Rahul Sharma

1994 Belgian Grand Prix

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Date  28 August 1994
Course length  7.001 km (4.375 mi)
Official name  Belgian Grand Prix
1994 Belgian Grand Prix
Location  Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  44 laps, 308.044 km (192.527 mi)

The 1994 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 28 August 1994 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa. It was the eleventh race of the 1994 Formula One season. The 44-lap race was won by Williams driver Damon Hill after he started from third position. Mika Häkkinen finished second for the McLaren team and Benetton driver Jos Verstappen came in third.

Contents

Background

Philippe Alliot replaced Olivier Beretta at Larrousse. It would prove to be Alliot's last appearance in a Formula One World Championship race. Zanardi was replaced at the Lotus team for this race by Philippe Adams. Alliot had raced for McLaren at the previous race in Hungary as Mika Häkkinen was suspended. Häkkinen returned to the McLaren seat for this race.

Following the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna at Imola earlier in the season, a tyre chicane was installed at Eau Rouge to slow the cars.

Qualifying

In the Friday's first qualifying session the conditions were difficult as the track was drying but still wet. Barrichello took the first position in the closing stages. Second was Schumacher ahead of Hill, Irvine in the second Jordan, Alesi in the Ferrari and Verstappen in the Benetton completed the top six. On Saturday the track was wet and nobody managed to improve their time, except Fittipaldi. Rubens Barrichello thus took the first pole position of his career, which was also the first for the Jordan team.

It was also the first pole position for a Hart powered car since Teo Fabi claimed pole for the 1985 German Grand Prix using the 1.5L 4cyl Hart 415T turbo, a wait of 9 years and 24 days for Brian Hart's company. It was also to be the last Hart powered F1 pole position as the company pulled out of F1 after 1997.

Race

At the start Barrichello managed to keep the lead from Schumacher, Alesi who gained 2 positions, then Hill, Verstappen and Coulthard. During the first lap Schumacher managed to pass Barrichello at Le Combes and took the lead and Coulthard passed Verstappen. Before the end of the lap Alesi overtook Barrichello as well and moved to second. The engine of his Ferrari however failed at the end of lap 2 and the Frenchman was out of race.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen spun at the new chicane while attempting to pass Barrichello, the Jordan struggling to keep track position amongst clearly faster cars coming through.

On lap 12 Hill made his first pit stop followed one lap later by Coulthard. The order was then Schumacher, Barrichello, Coulthard and Hill. On lap 19 Schumacher had a spin but kept the lead. Barrichello went off the track and retired. On lap 37 Coulthard let Hill into second. Coulthard then had to make an extra pit stop to check the wing of the car. After returning to the track he suffered problems with the gearbox and hit Blundell from behind sending the Tyrrell driver into a spin. Michael Schumacher crossed the finish line in first place, ahead of Hill, Häkkinen, Verstappen, Coulthard and Blundell. Post race the German was stripped of his win due to excessive wear on his Benetton's skid block (the mandatory wooden plank introduced at Germany). This indicated that the car's ride height was too low, hence an illegal aerodynamic advantage. The Benetton team's claim that it was due to Schumacher making a full spin on top of the curbs on lap 19 was rejected by the Stewards because of the wear pattern. Damon Hill was therefore awarded the victory.

Championship standings after the race

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
  • References

    1994 Belgian Grand Prix Wikipedia


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