1994 Japanese Grand Prix
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The 1994 Japanese Grand Prix (formally the XX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 6 November 1994 at the Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka. It was the fifteenth and penultimate race of the 1994 FIA Formula One World Championship.
|1994 Japanese Grand Prix|
|Race 15 of 16 in the 1994 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||6 November 1994|
|Official name||XX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix|
Suzuka, Mie, Japan
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.864 km (3.665 mi)|
|Distance||50 laps, 293.200 km (183.250 mi)|
|Scheduled distance||53 laps, 310.792 km (194.245 mi)|
|Weather||Heavy Rain, followed by Light Showers|
|Time||1:56.597 on lap 24|
In wet conditions, the 50-lap race was won by Damon Hill, driving a Williams-Renault, after he started from second position. Hill's Drivers' Championship rival Michael Schumacher finished second in his Benetton-Ford, having started from pole position, with Jean Alesi third in his Ferrari. The win left Hill just one point behind Schumacher in the Drivers' Championship with one race remaining.
Going into the race, Benetton driver Michael Schumacher led the Drivers' Championship with 86 points, five ahead of rival Damon Hill in the Williams on 81. Schumacher felt he was "very confident" about the race, and Hill similarly declared that he was "positive".
There were several changes of driver for this race: Johnny Herbert moved from Ligier to Benetton after just one race for the French team, replacing Jos Verstappen. His place at Ligier was taken by Franck Lagorce. Eric Bernard lost his seat at Lotus to Mika Salo who had been racing in Japanese Formula 3000, and likewise Simtek hired Taki Inoue on a one-race deal, replacing Domenico Schiattarella. Finally JJ Lehto had returned to Sauber to replace Andrea de Cesaris after the Italian's sudden retirement from Formula One.
The race started in torrential rain, and as a result, several cars spun out of the race by aquaplaning, including Schumacher's team-mate Herbert, Lagorce, the Minardis of Pierluigi Martini and Michele Alboreto, and all three Japanese drivers. Lehto also retired at the start with an engine failure.
As Gerhard Berger had also retired by lap 11 with battery problems just after the end of the first Safety Car period. On lap 14, Gianni Morbidelli crashed his Footwork at one of the Esses at the first sector. Shortly afterwards, Martin Brundle spun his McLaren and crashed off the track as he bounced off the tyre barriers and hit a track marshal who was moving Morbidelli's car off the gravel trap. The marshal suffered a broken leg and Brundle suffered from no worse than a fractured right leg as he only just escaped what he thought seemed like certain death, adding to the huge list of injuries of the 1994 season, and the race was immediately stopped.
Rubens Barrichello soon retired in the pits with transmission problems by lap 17, Blundell was also forced retire from 10th position when his engine failed by lap 27 which ended an appalling weekend for Tyrrell as there was surprisingly[why?] no further retirements from there with 13 runners remaining for the remaining 50 laps.
As the rain eased, it was decided to run the remainder of the race, with around one hour to the time limit, on aggregate corrected time. Schumacher had been leading by 6.8 seconds when the red flag was shown, but Hill had a bigger lead (10.1 seconds) at the chequered flag, and thus took the win by 3.3 seconds on aggregate. This remains the last instance of aggregate race time being used in Formula One to determine the winner.
|Pos||No||Driver||Constructor||Q1 Time||Q2 Time||Gap|
|26||32||Taki Inoue||Simtek-Ford||1:45.004||no time||+7.795|
|27||34||Bertrand Gachot||Pacific-Ilmor||1:46.374||no time||+9.165|
|28||33||Paul Belmondo||Pacific-Ilmor||1:46.629||no time||+9.420|
Championship standings after the raceEdit
- Murray Walker, Jonathan Palmer (1994). Grand Prix (Television Presentation). London, England: BBC. Event occurs at 01:30-01:41.
Rundown of Drivers Championship table
- Murray Walker (1994). Grand Prix (Television Presentation). London, England: BBC. Event occurs at 01:58-02:13 02:28-02:45.
- "1994 Japanese Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- "Japan 1994 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
1994 European Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1994 Australian Grand Prix
1993 Japanese Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix||Next race:|
1995 Japanese Grand Prix