Schumacher’s son drives his 1994 title-winning car

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In the round-up: Formula Three racer Mick Schumacher has driven a Benetton B194 of the type his father Michael Schumacher used to win the first of his seven titles.

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Comment of the day

@TheBullWhipper puts the case for more standardised parts in F1;

It’s not the big horror story everyone seems to think it is.

The cars already share side and rear impact structures, ECUs, fuel flow meters and driver displays, also I believe the on-board fire extinguishing system is spec too, along with several teams buying in their gearboxes and often rear suspension too from their engine suppliers (Hass/Ferrari, Williams/Mercedes and Force India used to do a similar thing with McLaren).

I’m sure things like DRS actuators, oil and water coolers, the whole of the ERS (especially if the MGU-H is dropped for the next generation of engines), not mention things like drivers pedal assemblies and several other ancillary systems and components can be made spec, without, in any way, effecting the spectacle or the competition.

These changes could save the teams millions of dollars and if no-one told us, we would never know.

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On this day in F1

  • Niki Lauda put his Ferrari on pole for his home race at the Osterreichring today in 1977

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78 comments on “Schumacher’s son drives his 1994 title-winning car”

  1. I wonder if that Benetton is complete with the hidden traction control?

    1. You will ask it to Mick directly. Or are you afraid ?

    2. Option 13

      1. Dash_Riprock, of course, you’d have to criticise McLaren for the fact that Ron Dennis openly admitted that the software for traction control was still on McLaren’s ECU in the 1994 season – yet nobody has accused McLaren of having traction control enabled on their car.

        1. You’re right of course, but the difference is McLaren didn’t win anything in 1994. Had they have done so surely this would have more attention.

          The actions of that 94 Benetton team seem pretty disgraceful to me at least.

          1. @john-h, the thing is, it wasn’t the only questionable component that McLaren had that year either – they were perhaps rather relieved that the debate over the B194 was stirred up, because it drew attention away from the FIA ruling that their gearbox was illegal (due to their pre-selection mechanism).

            I would also say that I have come across somebody who has been researching the events of the 1994 season in much more detail, and when you start examining what was happening, it suggests that perhaps things weren’t quite as black and white as people portray things.

            For example, when it comes to the topic of the fuel filters, back in September 1994 Motorsport Magazine did raise some questions about the design of the filters and the valve closure mechanism of the Intertechnique rigs.

            They noted that McLaren had raised a formal complaint before the season about the design after a major fuel spillage when they were training to use them in their garage, with Ferrari and Arrows having also reported similar problems when they were training their pit crews to use the new rigs. Jordan and Lotus then reported problems during pre-season testing, with Motorsport Magazine stating the FIA had mandated that the fuel filters should be removed from the rigs in light of those issues.

            Similarly, Motorsport Magazine did note that, whilst media attention was focussed on Benetton after Hockenheim, Intertechnique suddenly withdrew every single fuel valve and replaced them before the next race – with no warnings to the teams, nor with any justification or explanation ever being given by them on the change. That strange silence by Intertechnique on the matter and the sudden change to the nozzle design did lead some team principals to privately suggest to them that move by Intertechnique was an admission that the earlier complaints about an unsafe design were correct, and that Intertechnique might have had a greater role to play in the pit lane fire than they ever admitted to.

        2. It is well known that more teams had TC, and McLaren and Ferrari were rumored to be those teams. The question is what teams used their TC. Looks like Schumahcer’s Bettenon and occasionally Alesi’s Ferrari.

    3. One thing we know for certain is Flavio would never allow a team he managed to cheat…….oh dear.

    4. I don’t think Mick needs that to be quicker than Hill ;) /Take that!/

    5. Hahhaa. Dude the infamous Option 13 was for launch control not traction control. And judging from Michael’s starts in that season they probably never used it. I understand that it’s hard for you to accept that Michael was on another level for nearly a decade in F1.

      1. Who said anything about option 13?

        1. Ah! So besides option 13 there was traction control as well you say? TC that wasn’t discovered by anyone at anytime except bitter Hill fans (mostly)? Sleep tight.

          1. So Senna’s certainty TC was being used on the Benetton makes him a Hill fan?

          2. I clearly wrote “mostly”. Get your facts right before you attempt any sarcastic comments mate. And btw Senna’s certainty means nothing at all. He just couldn’t keep up with Michael in an underpowered car. Hard to accept, I know.

