Italian GP 1995

Italian GP, 1995

Johnny Herbert won for Benetton at Monza - not long after discovering that the team was not interested in his services for 1996. Once again, however, Johnny's victory was overshadowed by an incident between Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. They say in motor racing that to finish first, first you must finish and Johnny did that on a day when all the other frontrunners failed to make it.

In qualifying David Coulthard had been unbeatable. The news that he was not being retained by Williams in 1996 seemed to have lifted a great weight from his shoulders and his old confidence - lost in the mid-season because of illness and pressure - was back. Schumacher qualified second in his Benetton but only thanks to some way over the limit driving in final qualifying. Berger was third, giving the Ferrari fans hopes for the race and Hill was fourth after a rare Renault engine failure when it mattered. The rest of the grid was much as normal.

The race was a strange affair - even before it began - as Coulthard spun off on the parade lap and toured into the pits when the grid formed up. Schumacher led but a midfield carambolage caused red flags, which meant that the race had to be suspended and restarted. And so Coulthard was able to get into the Williams spare and take the second start. David took the lead and, after a few laps feeling his way, began to pull away from Berger - who had beaten Schumacher off the line. Coulthard's lead grew to 2.4secs but he then suffered a wheel-bearing failure which spun him into a sandtrap.

Berger inherited the lead and must have been delighted when Schumacher and Hill disappeared while trying to overtake Taki Inoue. Schumacher blamed Hill, Hill blamed Inoue - who had caused him to brake late and slide into the back of the Benetton. It looked like a simple mistake. Hill had nothing to gain by taking Schumacher off. The stewards - as is often the case - came up with a curious decision. They gave Damon a one race ban, suspended for one race.

The disappearance of the two made it a Ferrari 1-2. The team's bizarre pitwork put Alesi into the lead during the mid-race stops and this would lead ultimately to Berger's retirement. He was chasing Alesi hard when a TV camera mounted on the outside of Alesi's rear wing fell off in the Curva Grande and bounced into Berger's path, smashing his left front suspension. The Austrian was left an uncomfortable passenger in his car as it slewed down the road and into the sandtrap.

And so Alesi was left with a lead of around eight seconds over Herbert and the gap remained pretty constant until the Ferrari slowed with just eight laps to go. A wheelbearing had failed. Jean was once again beside himself with disappointment.

Jean's misfortune was Johnny Herbert's gain and he duly relled off the final few laps to win his second Grand Prix. Mika Hakkinen was a distant second for McLaren while Heinz-Harald Frentzen grabbed third for Sauber to score his first podium finish in F1 racing. Frentzen, too, had been lucky because the two Jordans which had been ahead of him self-destructed with technical troubles in the closing laps. Mark Blundell gave McLaren another boost with fourth place while Mika Salo survived to be fifth - not bad considering he had had a spin and an extra pit stop - and Jean-Christophe Boullion snatched the final point in his Sauber.

Johnny Herbert Benetton-Renault B195 53 1h18m27.916s  
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 53 1h18m45.695s  
30 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Cosworth C14 53 1h18m52.237s  10 
Mark Blundell McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 53 1h18m56.139s  
Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 52  16 
29 Karl Wendlinger Sauber-Cosworth C14 52  14 
Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Hart FA16 52  15 
10 Taki Inoue Footwork-Hart FA16 52  20 
21 Pedro Diniz Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 50  23 
10 Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 47  17 
27 Jean Alesi Ferrari 412T2 45 Rear Wheel Bearing 
14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 195 43 Hydraulics 
15 Eddie Irvine Jordan-Peugeot 195 40 Oil Pressure/engine 12 
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari 412T2 32 Front Suspension(alesi™s Camera) 
24 Luca Badoer Minardi-Cosworth M195 26 Accident 18 
Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault B195 23 Accident 
Damon Hill Williams-Renault FW17 23 Accident 
26 Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 20 Spin 13 
David Coulthard Williams-Renault FW17 13 Frong Wheel Bearing/spin 
25 Aguri Suzuki Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 10 Puncture 11 
16 Giovanni Lavaggi Pacific-Cosworth PR02 Spin 24 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth M195 Differential 19 
22 Roberto Moreno Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 Accident/retired After First Start 22 
17 Andrea Montermini Pacific-Cosworth PR02 Accident/retired After First Start 21