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.

Alain Prost Williams-Renault  61 1h33m20.413s  
Michael Schumacher Benetton-Cosworth  61 1h33m52.823s  
25 Martin Brundle Ligier-Renault  60  10 
4r 30 JJ Lehto Sauber-Ilmor  59 Engine 16 
19 Philippe Alliot Larrousse-Lamborghini  59  14 
24 Fabrizio Barbazza Minardi-Cosworth  59  25 
22 Luca Badoer Lola-Ferrari  58  24 
8r 12 Johnny Herbert Lotus-Cosworth  57 Engine 12 
10 Aguri Suzuki Footwork-Mugen Honda  54  21 
11 Alessando Zanardi Lotus-Cosworth  53 Accident 20 
29 Karl Wendlinger Sauber-Ilmor  48 Engine 
Ayrton Senna McLaren-Cosworth  42 Hydraulics 
27 Jean Alesi Ferrari  40 Clutch 
23 Christian Fittipaldi Minardi-Cosworth  36 Steering 23 
Michael Andretti McLaren-Cosworth  32 Brakes/spin 
Derek Warwick Footwork-Mugen Honda  29 Spin 15 
Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha  22 Engine 22 
Damon Hill Williams-Renault  20 Spin 
20 Erik Comas Larrousse-Lamborghini  18 Oil Pressure 17 
Andrea de Cesaris Tyrrell-Yamaha  18 Gearbox 18 
14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Hart  17 Spin 13 
28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari  Gearbox 
15 Thierry Boutsen Jordan-Hart  Gearbox 19 
Riccardo Patrese Benetton-Cosworth  Accident 11 
26 Mark Blundell Ligier-Renault  Accident 
nq 21 Michele Alboreto Lola-Ferrari    26