1995 Belgian Grand Prix

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Belgian Grand Prix – Spa, 27 August 1995, 44 laps of 4.334 mile circuit (190.696 miles)

1: Michael Schumacher – Benetton B195-Renault V10 – 1h 36m 47.875s
2: Damon Hill – Williams FW17-Renault V10 – 1h 37m 07.368s
3: Martin Brundle – Ligier JS41-Mugen Honda V10 – 1h 37m 12.873s
4: Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Sauber C14-Ford Zetec-R V8 – 1h 37m 14.847s
5: Mark Blundell – McLaren MP4/10-Mercedes V10 – 1h 37m 21.4647s
6: Rubens Barrichello – Jordan 195-Peugeot V10 – 1h 37m 27.549s

The race in brief

Berger makes a poor start and Alesi takes the lead. However, Herbert passes him at Les Combes to lead at the end of lap 1.

Hakkinen spins out of a third at La Source on lap 2. This lifts Hill to fifth behind Herbert, Alesi, Berger and Coulthard. The lead changes again when Alesi repeats Herbert’s earlier move.

Both Williams pass Berger on lap 3 to be third and fourth. By which time Schumacher has passed eight cars to be eighth.

Alesileads

Jean Alesi leads at the start

Motorsport Images

Alesi loses the lead on lap 4 when he pits with a suspected puncture. After his stop he realises that he has a terminal suspension problem.

Coulthard takes the lead from Herbert on lap 6 at Les Combes when the latter spins down to third. He then suffers another spin when Berger hits him at the Bus Stop. The Benetton drops down to sixth, while the Ferrari continues in third.

Schumacher eventually passes a determined Irvine on lap 11 to be fourth.

Coulthard is holding an increasing seven-second lead on lap 13 when his gearbox loses its oil. Hill now leads.

Schumacher inherits second on lap 14 when he passes a misfiring Berger.

This becomes the lead when Hill makes his first schedules stop on lap 15. Berger and Irvine also make stops. This allows Panis and Brundle, both of whom have a one-stop policy, into third and fourth.

SchumacherHill

Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher go side-by-side

Motorsport Images

Hill retakes the lead on lap 18 when Schumacher refuels.

On lap 21 Hill holds a 14-second lead over Schumacher but, as the drizzle becomes rain, he pits for wets. Schumacher stays on slicks and takes the lead. Meanwhile, Berger’s electrics expire, and Brundle moves up to third when Panis makes his only scheduled stop.

There is a fire in the Jordan pit on lap 22. Nobody is hurt, but Irvine is out. Brundle stays third despite a stop for fuel and wets.

By lap 23 Hill is on Schumacher’s tail, but is repelled by some robust yet daring driving.

Hill eventually takes the lead at Les Combes on lap 24 as his rival runs wide across the grass. Still Schumacher stays on slicks.

His gamble pays off. The rain stops and Hill’s wets tail off dramatically on lap 25. The Benetton retakes the lead. Hill makes his third pit stop, and his once 15-second lead becomes a 30-second deficit.

Panis goes against his team’s advice and loses fourth on lap 26 when he stops for slicks just as the rain begins again. Herbert is now fourth.

The race takes another twist when the Safety Car appears on lap 29. Schumacher and Hill pit for wets and fuel. Katayama spins out of fourth.

Podium

Schumacher takes in the adulation

The race proper resumes on lap 32. A now wet-shod Panis spins out of seventh at La Source.

The pressure on Schumacher is relieved when, on lap 33, Hill is forced to make his fifth pit stop, a stop-go for breaking the pit lane speed limit. He resumes in third, 13 seconds, behind Brundle.

In his haste to catch Brundle, Hill loses six seconds on lap 35 with a spin at La Source.

On lap 37 Barrichello takes sixth from Herbert, whose oil cooler is damaged.

Frentzen’s earlier gamble to stay on wets pays dividends when he overtakes Mark Blundell for fourth on lap 40.

Brundle’s brave effort to stay second ends on the last lap when Hill gets by at Les Combes. Hill crosses the line 19 seconds behind Schumacher.

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