On this day, 20 years ago in motor racing...

929
United States
Somewhere in the Northeast
AllFizzledOut
TakeALLTheNames
09-hill_panis_morbidelli_podium_australia_1995_williams.jpg


Summary: Damon Hill won the Australian Grand Prix by two complete laps. This had only been achieved once before in the history of the Formula One World Championship, at the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix when Jackie Stewart took his Matra to a two-lap victory over Bruce McLaren at Montjuich Park in Barcelona.

Wiki
What a crazy race that was...
Backmarkers on the podium, single digit finishers, no other runners from top teams left...
It was also the last time Adelaide held a race in Formula one, and the race held the record for the number of people that have attended a Formula One race, with 210,000 watching the event, being beaten by the inaugural running of the new US Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2000.

Pre-Race Report
Pre-Race
Heading into the final round of the 1995 Formula One season, both the Drivers' Championship and Constructors' Championship were already settled, with Michael Schumacher having claimed the Drivers' Championship two rounds earlier in the Pacific round.[5] It was Schumacher's last race with the Benetton team, having already announced that he was going to Ferrari for the 1996 season.[6] Benetton claimed the Constructors' Championship at the penultimate round of the championship – the Japanese Grand Prix, with Williams too many points behind to be able to catch them.[7] It was announced beforehand that it would be the last Formula One event to be held at the Adelaide Street Circuit, with the Australian Grand Prix moving to Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne from the 1996 season.[6][8]

In the Friday afternoon qualifying session, Mika Häkkinen in his McLaren car suffered a puncture heading towards Brewery Bend, causing him to become airborne over the outside chicane and crash heavily into a tyre barrier at 120mph.[9] An emergency tracheotomy was performed on Häkkinen at the track side, before he was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (which was conveniently located less than 1 km from where Häkkinen crashed) for the treatment of his head injuries.[3][6]

The Williams' cars dominated qualifying, with Damon Hill in pole position and David Coulthard alongside him.[3] Schumacher was third in his Benetton, with the Ferrari drivers fourth and fifth, Gerhard Berger ahead of Jean Alesi.[3] Heinz-Harald Frentzen rounded out the top six in his Sauber.[3]
The Race Report
Race
Despite starting in pole position, Hill lost the lead at the start, with Coulthard taking the lead at the beginning.[3] Schumacher also lost ground at the start, with Berger moving into third and Alesi moving into fourth.[3] Schumacher made his way back up to third, overtaking Alesi on lap one, before overtaking Berger a few laps later.[3] Coulthard kept the lead until the first round of pitstops. However, he came into the pitlane too fast, locking his front tyres and ran into the pitwall. He was forced to retire from the race.[3] A few laps later, Forti's Roberto Moreno spun and caused terminal damage to his suspension in the same place where Coulthard had crashed earlier.

After the first round of pitstops, Schumacher and Alesi collided, with both retiring.[3] Schumacher's Benetton team-mate, Johnny Herbert took second place briefly before coming in for his first stop later than many of the other drivers, while surviving a potential accident which was very similar to Coulthard's, missing, however, the pit entry and rejoining the track.[3] Berger was promoted to second, but his Ferrari encountered an engine problem, forcing him to retire. This promoted Frentzen to second, but he too retired due to a gearbox problem. With many of the front-runners out, Hill led at the front, with Herbert second. Jordan driver Eddie Irvine rounded out the top three, before retiring after losing all of his pneumatic pressure.[3] Herbert was still second, and looked set as a result to claim third place in the Drivers' Championship.[10] He was, however, forced out of the race as his Benetton suffered a driveshaft failure.[3] Olivier Panis was now second in his Ligier a lap behind Hill, with Footwork driver Gianni Morbidelli third, two laps down. However, with a few laps remaining, Panis' Ligier was suffering an oil leak. Hill lapped him for a second time on his way to victory.[3] Panis remained second, with Morbidelli third for his only career podium, and the first podium for the Footwork/Arrows team in 6 years.[3] Behind the top three, Mark Blundell was fourth in the sole McLaren, with Mika Salo fifth in theTyrrell. Pedro Lamy after a spectacular mid-race spin rounded out the points with sixth in his Minardi – his only Formula One point.[3] Only eight cars finished the race, with Pedro Diniz seventh place being Forti's best Formula One finish at the last grand prix at Adelaide.[3]

