At the start, Senna got ahead of Hill but Andretti was slow and was hit by Berger with both crashing hard in the tyre barrier in turn 1. Both of them along with Brundle and Fabrizio Barbazza's Minardi were out. The order was: Prost, Senna, Hill, a fast starting Jean Alesi, Schumacher, and Lehto.
Schumacher passed Alesi on lap 2, but his team-mate Patrese only lasted until the fourth lap when his suspension failed. While Prost built up a substantial lead, Senna was under pressure from Hill who took second on lap 11. On lap 25, Senna was issued a stop-go penalty for lapping a backmarker under yellow flags and dropped behind Schumacher. There was a rainstorm, and many drivers pitted for wet tyres, including Senna, Schumacher and Hill, while Prost stayed out on slick tyres. Several drivers spun, with both Ukyo Katayama and Aguri Suzuki crashing on the start-finish straight on lap 27, the Footwork partially blocking the circuit and bringing out the safety car - the first time this had been seen in Formula 1. Fittipaldi spun at the first corner on lap 30 with his car stopped in the middle of the track. With the rain coming down harder, Prost lost control and, unable to avoid Fittipaldi's car, crashed into him, taking them both out of the race. As the wreckage was cleared, the new safety car controlled the field, Hill led Senna, Schumacher (who had lost time during his pit stop because his car fell off the jack), Alesi, Johnny Herbert, and Lehto. They were followed by Alessandro Zanardi, Philippe Alliot, Mark Blundell, Derek Warwick, rookie Luca Badoer, Karl Wendlinger, Andrea de Cesaris, Érik Comas, and Michele Alboreto.
It began to dry and everyone stopped for dry tyres. Johnny Herbert had pitted for slicks right when the safety car pulled back into the pits, and he was to move up to third place due to this early change back to slicks.
Just after the tire stops Senna passed Hill for the lead and pulled away. Behind, Schumacher and Alesi had stop-go penalties for passing under yellow flags, Schumacher dropping to fifth and Alesi going down to ninth. Schumacher passed Blundell and then Herbert to take third. Senna won from Hill, Schumacher, Herbert, Blundell and Alessandro Zanardi.
Benetton had spent five days testing at Kyalami following the race, he arrived in Sao Paul looking "quite tired" according to John Watson.
The full entry list for the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The Williams cars were very much the fastest in the morning practice. Prost led Hill, to which both Williams cars were 1.4 seconds faster than Wendlinger, Comas and Senna. Zanardi would have a big spin that put him in the gravel. Berger would then have a large accident into the tyre barriers.
The Jordan team had enormous troubles to which its two drivers, Barrichello and Capelli would have very limited running. Barrichello managed only a handful of laps, whilst Capelli was only able to complete a single flying lap.
Many of the top teams had chosen to only run on the harder compound tyre, which accounted for the reasons that many of the top running teams were not among the top of the time sheets in the morning practice. Berger's Ferrari had an enormous shunt towards the end of the practice session.
Friday Qualifying Edit
The track surface appeared to be improving during the qualifying session. Alesi, on his first flying lap which was 0.7 seconds faster than his best time in the morning session. Herbert would briefly go quicker, however a 1:19.2 by Alesi would see him retake the top spot. Hill in the Williams would set a time to then move into second ahead of Herbert, Andretti and Zanardi.
It would not take long for Williams to secure the top spot, a 1:18.546 by Hill would put him at the top of the timesheets. Benetton would make a substantial improvement over their morning running, Schumacher immediately going second fastest on his first timed lap. John Watson commenting "Michael was one of many drivers who chose to run the one set of tyres, he did not sucker for putting on a fresh set of tyres to try and go quicker at the end of the session. Team's want to conserve tyres here, they don't know yet, just what the wear is going to be like. But the reaction that Schumacher amongst many had found was that the maximum laps that anybody could do this morning was 23, and we have got a 71 lap race. The grip was dropping off quite dramatically at the end of those 23 laps, so strategy here is probably more important than in South Africa."
