Pacific GP 1995

OCTOBER 22, 1995

Pacific GP, 1995

Michael Schumacher was crowned World Champion at Aida, at 26 the youngest ever double World Champion. If his victory at the Nurburgring had been spectacular, his win at Aida was even more remarkable because he produced it from nowhere. Going into the final pit stops Schumacher had a 21-second lead over David Coulthard. He was in the pitlane for 24secs and yet he was four seconds ahead of David Coulthard at the end of his first lap out of the pits. It was like a conjuring trick. The numbers did not seem to add up.

There is no magic in motorsport, however, and careful examination revealed that the race had been won with Michael's "in" and "out" laps, when he entered and left the pits. His "in" lap had been nearly two full seconds faster than anyone else's in the course of the afternoon and the "out" lap was startlingly beaten only by an earlier one from Coulthard. The Benetton team certainly helped with Michael in the pitlane with the second fastest stop of the day.

The other neat trick was that throughout qualifying Schumacher had been carefully saving new tyres - because the team recognised that Aida was a track where a new set of tyres was worth a lot. Michael started the race with four new sets - out of an allocation for the weekend of seven (the rules specify how many sets of tires the drivers can use) - while the two Williams drivers had only two apiece.

The rest of the race was fairly predictable with Schumacher able to hold off Coulthard with ease to win the race and the championship, although in the Benetton cockpit things were rather more exciting than they appeared. Schumacher began to have a downshifting problem until, on the last lap, lights, whistles and bells began to go off on the dashboard. The car was dying. Lady Luck often rides with the winners and Michael managed to get to the finish.

There had already been trouble between Hill and Schumacher over blocking a faster car during a race, notably at Spa. With the FIA having finally ruled on overtaking manoeuvres - basically leaving it up to the drivers so long as the moves are not adjudged to be dangerous - Hill was ready to be a little less circumspect when dealing with Schumacher and at the start Damon showed Schumacher what it is like to be on the receiving end. Damon refused to give way as the German tried to go around him. Neither backed off and the pair teetered out into the dusty areas of the track, allowing Alesi to get ahead. Berger tried the same but Hill shut him out. Hill was third, Alesi fifth.

After the race there was a kerfuffle as Schumacher complained to Hill off camera, and said "no problem" on screen. Damon pointed this out, exposing a side of Schumacher which many in F1 do not like - the public face does not correspond with his behaviour when the cameras are turned off. Michael was clearly annoyed at having been caught out.

Throughout the weekend no-one ever came close to matching the performance of the Renault-engined cars, with Ferrari the closest of the chasers as usual with Alesi and Berger fourth and fifth on the grid. Eddie Irvine again showed well by qualifying sixth.

McLaren was in trouble again with Mika Hakkinen out of action because of an appendicitis operation. Blundell was 10th on the grid and F1 newboy Jan Magnussen was 12th. The pair would finish nose-to-tail two laps down...

Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault B195 83 1h48m49.972s  
David Coulthard Williams-Renault FW17 83 1h49m04.892s  
Damon Hill Williams-Renault FW17 83 1h49m38.305s  
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari 412T2 82  
27 Jean Alesi Ferrari 412T2 82  
Johnny Herbert Benetton-Renault B195 82  
30 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Cosworth C14 82  
26 Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 81  
Mark Blundell McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 81  10 
10 Jan Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10 81  12 
11 15 Eddie Irvine Jordan-Peugeot 195 81  
12 Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 80  18 
13 23 Pedro Lamy Minardi-Cosworth M195 80  14 
14 Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 80  17 
15 24 Luca Badoer Minardi-Cosworth M195 80  16 
16 22 Roberto Moreno Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 78  22 
17 21 Pedro Diniz Forti-Cosworth FG01-95 77  21 
14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 195 67 Electronics 11 
Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Hart FA16 53 Engine 19 
10 Taki Inoue Footwork-Hart FA16 38 Engine 20 
17 Andrea Montermini Pacific-Cosworth PR02 14 Gearbox 23 
25 Aguri Suzuki Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41 10 Spin 13 
29 Jean-Christophe Boullion Sauber-Cosworth C14 Spin 15 
16 Bertrand Gachot Pacific-Cosworth PR02 Gearbox Hydraulics 24