      2. Schumacher did use Launch control a few times. Schumacher may have been on another level compared to drivers like Hill or Frentzen, but things could have turned out very differently in 1994 and possibly the next few seasons.

        1. Your comment is purely hypothetical. There is no proof that Michael used it at any race. Plus he was on another level compared to everyone at the time not just Hill or Frentzen. He only found his match when Alonso got in that Renault from 2003 onwards when Michael ofc was getting older as well. Besides, the only reason the 1994 season went to the wire was because the FIA banned Michael from 2 races and DSQ from another 2. Barring those punishments (most of which were completely unfair) he would have clinched the title with few races to spare for sure.

          1. I totally agree with you @constantine and for anyone who didn’t enjoy the out-of-this-world driving of Schumacher, I pity them for their nationalist blindness.

            Not only Schumacher won 7 world championships but was runner up on 3 other seasons.

            Of course, Hill took out Schumacher and himself the very next year but no one talks about that!

            The best season I ever watched (I started after Senna’s death) was 1998 with the very fair and lovable Mikka Hakinnen and how Hill further took his revenge of 1994 loss (after the FIA gave it to Williams on a plate but he still managed to lose it) by blocking Michael Schumacher in the final race of 1998 for 12 laps. No one talk about that too.

            Michael was the only reason I never missed a single race live till his first retirement.

            Once the Bahrain debacle where BE decided money is more important than the very serious potential of people getting kill, I swore never to watch a Formula 1 race (live of recorded) and only follow it by text (live sometimes).

            How I wish Michael would come round and tell us his story in full rather than let a British journalist (James Allan) to write it for British readers.

            Spa 1998 was an epic race for those who enjoy pure racing without the nationalist disease (I know Hill in Jordan won it rather that the faster Ralf Schumacher) but the result pales in comparison to what happened at the start and with the wild commentary of the lovable Murry Runner :)

            Ali Adams, Iraq.

          2. Let’s sort out this cheat or not cheat once and for all.

            Liverpool Data Research Associates (an external company to F1 specialising in software analysis) were called in to investigate allegations of cheating using banned driving aids. The top three teams were investigated and their teams were asked to surrender their systems’ source code to LDRA. Ok so far?

            Ferrari complied immediately. McLaren and Benetton refused claiming copyright reasons (!). (as someone who deals with copyright stuff, I find this to be a bunch of crap.) Both teams were then fined by the FIA $100,000 and were forced to comply. This is where McLaren’s automatic upshift was discovered, but that car was declared legal by the FIA, probably because it wasn’t specified directly in the rules as a driver aid. (Wheras active suspension, traction control, launch control was.)

            Now Benetton starts to squirm. They sent an alternative suggestion to the company about testing, which was accepted by the LDRA. Tests on the car were scheduled but were cancelled and after much ado, eventually took place July ’94. LDRA found the tests unsatisfactory and Benetton complied with the original request (were forced to? Unsure.) and supplied the source code. Analysis of the software found that it included Option 13 which was launch control.

            I know I’d be more than suspicious at this point. And then the following happened:

            Benetton stated to the FIA and LRDA that the code “can only be switched on by recompilation of the code.”. LDRA found that launch control could be switched on by connecting a computer to the gearbox control unit, with Benetton conceded that this was possible but this “came as a surprise to them”.

            “Launch Control” was not visibly listed as an option, however the driver could scroll down to option 13 (blank but present in the menu” and then enable launch control.

            Seems clear to me that they could have, and probably would have. They only got away with it because ’94 had the death of Senna and Patrick Head has gone on the record saying they would have protested it, had they not been trying to keep the team together.

          3. @franton,

            Just a correction: the Option 13 was NOT selected by the driver but selected by the person with the computer connected to the GCU, that had a menu of 10 options to enable/disable but could scroll down to a 13th option, that was empty and invisible) and then enable it.
            The driver then had to, and I quote, “work through a particular sequence of up-down gear shift paddle positions, a specific gear position had to be selected and the clutch and throttle pedals had also to be in certain positions.”