The times after the opening ten minutes saw Hill lead Schumacher, Alesi, Herbert, Andretti, Wendlinger, Comas and Zanardi. Hill had been pounding out his laps early in the session, Allard Kalff commenting "Damon Hill has done six lap, so basically he's snookered himself. He can do one more flying lap and that's it."
With Hill completing nearly all his flying laps at the beginning of the session, Williams were evidently confident about the pace of their car over the weekend. When Hill pitted, Senna entered the track, however he was visibly fighting his McLaren, managing only third fastest behind Hill and Schumacher. On his second lap, Senna would take the second place, now behind only Prost. Senna continued to push hard, having an enormous oversteer moment through Junção.
With his lead rival on the circuit, Prost had entered the track for his first flying lap. He immediately went faster than Hill, smashing the provisional pole time with a 1:17.504. Prost's next lap would further drop the benchmark with a 1:16.809. John Watson commenting that Prost's driving was "perfection".
Alesi, meanwhile continued to push hard, however it was amounting to little avail, after numerous laps, he had a big spin at the S do Senna. John Watson commenting "watch how he mandhandles, because you can't say he drives the car. Ferrari going through tremendous teething problems in this active ride car. Noone really tells Jean Alesi the car's not competitive, look at the hand, its just a blur."
Hill had returned to track on his second set of tyres, John Watson noting "I wonder if Williams are playing a little bit of strategy, they are letting Damon go out before Prost. Any information that Damon might find useful for the team can be adjusted for Prost car's accordingly." Hill would further improve to a 1:17.856, however whilst going second fastest, he remained well off Prost's best time.
Whilst, Schumacher was sitting comfortably in fourth, his teammate, Patrese, continued to struggle in adjusting to his new team at Benetton. Allard Kalff commenting "so far the season has been rather disappointing for Riccardo". John Watson replying "I think that's a very kind way of expressing Patrese's performances. He went from the most competitive car in his career into a car which has a lot more manual input".
Approaching the second half of the qualifying session, the two cars sitting in the non-qualifying zone were Berger's Ferrari and Capelli's Jordan. Berger, had yet to enter the track after badly damaging his car during the morning practice, whilst Capelli continued to struggle to adjust to his new Jordan team. So far in the season, Capelli had been severely outmatched by new teammate, Barrichello, to whom John Watson would comment "certainly for a man of 20 years old, he is quite remarkable. His composure, his self belief, the way he directs the Jordan team. Eddie Jordan's eyebrows are rising."
With both the Williams cars concluding their running for the day, Senna would return to the track in the final quarter of the session. Despite running faster than his previous time through the first sector, Senna would mysteriously back out of his lap, before once again pushing hard on his following lap. Nonetheless, he would be unable to create an effect and his latest flying lap would be slower than his best time.
Among the midfield, Zanardi could be seen having a major engine blow up through the exit of Junção. Shortly afterwards, his Lotus teammate, Herbert, would spin into the barriers at the Arquibancadas, bringing out the red flag. As the red flag was brought out, Barrichello would stop his Jordan out on track with an engine failure.
At this stage, Prost led Hill, Senna, Schumacher, Wendlinger, Alesi, Herbert, Alliot, Comas, Andretti, Blundell, Patrese, Brundle, Lehto, Zanardi, Barrichello, De Cesaris, Warwick, Fittipaldi, Alboreto, Katayama, Barbazza, Suzuki, Badoer, Capelli and Berger.
When the green flag resumed, Schumacher would be one of the remaining drivers who would attempt a flying lap. He had exited the pits, behind Suzuki. The Footwork driver would somewhat typically have a spin at turn 8. Schumacher, however would fail to make an improvement on his time.
With pole position quite secure, Prost took the opportunity in the final moments to test his car under race conditions with a heavier fuel load. Berger would finally exit the pits, completing only a single flying lap which would put him in seventh position. Prost was looking comfortable, however he would note that the new Williams FW15 was much more "nervous" than the previous year's FW14B.
Saturday Practice Edit
Over night FISA had declared that only one car would not qualify for the race on Sunday.
Alain Prost continued to lead the time sheets. Notably impressive during the session was Jordan's Rubens Barrichello, the Brazilian had increased his competitiveness from Friday and was running third in the time sheets for most of the day.
