1993 European Grand Prix

The 1993 European Grand Prix (formally the Sega European Grand Prix[1]) was a Formula One motor race held on 11 April 1993 at Donington Park. It was the third race of the 1993 FIA Formula One World Championship. The race was contested over 76 laps and was won by Ayrton Senna for the McLaren team, ahead of second-placed Damon Hill and third-placed Alain Prost, both driving for the Williams team.[2]

1993 European Grand Prix
Race 3 of 16 in the 1993 Formula One World Championship
Donington as of 2006.svg
Race details
Date 11 April 1993
Official name Sega European Grand Prix
Location Donington Park, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.023 km (2.500 mi)
Distance 76 laps, 305.748 km (190.000 mi)
Weather Very cold, rain with dry spells
Pole position
Driver Williams-Renault
Time 1:10.458
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Ford
Time 1:18.029 (lap record) on lap 57
First McLaren-Ford
Second Williams-Renault
Third Williams-Renault

Senna's drive to victory is regarded as one of his finest,[3] and his first lap exploits are particularly lauded, in which he passed four drivers – Michael Schumacher, Karl Wendlinger, Damon Hill and Alain Prost – to take the lead in a single lap in torrential rain conditions.[4][5] The race was the first held under the European Grand Prix title since 1985, and to date is the only Formula One Grand Prix to have been held at the Donington Park circuit.[6]



After plans to hold an Asian Grand Prix at the Nippon Autopolis in Japan failed to materialise, the first European Grand Prix for eight years was run as the third race of the 1993 season. Donington Park was awarded the race, having unsuccessfully bid to host the British Grand Prix.[6] Video game company Sega sponsored the race and the logo could be seen throughout the Grand Prix and on the podium. Sega also had naming rights to the Grand Prix.[7]

Ivan Capelli had agreed to part ways with the Jordan team after failing to qualify at the previous round in Brazil. He was replaced by veteran Belgian driver Thierry Boutsen.


Ayrton Senna won the race for McLaren.

The Williams cars were 1–2 in qualifying with Prost on pole ahead of Hill, Schumacher, Senna, Wendlinger and Michael Andretti. At the start, it was damp and Schumacher blocked Senna and both lost time and Wendlinger took third. Having dropped to fifth, Senna quickly passed Schumacher at the third corner. He then went after Wendlinger, passing him through the Craner Curves with Schumacher and Andretti trying to follow through, meaning Andretti was still yet to complete a racing lap in his F1 career. Schumacher went through but Andretti hit Wendlinger and both were out. Senna went after Hill now and took second at McLean's Corner. Now Prost was the target and the lead was taken at the penultimate corner – the Melbourne Hairpin. Going into the second lap, Senna led Prost, Hill, Rubens Barrichello (who had started 12th), Jean Alesi, Schumacher and JJ Lehto.

The track began to dry and everyone pitted for dry tyres. Lehto was fifth, having started from the pit lane, but he retired with handling problems on lap 14. Gerhard Berger took the place but he too retired with suspension problems six laps later. The rain returned and the leaders now pitted for wets. Mark Blundell was forced off by Senna whilst battling Fittipaldi at the Esses and then spun off backwards into the gravel trap whilst attempting to rejoin the track surface. Schumacher stayed out and was leading but soon spun out by lap 23 as a result of being on the wrong tyres. The track began to dry and everyone pitted once again with Senna having a problem and losing 20 seconds. Prost now led Senna, Hill, Barrichello, Derek Warwick and Johnny Herbert.

It began to rain and the two Williams stopped for wets while Senna stayed out. It was the correct decision because it began to dry again. The Williams stopped yet again for dries. Prost stalled in the pits in his stop and when he rejoined, he was a lap behind and down in fourth. Barrichello was now second but it rained and then stopped again. He went to the pits twice and by now Hill was in second, albeit a lap down. Barrichello, third, had trouble with his fuel pressure and retired, giving the place to Prost. Senna set the fastest lap on lap 57, on a lap when he drove into the pit lane but aborted the pit stop, showing that there actually was a shortcut through the pit lane. This is due to the Grand Prix configuration of Donington, which has the pit entry before the final hairpin corner onto the start/finish straight.

Senna won from Hill and Prost, having made four pit stops in the wet-dry conditions compared to Prost's seven. Herbert finished fourth for Lotus, stopping only once, while all the other finishing drivers stopped in the pits several times. Riccardo Patrese and Fabrizio Barbazza completed the top six. By the end, Senna had lapped the entire field except for Hill, who finished over a minute behind.

