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...
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault B195||83||1h48m49.972s||3|
|2||6||David Coulthard||Williams-Renault FW17||83||1h49m04.892s||1|
|3||5||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault FW17||83||1h49m38.305s||2|
|4||28||Gerhard Berger||Ferrari 412T2||82||5|
|5||27||Jean Alesi||Ferrari 412T2||82||4|
|6||2||Johnny Herbert||Benetton-Renault B195||82||7|
|7||30||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Sauber-Cosworth C14||82||8|
|8||26||Olivier Panis||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||81||9|
|9||7||Mark Blundell||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||81||10|
|10||8||Jan Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10||81||12|
|11||15||Eddie Irvine||Jordan-Peugeot 195||81||6|
|12||4||Mika Salo||Tyrrell-Yamaha 023||80||18|
|13||23||Pedro Lamy||Minardi-Cosworth M195||80||14|
|14||3||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|
|r||14||Rubens Barrichello||Jordan-Peugeot 195||67||Electronics||11|
|r||9||Gianni Morbidelli||Footwork-Hart FA16||53||Engine||19|
|r||10||Taki Inoue||Footwork-Hart FA16||38||Engine||20|
|r||17||Andrea Montermini||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||14||Gearbox||23|
|r||25||Aguri Suzuki||Ligier-Mugen Honda JS41||10||Spin||13|
|r||29||Jean-Christophe Boullion||Sauber-Cosworth C14||7||Spin||15|
|r||16||Bertrand Gachot||Pacific-Cosworth PR02||2||Gearbox Hydraulics||24|