Formula One Update

The 1995 title may have been decided at the European Grand Prix in Germany as Michael Schumacher drove to a terrific win, taking Alesi in controversial fashion on the penultimate lap.

On race day there had been overnight rain and the track was damp for the race. For the race all but two teams elected to fit wet tires. The two teams were Ferrari and McLaren, believing that the slicks would be an advantage after 10 or so laps.

So it was. On lap 11 there was less than a second between the top 3 cars and the tides had now completely changed. Jean Alesi set the fastest lap in 4th place spurring the Williams and Benetton pits into action. On the next lap Hill and Schumacher ducked into the pits, Hill taking 9.5 seconds and Schumacher 6.6. The only front runner who had not stopped was Coulthard who pitted the next lap, 9.6 seconds. All of this meant that Alesi was in the lead now.

On lap 21 there was a massive scrap for 2nd and 3rd places. Coulthard was being hounded by Schumacher, who was being harassed by Hill. Coulthard slid a bit and that was enough to let Schumacher through into second place, Hill followed on lap 22. Berger also took Coulthard but pitted on the same lap, hand raised in air. Rejoining 5th, just ahead of Irvine.

Hill started a charge against Schumacher on lap 30, setting the fastest lap just as Alesi entered traffic. Alesi made his pit stop on lap 34 taking 14 seconds and rejoining in 1st with a 5 second lead. Schumacher also pitted taking 7.7 seconds. Hill instantly started playing catch up with Alesi - by lap 40 he was 1/2 a second behind. But Schumacher, in 4th, was now lapping a second a lap quicker than Hill after he had pitted. Coulthard pitted on lap 40 taking 12 seconds and coming out in 4th, Schumacher now in 3rd.

Disaster struck for Hill on lap 41. Trying to take Alesi at the chicanne he went onto the grass and his front wing was torn off. He slowly struggled into the pits for a stop taking 32 seconds. Berger also pitted - to retire, as Ferraris seem to do so often now.

Schumacher really wanted the win now and started a charge after he pitted on lap 53. Scattering fastest laps. His championship rival Hill made a mistake on lap 59, his car mounting the curb and spinning off into the tire wall at over 100 mph. Schumacher was gaining on Alesi, who was on much older tires. On lap 64 Schumacher drew alongside Alesi, Alesi made him back off but Schumacher forced his way through. This was the penultimate lap and Schumacher went on to win the race. We got second.

The final finishing order was: Schumacher, Alesi, Coulthard, Barrichello, Herbert, Irvine.

Formula 1 Standings