary in 2010? MD: One’s the start when ev­ery­body is pumped up and psyched, and some guys get a good launch and some get bad launches. But what Michael did to Rubens was re­ally stupid. It was at quite high speed. Michael pushed his luck; he wasn’t giv­ing Rubens the width of a fag packet. MH: Are we talk­ing about the dif­fer­ence be­tween what’s per­mis­si­ble and what’s dan­ger­ous? MD: Yes, that was dan­ger­ous. What Nico did to Lewis is rac­ing. These guys have a sixth sense when it comes to how much space to give. Johnny Her­bert and I had a mo­ment at Snet­ter­ton in ’87. He was driv­ing EJ’s F3 Rey­nard and I was fol­low­ing through Rus­sell, when it was at. Johnny got a twitch on as we went into the pit straight and I went in­side. The me­chan­ics were yank­ing back their pit boards! But Johnny didn’t put me into the wall; there was just enough room and no more. You make it as hard as pos­si­ble but know how much space you can leave. MH: It’s all about op­por­tu­ni­ties, isn’t it? You had yours and grabbed them. MD: I never had any money to pay for drives, but where there were op­por­tu­ni­ties I got re­sults. And now I get you pay­ing for din­ner! Life goes on. Thanks, Mau­rice. MH: Not at all. It’s been a plea­sure to have din­ner with an old blag­ger.

“Be­fore my ac­ci­dent, I signed a £1.2 mil­lion deal with Lo­tus. Af­ter­wards it was null and void”

Left: Don­nelly com­pet­ing in For­mula Ford in Ire­land in the early days, spon­sor­ship cour­tesy of his dad’s fruit and veg busi­ness. Above: Rac­ing for Frank Nolan at Thrux­ton in 1985 in a Van Diemen RF85

Don­nelly takes his first win in F3000 at Brands Hatch in 1988, for Jordan Rac­ing

In 1988, Don­nelly signed an F3000 con­tract, en­ti­tling EJ to 50 per cent of his earn­ings

Mak­ing his F1 de­but with Ar­rows at the 1989 French GP, where he fin­ished 12th in the spare car

The re­mains of Don­nelly’s writ­ten-off Lo­tus 102 are re­moved from the track at Jerez af­ter his hor­ri­fy­ing 140mph crash

Pro­fes­sor Sid Watkins was on the scene at Jerez and fought to pre­serve Don­nelly’s dam­aged leg

Af­ter his ac­ci­dent, Don­nelly set up Martin Don­nelly Rac­ing, which en­joyed suc­cess in dif­fer­ent classes

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