Italian GP 1995
SEPTEMBER 10, 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.
|1||2||Johnny Herbert||Benetton-Renault B195||53||1h18m27.916s||8|
|2||8||Mika Hakkinen||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||53||1h18m45.695s||7|
|3||30||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Sauber-Cosworth C14||53||1h18m52.237s||10|
|4||7||Mark Blundell||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||53||1h18m56.139s||9|
|5||4||Mika Salo||Tyrrell-Yamaha 023||52||16|
|6||29||Karl Wendlinger||Sauber-Cosworth C14||52||14|
|7||9||Gianni Morbidelli||Footwork-Hart FA16||52||15|
|8||10||Taki Inoue||Footwork-Hart FA16||52||20|
|9||21||Pedro Diniz||Forti-Cosworth FG01-95||50||23|
|10||3||Ukyo Katayama||Tyrrell-Yamaha 023||47||17|
|r||27||Jean Alesi||Ferrari 412T2||45||Rear Wheel Bearing||5|
|r||14||Rubens Barrichello||Jordan-Peugeot 195||43||Hydraulics||6|
|r||15||Eddie Irvine||Jordan-Peugeot 195||40||Oil Pressure/engine||12|
|r||28||Gerhard Berger||Ferrari 412T2||32||Front Suspension(alesi™s Camera)||3|
|r||24||Luca Badoer||Minardi-Cosworth M195||26||Accident||18|
|r||1||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault B195||23||Accident||2|
|r||5||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault FW17||23||Accident||4|
|r||26||Olivier Panis||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||20||Spin||13|
|r||6||David Coulthard||Williams-Renault FW17||13||Frong Wheel Bearing/spin||1|
|r||25||Aguri Suzuki||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||10||Puncture||11|
|r||16||Giovanni Lavaggi||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||6||Spin||24|
|r||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Cosworth M195||0||Differential||19|
|r||22||Roberto Moreno||Forti-Cosworth FG01-95||0||Accident/retired After First Start||22|
|r||17||Andrea Montermini||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||0||Accident/retired After First Start||21|