L&T Motorsport

F1 Flashback – Australia 1994

After a very tragic and controversial year the 1994 season concluded at the usual season ending Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide.

Nigel Mansell took pole for Williams, his first since returning to the sport after not competing in 1993, Championship Contenders Michael Schumacher in the Bennetton Ford and Damon Hill in his Williams were second and third on the grid.

The 1994 Australian Grand Prix turned out to be the last race for Team Lotus as they went under in early 1995. It was also the last race for veteran driver Michele Alboreto.

When the race got underway Schumacher took the lead with Hill going into second place, this set up what was to be a very dramatic championship deciding battle.

The order remained unchanged with Schumacher leading and Hill in second until lap 36, where Schumacher succumbed to pressure from Hill and went wide at East Terrace corner, he hit the wall damaging his Bennetton, Hill saw an opportunity to take the lead and with it the title, he went down the inside but Schumacher closed the door and turned into the Williams, sending the Bennetton driver into the air and going off into the barrier.

Hill limped back to the pits with a damaged wishbone on his Williams, all he needed was a 6th placed finish to win the championship now Schumacher was out.

The damage on the wishbone turned out to be terminal, Hill had to retire from the race and with it losing the world championship to his rival Schumacher.

Schumacher became the 1994 World Champion in controversial circumstances, this seemed ironic as the whole 1994 season was overshadowed by tragedy and controversy.

Despite all this there was still a race going on, the collision between the two championship contenders left Nigel Mansell in the lead, the first time he had led a race since 1992. He had a great battle with Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger.

Mansell lost the lead to Berger after the pit stops but regained it after Berger made a mistake, Mansell bought the Williams home to his 31st and final Grand Prix victory with Berger second, McLaren’s Martin Brundle took third.

This race will always be remembered for many things, but the main reason it is remembered is because of how the championship was won, despite all this on the day all Formula one fans were on the edge of their seat.

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