Australian GP 1995

Australian GP, 1995

Damon Hill won the Australian Grand Prix by two complete laps over the opposition. That has only been achieved once before in the history of the Formula 1 World Championship, at the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix when Jackie Stewart took his Matra to a two lap victory over Bruce McLaren at Montjuich Park in Barcelona. Damon had answered his critics in the best possible way.

The Adelaide weekend, which boasted the biggest race day crowd in F1 history - 210,000 people - was overshadowed by the accident which befell Mika Hakkinen on Friday afternoon at Brewery Bend when his McLaren suffered a rear left puncture (caused by wreckage) and crashed heavily. Mika suffered head injuries and was rushed to hospital.

Qualifying resulted in Hill and Coulthard sharing the front row of the grid with Schumacher third. The Ferraris were fourth and fifth, Berger ahead of Alesi, with Heinz-Harald Frentzen sixth.

At the start Coulthard took the lead from Hill while Schumacher's hopes of challenging the Williams pair went out of the window, his Benetton being engulfed by the two Ferraris. It took him four laps to pass Alesi and then Berger and his tyres were shot by the time he had and he could not challenge Coulthard and Hill.

At the first pit stops Coulthard came into the tight pitlane entry too fast and ran into the pitwall. His race was over.

Schumacher and Alesi collided after their pit stops and both were forced to retire. This gave Hill a half minute advantage over Herbert - who had not pitted - and so when the Benetton finally did pit he had nearly a minute's advantage over Berger. The Ferrari then blew up. Frentzen moved into second - holding off Herbert - until the Sauber's gearbox graunched horribly and died.

Herbert ran second for a while with Eddie Irvine third. The Jordan-Peugeot then lost all pneumatic pressure and Eddie pulled out. A few laps later Herbert suffered a driveshaft failure.

This left Olivier Panis in second place in the Ligier with Gianni Morbidelli third for Arrows. In the closing laps Panis's Mugen Honda engine was pumping out oil and he was lapped for a second time by Hill. In third place Morbidelli held off Blundell's McLaren and there was much celebrating down at the Arrows pit.

Fourth place belonged to Blundell - which was hardly a very inspiring result for McLaren after the team's remarkable second place finish at Suzuka just a fortnight before.

Mika Salo held on to fifth with Pedro Lamy right behind him, the Portuguese driver giving Minardi its first point of the year.

The paddock would have been bubbling with end-of-season happiness but for the fact that Hakkinen - a popular man in the F1 world - was dangerously ill in hospital, a reminder that F1 is and always will be a dangerous sport, no matter how good the safety measures.

There were still the usual parties on Sunday night - F1 never stops moving - and in the morning the crews shipped out and headed back to base to begin work for next season...

Damon Hill Williams-Renault FW17 81 1h49m15.936s  
26 Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 79  12 
Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Hart FA16 79  13 
Mark Blundell McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 79  10 
Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 78  14 
23 Pedro Lamy Minardi-Cosworth M195 78  17 
21 Pedro Diniz Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 77  21 
16 Bertrand Gachot Pacific-Cosworth PR02 76  23 
Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 70 Oil Pressure/engine 16 
Johnny Herbert Benetton-Renault B195 69 Drive Shaft 
15 Eddie Irvine Jordan-Peugeot 195 62 Engine Hydraulic Pressure 
30 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Cosworth C14 39 Gearbox 
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari 412T2 34 Engine 
25 Martin Brundle Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 29 Accident 11 
Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault B195 25 Accident/rear Suspension 
27 Jean Alesi Ferrari 412T2 23 Accident/front Suspension 
22 Roberto Moreno Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 21 Accident 20 
14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 195 20 Accident 
David Coulthard Williams-Renault FW17 19 Accident 
10 Taki Inoue Footwork-Hart FA16 15 Accident 19 
29 Karl Wendlinger Sauber-Cosworth C14 Withdrew (neck Injury) 18 
17 Andrea Montermini Pacific-Cosworth PR02 Gearbox/spin 22 
ns 24 Luca Badoer Minardi-Cosworth M195  Electronics On Dummy Grid 23 
ns Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10  Tire/accident/injury 24