The 1994 Simtek season was Simtek's 1st season as a constructor. Their season was overshadowed by the death of their driver Roland Ratzenberger in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix. Among their race drivers was David Brabham, the son of Sir Jack Brabham, who had previously drove for his father's team Brabham and competed in all races this year.
Ratzenberger's death meant that other drivers had to step in. Andrea Montermini was supposed to have replaced him from the Spanish GP onward, but suffered crash injuries in qualifying for the same race, so Frenchman Jean-Marc Gounon filled the seat for seven races, and recorded the team's best finish of ninth place at his home race. Gounon was later replaced better-funded by Domenico Schiattarella and Taki Inoue for the last three races.
This began Simtek's Formula One campaign. Brabham qualified in 26th place, and Ratzenberger failed to qualify. Brabham finished the race in 12th place and last after many top drivers were forced to retire.
In this race, Ratzenberger finished in 11th and last place, whilst Brabham was out of the Grand Prix by lap 2 after electrical problems.
At this race, things took a tragic turn, as during qualifying on April 30, Roland Ratzenberger crashed at the Curva de Villeneuve at high speed, suffering a basal skull fracture. He died on arrival at the Maggiore hospital in Bologna. David Brabham opted to continue racing out of respect for his team-mate and to raise the morale of a devastated Simtek team. During the race the next day, Williams driver and race leader Ayrton Senna also died after crashing at the Tamburello corner. Later on in the race, Brabham spun off on lap 26 and retired.
In their first race after the passing of Ratzenberger, Simtek ran just one car for the next race in Monaco. Brabham lasted 45 laps before retiring with engine failure.
The team promoted their test driver Andrea Montermini to a race seat, replacing the late Ratzenberger, from this race onward. Sadly, Montermini's season ended before it began after a huge accident in qualifying, breaking his ankles. Brabham qualified in 24th and finished in 10th, running 4 laps down, the first top 10 finish for Simtek.
After the injuries sustained by Montermini which kept him out of the season, Simtek again ran just the one car of Brabham. The Australian finished the race in 14th.
Jean-Marc Gounon became Brabham's third-team mate this year, replacing Montermini. He finished his debut race in 9th, whilst Brabham retired again. It was the best finish this season for Simtek.
For the first time this season both of Simtek's drivers finished a race, with Brabham finishing in fifteenth ahead of his team-mate Gounon. This was technically Brabham's home race since he was born in Wimbledon, S.W. London.
After both drivers filled the thirteenth row on the grid, they looked set for a top 10 finish after many leading drivers retired, including Michael Schumacher in particular which left 10 drivers still in the race. However, near the end of the race, both drivers went out in the space of two laps, plagued by the failures on both cars of Brabham's clutch and Gounon's engine.