I have not read the thread thoroughly as some of it was, I thought, unnecessary so please excuse me if this has been mentioned before, and it's from memory:-
At the time of Gordon's accident Desire Wilson was also trying to qualify for he first 500. Desi was in my opinion, the most talented lady racing driver of modern times by far and so very nearly made it into F1. As an aside I could add something to the John McDonald thread about why she didn't.
Anyhow we shared a table with our friends Desi and husband Alan at Goodwood FoS of this year. She was there driving a little Porsche as she had been asked by her former Indy entrant to do so. Typical of Desi she gave it her all in a lovely car which was, shall we say, slightly underpowered.
As the talk turned to Indy Desi mentioned that following Smiley's accident she had forced herself to watch the footage to see if she could learn something. Sure enough it was obvious to her that the road racer's instincts had stepped in and Gordon just over corrected and when the car gripped, as they do, went straight in.
Subsequently when Desi was really pushing trying to get into the field her own car oversteered and as a direct result of watching the footage she simply steered WITH the slide and rotated at some 200mph down the straight.
The end result... four flat spotted tyres and a lady glad she had put herself through the trauma of watching a film clip.