16/1/2002

Former Formula One driver Ian Ashley was arrested at Heathrow airport for carrying offensive weapons.

Former Formula 1 driver Ian Ashley has been released on bail after being arrested at London's Heathrow Airport, allegedly trying to carry offensive weapons onto a flight to Seattle. Security staff at Terminal Four discovered a three-inch penknife and pliers concealed in Ashley's socks and found a screwdriver hidden in a spectacle case. Ashley (54) was later bailed to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates Court on February 1. Ashley was detained after being charged under the Aviation and Security Act Ashley - who was nicknamed "Crashley" during his racing career - had to abandon racing after only four Grands Prix races. He had a huge accident in qualifying for the German GP in August 1975 when he crashed his Williams at Nurburgring's daunting Pflanzgarten and broke both his ankles. He made a comeback in 1977 driving an Obex Oil Hesketh but flipped while cresting one of Mosport Park's famous bumps and somersaulted over the barriers and into a television tower. Ashley was seriously hurt again. He later turned to a career as a pilot of executive jets in the United States but returned to racing in the late 1990s driving in the British Touring Car Championship and in TVR Tuscans.

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