Spanish GP 1995

Spanish GP, 1995

The Benetton team scored a 1-2 finish in Barcelona and in doing so Schumacher moved to the top of the Drivers' Championship and the team overtook Williams in the Constructors' battle. It was Benetton's second 1-2 in the team's history, the only other such triumph being at Suzuka in 1990. Michael Schumacher and the Benetton engineers decided to try a new strategy - having failed to beat Williams using the 1994 trick of making one more pit stop than the Didcot team. Instead Schumacher made one stop less...

Johnny Herbert's second place - his first F1 podium finish - was rather fortunate and came only after Damon Hill ran into trouble on the very last lap of the race and dropped from second to fourth due to a gearbox hydraulic problem.

On Friday Ferrari had had a 1-2 on the grid but the Benetton engineers worked hard during the night and on Saturday Schumacher blasted away the opposition with a lap which was six-tenths faster than everyone else. The Ferraris remained second and third while Coulthard and Hill were a disappointing fourth and fifth. Coulthard may have beaten Hill but he reckoned he might have done a lot better but for tonsilitis.

If Williams was disappointed, McLaren was in the depths with Hakkinen and Mansell ninth and 10th on the grid, behind the two Jordans.

In the finest traditions of Spanish wiring the green light never came on to signal the start and those who were waiting for it were left behind. This had a particularly detrimental effect on both Coulthard and Mansell who went from fourth to seventh and 10th to 14th respectively.

Schumacher led Alesi and Hill with Berger fourth, while Coulthard wasted vital laps passing Hakkinen and Irvine to get back to his grid position. Mansell, in the meantime, had a spin and then stopped in the pits, declaring his McLaren to be "virtually impossible to drive." That was the last F1 saw of former World Champion Nigel Mansell. McLaren boss Ron Dennis does not like criticism, Nigel would be replaced by Blundell from Monaco onwards.

Schumacher completed a blistering series of laps in the early part of the race but gradually Alesi and Hill - who were locked in combat giving chase - began to close the gap. The Williams boys pitted early on - they were going for three pit stops - and so Schumacher and Alesi stayed ahead and indeed remained ahead after their first stops. Alesi might well have challenged for the lead late in the race but his engine blew up and so Schumacher was left with a big lead over the two Williams-Renaults. Towards the end of the race Coulthard was sidelined by a gearbox problem and then, on the last lap, Hill suffered a gearbox hydraulic system failure and dropped behind Herbert - who would score his first F1 podium - and Berger - who had also chosen the three-stop strategy.

Irvine was fifth - the first points for the Jordan-Peugeot relationship (well-timed as Peugeot boss Jacques Calvet was there to watch) - but there was disappointment when Rubens Barrichello suffered a throttle problem on the last lap and lost sixth place to the Ligier of Olivier Panis.

A fine victory - but a dull race...

Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault B195 65 1h34m20.507s  
Johnny Herbert Benetton-Renault B195 65 1h35m12.495s  
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari 412T2 65 1h35m25.744s  
Damon Hill Williams-Renault FW17 65 1h35m25.744s  
15 Eddie Irvine Jordan-Peugeot 195 64  
26 Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 64  15 
14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 195 64  
30 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Cosworth C14 64  12 
25 Martin Brundle Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 64  11 
10 Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 64  13 
11 Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Hart FA16 63  14 
12 12 Jos Verstappen Simtek-Cosworth S951 63  16 
13 29 Karl Wendlinger Sauber-Cosworth C14 63  20 
14 23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth M195 62  19 
15 11 Mimmo Schiattarella Simtek-Cosworth S951 61  22 
Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 56 Engine Pneumatic Valve System 17 
David Coulthard Williams-Renault FW17 54 Gearbox 
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 53 Fuel Pressure 
10 Taki Inoue Footwork-Hart FA16 43 Engine Hydraulic Fire  18 
16 Bertrand Gachot Pacific-Cosworth PR02 43 Refueling Valve/fire 24 
22 Roberto Moreno Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 39 Water Pump 25 
27 Jean Alesi Ferrari 412T2 25 Engine 
24 Luca Badoer Minardi-Cosworth M195 21 Gearbox Hydraulics 21 
Nigel Mansell McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 18 Handling  10 
21 Pedro Diniz Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 17 Exhaust/gearbox Cable 26 
17 Andrea Montermini Pacific-Cosworth PR02 -1 Gearbox Hydraulics 23