1994 Australian Grand Prix

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Australia  1994 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 16 of 16 in the 1994 Formula One season
Adelaide (long route).svg
Date 13 November 1994
Official name LIX Australian Grand Prix
Location Adelaide Street Circuit
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Course Temporary street circuit
3.780 km (2.362 mi)
Distance 81 laps, 306.180 km (191.362 mi)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault
Time 1:16.179
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford
Time 1:17.140 on lap 29
Podium
First United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault
Second Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari
Third United Kingdom Martin Brundle McLaren-Peugeot

The 1994 Australian Grand Prix (formally the LIX Australian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 13 November 1994 at the Adelaide Street Circuit. It was the sixteenth and final race of the 1994 Formula One season. The race, contested over 81 laps, was won by Nigel Mansell driving for the Williams team after starting from pole position. Gerhard Berger finished second in a Ferrari car with Martin Brundle third for the McLaren team.

The race is remembered for an incident involving the two title contenders Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher which forced both to retire and resulted in Schumacher winning the World Drivers' Championship. Also notable was the last appearance in a Formula One Grand Prix of the first incarnation of Team Lotus, previously seven-time Constructors' Champions. It was also the 31st and last Grand Prix victory of Nigel Mansell's Formula One career.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Heading into the final race of the season, Benetton driver Michael Schumacher was leading the Drivers' Championship with 92 points; Williams driver Damon Hill was second on 91 points, one point behind Schumacher. Williams led the Constructors' Championship with 108 points, while Benetton were 5 points behind with 103. Thus, both titles were still at stake and they would be determined in the final round.

Race[edit]

Schumacher took the lead at the start, with Hill second behind him. The order remained the same until lap 36. Hill was catching Schumacher when the Benetton driver went off the track at the East Terrace corner, hitting a wall with his right side wheels before pulling back onto the track.[1] Hill had rounded the fifth corner of the track when Schumacher pulled across the track ahead of him to the left. At the next corner Hill attempted to pass Schumacher; the two collided when Schumacher turned in. Schumacher was eliminated on the spot. Hill attempted to continue the race and pitted immediately, but retired from the race with irreparable damage to the car's front left suspension wishbone. As neither driver scored, Schumacher took the title.[2]

Schumacher was blamed for the incident by many Formula One insiders.[3] Subsequently the race stewards judged it as a racing incident and took no action against Schumacher. Schumacher, at age 25 was Germany's first Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion, but under highly controversial circumstances, although no action was ever taken against him. The race was won by Nigel Mansell, the 31st and final Grand Prix victory of his career, and his only F1 victory on a street circuit.

Post-Race[edit]

Schumacher has always maintained that the collision was a racing incident, a view that met with a large degree of media cynicism, particularly in the UK.

Although Hill deliberately avoided becoming involved in the outcry at the time, in later years he explicitly accused Schumacher of deliberately driving into him.[4] Formula One commentator Murray Walker maintained that Schumacher did not cause the crash intentionally. Patrick Head of the Williams team stated to F1 Racing magazine that in 1994 "Williams were already 100% certain that Michael was guilty of foul play", but didn't protest Schumacher's title because the team was still dealing with the death of Ayrton Senna; this was after Schumacher's punishment for blocking the circuit during qualifying for the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix.[5] Schumacher has been blamed by the UK public for the incident – in 2003, the BBC conducted a search for "The Most Unsporting Moment" in which the Adelaide incident was nominated.[6] Hill's 1994 season earned him the 1994 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.[7]

