Italian GP 1993

Italian GP, 1993

There had been a number of changes in the driver line-up for the Italian GP with Thierry Boutsen having stood down from Jordan after the Belgian GP, bringing to an end his 10-year F1 career. The team hired Marco Apicella to replace him. Pedro Lamy was hired by Team Lotus to stand in for the injured Alex Zanardi. Benetton announced a sponsorship deal with Mild Seven while Lotus announced plans to run Mugen Honda V10s in 1994 and Scuderia Italia and Minardi confirmed their plans to merge operations. There were also rumours that Michael Andretti would be leaving F1 to go back to America, leaving the second McLaren for test driver Mika Hakkinen.

Qualifying was a familiar story with Alain Prost and Damon Hill on the front row in their Williams-Renaults. Jean Alesi was third on the grid in his Ferrari while Ayrton Senna (McLaren) was fourth and Michael Schumacher (Benetton) fifth. Gerhard Berger was sixth in his Ferrari but in the final minutes of qualifying he had a huge accident when he had a misunderstanding with Alesi and hit the barriers at 203mph. The Ferrari spun five times, flew over a sandtrap and crashed into a tyre barrier at high speed. It had been a very close call.

Seventh was a surprise as Johnny Herbert found himself right on the pace in his Lotus, and the top 10 was completed by Aguri Suzuki's Footwork, Michael Andretti's McLaren and Riccardo Patrese's Benetton.

At the start of the race Prost got away well with Alesi trying to follow him. Hill and Senna arrived at the first corner together and collided. As Hill rejoined Berger hit him as well and so Damon was down in ninth place by the end of the first lap. Behind them there was a lot of action as Footwork's Warwick and Suzuki, JJ Lehto's Sauber and the two Jordans of Apicella and Rubens Barrichello tangled. All five cars were out. Christian Fittipaldi (Minardi) and Philippe Alliot (Larrousse) both had to pit for repairs.

At the end of the first lap Prost was ahead of Alesi, Schumacher, Berger, Herbert and Martin Brundle (Ligier-Renault) although Schumacher soon moved up to second.

Further back Hill and Senna were busy making up for lost time but on the ninth lap Senna and Brundle collided and both retired. Herbert also disappeared in an accident and so Prost led Schumacher, the recovering Hill, Alesi, Berger and Patrese. On lap 21, however, Schumacher went out with a blown engine.

As the race went into its closing laps Hill began to close on Prost and then sat behind him. On lap 49 the matter was settled when Prost's engine blew. Hill took his third consecutive victory with Alesi 40 seconds behind while Michael Andretti scored his first decent result for McLaren with third place, albeit a lap behind. Karl Wendlinger (Sauber) drove a sensible race to finish fourth with Patrese fifth and Erik Comas (Larrousse) picked up the final point.

Seventh place was a battle between the two Minardis and this ended just before the chequered flag when Christian Fittipaldi swerved to overtake Pierluigi Martini and ran into the right rear wheel of Martini's car at 190mph. Christian's car flew into the air, looped the loop, but landed on its wheels and skidded across the finishing line on three wheels.

Damon Hill Williams-Renault  53 1h17m07.509s  
27 Jean Alesi Ferrari  53 1h17m47.521s  
Michael Andretti McLaren-Cosworth  52  
29 Karl Wendlinger Sauber-Ilmor  52  15 
Riccardo Patrese Benetton-Cosworth  52  10 
20 Erik Comas Larrousse-Lamborghini  51  20 
7r 24 Fabrizio Barbazza Minardi-Cosworth  51 Accident 22 
8r 23 Christian Fittipaldi Minardi-Cosworth  51 Accident 24 
19 Philippe Alliot Larrousse-Lamborghini  51  16 
10 22 Luca Badoer Lola-Ferrari  51  25 
11r 11 Pedro Lamy Lotus-Cosworth  49 Engine 26 
12r Alain Prost Williams-Renault  48 Engine 
13r Andrea de Cesaris Tyrrell-Yamaha  47 Oil Pressure 18 
14 Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha  47  17 
21 Michele Alboreto Lola-Ferrari  23 Suspension 21 
Michael Schumacher Benetton-Cosworth  21 Engine 
26 Mark Blundell Ligier-Renault  20 Accident 14 
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari  15 Suspension 
12 Johnny Herbert Lotus-Cosworth  14 Accident 
25 Martin Brundle Ligier-Renault  Accident 12 
Ayrton Senna McLaren-Cosworth  Accident 
10 Aguri Suzuki Footwork-Mugen Honda  Accident 
Derek Warwick Footwork-Mugen Honda  Accident 11 
30 JJ Lehto Sauber-Ilmor  Accident 13 
14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Hart  Accident 19 
15 Marco Apicella Jordan-Hart  Accident 23