1994 German Grand Prix
|Race 9 of 16 in the 1994 Formula One season|
|Date||31 July 1994|
|Official name||LVI Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland|
|Location||Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||6.823 km (4.264 mi)|
|Distance||45 laps, 307.035 km (191.896 mi)|
|Time||1:46.211 on lap 11|
The 1994 German Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 31 July 1994 at the Hockenheimring, Hockenheim. The race, contested over 45 laps, was the ninth race of the 1994 Formula One season and was won by Gerhard Berger, driving a Ferrari, with Ligier drivers Olivier Panis and Éric Bernard second and third respectively.
The fast Hockenheim circuit had been modified from the year before, with the fast Senna chicane being made slower.
The race was notable for its high rate of attrition, with 11 retirements on the opening lap. Within ten seconds of the start Alex Zanardi and Andrea de Cesaris tangled towards the back of the pack, taking out both Michele Alboreto and Pierluigi Martini before even reaching the first corner. Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard then tangled going into the first corner, the Finn sliding in front of a group of cars into the wall on the outside of the circuit while the Scot continued to the pits to replace his front wing. Mark Blundell braked hard to avoid the McLaren only to be hit from behind by Eddie Irvine, while Rubens Barrichello had nowhere to go but the gravel. In the melee behind this incident, Johnny Herbert and Martin Brundle tangled, the Lotus spinning to a halt while the second McLaren continued. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was also pushed into the gravel and managed to continue, but stopped towards the end of the lap with broken suspension and a punctured tyre. Damon Hill also damaged his suspension in a first-lap contact with Ukyo Katayama and, as a result, circulated outside the points for the remainder of the race. This result would have significant consequences for Hill at the end of the season. In a race where the 12th and 14th placed Ligiers finished on the podium, and the remaining points going to customer Ford HB engined teams on a circuit where power was a distinct advantage; the best Ford HB time in qualifying some 3.235 off pole position, it is clear that any points finish for Hill could have led to a very different result in the Drivers World Championship. Meanwhile Jean Alesi had gotten away unscathed, having qualified second, only for his Ferrari to stop with electrical problems on the run to the first chicane.
It was a bad weekend for the Benetton team. After the first lap mayhem, Schumacher went on to take on the leading Ferrari of Gerhard Berger but fell away with engine problems very quickly. Benetton driver Jos Verstappen also came into the pits; while refuelling, some fuel was accidentally sprayed onto the hot bodywork of the car, and a few seconds later the fuel ignited and Verstappen's car was engulfed in a ball of flames. The Dutchman escaped the incident with burns around his eyes, as he had his visor up during the pit stop. No other crew members or any persons were injured severely or killed.
|Pos||No||Driver||Constructor||Q1 time||Q2 time||Gap|
|18||29||Andrea de Cesaris||Sauber-Mercedes||1:47.745||1:47.235||+3.653|
- First fastest lap: David Coulthard
- First podium: Olivier Panis, Éric Bernard
- First points: Olivier Panis
- Last podium: Éric Bernard
- Last points: Éric Bernard, Érik Comas, Christian Fittipaldi
- This was the first win for Ferrari since the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix, some 59 races previously.
- This was also the only race of 1994 not to be won by the Benetton or Williams teams.
- Jos Verstappen's car was set alight during a pit stop. The fire ended with Verstappen's retirement from the race and an inquiry from the FIA into the incident.
- As of December 2014[update], this was the last time that two drivers both scored their first podium finish at the same race (Olivier Panis and Éric Bernard). At the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen finished second and third on the road, which would have been the first podium finishes for both drivers, but Ricciardo was subsequently disqualified.
Championship standings after the race
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1994 British Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1994 Hungarian Grand Prix
1993 German Grand Prix
|German Grand Prix||Next race:
1995 German Grand Prix