Suvarna Garge

1994 Monaco Grand Prix

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Date  15 May 1994
Course length  3.328 km (2.068 mi)
Course  Street circuit
1994 Monaco Grand Prix
Official name  LII Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco
Location  Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo
Distance  78 laps, 259.584 km (161.298 mi)

The 1994 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 15 May 1994 at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo. The race, which was the fourth round of the 1994 Formula One season, was won by Michael Schumacher and was the first race following the death of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Contents

Background

After the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the previous race of the season, sweeping changes were announced by the FIA to the rules and regulations of Formula One in a bid to improve safety. The majority were scheduled to come into force after the Monaco Grand Prix, but an 80 km/h pit-lane speed limit was brought into force in time for this race.

Both Williams and Simtek, the teams for whom Senna and Ratzenberger drove, ran only one car each during the race weekend.

Eddie Irvine was serving the third race of his three race ban issued to him for his part in the crash during the Brazilian Grand Prix. Andrea de Cesaris again took Irvine's place at Jordan, whilst Irvine acted as a pit-lane reporter for the ESPN television station.

Practice and qualifying

During the First Free Practice session on Thursday morning Austrian driver Karl Wendlinger had a major accident in the Nouvelle Chicane, after hitting the wall at almost 280 km/h. Wendlinger was in a coma for several weeks and threatened his F1 career. The Sauber Mercedes team decided to withdraw from the race after this incident.

Michael Schumacher claimed the first pole position of his Grand Prix career. Mika Häkkinen qualified second, which was also the highest starting position thus far in his career.

Race

As a mark of respect for the two drivers killed in Imola, the FIA decided to leave the first two grid positions empty for the race and painted them with the colors of the Brazilian and the Austrian flag, for Senna and Ratzenberger respectively. For the first time since the 1959 United States Grand Prix, there was no previous world champion competing in the race and also no former Monaco Grand Prix winner. Also the race only contained four previous race winners; Schumacher, Hill, Berger and Alboreto.

At the start of the race, Damon Hill crashed into the back of Mika Häkkinen's McLaren just before the St. Devote corner. Häkkinen retired straight away but Hill continued for a few corners before retiring with broken front suspension. Gianni Morbidelli and Pierluigi Martini also collided before St. Devote resulting in a retirement for both drivers.

On lap 40, the engine on Mark Blundell's Tyrrell failed leaving oil on the track at St. Devote which Schumacher, leading the race, had to avoid. The second placed Ferrari of Gerhard Berger did slip on the oil, however, and required a three-point turn to escape from the run off area beside the stricken Tyrrell. Berger returned to the track still in his second place, but dirty tyres left him vulnerable to the McLaren of Martin Brundle, who promptly overtook him down the outside of Mirabeau on the same lap. Christian Fittipaldi in his Footwork-Ford ran close behind the Ferrari's of Berger and Alesi in fourth position until his first refuelling stop near the start of the race. Fittipaldi continued to run strongly in a points position until lap 47 when the gearbox failed.

The race was led from start to finish by Michael Schumacher, who continued his perfect start to the 1994 season with four victories in the first four races. As Schumacher also held the fastest lap, this meant he scored the first Grand Slam of his career, and he was the first driver other than Alain Prost or Ayrton Senna to win the Monaco Grand Prix since 1983. The second place scored by Brundle was the equal best result of his career. Michele Alboreto finished sixth in his Minardi to score the final championship point available. This was the last point Alboreto would score in his Formula One career.

References

1994 Monaco Grand Prix Wikipedia


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