          4. Thank you Ali Adams, my thoughts exactly. Dear @franton I am aware of all the facts you’ve mentioned but still they prove nothing I’m affraid. They are just suspicions, no proof. And the fact of the matter is that Michael kept being superior compared to anyone else in every car he’s ever driven until 2006. Surely you’re not implying that he had illegal aids throughout his entire career. Had Michael not been so dominant compared to every teammate he’s ever had before his first retirement I would probably be more suspicious. But since his average gap to every teammate he’s had was well over 0,5 sec in qualifying (even in the TC era) it’s quite obvious that he was pretty special anyway. His driving style has been very well documented and any non-biased fan can understand now why he was so superior.

          5. I’m not here to defend Hill, but why were MS’s punishments “unfair”? I think it would have been fair to DSQ the whole Benetton team for the whole season. It’s not a “hypothetical” question, it’s what most likely happened. Senna, the most astute and experienced driver in 1994 notices the electronics on the B194 just by the sound. Then you can watch the start of the French grand prix. Then there are Jos’s comments from a few years ago. That’s not even getting into the illegal fuel rig, which allowed MS to pass Senna during refueling. May I remind you this was discovered by pure chance since if Jos’s car didn’t catch fire, we would have never known.
            I was trying to point out that after Senna’s death, there were really no talented drivers anymore, at least for some time. Alesi was a huge disappointment. Hakkinen was an exception, but was stuck in a terrible car, then had a huge accident which I think changed him forever. Ultimately, when the McLaren was competitive, he did successfully challenge MS. And then the next talented driver was Alonso – completely agree on that. But no, it was not about Michael getting old. It was about Ferrari no longer being the only competitive team. Rory Byrn stopped working full time after 2004 and that had a profound effect. He came back to try and save the 2006 title for MS and Ferrari, but it was too late.
            Now, regardless all the cheap parlour talk and baseless conjecture on Senna’s 1994 form, there is no doubt in my mind that Senna would have probably won the 1994 title. The Williams was flawed in the first few races, but Imola was the first step that was to change all that. It’s even very possible Benetton would have been DSQ-ed without Senna’s fatal crash. And then Williams was very good in 1995-1997, plus Senna could have gone to any team he wanted. He even wanted to race for Ferrari before he was to retire (though I don’t see Ferrari ever becoming that dominant without all the Benetton people MS brought with him). Now this is all hypothetical indeed, but I’m very confident about it. It’s a shame we will never know for sure.

          6. I’m sorry bobec, but it’s not what most likely happened. Senna was suspicious but guess what: In the 1985 season most of the paddock had been suspicious about the legality of Senna’s Lotus (strange again that the accusations were made just for one car out of two from the same team) and of course nothing was confirmed ever. Nine years on and the same story with Michael’s Benetton. Yet again no real evidence except Senna’s gut feeling (not exactly reliable I’d say since he was an immediate competitor) and Jos’s argument that he used to beat Michael in go-karts (should I really elaborate on that one?). It seems that when someone really special arrives most of his competitors try to find how he’s cheated his way to the top. To their credit Prost never implied that about Senna and Michael never implied that about Alonso. And the illegal fuel rig didn’t win Michael the Brazilian GP if that’s what you’re saying. His superior pace did. As for the start of the French GP it’s much more likely that Michael nailed the start once rather than having used launch control. We have seen people gaining more than two places with perfect starts and noone wonders wether they’re using LC or not. Sometimes it happens. As far as the punishments are concerned yes I believe they were pretty harsh, they had to do more with politics than racing (remember it was the last season that the FIA was F1’s commercial rights’ holder) plus the FIA wanted to spice things up in the battle for the champioship. Two-race ban for events such as those at Silverstone (note that the original penalty was handed to the team after the time limit of 15 minutes had expired) was unheard of and still is to this day. And then we had the silly circumstance with the wooden planck at Spa for something that was caused clearly because Michael spun over a curb. Mosley’s bias against Benetton was obvious. Now, about the talent of his contemporary drivers I have to remind you that Hakkinen outqualified Senna on their first race and in Suzuka he was just 32 thousands of a seconds shy of Senna’s time. So you can say that he was pretty fast since he matched Senna in qualifying straight out of the box. Alesi indeed was overrated, but Hill, Barrichello and Frentzen were very fast and talented drivers. As were Coulthard and Irvine in some circuits that suited them. It wasn’t that they weren’t good enough, it was just that Michael would have been unbeatable in that era of F1 with aerodynamics being dominant yet not as polished as today and the pit-stops that had turned Grand Prix into sprint races. Senna might have been one of the very best in qualifying but in the races he was beaten not just by Prost but also by other “inferior” drivers pretty often. In my view he never stood a chance against Michael in that era. Finally the Ferraris Michael drove that were the class of the field were the F2001, the F2002 and the F2004. All the rest (and the two Benettons of course) were very competitive cars (except the F310 and F310B) but definately not the best or the fastest over a whole season. Actually Michael’s seasons in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998 were like Alonso’s 2012 season only that Michael won the WC in 2 out of 4 occasions. I don’t know of any driver in the history of the sport that has ever achieved something that impressive.

