1994 Japanese Grand Prix
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|1994 Japanese Grand Prix|
|Race 15 of 16 in the 1994 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||6 November 1994|
|Official name||XX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix|
Suzuka, Mie, Japan
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.864 km (3.665 mi)|
|Distance||50 laps, 293.200 km (183.250 mi)|
|Scheduled distance||53 laps, 310.792 km (194.245 mi)|
|Weather||Heavy Rain, followed by Light Showers|
|Time||1:56.597 on lap 24|
The 1994 Japanese Grand Prix (formally the XX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 6 November 1994 at the Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka. It was the fifteenth and penultimate race of the 1994 FIA Formula One World Championship.
In wet conditions, the 50-lap race was won by Damon Hill, driving a Williams-Renault, after he started from second position. Hill's Drivers' Championship rival Michael Schumacher finished second in his Benetton-Ford, having started from pole position, with Jean Alesi third in his Ferrari.
The win left Hill just one point behind Schumacher in the Drivers' Championship with one race remaining.
Going into the race, Benetton driver Michael Schumacher led the Drivers' Championship with 86 points, five ahead of rival Damon Hill in the Williams on 81. Schumacher felt he was "very confident" about the race, and Hill similarly declared that he was "positive".
There was a comparatively high number of changes of driver for this race: Johnny Herbert moved from Ligier to Benetton after just one race for the French team, replacing Jos Verstappen. His place at Ligier was taken by Franck Lagorce. Eric Bernard lost his seat at Lotus to Mika Salo who had been racing in Japanese Formula 3000, and likewise Simtek hired Taki Inoue on a one-race deal, replacing Domenico Schiattarella. Finally JJ Lehto had returned to Sauber to replace Andrea de Cesaris after the Italian's sudden retirement from Formula One.
The race started in torrential rain, and as a result, several cars spun out of the race by aquaplaning, including Schumacher's team-mate Johnny Herbert, Franck Lagorce, the Minardis of Pierluigi Martini and Michele Alboreto, and all three Japanese drivers. JJ Lehto also retired at the start with an engine failure.
On lap 13, Gianni Morbidelli crashed his Footwork at one of the Esses at the first sector. Shortly afterwards, Martin Brundle spun his McLaren off the track at the same spot, and as he bounced off the tyre barriers, hit a track marshal who was moving Morbidelli's car off the gravel trap. The marshal suffered a broken leg, adding to the huge list of injuries of the 1994 season, and the race was immediately stopped.
As the rain became moderate, it was decided to run the remainder of the race, with around one hour to the time limit, on aggregate corrected time. Schumacher had been leading by 6.8 seconds when the red flag was shown, but since Hill had a bigger lead (10.1 seconds) at the chequered flag, Hill was declared the winner by 3.3 seconds. As of May 2018[update], this was the last instance of aggregate race time being used in Formula One to determine the winner.
|Pos||No||Driver||Constructor||Q1 Time||Q2 Time||Gap|
|26||32||Taki Inoue||Simtek-Ford||1:45.004||no time||+7.795|
|27||34||Bertrand Gachot||Pacific-Ilmor||1:46.374||no time||+9.165|
|28||33||Paul Belmondo||Pacific-Ilmor||1:46.629||no time||+9.420|
Championship standings after the race
- Murray Walker, Jonathan Palmer (1994). Grand Prix (Television Presentation). London, England: BBC. Event occurs at 01:30-01:41.
Rundown of Drivers Championship table
- Murray Walker (1994). Grand Prix (Television Presentation). London, England: BBC. Event occurs at 01:58-02:13 02:28-02:45.
- "1994 Japanese Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
1994 European Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1994 Australian Grand Prix
1993 Japanese Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix||Next race:|
1995 Japanese Grand Prix