1994 Spanish Grand Prix

Gran Premio Marlboro de Espana

Sunday, May 29, 1994
Warm, dry and sunny
Fastest Lap:
Schumacher, 1m25.155
1994 season:

A timely triumph

When Michael Schumacher's Benetton stuck in fifth gear, Damon Hill was there to scoop the spoils for an intensely relieved Williams team.

There were many, it must be said, whose scepticism got the better of them after the Spanish GP. Could Michael Schumacher really have done the last two-thirds of the race in only fifth gear, including a pit stop?

You can try to calculate what percentage there could possibly have been for Benetton to lie about the problem (bar the obvious wish to detract from something else that was really wrong), but there would seem to be little point in making such a claim were in not true, and certainly the on-screen telemetry readings as we rode onboard with Schumacher indicated precisely that he was indeed mono-geared. McLaren actually ran a simulation on its computer programme after the race, and came up with the same answer: it was possible, and if you adjusted your style you could get by without losing more than a couple of seconds a lap. Which is exactly what the Heir Apparent did. He had a couple of very lurid slides around the 41 lap mark, perhaps on oil but possibly because he was still adjusting, but with or without first, second, third, fourth and sixth gears the German was coping brilliantly.