1995 Formula One season


1995 Formula One season

:"F1 1995" redirects here. For the video games based on the 1995 Formula One season, see "F1 95"."

The 1995 Formula One season was the 46th FIA Formula One World Championship season. It began on March 26, 1995 included 17 races, and ended on November 12. The Drivers' Championship was won by Michael Schumacher of Benetton for the second year in a row, beating Damon Hill of WilliamsF1 by 33 points. Benetton won the Constructor's Championship, beating Williams by a comfortable 29 points. The season was highlighted by the rivalry between Schumacher and Hill, with Schumacher winning nine races and Hill winning four races. Benetton and Williams drivers dominated the field, victorious in all but one race.

Background

The calendar was initially announced at the beginning of 1995, with the European Grand Prix now at the Nürburgring circuit. The Argentine Grand Prix was the only newly announced race, with it taking place at the Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez circuit. The circuit was due to kick off the calendar on March 12, but there were doubts over whether the circuit would be ready in time. There were also doubts over round two at Brazil, with the previous year's death of Ayrton Senna hitting Brazil motorsport very hard. The third race in Japan was also under threat, as it was due to take place at the TI Circuit. However, the circuit was badly affected after the Great Hanshin earthquake, which hit the local infrastructure hard. The San Marino round, Spanish round and the Italian round were also under threat, with safety works taking place and the Circuit de Catalunya in financial difficulty." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00007.html "Doubts over dates"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 9 March 2007]

On February 6, a revised calendar was announced, with the Argentine Grand Prix moved to April 9, despite the fact it had now received official clearance from FIA safety inspector Roland Bruynseraede. The Pacific round was moved due to the Kobe earthquake, with it now one week before the Japanese Grand Prix. The European Grand Prix was moved forward seven days, leaving just a seven day gap between the Portuguese and European rounds. However, some tracks still needed clearance to race." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00009.html "Formula 1 calendar rethink"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007]

At the end of the 1994 season, the famous Lotus name disappeared from the grid along with Larrousse. Only one new team entered Formula One and that was Forti.

Larrousse were included in the official FIA entry list for the 1995 season, but because of financial struggles and friction between shareholders meant that the production of the new car was delayed. No funding ever arrived and it was too late for them to build a car for the season. There were some arrangements with the DAMS Formula 3000 team, but DAMS bosses wanted to buy Larrousse and run the team themselves." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00004.html "Larrousse: a deal with DAMS?"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 9 March 2007] However, on February 13, the boss of DAMS, Jean-Paul Driot announced that they had abandoned plans to enter Formula One for 1995, as he could not find a good amount of sponsorship to run the team at a competitive level. Driot said he intended to return to Formula 3000 and prepare for an F1 bid in 1996." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00017.html "Larrousse-DAMS - on or off?"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 17 March 2007]

Minardi had been expected to run with Mugen-Honda engines, but at the last minute, Ligier boss Flavio Briatore persuaded the Japanese engine supplier to supply Ligier, leaving Minardi in a mess. Their car was designed for the Honda V10 and parts were already being made. The Minardi team had to work flat out to build a brand new car with a Ford ED engine. Team owner Giancarlo Minardi announced he was taking legal action against the Japanese supplier." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00005.html "Minardi takes legal action against Mugen Honda"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007]

The status of Ligier and who its owners were was coming under scrutiny. The news that Martin Brundle had signed with them for 1995 brought up rumours that Tom Walkinshaw was the new boss of the team. Walkinshaw's move to Ligier is part of the deal hammered out the previous year by Flavio Briatore and FIA's Max Mosley to get Benetton off the hook for the use of an illegal fuel filter in the 1994 German Grand Prix. Benetton admitted that the filter was illegal and was let off, on the understanding that major changes would be made within the team. Briatore appeared to have asked Walkinshaw to control Ligier." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00002.html "Brundle returns to Ligier"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007]

Season review

The 1995 F1 Season featured several dramatic incidents, including seven Grands Prix affected by rain and 4 Grands Prix were red-flagged on the first lap of the race.

The Formula One regulations changed prior to the 1995 season. The most significant change was the to the engine capacity. This was reduced from 3.5 Litres to 3.0 Litres, in order to reduce speeds. All of the cars were fitted with cockpit side protection, and the cockpit opening was made larger than the 1994-spec cars. The front and rear wings of were modified to reduce downforce, thereby reducing cornering speeds. These changes were in reaction to the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, who both died of head and neck injuries. Some of the F1 circuits were changed, with larger run-off areas featuring at tracks such as Monza and Imola.

The Benetton team had Renault engines for the first time, after running Ford V8s for several years. Michael Schumacher won nine out of the seventeen Grands Prix, and won his second World Championship. Schumacher's main title rival was Damon Hill, who was driving for Williams-Renault. Hill and Schumacher were involved in some very close battles at numerous races, including at the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix, where the two championship contenders fought wheel-to-wheel for extended periods.

