European GP 1995
OCTOBER 1, 1995
European GP, 1995
At the end of the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, Damon Hill stepped out from behind the barriers where his Williams was at rest and joined the thousands of German fans applauding a great drive from Michael Schumacher in his Benetton.
With only a week between the Portuguese and European events it was no surprise that David Coulthard set the pace in qualifying with team mate Damon Hill joining him at the top of the timesheets. But then qualifying was disrupted by the weather and so we never really had a decent showdown. Schumacher was third on the grid with the Ferraris fourth and sixth, split by Eddie Irvine - who will be driving for Ferrari next season. It was pretty much business as usual with McLaren-Mercedes a distressing ninth and tenth, despite the fact that this was Mercedes country.
Race day was damp and, on the recognition laps before the cars go to the pre-grid, Coulthard screwed up again, spinning off and stalling. The crestfallen Scotsman had to hurry back to the pits to take the spare car. His race, however, was compromised before it even began because the spare is never quite as good as a race car.
Despite this David made a good start and, as Hill floundered on the dirty side of the track, Schumacher slotted into second place. Everyone, except Ferrari and McLaren, had chosen to go on wet tyres and in those early laps the slick runners dropped back, notably the McLarens, which were embarrassing as they were passed by Pacifics and Fortis. The Ferraris only dropped to sixth and ninth.
Out front Coulthard led Schumacher and the recovering Hill and that order would remain the same as the track began to dry. As it did so the Ferraris began to speed up and pit stops began for slick tyres. When this was done Alesi had a 20 secs advantage over Coulthard, Schumacher and Hill.
Hill was trying to pass Schumacher in what was clearly - at that moment - a faster car. Michael defended as he has done in recent races - like a man who has nothing to lose. There was one particularly ruthless and vicious chop, which nearly sent Hill off as he locked up trying to avoid the German. It was one of those manouevres guaranteed to start an argument between observers. Damon did not give up and a few minutes later managed to get past thanks to sheer balls and determination which left Schumacher unable to react. But at the last corner Damon blew his advantage when he nearly spun. Schumacher got ahead again and this time began to pull away. Coulthard began to have trouble with the handling of the spare as the fuel load burned off and soon David was behind both Schumacher and Hill.
No-one was even close to Alesi - ahead now by half a minute before he came in for a pit stop. Jean kept the lead and with Schumacher also stopping quickly it was left to Hill to challenge Alesi. It ended with Damon minus his front wings, heading for the pits.
Hill now began charging but he would make a mistake and crash heavily.
Up ahead, realising that he could win the race, Schumacher attacked Alesi's advantage in a brilliant display of driving. The pressure was such that Alesi went off the road at one point. With a few laps to go Jean and Michael were nose-to-tail. And then Michael made the decisive move, going around the outside of Alesi into the chicane. It was a risky move but Michael was prepared to take it. He had nothing to lose. The Benetton went ahead and Michael reeled off the closing laps as the crowd began celebrating.
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault B195||67||1h39m50.044s||3|
|2||27||Jean Alesi||Ferrari 412T2||67||1h40m01.728s||6|
|3||6||David Coulthard||Williams-Renault FW17||67||1h40m34.426s||1|
|4||14||Rubens Barrichello||Jordan-Peugeot 195||66||11|
|5||2||Johnny Herbert||Benetton-Renault B195||66||7|
|6||15||Eddie Irvine||Jordan-Peugeot 195||66||5|
|7||25||Aguri Suzuki||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||66||12|
|8||8||Mika Hakkinen||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||65||9|
|9||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Cosworth M195||64||16|
|10||4||Mika Salo||Tyrrell-Yamaha 023||64||15|
|11||24||Luca Badoer||Minardi-Cosworth M195||64||18|
|12||9||Gianni Morbidelli||Footwork-Hart FA16||64||17|
|13||21||Pedro Diniz||Forti-Cosworth FG01-95||62||22|
|14||3||Ukyo Katayama||Tyrrell-Yamaha 023||61||19|
|15||16||Giovanni Lavaggi||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||60||24|
|r||5||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault FW17||58||Accident||2|
|r||17||Andrea Montermini||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||45||Out Of Fuel||20|
|r||29||Karl Wendlinger||Sauber-Cosworth C14||44||Accident||13|
|r||28||Gerhard Berger||Ferrari 412T2||40||Electronics||4|
|r||22||Roberto Moreno||Forti-Cosworth FG01-95||22||Gearbox||23|
|r||30||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Sauber-Cosworth C14||17||Accident||8|
|r||26||Olivier Panis||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||14||Spin||14|
|r||7||Mark Blundell||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||14||Spin||10|
|r||10||Taki Inoue||Footwork-Hart FA16||0||Electronic Control System||21|