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The 1995 F1 Season
After an eventful and melodramatic 1994 F1 season, the 1995 season started in true earnest in Brazil. The rivalry between Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill was expected to continue into the 1995 season with only one difference – Michael was a world champion now. The difference between a great driver and a world champion was the relaxation that comes in as there was nothing more to prove to the world anymore. This part about becoming a relaxed driver was something Senna mentioned when he became an F1 champ for the first time in 1988.
Talking about Senna, the 1995 Brazilian GP was the first time that the race went ahead without Senna since 1984. The untimely loss of Senna was felt by all, more so, by the 1994 world champion, Michael Schumacher. Here’s Michael’s presser after he became the world champion.
Coming into the 1995 season Williams cars had grown stronger, and that was evident from the qualifying itself. The season could well be the pace of the Williams against the determination of Schumacher. While the entire 1994 season was something of a catch-up played by Williams, the 1995 season was set to be different.
Let’s find out.
The 1995 Brazilian GP Qualifying
All eyes were on Schumacher and Damon Hill, and they did not fail to impress. From the start, both the drivers started trading pole laps until Damon clinched it with a 0.3-second lead. The Williams was indeed driving well as David Coulthard too came close to clinching the pole, but for a backmarker at the end of his flying lap. Take a look.
Though it was not a bad qualifying time, Damon, clearly, appeared to have lost two positions just because of the last sector run. That said, the race day could prove to be different.
The 1995 Brazilian GP – Race Day
On race day, Schumacher and Hill were side-by-side just like most of the previous year. However, Hill had to watch out for that explosive start that Schumacher exhibited for most of the previous year.
At the turn of the lights, Hill pulled away from the pole but not for too long. Michael bolted to the front and took the position from Hill. After that, the Williams of Damon Hill and David Coulthard followed Schumacher. However, unlike the 1994 season, Michael was not pulling away from Damon. Obviously, the Williams car was better.
The position remained the same until the first pitstops where Hill went ahead and stayed put. Michael eventually, got into the second position and had a consistent gap to the front running Hill. However, it was not Damon’s day as on lap 30 the car suffered some mechanical failure and Hill retired. That promoted Michael to the front once again.
Damon thought that it was a gear problem which led to the failure, but the team later discovered that the rear suspension had given way which caused the car to turn 180 degrees before Hill’s retirement. Had the race gone ahead in the given positions then Hill would have won the race as Schumacher admitted later that the Williams had pretty good pace and that he was hardly catching up.
That said the top three cars – Damon, Schumacher and David – were in a league of their own. Post Damon’s retirement, Schumacher clinched victory and had lapped all the cars on track right up to third-placed Gerhard Berger. It was a podium where the first two cars were on the same lap while Berger was a lap down in his Ferrari.
Controversy at the Brazilian GP
Despite having moved beyond the 1994 season, controversies continued to plague the Benetton team. It was not just Benetton but also Williams this time. Both Schumacher and Coulthard were disqualified as their fuel composition was found to be varying from the approved specifications. That put Berger in the Ferrari as the winner.
However, a later appeal reinstated Schumacher and Coulhard’s win much to the disappointment of Ferrari and Berger. Sparks flew as Ferrari and Benetton teams traded unkind comments and counter comments. The situation notwithstanding, Michael Schumacher had his eleventh win.
Back to the Pits
Michael continued his juggernaut from the 1994 season and was once again leading the table in the 1995 season. Michael’s win in the first race of the season was reminiscent of the 1994 Brazilian GP win from where he led the season for the most part.
Will the 1995 season turn out to be Michael’s again? By the looks of it, Schumacher could still pull out a championship-winning performance!
The Next Win..
Want to know the story of Michael's twelfth career win? Click here to find out:
© 2020 S K