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Time Q2 Time Gap
1 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 1:16.179 1:33.988
2 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 1:16.197 1:32.627 +0.018
3 0 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:16.830 1:33.792 +0.651
4 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Peugeot 1:16.992 1:35.432 +0.813
5 14 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Hart 1:17.537 1:37.610 +1.358
6 15 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jordan-Hart 1:17.667 no time +1.488
7 6 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Benetton-Ford 1:17.727 1:35.712 +1.548
8 27 France Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:17.801 1:33.905 +1.622
9 8 United Kingdom Martin Brundle McLaren-Peugeot 1:17.950 1:36.246 +1.771
10 30 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Mercedes 1:17.962 1:35.623 +1.783
11 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:18.070 1:33.818 +1.891
12 26 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Renault 1:18.072 1:36.222 +1.893
13 4 United Kingdom Mark Blundell Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:18.237 1:35.462 +2.058
14 12 Italy Alessandro Zanardi Lotus-Mugen-Honda 1:18.331 1:39.179 +2.152
15 3 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:18.411 1:36.628 +2.232
16 24 Italy Michele Alboreto Minardi-Ford 1:18.755 1:36.498 +2.576
17 29 Finland JJ Lehto Sauber-Mercedes 1:18.806 1:36.245 +2.627
18 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 1:18.957 1:36.257 +2.778
19 9 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi Footwork-Ford 1:19.061 1:35.790 +2.882
20 25 France Franck Lagorce Ligier-Renault 1:19.153 1:37.393 +2.974
21 10 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Ford 1:19.610 1:35.136 +3.431
22 11 Finland Mika Salo Lotus-Mugen-Honda 1:19.844 1:43.071 +3.665
23 19 Japan Hideki Noda Larrousse-Ford 1:20.145 1:47.569 +3.966
24 31 Australia David Brabham Simtek-Ford 1:20.442 no time +4.263
25 20 Switzerland Jean-Denis Délétraz Larrousse-Ford 1:22.422 1:44.155 +6.243
26 32 Italy Domenico Schiattarella Simtek-Ford 1:22.529 no time +6.350
DNQ 33 France Paul Belmondo Pacific-Ilmor 1:24.087 no time +7.908
DNQ 34 France Bertrand Gachot Pacific-Ilmor 7:40.317 no time +6:42.138

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault 81 1:47:51.480 1 10
2 28 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari 81 +2.511 11 6
3 8 United Kingdom Martin Brundle McLaren-Peugeot 81 +52.487 9 4
4 14 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Hart 81 +1:10.530 5 3
5 26 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Renault 80 +1 Lap 12 2
6 27 France Jean Alesi Ferrari 80 +1 Lap 8 1
7 30 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Mercedes 80 +1 Lap 10  
8 9 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi Footwork-Ford 80 +1 Lap 19  
9 23 Italy Pierluigi Martini Minardi-Ford 79 +2 Laps 18  
10 29 Finland JJ Lehto Sauber-Mercedes 79 +2 Laps 17  
11 25 France Franck Lagorce Ligier-Renault 79 +2 Laps 20  
12 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Peugeot 76 Brakes 4  
Ret 24 Italy Michele Alboreto Minardi-Ford 69 Suspension 16  
Ret 4 United Kingdom Mark Blundell Tyrrell-Yamaha 66 Collision 13  
Ret 20 Switzerland Jean-Denis Délétraz Larrousse-Ford 56 Gearbox 25  
Ret 11 Finland Mika Salo Lotus-Mugen-Honda 49 Electrical 22  
Ret 31 Australia David Brabham Simtek-Ford 49 Engine 24  
Ret 12 Italy Alessandro Zanardi Lotus-Mugen-Honda 40 Throttle 14  
Ret 0 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 35 Collision 3  
Ret 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 35 Collision 2  
Ret 32 Italy Domenico Schiattarella Simtek-Ford 21 Gearbox 26  
Ret 3 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 19 Spun off 15  
Ret 19 Japan Hideki Noda Larrousse-Ford 18 Oil leak 23  
Ret 10 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Ford 17 Oil leak 21  
Ret 15 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jordan-Hart 15 Spun off 6  
Ret 6 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Benetton-Ford 13 Gearbox 7  
DNQ 34 France Bertrand Gachot Pacific-Ilmor    
DNQ 33 France Paul Belmondo Pacific-Ilmor    

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Bold Text indicates World Champions.


Previous race:
1994 Japanese Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1994 season
Next race:
1995 Brazilian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1993 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix Next race:
1995 Australian Grand Prix

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Schumacher 500: Has the King Lost His Crown?". autosport.com. Retrieved 2006-10-24. 
  2. ^ Schumacher's chequered history news.bbc.co.uk Line 8. Retrieved 2 October 2006
  3. ^ Henry, Alan (1996). Wheel to Wheel: Great Duels of Formula One Racing. Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated. p. 117. ISBN 0-7538-0522-7. 
  4. ^ Motor Sport, January 2007, p.43
  5. '^ Ruthless' Schumi blasted Motoring.iafrica.com. Retrieved 2 August 2006
  6. ^ Most unsporting moment? news.bbc.co.uk Reader's "Have your Say" voting for the most unsporting moment in history. Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal won the award in June 2003. Retrieved 9 June 2006
  7. ^ Roll call of past winners news.bbc.co.uk List of BBC Sports Personality of the Year winners. Retrieved 9 June 2006