1994 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Race 1 of 16 in the 1994 Formula One season|
|Date||27 March 1994|
|Official name||XXIII Grande Prêmio do Brasil|
|Location||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.325 km (2.703 mi)|
|Distance||71 laps, 307.075 km (191.921 mi)|
|Time||1:18.455 on lap 7|
The 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix (formally the XXIII Grande Prêmio do Brasil) was a Formula One motor race held on 27 March 1994 at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo. It was the first race of the 1994 Formula One season. The 71-lap race was won by Benetton driver Michael Schumacher after he started from second position. Damon Hill finished second for the Williams team and Ferrari driver Jean Alesi came in third.
With it being the first race of the season, new drivers made their debuts. Roland Ratzenberger, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Olivier Panis, Olivier Beretta and Jos Verstappen made their debuts and Simtek and Pacific Racing also debuted.
Ayrton Senna took pole position from Michael Schumacher, with Jean Alesi over a second further behind. Heavy rain disrupted Saturday's proceedings. Debutant Heinz-Harald Frentzen impressed with taking the 5th spot on the grid in his very first race.
At the start Ayrton Senna led from pole position, while Jean Alesi overtook Michael Schumacher. Schumacher retook second place on lap 2 and started chasing after Senna, who had pulled a 4-second lead in the opening laps. Before the pit stops Schumacher had reduced the gap to just over a second, and on lap 21 the leading pair entered the pit lane together. Despite both teams running the same fuel strategy, Benetton's stop was much faster than Williams' stop, and Schumacher left the pitlane in the lead.
On lap 35 there was a four-car pile-up as Eddie Irvine and Jos Verstappen came up to lap the Ligier of Éric Bernard. All three were rapidly closing up on Martin Brundle's McLaren which had suffered an engine failure. Faced with the prospect of colliding with the McLaren, Irvine jinked left as Verstappen attempted an overtake on that side thus forcing Verstappen on to the grass; Verstappen then lost control of his car and somersaulted over the McLaren whilst Bernard took avoiding action to the right. Brundle's helmet was impacted by the airborne Benetton although he escaped serious injury. Irvine was subsequently sanctioned by the FIA with a one race ban, which was increased to three after the appeal of Jordan failed; Irvine was already under investigation due to an incident with Ayrton Senna in Suzuka the year before.
Schumacher increased his lead to 10 seconds after the second round of pit stops, after which Senna started to close. By lap 55 the pair had lapped third-place runner Damon Hill and the gap was down to 5 seconds, but then Senna lost control of his Williams and retired. After Senna's retirement Schumacher won comfortably, a lap ahead of Hill in second place and Alesi finishing third.
|15||23||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford||1:18.659||No Time||+2.697|
|22||24||Michele Alboreto||Minardi-Ford||1:19.517||No Time||+3.555|
|DNQ||33||Paul Belmondo||Pacific-Ilmor||No Time||No Time||—|
- Lap leaders: Ayrton Senna 21 (1-21), Michael Schumacher 50 (22-71)
- First race (Drivers): Roland Ratzenberger, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Olivier Panis, Olivier Beretta, Jos Verstappen
- First race (Teams): Pacific, Simtek
- First points: Ukyo Katayama
- Ayrton Senna's first race with the Williams team.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1993 Australian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1994 Pacific Grand Prix
1993 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Brazilian Grand Prix||Next race:
1995 Brazilian Grand Prix