Eye-witness account of the accident

Only a few spectators witnessed the accident, which happened at lightning speed as Zborowski left the Lesmo bend and was about to go into the straight before the easier bend. The Mercedes suddenly snaked and then spun across the road, as if something had happened to the brakes. (The DBG investigation later refuted this — WB.) The car careered against two posts and ended up against a tree.

The Mercedes was facing in the opposite direction from which it had come and neither occupant was moving. First to reach it were two carabinieri and two young soldiers. Zborowski was lying a metre in front of the car, the mechanic Martini (Len Martin) beside and almost under it. The latter, with help, was able to walk away. (Some gory details follow — WB.) “Prior to examination of the wrecked car the cause of the crash can only be based on what witnesses said. They reported a spin the driver could not control and a seizure of the brakes, which had just been used. (See above — WB.)

“Some said that Zborowski had left the pits with his cigarette alight and had been seen to throw it away absent-mindedly, taking his right hand from the steering wheel and leaning from the car as the spin commenced. At the pit stop for fuel, fresh plugs and wheels, Zborowski helped Martin. He had refused a glass of water and a liqueur but asked for a cigarette.”

From the Daimler-Benz archives, Stuttgart.