The race marked the end of Pacific Racing, as the team went back to International Formula 3000 for 1996. In a last gasp effort, Pacific tried to have their test driver Oliver Gavinin the seat, but he was not granted an FIA Super License and shareholder Bertrand Gachot was in the car. It was only the second time the winner won by two laps– the first time was at the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix when Jackie Stewart won.[3] Hill, who had come in for an enormous amount of criticism for his performances in all of the three previous races, was praised by commentator Murray Walker for this performance, with Walker immediately citing that, with Schumacher and Coulthard's imminent moves to Ferrari and McLaren respectively, Hill would be a strong favourite to win the title in 1996 if he could continue to perform in the way he had done so in this particular race. This would also be the last race for a V12 engine, specifically Ferrari. The Italian outfit would use a more fuel-efficient V10 engine for 1996.

Although he failed to finish, by competing in the race Gerhard Berger earned the distinction of being the only driver to have driven in all 11 Formula One Grands Prix held in Adelaide. He had driven for Arrows-BMW (1985), Benetton-BMW (1986), Ferrari (1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995) and McLaren-Honda (1990, 1991, 1992), winning the race for Ferrari in 1987 (as well as claiming pole position and fastest lap) and McLaren in 1992.

Pos/No/Driver/Constructor/Laps Time
1
5 Damon Hill Williams-Renault 81 1:49:15.946
2 26 Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 79 +2 Laps
3 9 Gianni Morbidelli Footwork-Hart 79 +2 Laps
4 7 Mark Blundell McLaren-Mercedes 79 +2 Laps
5 4 Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 78 +3 Laps
6 23 Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 78 +3 Laps
7 21 Pedro Diniz Forti-Ford 77 +4 Laps
8 16 Bertrand Gachot Pacific-Ford 76 +5 Laps
Ret 3 Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 70 Engine
Ret 2 Johnny Herbert Benetton-Renault 69 Transmission
Ret 15 Eddie Irvine Jordan-Peugeot 62 Engine
Ret 30 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 39 Gearbox
Ret 28 Gerhard Berger Ferrari 34 Engine
Ret 25 Martin Brundle Ligier-Mugen-Honda 29 Spun off
Ret 1 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault 25 Collision
Ret 27 Jean Alesi Ferrari 23 Collision
Ret 22 Roberto Moreno Forti-Ford 21 Spun off
Ret 14 Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 20 Spun off
Ret 6 David Coulthard Williams-Renault 19 Accident
Ret 10 Taki Inoue Footwork-Hart 15 Spun off
Ret 29 Karl Wendlinger Sauber-Ford 8 Physical
Ret 17 Andrea Montermini Pacific-Ford 2 Gearbox
DNS 24 Luca Badoer Minardi-Ford 0 Electrical
DNS 8 Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes - Injured
 
Paging Motorsports Trivia Thread

Interesting race. End of the season obviously sees a lot of lasts:

Grand Prix
Mark Blundell
Pedro Lamy
Bertrand Gachot
Roberto Moreno
Taki Inoue
Pacific Grand Prix

Podium
Hart Engines
Gianni Morbidelli

A few significant final GP for a particular team:

Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
Eddie Irvine (Jordan)
Jean Alesi (Ferrari)
Gerhard Berger (Ferrari)
David Coulthard (Williams)

Tyrrell wouldn't score points again for 2 years. Minardi wouldn't score points again for 4 years.

And let's not forget that David Coulthard was leading until he retired by crashing into the pitwall:

 
Tyrrell wouldn't score points again for 2 years.
Not really sure who wrote this blatantly false piece, but either way, that's asking for correction. In both of the next 2 seasons, they did manage to score points, albeit only with one driver.
 
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