Johnny Herbert, Schumacher's team mate, won his first Formula One race at the 1995 British Grand Prix. He also went on to win the 1995 Italian Grand Prix, after a collision between Hill and Schumacher. Herbert complained about the Benetton B195's handling, which was very twitchy, but the car suited his team mate Schumacher.Fact|date=October 2007

Damon Hill received criticism during 1995, after several incidents that were attributed to driving errors. The 1995 British Grand Prix was overshadowed by a controversial collision between Hill and Schumacher, and Hill was widely blamed for the accident.Fact|date=October 2007 Hill also suffered with mechanical problems in his Williams-Renault.

Jean Alesi won the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix, which was his first and only victory in Formula One. Alesi also nearly won the European and Japanese Grand Prix, only being passed by Schumacher with a few laps to go in the former, and retiring with a driveshaft bearing failure in the latter.

Nigel Mansell made a brief return to Formula One with McLaren. The McLaren-Mercedes cockpit was initially too small for Mansell, and he had to miss the first two races whilst McLaren redesigned the monocoque. His eventual return for the 1995 San Marino Grand Prix was disappointing, and he was outpaced by Häkkinen. After another disappointing race at the Spanish Grand Prix Mansell and McLaren parted ways, and Mark Blundell drove the second McLaren for the remainder of 1995. Mika Häkkinen was seriously injured in a crash during practice for the 1995 Australian Grand Prix. The fast actions of the medical crew saved his life, and he later returned to the track in F1|1996. Later that year, Mansell revealed that he intended to "fight for the championship with Williams", but the Williams team chose David Coulthard instead.

One of the rookies for 1995 was Taki Inoue who drove for Footwork Arrows. During First Qualifying for the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix his car stalled on the track, and the session was stopped in order to recover the car. A course car driven by Jean Ragnotti was travelling too fast and Ragnotti was unsighted by the barriers on the twisty circuit. Ragnotti's car crashed into Inoue's stranded car, flipping the Arrows. Inoue was knocked unconscious but he recovered and took part in the race on Sunday. At the 1995 Hungarian Grand Prix Inoue's car retired with a mechanical problem. He got out of his car and grabbed a fire extinguisher in order to put out a small fire on his car. Inoue then walked into the path of a course car, and was knocked over. Inoue bounced off the front of the car and collapsed on to the grass. He suffered minor leg injuries.

Drivers and constructors

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1995 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Drivers

(*) Driver did not finish the race but was classified, having raced more than 90% of race distance.

Constructors

Rumours and speculation

Teams

*Jackie Oliver denied several stories that the Footwork team were in difficulty. Rumours were going around in Europe that he was planning a merger with the Super Nova Formula 3000 squad. Their boss, David Sears managed the careers of Taki Inoue, Jan Magnussen and Vincenzo Sospiri at that time." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00015.html "The other Jackie O"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 11 March 2007]

Drivers

*Érik Comas was scheduled to be Larrousse's first team driver, with Paul Belmondo rumoured to be the teams second driver, but financial problems meant the team never got to the grid for the 1995 season. Elton Julian, Eric Helary & Christophe Bouchut were also rumoured to be in the frame.
*Gabriele Tarquini and Emmanuel Collard tested with Tyrrell over a possible race seat, with JJ Lehto also in the running." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00019.html "Tyrrell unveils 1995 package"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 17 March 2007] The seat eventually went to Mika Salo after the contract dispute with Pacific." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00018.html "Pacific loses Salo"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 17 March 2007] The team also declared an interest in Christian Fittipaldi, Érik Comas and Karl Wendlinger before making their decision." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00006.html "Salo to join Tyrrell"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007]
*Before joining Benetton as test driver, Emmanuel Collard was gaining interest from both Pacific and Larrousse. Collard had done over 400km of testing with Williams." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00006.html "Salo to join Tyrrell"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007]
*One of the major rumours that were going around was that McLaren and Mercedes only went into partnership was so that they could get Michael Schumacher for the 1996 season. Mercedes wanted Schumacher as he is German, and McLaren and Marlboro both wanted him because he is one of the best drivers. There were slight indications that a deal had already been agreed even before the 1995 season began." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00001.html "Mansell en route to McLaren"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007]
*Before, Nigel Mansell was confirmed as McLaren driver, they were keen to have a lower profile driver, with Christian Fittipaldi said to have been in the frame." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00010.html "McLaren confirms Mansell"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007]
*Mark Blundell was rumoured to join the Simtek team, but when he signed for McLaren, the team chased up Jos Verstappen." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00012.html "Engineering changes at Benetton"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007] Benetton released him from his testing duties so he could sign for the team, which strengthened the relationship between the two teams." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00029.html "Verstappen signs for Simtek"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 17 March 2007]
*Apart from Roberto Moreno, Emanuele Naspetti and Andrea Montermini were also considered for the Forti drive." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00011.html "Forti - getting ready for action"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 10 March 2007] Paolo Carcasci was also considered, but failed to receive a superlicense.
*Before deciding to go with Andrea Montermini as their driver, Pacific also declared an interest in Danish Touring Car driver Kris Nissen, Vincenzo Sospiri, Érik Comas, Emmanuel Collard, JJ Lehto, Paul Belmondo and Pedro Lamy. Lamy actually visited the factory and was tipped to have a good budget." [http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns00018.html "Pacific loses Salo"] " GrandPrix. Retrieved 17 March 2007] The move failed to materialize. Belmondo became the teams test driver.

Footnotes


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