San Marino GP 1993
APRIL 25, 1993
San Marino GP, 1993
A fortnight after Ayrton Senna's amazing victory in the wet at Donington Park, the F1 circus gathered again at Imola. The field was unchanged except that on Thursday Senna was still in Brazil and threatening not to race as he tried to convince Ford to release better engines to McLaren. Senna argued that he had scored 26 points while the two Ford factory drivers (Benetton's Michael Schumacher and Riccardo Patrese) had scored only six between them and that as a result Ford should support his efforts. Benetton was blocking a deal.
It was not until late on Thursday night that Senna decided to race (despite there not being an agreement) and jumped on a plane to Rome. He then rushed across Rome and took the McLaren team's executive jet to Bologna and from there he went by helicopter to Imola, arriving by motorcycle with five minutes to go before the first practice session began. He had a series of incidents in practice and qualifying and was just beaten to third place on the grid by Schumacher, behind the dominant Williams-Renaults of Alain Prost and Damon Hill. Then came Karl Wendlinger's Sauber, Michael Andretti in the second McLaren, Mark Blundell's Ligier-Renault and the two Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi. The top 10 was completed by Martin Brundle in the second Ligier-Renault.
It was grey and overcast on Sunday morning and it started to rain at lunch time. There was a quick extra practice session but the rain then cleared away although the track was still wet at the start. Prost got away badly which allowed Hill to take the lead with Senna behind him. Prost was third ahead of Schumacher. Berger was fifth. On the run down to Tosa Blundell's Ligier suddenly spun off into the wall at high speed. At Tosa Patrese was bumped into a spin and retirement. As the race settled down Prost began to pressure Senna. It took seven laps before he was able to force his way ahead. Senna then pitted for slick tyres and was followed by the other leaders, although Hill was rather slow to pit and so lost most of the lead he had built up. Senna was second with Prost third. At Tosa Prost pulled off an audacious move and overtook both men. Senna then took Hill as well. On lap 21 Damon slid off at Tosa because of a brake problem and so Schumacher moved to third place. Wendlinger was fourth ahead of Andretti and Alesi. The American did not last long, however, and spun off on lap 32.
On lap 43 Senna's fine showing ended with an hydraulic failure which left Schumacher second. Alesi had also gone with a clutch problem and Wendlinger would go soon afterwards with engine trouble and so third place fell in the end to Brundle with JJ Lehto (Sauber) fourth, Philippe Alliot (Larrousse-Lamborghini) fifth and Fabrizio Barbazza (Minardi) sixth for the second time in two races.
|9||10||Aguri Suzuki||Footwork-Mugen Honda||54||21|
|r||9||Derek Warwick||Footwork-Mugen Honda||29||Spin||15|
|r||20||Erik Comas||Larrousse-Lamborghini||18||Oil Pressure||17|
|r||4||Andrea de Cesaris||Tyrrell-Yamaha||18||Gearbox||18|