At the end of the race, Senna was led onto a podium and given a trophy that depicted Sega's mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog holding a trophy with the Sega logo underneath.[7] A widely circulated image shows Senna holding the trophy.[7][8] After this marketing photo op, he was given the official award, a trophy that does not depict either Sonic the Hedgehog or the Sega logo.[7] McLaren is still in possession of the Sega trophy; for a long time, it was thought to have been lost until McLaren's official Twitter account revealed that it is in one of their storerooms.[7][8][9]



Pos No Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Gap
1 2   Alain Prost Williams-Renault 1:24.467 1:10.458
2 0   Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:24.014 1:10.762 +0.304
3 5   Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 1:26.264 1:12.008 +1.550
4 8   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Ford 1:23.976 1:12.107 +1.649
5 29   Karl Wendlinger Sauber 1:26.805 1:12.738 +2.280
6 7   Michael Andretti McLaren-Ford 1:26.859 1:12.739 +2.281
7 30   JJ Lehto Sauber 1:25.469 1:12.763 +2.305
8 28   Gerhard Berger Ferrari 1:25.971 1:12.862 +2.404
9 27   Jean Alesi Ferrari 1:25.699 1:12.980 +2.522
10 6   Riccardo Patrese Benetton-Ford 1:27.273 1:12.982 +2.524
11 12   Johnny Herbert Lotus-Ford 1:27.173 1:13.328 +2.870
12 14   Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Hart 1:26.557 1:13.514 +3.056
13 11   Alessandro Zanardi Lotus-Ford 1:28.782 1:13.560 +3.102
14 9   Derek Warwick Footwork-Mugen-Honda 1:28.096 1:13.664 +3.206
15 19   Philippe Alliot Larrousse-Lamborghini 1:28.648 1:13.665 +3.207
16 23   Christian Fittipaldi Minardi-Ford 1:28.065 1:13.666 +3.208
17 20   Érik Comas Larrousse-Lamborghini 1:29.310 1:13.970 +3.512
18 3   Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:29.851 1:14.121 +3.663
19 15   Thierry Boutsen Jordan-Hart 1:28.701 1:14.246 +3.788
20 24   Fabrizio Barbazza Minardi-Ford 1:27.275 1:14.274 +3.816
21 26   Mark Blundell Ligier-Renault 1:27.302 1:14.301 +3.843
22 25   Martin Brundle Ligier-Renault 1:26.788 1:14.306 +3.848
23 10   Aguri Suzuki Footwork-Mugen-Honda 1:30.107 1:14.927 +4.469
24 21   Michele Alboreto Lola-Ferrari 1:30.049 1:15.322 +4.864
25 4   Andrea de Cesaris Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:29.177 1:15.417 +4.959
DNQ 22   Luca Badoer Lola-Ferrari 1:31.178 1:15.641 +5.183


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Ford 76 1:50:46.570 4 10
2 0   Damon Hill Williams-Renault 76 + 1:23.199 2 6
3 2   Alain Prost Williams-Renault 75 + 1 Lap 1 4
4 12   Johnny Herbert Lotus-Ford 75 + 1 Lap 11 3
5 6   Riccardo Patrese Benetton-Ford 74 + 2 Laps 10 2
6 24   Fabrizio Barbazza Minardi-Ford 74 + 2 Laps 20 1
7 23   Christian Fittipaldi Minardi-Ford 73 + 3 Laps 16  
8 11   Alessandro Zanardi Lotus-Ford 72 + 4 Laps 13  
9 20   Érik Comas Larrousse-Lamborghini 72 + 4 Laps 17  
10 14   Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Hart 70 Fuel pressure 12  
11 21   Michele Alboreto Lola-Ferrari 70 + 6 Laps 24  
Ret 9   Derek Warwick Footwork-Mugen-Honda 66 Gearbox 14  
Ret 15   Thierry Boutsen Jordan-Hart 61 Throttle 19  
Ret 4   Andrea de Cesaris Tyrrell-Yamaha 55 Gearbox 25  
Ret 27   Jean Alesi Ferrari 36 Gearbox 9  
Ret 10   Aguri Suzuki Footwork-Mugen-Honda 29 Gearbox 23  
Ret 19   Philippe Alliot Larrousse-Lamborghini 27 Collision 15  
Ret 5   Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford 22 Spun Off 3  
Ret 26   Mark Blundell Ligier-Renault 20 Spun Off 21  
Ret 28   Gerhard Berger Ferrari 19 Suspension 8  
Ret 30   JJ Lehto Sauber 13 Handling 7  
Ret 3   Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 11 Clutch 18  
Ret 25   Martin Brundle Ligier-Renault 7 Spun Off 22  
Ret 29   Karl Wendlinger Sauber 0 Collision 5  
Ret 7   Michael Andretti McLaren-Ford 0 Collision 6  

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "Motor Racing Programme Covers: 1993". The Programme Covers Project. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "1993 European Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  3. ^ Harmer, Alex (1 May 2013). "Ayrton Senna's greatest drives". Motor Sport magazine. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  4. ^ Walker, Murray (11 April 2013). "Murray's memories: European GP 1993 – Sensational Senna". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Greatest single lap in F1 history was driven at Donington's first and last grand prix". Nottingham Post. 10 June 2011. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b Medland, Chris (24 June 2011). "Senna reigns supreme". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e Plunkett, Luke (23 December 2012). "The Day a Sporting Legend Became an Unwitting Sonic the Hedgehog Icon". Kotaku.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b "High End Sonic the Hedgehog Merchandise". sonicgear.org. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016.
  9. ^ McFerran, Damien (12 April 2018). "Random: The Legendary Sonic Formula One Trophy Won By Ayrton Senna Still Exists". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Europe 1993 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 15 March 2019.

External linksEdit

Previous race:
1993 Brazilian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1993 season
Next race:
1993 San Marino Grand Prix
Previous race:
1985 European Grand Prix
European Grand Prix Next race:
1994 European Grand Prix
Preceded by
1992 French Grand Prix
Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter

Succeeded by
1994 Pacific Grand Prix