Canadian GP 1995

JUNE 11, 1995

Canadian GP, 1995

Ferrari star Jean Alesi celebrated his 31st birthday by winning the Canadian Grand Prix - his first win in 91 Formula 1 starts. Jean was beside himself with joy and much of the paddock shared the sentiment for he is a popular man. The Canadian fans loved it too but they nearly spoiled the day by invading the circuit. There were several terrifying near-misses as cars raced to the finishing line. It had been a lucky win for Jean because the race had been dominated by Michael Schumacher, who ended in fifth position. You can say the German was unlucky but he somehow manages to score points even when things don't work out in his favour.

Michael was surfing along on a seemingly endless wave of self-confidence when he arrived in Montreal. Everyone was saying the same. The Benetton-Renault was not as good a car as the Williams-Renault, but the driver was making the difference. In qualifying Michael started out ahead and he never really looked threatened. He even had time for a quick spin before taking pole position. Second was Damon Hill with David Coulthard third ahead of the two Ferraris and Johnny Herbert and then came the jumbled McLarens and Jordans as usual. The grid in Canada was down to 24 cars with the disappearance of Simtek, buried beneath an avalanche of debt.

In the race all the front runners chose a one-stop strategy, wiping out any artificial excitement which might have been generated by the pit stops. Schumacher led from the start, leaving his rivals to pill over one another as usual. At the hairpin Hakkinen took out Herbert. In the same place on lap two Coulthard dropped the ball and spun into a sandtrap.

Hill was struggling with a car which was clearly not competitive and he dropped to third behind Alesi and then to fourth behind Berger. When it came to the pit stops, Ferrari screwed up and Berger ran out of gas and had to cruise round to get to the pits. Frustrated Gerhard ended his race by nerfing Martin Brundle into a sandtrap in a daft manoeuvre at the first corner.

Then Hill disappeared - with yet another gearbox hydraulic failure. This left Schumacher with a half minute advantage over Alesi, who was a long way clear of the two Jordans. With 11 laps to go, however, Michael's Benetton faltered with an electrical problem. The car stuck in third gear. He came into the pits and the team decided that it might be a problem with the gearchange flippers on the back of the steering wheel. The wheel was swapped, the system reset and Michael sent on his way. He set the fastest lap of the race as he chased Olivier Panis's Ligier for fourth place. The two were still fighting when the crowds invaded the track.

While Alesi celebrated his victory, down at Jordan there was jubilation as well as Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine came home second and third. And down in sixth place Gianni Morbidelli collected Arrows's first point of the year. One race later, in France, Gianni was dropped because the sponsorship money he brought to the team ran out.

After the race in Montreal, however, the rumour grew that Schumacher had signed a deal with Ferrari for 1996 - and that meant that there would no drive for Jean.

27 Jean Alesi Ferrari 412T2 68 1h46m31.333s  
14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 195 68 1h47m03.020s  
15 Eddie Irvine Jordan-Peugeot 195 68 1h47m04.603s  
26 Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 68 1h47m07.839s  11 
Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault B195 68 1h47m08.393s  
Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Hart FA16 67  13 
Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 67  15 
24 Luca Badoer Minardi-Cosworth M195 67  19 
10 Taki Inoue Footwork-Hart FA16 66  22 
10r 25 Martin Brundle Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 61 Accident 14 
11r 28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari 412T2 61 Accident 
23 Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Cosworth M195 60 Throttle Cable 17 
22 Roberto Moreno Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 54 Out Of Fuel (refuelling Failure) 23 
Damon Hill Williams-Renault FW17 50 Gearbox Hydraulic Pump 
Mark Blundell McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 47 Engine 10 
Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 42 Engine Air Pressure 16 
16 Bertrand Gachot Pacific-Cosworth PR02 36 Battery 20 
30 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Cosworth C14 26 Engine 12 
21 Pedro Diniz Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 26 Gearbox 24 
29 Jean-Christophe Boullion Sauber-Cosworth C14 19 Spin 18 
17 Andrea Montermini Pacific-Cosworth PR02 Gearbox Hydraulics 21 
David Coulthard Williams-Renault FW17 Spin 
Johnny Herbert Benetton-Renault B195 Accident 
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 Accident