Benetton B194

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Benetton B194
Mick Schumacher - Benetton B194.jpg
Mick Schumacher driving the B194 of his father Michael in 2017
CategoryFormula One
Designer(s)Ross Brawn (Technical Director)
Rory Byrne (Chief Designer)
Pat Symonds (Head of R&D)
Willem Toet (Head of Aerodynamics)
Technical specifications[1]
ChassisCarbon fibre monocoque
Suspension (front)Double wishbones, pushrod
Suspension (rear)Double wishbones, pushrod
Axle trackFront: 1,690 mm (67 in)
Rear: 1,618 mm (63.7 in)
Wheelbase2,880 mm (113 in)
EngineFord EC Zetec-R, 3,498 cc (213.5 cu in), 75° V8, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
TransmissionBenetton transverse 6-speed sequential semi-automatic
Power740 hp (551.8 kW) @ 13,800-14,500 rpm
Weight515 kg (1,135 lb)
Competition history
Notable entrantsMild Seven Benetton Ford
Notable driversGermany Michael Schumacher
Netherlands Jos Verstappen
Finland JJ Lehto
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Debut1994 Brazilian Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships1 (1994, Michael Schumacher)

The Benetton B194 is a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne for the 1994 Formula One season. The car was closely based on its predecessors, the B192 and B193, and powered by a Ford Zetec-R V8 engine (produced by Cosworth but funded by and badged as a Ford). It featured Mild Seven sponsorship for the first time, which was then carried on until the end of tobacco sponsorship in F1, replacing Camel as their main sponsor. The electronic driver aids that had such an effect on F1 over the previous seasons were banned, so the car had to be redesigned with the new rules in mind. The B194 was a light and nimble car that handled well and was most competitive in the hands of Schumacher on twisty tracks, unlike the early Williams FW16 which proved difficult to drive thanks to Williams's dependence on electronic driving aids in the previous season. Michael Schumacher's B194 remained the most competitive driver/car combination until Williams introduced a B-spec car at the German Grand Prix.[citation needed]

The car was very competitive in the hands of Michael Schumacher. Schumacher won six of the first seven races of the season after his main rival, Ayrton Senna, was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix. Other teams suspected the B194 was not legal, due to the high competitiveness of such a comparatively underpowered car. The FIA launched an investigation and a start sequence (launch control) system was discovered in the cars' onboard computer systems but no traction control. In the end, the governing body could not prove the systems had been used so the complaints were dropped. Schumacher himself was subject to controversy, after being disqualified from the British Grand Prix and then the Belgian Grand Prix which allowed Damon Hill to cut into the German's points lead and as they came to the final race in Australia, Hill, and Schumacher was separated by one point. Schumacher commented years later that the B194 was actually quite a handful to drive, being twitchy at the rear end.

Jos Verstappen driving the B194

Schumacher had three team-mates—JJ Lehto, Jos Verstappen, and Johnny Herbert—during the course of the season. All found the B194 difficult to drive; Verstappen said in 1996 that "I must have a little the same driving style as Johnny because he said basically the same things about that car that I did and seems to have had the same feelings. It was a very difficult car. You could not feel the limit and so you were pushing and pushing and then suddenly it would have oversteer. Normally when you get oversteer you can control it but the Benetton would go very suddenly and so you ended up having a spin. I had big problems with that car."[2]

Starting with the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix, Schumacher's car was adorned with small red accents, presumably to help spectators and television commentators distinguish his car from that of his teammates. During the preceding race, announcers from both ESPN and the BBC twice mistook the no. 6 Benetton as the no. 5 car. The car also gained an anhedral lower rear wing element, similar to the one on the FW16, starting at the Canadian Grand Prix.

A contentious collision between Hill and Schumacher ended the 1994 drivers' title in Schumacher's favour, and the B194 was retired at the end of the season with eight wins and second place in the Constructors' Championship. The car was replaced by the B195 for 1995.

In popular culture[edit]

The Benetton B194 is featured in the F1 2020 video game as a DLC for the "Deluxe Schumacher Edition".[3]

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1994 Mild Seven Benetton Ford Ford EC Zetec-R V8 G BRA PAC SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR JPN AUS 103 2nd
Michael Schumacher 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 DSQ Ret 1 DSQ 1 2 Ret
Jos Verstappen Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 3 3 Ret 5 Ret
JJ Lehto Ret 7 Ret 6 9 Ret
Johnny Herbert Ret Ret


  1. ^ "Benetton B194". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  2. ^ Saward, Joe (1996-05-01). "Interview – The Flying Dutchman: Jos Verstappen". Inside F1. Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
  3. ^ " Benetton B194 in F1 2020 Game". Retrieved 7 July 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Williams FW15C
Racing Car Of The Year

Succeeded by
Williams FW17