1995 European Grand Prix
European Grand Prix – Nurburgring, 1 October 1995 – 67 laps of 2.822 mile circuit (189.683 miles)
1: Michael Schumacher – Benetton B195-Renault V10 – 1h 39m 59.044s
2: Jean Alesi – Ferrari 412 T2-Ferran V12 – 1h 40m 01.728s
3: David Coulthard – Williams FW17B-Renault V10 – 1h 40m 34.426s
4: Rubens Barrichello – Jordan 195-Peugeot V10 – 66 laps
5: Johnny Herbert – Benetton B195-Renault V10 – 66 laps
6: Eddie Irvine – Jordan 195-Peugeot V10 – 66 laps
The race in brief
As in Monza, David Coulthard spins on the formation lap, and reverts to the spare car. The FW17B, hitherto used only for qualifying, is thus given its race debut.
Both Ferraris elect to start on slick tyres on a very damp track, but the move looks suspect as the rest of the grid, bar the McLarens, start on wet tyres. But while Mika Hakkinen and Mark Blundell drop steadily backwards, plummeting to 19th and 22nd in front of 9000 Mercedes guests by lap 5, the Italian cars maintain a good pace.
Jean Alesi overtakes Herbert’s Benetton on lap 6, and Irvine’s Jordan on lap 9. The gamble looks to have paid off when, with the track drying, he sets the fastest lap on lap 10.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Schumacher and Hill pit on lap 11, Coulthard following suit one tour later. The three rejoin in the same order, 15 seconds adrift of Alesi, the new leader, and just ahead of Gerhard Berger.
Blundell’s agony is curtailed on lap 15, when his McLaren loses downforce and spins off when lapped by Alesi. Olivier Panis race ends with a spin at the same time.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Sauber ends its race in the gravel on lap 18 after an over-optimistic overtaking manoeuvre on the Forti of Pedro Diniz.
The thorny subject of team orders at Williams or, rather, the lack of them, raises its head when. on lap 21, Coulthard is delayed lapping Hakkinen and Schumacher snatches second. The Scot doesn’t let Hill past until lap 23. Roberto Moreno’s Forti exits the fray on the same lap with a broken driveshaft.
Herbert collects Irvine on lap 31, damaging his own nosecone. The clash leaves Rubens Barrichello with a clear run to what will eventually become fourth place.
Alesi and Schumacher pit on lap 34, Hill nipping between them as a result. On lap 40 he challenges the Ferrari, only to pit for a new nose cone when contact results. The stop drops him to fourth once Berger retires with an electrical fault on lap 41.
Jean-Christophe Boullion retires his Sauber after a clash with Mika Salo’s Tyrrell on lap 45. Andrea Montermini runs out of petrol on lap 46 after a refuelling problem sees him run over a Pacific mechanic, breaking his leg.
Having moved onto Alesi’s tail, Schumacher is required to make a third stop, for fuel, on lap 52. With 15 laps left to run, he is 22s behind the leader.
Hill’s title hopes end, at the same time as his race, when he crashes out on lap 59 in pursuit of the third-placed Coulthard.
Struggling with worn tyres. Alesi finally cedes the lead to Schumacher when the German pulls off a magnificent overtaking manoeuvre into the chicane on lap 65. A spin drops Irvine back into Herbert’s clutches and the latter, on fresh rubber, steals fifth.