1995 Portuguese Grand Prix

Portuguese Grand Prix – Estoril, 24 September 1995 71 laps of 2.709 mile circuit (192.339 miles)

1: David Coulthard – Williams FW17-Renault V10 – 1h 41m 52.145s
2: Michael Schumacher – Benetton B195-Renault V10 – 1h 41m 59.393s
3: Damon Hill – Williams FW17-Renault V10 – 1h 42m 14.266s
4: Gerhard Berger – Ferrari 412 T2-Ferrari V12 – 1h 43m 17.024s
5: Jean Alesi – Ferrari 412 T2-Ferrari V12 – 1h 43m 17.574s
6: Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Sauber C41-Ford Zetec-R V8 – 70 laps

The race in brief

The start is marred by a horrific incident which sees Ukyo Katayama’s Tyrrell ride over Luca Badoer’s Minardi and cartwheel high into the air. The Japanese driver is initially knocked unconscious, but is awake and talking by the time he is helicoptered to hospital, where he is detained for observation.

Although he held Michael Schumacher at bay at the first start, Damon Hill loses out at the re-start, the championship contenders following the pole-sitting Williams of David Coulthard. Johnny Herbert’s Benetton runs fifth, between the Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi. Massimiliano Paps fails to start with a gearbox problem.


The start of the 1995 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Pedro Lamy’s home race ends on lap 7, when his Minardi exits with gearbox problems. Olivier Panis spins out on lap 11. Jean-Denis Deletraz pulls out with cramp on lap 15. With the Pacific having been lapped in half that time, his retirement is a relief to all.

Hill, Schumacher and Berger make their first stops on lap 18. Coulthard follows suit on lap 19, and re-joins in the lead

Alesi confirms his intention to make only two stops by pitting on lap 24, dropping back to sixth behind Herbert. Berger has chosen a three-stop routine but his second, on lap 33, drops him to fifth behind his team-mate. That, regardless of Jean Todt’s attempt to apply team orders to the Frenchman whose heavier car is slower is where Alesi is determined to keep him. His intransigence allied to a post-race attack on the Sporting Director, earns his a $200,000 fine.

Trapped behind Schumacher, it becomes clear that Hill has switched to a two-stop gameplan when the German pits on lap 35, but the Williams continues to circulate

Coulthard loses the lead for the first and only time when he pits on lap 38, but re-takes the initiative when his team-mate stops on lap 44.

Embroiled in a midfield battle with the Jordans and Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Sauber, Mika Hakkinen retires his McLaren with engine failure on lap 45. Berger is called in early for his final stop. The move pays off when Alesi’s stop on lap 47 hands him fourth place.


David Coulthard on the top step after taking his first F1 win

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A string of quick laps prior to Coulthard’s final stop on lap 54 ensures that he rejoins just ahead of Hill. Schumacher refuels at the same time, but resumes third. Andrea Montermini’s Pacific is halted by a gearbox problem.

On fresher tyres than his quarry, Schumacher hauls onto Hill’s tail by lap 61, diving up the inside for second at the chicane on lap 62.

Coulthard takes the flag on lap 71 to register his first GP win. Behind Schumacher, Hill, Berger and Alesi, Frentzen’s two-stop plan earns him the final point from Herbert and Martin Brundle. Racing with pain killing injections for a back injury, Mark Blundell brings his McLaren home ninth ahead of the tardy Jordans.