          7. @constantine Oh really, now you’re going to compare Coulthard to MS? Come on, dude. Coulthard was mediocre. Frentzen never really managed to accomplish anything. I don’t think you were paying attention to what I actually said about Hakkinen. He was indeed the only talented, fast driver before Alonso. And not because he outqualified Senna in Portugal – may I remind you that McLaren didn’t get a single victory for 3 years after Senna left, so let us not be ridiculous now. And this only underlines my argument Hakkinen, the only other talented post-Senna driver, was stuck in some terrible equipment for a long time. Then there was his 1995 Adelaide near-death experience which obviously changed him forever. Barrichello was likely also changed forever after his Imola crash and never really developed a winner’s mentality.
            I’m really not interested in what Jos said about his karting experience. I’m interested in what he said about the Benetton irregularities. The FIA had admitted that a few teams had defied the electronics ban. are you trying to persuade anyone that Benetton wasn’t likely one of them? Good luck…..
            Finally, Senna had a fantastic chance to score a bunch of consecutive titles. They figured out the car at Imola and it was just a matter of time to sort it out. Once that happened, the FW14 was going to be the best car on the field. And MS struggles when there is another fast and talented driver, while he himself isn’t in the best car. I don’t see how you can say Senna was good only at qualifying and not at racing. Yeah, he didn’t finish many races, but back then cars broke a lot more. Can you force MS to accept such a responsibility for his 1996 finish ratio? Sure, when Senna was young he wanted to win the race no matter what. But later on he showed some real good racing endurance as well. Many examples, including races he didn’t win, but finished way further up than he should have. And some great race wins in his final season with McLaren. Even his last lap ever was a masterpiece – staying ahead with a heavier car (die to one less fuel stop planned) and driving way cleaner than MS, who’s going all over the kerbs.

          8. *FW16, not FW14

          9. 1) what’s wrong with comparing drivers from the same era? Imho it’s the only sort of comparisson that can make some sense. It seems that you haven’t been paying much attention to whar I wrote since my point was that all those drivers were fast and competitive. Not that they were on MS’s level.
            2)I am not trying to convince anyone. For all I know when one makes an accusation they should back it up with evidence. Otherwise it’s pure speculation. Those who accuse Benetton of illegal aids should try and convince us not the other way around.
            3) it’s funny how people explain facts not for what they are but to fit into their perspective. You choose senna’s last lap to back your claim that he was in for multiple wc and you totally forget the Brazilian gp where Michael beat him on pure pace in an underpowered car. That was just a random result to you I guess.
            4) on that same note you hype senna’s 1993 season when he was driving (according to his own words) a very good and well balanced yet underpowered car with which he took 5 victories but never looked to be a serious contender for the title. And then you have Schumacher in 1994 winning the title with 4 races to spare in an equally underpowered car compared to the williams and the only explanation you can give is that he must have been cheating somehow.
            5) finally, senna’s race pace was good but not the best even in his era. Excluding the toleman all the cars he drove were very competitive and from 1988 until the first half of 1991 he drove the best car of the grid. You would expect more race wins or fastest laps.

          10. @constantine

            1) Just because two drivers are from the same era doesn’t mean they are comparable. DC and Frenzten are just not comparable to MS. Neither is Hill. When Senna started his career he was racing against Prost, Piquet in his best form, even Lauda and Keke were still there, and so was Mansell.

            2) What kind of evidence are you expecting? The code was there, and Benetton claimed it was “for testing only”. What testing and why? Makes no sense. Believe it if you want, but some of us won’t fall for something like that. And then the fuel rig – how about a potentially fatal fire? Enough evidence, or not?

