Japanese GP 1995
OCTOBER 29, 1995
Japanese GP, 1995
Michael Schumacher dominated the Japanese Grand Prix weekend - outpacing the Williams boys all weekend. He was on pole with Jean Alesi's Ferrari second and Mika Hakkinen's McLaren-Mercedes third. Mika was recovering from his appendicitis operation but seemed to be unaffected: Suzuka is a track he relishes and that played no small part in the performance. But an ace is only as good as his car. The men at Mercedes were largely responsible thanks to yet another new evolution of the Ilmor-designed engine - flown in for the occasion from England - and the chassis suited the circuit.
But all was not wonderful at McLaren because Blundell went off on Friday afternoon and did not set a time and then had a big shuny on Saturday morning which meant he had to sit out final qualifying. He had not therefore completed a lap in qualifying and had to start at the back of the grid.
In the race - started in damp conditions with the whole field in wet tyres - Schumacher was again dominant. He got ahead at the first corner and quickly built up a commanding lead. He was helped when Alesi was given a 10-sec stop-go penalty for jumping the start. Jean pitted. A lap later he came back in for slick tyres. It was a risky move but Jean was soon making huge progress as the others were still messing about on wets. Alesi survived a spin when he was driven off the road by a hapless Pedro Lamy and his next laps were such that by the time Schumacher had stopped for his new tyres, Alesi was only six seconds behind - and closing. He was soon on Michael's tail and there he stayed until the Ferrari engine went bang.
The Williams team self-destructed in the mid-race as Damon Hill and David Coulthard ran second and third. Spots of rain began to fall down at the Spoon Curve, where the cars arrive on the limit of rear grip. If the circuit is more slippery than usual a car can be carried by momentum into the sandtrap. In such conditions drivers have to predict trouble. Schumacher managed to get through without drama but Hill, obviously pushing very hard, slid straight on, bounced across the sand trap, but managed to keep going, and motored slowly around on the grass verge between the sandtrap and the tyre barriers and rejoined just as Hakkinen was accelerating past him. Damon went into the pits for a new nose and rejoined in fifth place - although in doing so he went too fast in the pitlane. Coulthard then did exactly the same thing at Spoon, bouncing across the sand trap and filling his sidepods with gravel. He left some on the road and the rest was forced backward in the pods as he accelerated away down the straight. When he got to the next corner he braked and the gravel flew out into his path and he spun off on his own pebbles. Moments later Hill arrived at Spoon, anxious to make up for lost time, having just been told on the radio that he had to go back into the pits for a 10-sec stop-go penalty. He drifted onto the stones Coulthard had carried onto the track and spun into the gravel.
And so Benetton won the Constructors' Championship as well.
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault B195||53||1h36m52.930s||1|
|2||8||Mika Hakkinen||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||53||1h37m12.267s||3|
|3||2||Johnny Herbert||Benetton-Renault B195||53||1h38m16.734s||9|
|4||15||Eddie Irvine||Jordan-Peugeot 195||53||7|
|5||26||Olivier Panis||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||52||11|
|6||4||Mika Salo||Tyrrell-Yamaha 023||52||12|
|7||7||Mark Blundell||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||52||23|
|8||30||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Sauber-Cosworth C14||52||8|
|9||24||Luca Badoer||Minardi-Cosworth M195||51||17|
|10||29||Karl Wendlinger||Sauber-Cosworth C14||51||15|
|11||23||Pedro Lamy||Minardi-Cosworth M195||51||16|
|12||10||Taki Inoue||Footwork-Hart FA16||51||18|
|r||5||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault FW17||40||Spin||4|
|r||6||David Coulthard||Williams-Renault FW17||39||Accident||6|
|r||21||Pedro Diniz||Forti-Cosworth FG01-95||32||Spin||20|
|r||27||Jean Alesi||Ferrari 412T2||24||Differential||2|
|r||17||Andrea Montermini||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||23||Spin||19|
|r||28||Gerhard Berger||Ferrari 412T2||16||Electronics Sensor||5|
|r||14||Rubens Barrichello||Jordan-Peugeot 195||15||Accident||10|
|r||3||Ukyo Katayama||Tyrrell-Yamaha 023||12||Accident||13|
|r||16||Bertrand Gachot||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||6||Drive Shaft Bearing||22|
|r||22||Roberto Moreno||Forti-Cosworth FG01-95||1||Gearbox||21|
|r||9||Gianni Morbidelli||Footwork-Hart FA16||0||Spin||14|
|ns||25||Aguri Suzuki||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||Accident/injury||24|