Pacific GP 1994
APRIL 17, 1994
Pacific GP, 1994
The weeks between the Brazilian and Pacific Grands Prix had been filled with controversy. Eddie Irvine's one-race ban (after causing an accident in Brazil) had been increased to three races by the FIA. The Jordan team called in Aguri Suzuki to replace him. Jean Alesi had damaged his neck in a testing accident at Mugello and was replaced by the Ferrari test driver Nicola Larini. There was increasing discontent that the rules were not being properly policed with allegations that some teams were using traction control and automatic starting systems.
Qualifying resulted in Ayrton Senna showing all his skill to take the Williams-Renault to pole position ahead of the Benetton of Michael Schumacher. Damon Hill was third in his Williams while McLaren showed a lot better than the team had in Brazil with Mika Hakkinen fourth and Martin Brundle sixth, the pair being split by Gerhard Berger's Ferrari. Larini was seventh ahead of Rubens Barrichello (Jordan), Christian Fittipaldi (Arrows) and Jos Verstappen in the second Benetton.
At the start both Schumacher and Senna got away well but Michael was slightly quicker. Senna's car twitched as they braked but the Brazilian decided it was best not to slam the door. Schumacher was worried that Senna would power ahead at the exit of the corner and so he lifted slightly. He said that this was to ensure that the Ford engine was in the right rev range at the exit. Senna was not expecting it and lifted off while Hakkinen was not ready for a sudden hesitation by Senna and crashed into the back of the Williams, tipping the car into a spin. Senna's car took off Larini while there were various bumps further back in the field as everyone tried to get through.
With Senna standing beside the track watching (and listening for traction-control) Schumacher drove away form the rest of the field at a remarkable pace while Hakkinen ran second. Damon Hill tried to pass him on lap four and spun off as a result. He rejoined ninth and charged back to fourth by the time of the pit stops. While making his own stop Hakkinen's McLaren stalled. He rejoined but the hydraulic system was fading and the Finn parked the car soon afterwards. This left Schumacher with a lead of half a minute over Berger with Barrichello chasing him.
Hill had pitted and had dropped back again but was still charging hard. He would eventually climb up the order to second place but then went out with a gearbox failure. When the various strategies had been played out Schumacher was the winner with Berger second. Brundle had been third but his race ended with a Peugeot engine failure. Barrichello was third with Christian Fittipaldi surviving to finish fourth ahead of Frentzen and Erik Comas (Larrousse).
|7||12||Johnny Herbert||Lotus-Mugen Honda||80||23|
|8||11||Pedro Lamy||Lotus-Mugen Honda||79||24|
|r||8||Martin Brundle||McLaren-Peugeot||67||Engine Overheating||6|
|r||0||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault FW16||49||Transmission||3|
|r||15||Aguri Suzuki||Jordan-Hart||44||Steering Upright/accident||20|
|r||7||Mika Hakkinen||McLaren-Peugeot||19||Gearbox Hydraulics||4|