We’ve already had a topic on career saving drives. But what about career saving injuries?
Obviously I don’t mean drivers injuring themselves and helping their careers with that, but others.
For example, Glock’s injury in Suzuka in 2009 – it saved Kobayashi’s career, he had no money to continue in GP2 and was planning a return to Japan to work in a sushi restaurant, but he got 2 races in Toyota because of Glock and he got a Sauber seat, which he still has.
Kubica’s injury is likely to save Heidfeld’s career, who would probably not return to the sport, but now has a great chance of a great season, even the title is not out of reach.
Then maybe Massa’s injury in Liuzzi’s career (Fisichella replaced Massa, Liuzzi got the Force India seat which he had for around 25 races).
Sorry about yesterday’s double post, had a dodgy internet connection…
Ralf Schumacher made a habit of giving people second chances through getting himself injured – Marc Gené, Antonio Pizzonia (who also got a chance through Heidfeld’s injury in 2005), Riccardo Zonta… whether any of these were career-saving is debatable!
Jean-Pierre Jarier did two wonderful races (Canada and US) for Lotus in 1977 stepping in for Peterson after his death. Fittipaldi also got his break with Lotus driving the 72 after Rindt’s death (he was before that the third driver and had to drive the 49)
The “tennis injury” was 2005, causing JP to miss two races. Of course, what had actually happened was that he had fallen off a motorcross bike and broken his shoulder. He was replaced in the first race by Pedro de la Rosa (who had an eventful time in Bahrain and finished fifth) and in the second by Alexander Wurz (who finished fourth, later promoted to third after BAR were disqualified for their fuel-tank trickery).
In 2006 Montoya simply announced that he would move to NASCAR in 2007, and McLaren dispensed with his services after that. It came in the wake of the pile-up at the beginning of the US GP that eliminated both McLarens among several others, which was widely blamed on Montoya (albeit very unfairly, it was a first-corner accident after all).