            3) The FW-16 had a more powerful car, but was a disaster in the first few races. Adrian Newey has openly said the car had a serious design defect, which made it very difficult to drive and very unpredictable. Like I said, the Friday at Imola was when they sorted it out for the first time (not a permanent solution, which was about to come as well), and Senna was happy with the setup for the first time ever with that car. The FW-16 was supposed to be – and was eventually going to be – another very dominant car from Williams, but they made a mistake, which took time to sort out. May I remind you Williams didn’t just depend on Renault’s fantastic engine in the previous years, but on some very advanced electronics, driver aids, and very importantly, the active suspension (even the 1992 FW-14, practically a 1991 car with the active suspension just fitted in it, was untouchable). So in the first few races, the Benetton was more balanced (funny how you made that argument against Senna for 1993:) ). And the Ford engine was not that bad beginning with Estoril 1993, even the customer unit used on the MP4/8. Senna was doing great at Estoril until the engine blew, then MS went on to win. Senna won the final two races with some comfort. So things were changing.

            4) The 1993 McLaren was a more balanced car, but still very deficient and capable of challenging the Williams. You can start with the small things, like 1993 being the first year McLaren were using an active suspension and not having the experience of Williams, and thus making some mistakes. Then there was the engine, which was, for most of the season, considerably less powerful than the factory unit in the B193. Mid-season the team was struggling to find the balance between straightline speed and aero, for exactly that reason. If you watch some of the 1993 races towards the end of the season you’ll hear the commentators talking about. In fact, if you watch the last episode of “The Team – A Season with McLaren” you’ll hear the team manager explaining that their equipment was on the level of the Benetton, and that McLaren were pretty much measuring themselves against Benetton, and that sometimes Benetton were better than them. And yet, Senna did look like a title contender in the beginning of the season. May I also remind you Senna didn’t even want to sign a contract with McLaren. May I also remind you that Renault – a French company – forced Williams to hire Senna for 1994, even though Prost was there and had a no-Senna clause. That resulted in Prost practically being forced to retire. Now, why did they do that? Why did every team want Senna for 1994, including Benetton?

            Some of the cars Senna drove were very competitive might be true, though that can’t include the Lotus cars, and certainly his cars weren’t always the best. They were in 1988 and 1989, but he also raced Prost, the best driver, at least up to that point. And there were no Ross Brawn pit-stop overtakes in those years, nor would Prost stop for Sernna before the start-finish on the last lap. It was a different situation – the two best drivers were racing in the best car, as opposed to the best team concentrating on only one driver. Also, I wonder what would happen if you compare the win ratio for Senna and MS, including all the years they raced (even if you do MS until his not very impressive return in 2010), but exclude all the mechanical failures. Finally, a quote from Autosport about the 1991 season:

            “Some will say, perhaps, that the 1991 World Championship was settled by the events at Montréal or Spa or Estoril, where apparently certain victories gave Nigel Mansell the slip. It was not. In reality, the World Championship was won — and lost — in the first four races, all won by Ayrton Sennna. Won, moreover, by a car which should not have been winning”