Saturday Qualifying Edit
The first improvements of the day came from Katayama, Suzuki and Lehto, Fittipaldi and Comas. Schumacher became the first of the front runners out on track, he improved his position by taking third spot from Senna with a 1:18.600. Pole sitter, Prost, had been sitting quite casually in the pits, however in response to Schumacher's quick time, he had began to suit up and prepare to enter the circuit.
Another significant improvement came from Barrichello, whom had improved his time by a second and was now sitting in a comfortable tenth position. Barrichello's second lap further underlined his potential as he then moved up into eighth on the timing sheets.
Senna's first time saw him reclaim third position from Schumacher, however he continued to struggle to match the pace of the two Williams cars of Prost and Hill. Other drivers were experiencing troubles on track. De Cesaris had stopped his Tyrrell in the middle part of the circuit, whilst Andretti had spun and beached himself in the grass at turn 5. A rescue vehicle was able to push his car out of its predicament, Andretti was luckily able to continue, having dropped down to fifteenth position.
Prost's first flying lap was then slightly held up at turn 13 when he encountered the slowing Andretti, however he nonetheless went on to set the fastest time of the session. Albeit, it remained 0.7 seconds down on his pole time of the previous day. John Watson noting his calm approach to racing "Mostly we've seen people do their fastest flying lap on their first lap when the tyres are at their freshest. Well Prost took a gentle first lap and gradually built up. This is the experience of Alain Prost and the kind of approach, the thought he puts into his racing. Its not just a matter of having blinding speed, its having intelligence in a race car. And there is one thing that Alain Prost has never been short of which is intelligence in the driving seat."
Prost's final time was a 1:16.566 which further reduced the provisional pole time. Prost was seemingly untouchable at the Interlagos circuit. With Prost returning to the pits, his teammate, Hill had now made his entrance onto the circuit. Hill had made a steady improvement, however he remained slower than Prost's time. John Watson commenting "the difference in driving styles between Prost and Hill appears to be that Prost is more economical with the race circuit. That is, he uses less of it to achieve what he needs."
Approaching half distance, Prost led Hill, Senna, Schumacher, Wendlinger, Alesi, Berger, Barrichello, Herbert, Lehto, Brundle, Patrese, Alliot, Comas, Andretti, Blundell, Warwick, Zanardi, Fittipaldi, Suzuki, De Cesaris, Katayama, Alboreto, Badoer, Capelli and Barbazza.
Schumacher meanwhile was struggling to make an improvement after his initial pace. He could be seen having a big spin at Junção, however he luckily was able to keep the engine running and returned to the circuit. Hill had meanwhile gradually edged closer to Prost's time, after four laps, he had worked his best time down to three tenths off Prost's time.
After his earlier mishaps, Andretti was able to put in a significant improve to move his McLaren up to fifth on the grid. Lehto had likewise made a big improvement to move his car up to sixth on the grid. Towards the end of the session, both Senna and Schumacher had returned to the track in a last attempt to make an impression on the Williams.
Schumacher had a big spin in the approach to turn eight, however he was luckily able to maintain control of the car. Whilst he was struggling to make improvements, his Benetton teammate, Patrese, had finally put in a competitive time to go sixth fastest after languishing in the midfield for most of the weekend.
Prost had meanwhile continued to assert his authority by improving his time down to a 1:15.866. Senna had been attempting to make his own improvements, however to no avail. He was then caught out when he got stuck behind Alesi's Ferrari for nearly half a lap, before finally making his way past at Junção. Nonetheless, he was unable to improve and would have to be content with third on the grid.
Not qualifying for the race was Capelli's Jordan. Barbazza had finally managed to dislodge himself from the drop zone and for the second race in succession, Capelli would once again fail to qualify for the race.
The start was dry, however heavy rain clouds were amassing nearby the circuit. If the rain were to hit the circuit, it would present an interesting variable for the teams in the race. As was noted by John Watson "none of the team's have run on this latest Goodyear wet weather tyre. Brazil is not the kind of place you want to do wet weather testing, particularly in a grand prix."
Standings after raceEdit
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