Traditions Upheld All cars formed up correctly on the formation lap, and waited for the lights. Unlike at Spain, the lights did work correctly, and all cars got away from the grid. Hill lead Schumacher, and Coulthard was within a touch of...
All cars formed up correctly on the formation lap, and waited for the lights. Unlike at Spain, the lights did work correctly, and all cars got away from the grid. Hill lead Schumacher, and Coulthard was within a touch of the two ahead. The cars entered St Devot, and Coulthard was seen to be spinning, as was Alesi and Berger. Alesi had dived inside the Williams of Coulthard, and Coulthard tried to close the door. The two touched, and the Williams was launched, Berger then touched Alesi and was also lauched. Only Alesi didn't go airborne. The race was red flagged.
The Ferrari team had two spare cars, but doubts were still in Nikki Lauda's mind as to whether the cars would be good enough for the race. Williams had an additional problem. They only had the one spare car, and it was set up for Hill. The mechanics had a frantic battle to ready the car for Coulthard.
At the second start, Sciattarella and Verstappen failed to get there. With all of their current woes, and the admission that they may not make Canada, it was a bad day for Simtek. Hill took the lead over Schumacher, with Coulthard close behind, with the two Ferraris following the crocodile. At the end of the first lap 3.7 seconds covered the top 6:
Hill Schumacher Coulthard Alesi Berger Herbert
Schumacher was all over the Williams of Hill, diving this way and that, trying to find a way past. It was a tremendous scrap. By the end of lap 3 the top 6 were covered by 6.344 seconds. Damon set a fastest lap on lap 3, 1m27.047, on the following lap Schumacher responded with a 1m26.570, and again on the following lap Damon banged in another fastest lap of 1m25.905s. Tremendous stuff. By this stage the top 6 were covered by 8.192 seconds. Positions on lap 6: Hill Schumacher Coulthard Alesi Berger Herbert Hakkinen Irvine Brundle Barrichello Blundell Panis
On lap 7, Hill banged in another fastest lap, 1m25.248s. Morbidelli came into the pits at the end of the 8th lap, presumably not for a routine stop. By the end of lap 10, the leaders came upon Diniz to lap him - not surprising as he (or rather the car) was 8 seconds a lap off the pace. On lap 11 Panis was called in for a stop-go penalty for jumping the start. Fine. Then Brundle for the same, then Barrichello, then Morbidelli and Montermini! There wouldn't be room in the pit if all came in at once. Hill at this stage of the race was coping much better with the traffic. Suddenly, Alesi gets past the Williams of Coulthard. Coulthard comes into the pit to retire. Apparantly he lost all gears bar second. Positions on lap 18: Hill Schumacher Alesi Berger Herbert Irvine
On lap 21, Schumacher suddenly finds a few tenths to cut into Hill's lead. It drops from 2.4 to 1.8 seconds. On lap 24 Schumacher closes right up on the exhaust pipe of the Williams as Hill tries to get past Frentzen. Meanwhile Brundle comes in for a fuel and tyres stop (7.8 seconds). On the same lap, Montermini is black flagged for failing to pit, he later rejoins the race. Hill came in for an 8.5 second stop on lap 25, and Schumacher took the lead, and Hill dropped back to 4th place, behind Alesi and Berger. At this stage the Benetton of Schumacher looked incredibly nervous, slipping and sliding all over the shop. Surely he must come in for a stop now? Incredibly not, he just continued to motor on for lap after lap. Berger came in for fuel and tyres on lap 26 (6.7 seconds). Schumacher Alesi Hill Berger Herbert (+33.749 seconds from P1) Katayama Blundell Martini Frentzen Brundle
On lap 28, Schumachers car starts really lurching into the corners. Meanwhile, Katayama retires after spinning at Casino Square. On lap 29, Inoue retires also. Schumacher now tries to get past the Forti of Diniz. The Forti resolutely refused to let the much faster Benetton by. A disgusting show of manners from Diniz. During this, Alesi closed the 13 second gap to 7.4 seconds. Similarly, further back, the Ferrari of Berger and the Benetton of Herbert were tussling. Lap 33, and Schumacher bangs in a fastest lap on worn tyres (1m24.773), and finally on lap 37, Schumacher comes in for his one and only pit stop of the race. Alesi now takes the lead, and sets a 1m24.621 lap, then pits for fuel and tyres. He only just misses leaving the pits in the lead. Schumacher Alesi (+10.77s) Hill (+13.0s) Herbert (+36.8s) Berger (+37.583s)
Hill was now making inroads into Alesi. Herbert then came in for fuel and tyres (also his only stop) on lap 29. All the top 5 had stopped by now. Positions on lap 40: Schumacher Alesi Hill Berger Herbert Blundell Brundle Badoer Frentzen Martini Barrichello Salo Panis Bouillion Gachot Morbidelli Diniz
On lap 43, Brundle and Alesi tangle at the swimming pool. Brundle was later extremely open, taking the full blame. He said he was trying too hard at Tabac, hit a bump, spun and collected Alesi. This was a rare moment - a driver taking the blame. On lap 53, Hill came in for his second fuel and tyre stop. By lap 56, Hill was 32 seconds behind the German, and so it would remain (bar the odd moment) for the rest of the race. On lap 65, Barrichello pulls into the pits and retires. On lap 67, Salo also retires. Panis joins in sympathy for his fellow drivers, hitting the wall at the exit of Casino. Bouillion decides to join the party on the last lap, and retires.
Schumacher Hill Berger Herbert Blundell Frentzen Martini Bouillion Morbidelli Diniz (+6 laps)