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BackgroundEdit

Following the first round of the championship in Brazil, the team's quickly returned to Europe to which they immediately began testing for the all new Pacific Grand Prix hosted at the TI Circuit in Aida, Japan.[1] The TI Circuit was one of Japan's newest circuits to which of all the drivers, only Roland Ratzenberger had ever driven the track.[1]

Ratzenberger had yet to start a race, however he still had an advantage as being the only one whom had previously raced on the TI Circuit.[1] Ahead of the race when asked what to expect from the new circuit, Ratzenberger commented "Its a nice little facility. Its very clean and brand new basically." [1]

Following Brazil, the Williams headed to the Circuito de Jerez in Spain in a bid to fix the handling problems that had seen Senna lose control in Brazil.[1] Compared to their dominance of the previous years, Williams had a very difficult start to the new year.[1] Neither Senna or Hill were able to drive the car at ease.[1] Commenting on the problems in Aida, Patrick Head noted "We're certainly not happy with the way things are with the car right as they are at the moment. The handling isn't particularly good. "[1]

Ferrari were also testing in preparation for the Pacific Grand Prix.[1] Jean Alesi was putting in some test mileage at the Mugello Circuit in Italy when he had a major testing accident that saw him injure his back.[1] The Ferrari driver looked unlikely to participate in the upcoming race.[1]

The FIA had given Eddie Irvine a one race suspension after having been deemed the cause of the major accident that also involved Jos Verstappen, Éric Bernard and Martin Brundle.[1] The Jordan team immediately served notice of their intent to appeal the decision.[1] However their appeal only succeeds in Irvine's punishment being increased from a one race ban to a three race ban. [1]

Changes in the driver line-up for the race would see local driver, Aguri Suzuki make a return to the cockpit in place of the suspended Irvine at Jordan.[1] Nicola Larini, meanwhile would replace the injured Alesi at Ferrari.[1]

With Williams struggling at the start of the season, the momentum was with Benetton to which Michael Schumacher had easily taken victory at Interlagos.[1] However, Benetton team principal, Flavio Briatore, remained conservative on the team's chances.[1] Briatore reminded the press that "Williams still have a very, very strong package" and remained unsure as to whether Benetton's advantage would remain throughout the season.[1]

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

The two Ferrari's struggled with a lack of rear end grip to which their drivers, Berger and Larini were wearing through the tyres in a single lap.[1] With tyre wear severely compromising their qualifying, Berger could only manage fifth whilst the returning Larini was seventh.[1]

Häkkinen put in a rough performance in qualifying to manhandle his McLaren into fourth position on the grid.[1] Häkkinen having achieved this albeit having wrecked the undertray of his car after a trip through the gravel.[1] His teammate, Brundle had been described as doing much the same thing to his car, however could only manage sixth on the grid.[1]

Senna went on to take his second pole position of the season.[1] His teammate, Hill was in third whilst Schumacher failed to take the pole time and could only manage to split the Williams cars.[1] The Williams were evidently quick, however the car still appeared trouble.[1] Senna had taken pole, however he had notably spun the car whilst in the process of trying to achieve the position.[1]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

GridEdit

RaceEdit

On the grid, the pole sitter, Ayrton Senna shared a few words with Flavio Briatore, the boss of Benetton his championship rival team.[1] Senna was described as "pensive" in his conversation with Briatore to which in contrast, the Benetton boss was visibly quite jovial.[1]

Briatore clapped Senna on the back to which the Williams driver silently returned to his car in order to prepare for the race.[1] Before getting in the car, Senna could be seen waving to the grandstands of his great array of Japanese admirers.[1]

At the start, Senna gets a lot of wheelspin and is bogged down whilst in contrast, Schumacher gets "an unbelievable getaway" to which the Benetton immediately shoots into the lead of the race.[1] Häkkinen, likewise had a got a strong start to which he darts past Hill.[1]

Senna had lost the lead, however he would enter the first corner in a clear second position.[1] Behind him an over eager Häkkinen whom couldn't quite catch Schumacher and Senna into the first corner was too late on the brakes and hit the rear of Senna's car.[1]

Senna was tipped into a spin to which he suddenly found his car facing the oncoming field.[1] Larini was left with no pathway around and collided with Senna's Williams, pushing him into the gravel.[1] Both drivers' were out of the race, to which Senna and Larini angrily discussed the stupidity of the accident as they walked back to the pits.[1]

Häkkinen whom had been responsible for taking Senna out of the race was now in second behind Schumacher's Benetton.[1] The McLaren driver was now sporting a scarred nosecone after his incident with Senna and was coming under intense pressure from the remaining Williams of Hill.[1]

Hill pushed too hard to get past the McLaren and ran wide into the gravel on lap four.[1] Hill dropped to ninth, Berger in the Ferrari had now taken third position, albeit he was well distanced to Schumacher and Häkkinen ahead of him.[1]

Hill had made a mistake, however he thereafter put in a rapid performance to overtake Verstappen on lap five, Frentzen on lap six, Fittipaldi on lap eight, Brundle on lap eleven and Barrichello on lap twelve.[1] He had fought his way back into fourth position, however after failing to make a position in the top three he became the first leader to make a fuel and tyre stop on lap eighteen.[1]

Hill rejoined the race in tenth place, his mechanics, however had produced the quickest pit stop of the race thus far.[1] With his nearest competitors, Brundle and Barrichello, both making pit-stops and exiting behind him, Hill had climbed to fifth by lap twenty six and was challenging Berger's Ferrari.[1] Berger, running in second had refused to make a pit-stop and was running the race on very old tyres to which Hill quickly caught and passed him.[1]

Hill had rose to as high as second when transmission problems on the Williams ended his race on lap fifty three.[1] The same lap, Verstappen's Benetton made his final stop of the race.[1] He exited the pits, directly ahead of Frentzen, only to spin the car at the first corner and retire from the race.[1]

Brundle whom had put his McLaren into third would be forced to pull out of the race on lap sixty nine with transmission failure.[1] Barrichello, whom he had been battling with thereafter moved into third position with the Jordan.[1] Barrichello would go on to finish the race in third behind Berger.[1]

Schumacher, meanwhile had quietly dominated the entire race. He had controlled the race from the moment the race began.[1] The Williams cars had been in trouble, Senna had retired whilst Hill had spun his car to which he thereafter took control of the race unchallenged.[1]

ResultsEdit

Post-Race Edit

It had been the second race in a row that the Williams cars had encountered problems to which Benetton and Michael Schumacher had ensured to perfect their performance at both Interlagos and Aida.[1] However even Schumacher exclaimed surprise and relief of the fortune that had been dealt his way with the Williams troubles.[1] Schumacher admitted after the race, "These two wins, I wouldn't believe at all if anybody would tell me this before the season."[1]

However he wasn't the only driver jubilant at the chequered flag. Barrichello had scored the first ever podium for both himself and his team, Jordan.[1] The entire team was ecstatic to which Barrichello danced with joy on the podium.[1] The race had also fittingly came at Jordan's fiftieth grand prix in Formula One.[1] A relieved Barrichello commented after the race, "I just had a problem on the last pit-stop because the engine died. I was running fourth and I said, 'I can't believe it is not today I am not going to the podium'. But suddenly I saw Brundle stopping and I'm just really pleased for me and the team because they have done a really good job."[1]

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

Bibliography Edit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 (1994). Who else but Schumacher?. Great Britain: Duke Video
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