Sunday the 13th of November 1994: the controversial finale to a memorably bad year of Formula One.
My second attempt at journalism:
The starting grid was decided by the Friday times as it rained on the Saturday. “Il Leone” thus takes his 32nd and last career pole ahead of Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill. Mansell fluffs his start and both title contenders immediately pass the Englishman. Mansell further blots his copybook by running wide and this enables Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello to pass him. However, the onus is on the championship battle and the director senses this.
The action is tense: for lap after lap Michael and Damon trade almost identical lap times, the gap is fairly consistent and Michael appears unable to pull away from Damon and Damon in turn seems unable to get much closer to Michael. On lap 35 Schumacher cracks under intense pressure, runs wide and hits a concrete wall, fatally wounding his Benetton B194. The next moment, Damon comes round the corner and sees Michael’s slowing car, he pounces and tries to overtake the German, unaware of his contact with the wall. Michael's survival instincts come to the fore and, for the sake of his championship, he turns into Damon and damage to the front wheel and wishbone on the Williams Renault results in Damon’s retirement. Michael is eliminated instantly.
Michael wins the 1994 World Championship by a single point from a distraught Damon Hill.
Mansell wins his 31st Grand Prix.
After the race Michael Schumacher paid tribute to Damon Hill
"It was a very great battle between me and Damon. I made some comments this year about how I did not have respect for him but I have to say now that I was wrong. He was a great rival and he did a fantastic job. As far as winning the world championship goes, it is like I am sitting here in a dream - I just can't express my feelings. It hasn't sunk in that I have won yet”
Michael Schumacher dedicated his achievement to the memory of Ayrton Senna
"I want to dedicate this victory to Ayrton Senna. I always thought he'd win the championship this year. For me he was the greatest."
Michael Schumacher originally claimed it was a steering problem that caused him to collide with Damon Hill!
"I just wanted to turn into the corner and suddenly I saw Damon next to me and we just hit each other. I went up in the air, I was afraid because I thought I was going to roll over, but the car came back. My steering was not working. When I looked Damon was just there, I drove over his front wheel. When I hit the wall the steering broke."
Damon Hill, a gentleman to the bitter end
"It was a terrific race but it's over now. I have just got this empty feeling inside me. I saw an opportunity to overtake and thought I had to go for it, but it wasn't to be. I have to say everyone at Williams deserves a medal after the season we have had but I'll tell you this, we'll be back again next year. I am not going to be drawn on the interpretation of what happened. That is something other people will do and I'm sure the debate over it will go on for a long time. We thought we had a chance but at the moment it is just difficult to accept it is finally over."
video: primarily onboard action
video: ‘external’ shots
Edited by Senna, 13 November 2005 - 07:14 PM.