Formula One Update

French Grand Prix at Magny Cours

The 1995 French Grand Prix at Magny Cours was one to forget for Ferrari. While collecting a couple points for Alesi's 5th place finish, Ferrari must have been disappointed to experience the first race of the season where one of their drivers wasn't on the podium.

The lackluster performance can be attributed to a car that never really got set up properly. Of course, Berger wasn't helped any by a faulty fuel nozzle that refused to come loose from his car, causing a frustrating 53 second pit stop.

Alesi has hoped for more on his home turf, especially after winning the last race in Canada but the car was not well balanced and the engine wasn't pulling strong out of the slow corners. Still, Alesi showed himself to be the most aggressive driver on the track on lap 55 when he tried to take Brundle. Coming up to a right handed hairpin Alesi locked his tires and tried to skate around the inside of Brundle, but to no avail. Brundle started a late charge on Coulthard towards the end of the race, just missing out by a couple of tenths of a second at the end. The finishing order was: Schumacher, Hill, Coulthard, Brundle, Alesi, Barrichello. Berger finished 12th.

In the points battle Schumacher is running away with the Driver's championship but can still be caught by either Hill or Alesi (given a miracle) and Ferrari has been knocked back to second place in the Constructor's race but certainly isn't out of contention. Look at it this way: you can't win if you don't finish and at least both Ferraris finished.

Formula One Update - British Grand Prix at Silverstone

The British Grand Prix this year was a very exciting race and it was also the most important psychologically for Damon Hill - if Schumacher was to crush him here it could end Hill's title hopes. Hill and Schumacher had an epic battle in Friday qualifying. The German initially set a blistering pace taking provisional pole, a few laps later the flying German knocked 0.7 seconds off his pole time but Hill was to have the last laugh. Hill, within a few minutes, smashed the German's time by 0.2 seconds. Saturday was wet and no times were improved, although Alesi going out on slicks was a sight to behold. The starting grid was: Hill, Schumacher, Coulthard, Berger, Herbert, Alesi.

From the grid Damon Hill got away well but Berger made a bad start, lighting up the rear wheels. Alesi made a super start coming up from 6th on the grid to 2nd, just ahead of Schumacher. The German immediately dived to the left of Alesi only to be blocked, forcing Schumacher to slow down and giving Coulthard a chance to go by. The young Scot however couldn't pull it off and wisely didn't fully commit himself.

By the end of the first lap Damon Hill was already pulling away and the field was bunching up behind Alesi who was slowing Schumacher down and giving Hill time to sprint away. Hill sprinted away until one third distance when the Ferrari pitted coming out in 7th place, behind Barrichello. Hill dived into the pits shortly after, giving Schumacher the lead. Schumacher instantly started lapping at the same speed as Hill. However, using a one stop strategy, it wasn't until half distance that Schumacher pitted. After the half distance marker the running order was: Hill (one more pit to go), Schumacher (all pits finished), Herbert, Coulthard, Alesi, Barrichello. Berger had retired with mechanical problems and Hill had retaken Schumacher when the German pitted. Having regained the lead, Hill could see that his only chance was to pull away, pit and keep the lead. He started lapping at phenomenal speeds, pulling out a gap of 30 seconds before he pitted.

Just as Hill exited the pit lane, the German came flying through into the lead. The two were in complete deadlock, within 5 feet of each other. The racing was great until Hill tried an over-ambitious passing maneuver, taking them both out. A huge groan came from the c