          11. Dear bobec,

            1) I never said that they were on Michael’s level. But Mika, Damon, DC, Rubens, Irvine and Frentzen were the top drivers of that era, that was my point. Unless you know someone who was better than them and was never given a chance for some reason. The fact that Michael was untouchable in the 90s and early 00s does not mean they were bad drivers, it merely means (imho) that Michael was something extra special, one of those charismatic drivers that appear very rarely in F1. And you can understand that if you observe the way he drove those temperamental cars which may had lots of downforce but not as easy to exploit as in the present era. Harder tyre compounds and pit-stops also played into his hands since he took little penalty from fuel consumption or tyre wear. The man had a sixth sense about the limit of the “aerodynamically produced grip” of an f1 car in contrast with every other driver who was relying mostly on the feel they had for mechanical grip and the tyres. His braking and throttle traces from telemtry data in the 90s are completely allien to what anybody else used to do, even Senna. That does not mean that Senna was not one of the best ever, only that from 1994 onwards times had started to change and he would have had to adjust to the new era. Could he have made it? Possibly yes. Was he going to be on Michael’s level? I seriously doubt it. But then again we’ll never know for sure. To sum it up, I believe Michael was tailor-made for that era of F1 and he would have been unbeatable had Senna survived that Imola crash or not.
            2) You can believe whatever you want on that matter, I’m not trying to convince you about anything. That was my point from the start. All your arguments on B194’s legality were based on “what Senna thought he heard”, or “Jos suspected” etc. As long as most of the key people from that era are still alive and noone ever came with any serious evidence that prove all those speculations I will still regard them for what they are. Speculations and conspiracy theories. Btw Senna was apt to the latter whenever things didn’t go well for him.
            3) Seriously the B194 a more balanced car? Had it been that way Jos or JJ would have been much closer to Damon or DC at some races at least in that season. Come on man, the Benetton was a handful as was the Williams probably up until the French Grand Prix. But the Williams was more powerful by nearly 80 hp. Surely that cannot be a disadvantage. Btw I merely repeated what Senna said and it wasn’t used against him or his 1993 season. I only pointed that out to show how unfairly Michael’s 1994 season has been treated over the years. If Senna was sensational in 1993 (and he was) Michael was even more so in 1994 and for most of his career up until 2004.
            4) For the Lotus cars that Senna drove I’ll have to disagree. When a driver takes pole it means that the car is capable of doing so. Sure you need a really special driver to get the maximum out of the car but still the potential is there. Same with Michael in all those years he won the championship without his car being dominant. The car was capable of winning only that it took someone very special to drive it. Unlike the Newey cars of the 90s which were not only very competitive but a lot easier to drive as well. As for why Renault wanted Senna, why would that be strange? He was the biggest name of the sport at the time and everybody would want him not only for his driving but for advertising as well. Prost never had the charisma in communication that Ayrton had. Other than that I don’t think anyone could have done a much better job than Prost did in 1993. As if 13 poles and 7 victories weren’t enough? Finally if the “Ross Brawn pit-stops overtakes” were that easy everyone would be able to execute them at will which was never the case. And it is quite amusing that you think Michael’s teammates played any significal role in his achievements. Even more so than using Austosport as motorsport’s luminary of any sort.

      3. MS was on another level moreso for things other than his talent. He was a bully, his cars at Benetton had many illegalities, and MS had the luxury of non-competing teammates, some of them even by contract. Imagine having the best car and a teammate that couldn’t contractually do anything about that other than to take the odd pole but only to have to surrender the lead anyway, except for the odd time MS was too far out of it for a handing over of the position. Never a physical battle on the track nor a psychological distraction from the only other driver that had the equipment to compete in several of those years when his car dominated. MS had a designer car and tires because they didn’t need to concern themselves with his teammates’ needs in a car.

        Bottom line…MS was good, but he was also the dirtiest and most advantaged driver before or since, hence the numbers he compiled. Max and Bernie created the MS show to build him up as the next Senna post-Senna and end the Ferrari WDC drought.

        1. You make no sense @robbie I’m affraid. Let’s examine your arguments:

          Was a bully

          . Well that has nothing to do with wether someone is fast. It has to do with sportsmanship I agree but not with speed. And the definition of an on-track bully was given by Senna anyway some years before Michael arrived in F1. That and Ayrton’s communicative skills were the Brazilian’s only feats that Michael could never surpass.

          His cars at Benetton had many illegalities

          . Pure conjecture, there has never been proof for any of that. And he kept being dominant over Irvine and Barrichello at Ferrari by an average of 0.7s/lap and 0.5s/lap in qualifying respecively before the silly fuel qualification system was introduced. Somehow many people believe that it’s natural to have for many years only 1 of the cars within a team of at least 500 people with illegal aids and yet so many years later noone came out with any hard evidence about it or even implying that. Oh, except “Sad Jos” and “Bitter Johnny” of course.

          Non-competing teammates by contract

          . Again speculation. Unless you have any photocopies of Verstappen’s, Herbert’s, Irvine’s and Barrichello’s contracts. For all I know,Irvine said that the term in his contract was that he would follow team orders. But that didn’t mean that had he been faster than Michael the team would have kept supporting Schumacher. That’s how it goes like the Alonso-Hamilton battle in McLaren showed us 10 years ago. Whoever is faster on track gets the treatment.

          Imagine having the best car

          . Well, Michael actually had the best car in 2001, 2002 and 2004 and of course won all those champioships easily. All the other championships he won were in an inferior car. I know how people have romanticized Senna’s 1992 and 1993 seasons for managing to take 8 victories from the dominant Williams but Michael actually WON the WC in 1994 (heavily underpowered car), 1995 (one of the most aerodynamically unstable cars since they more or less planted a more powerful engine in a B194 chassis), 2000 (the McLaren clearly faster for most of the season) and 2003 (the Williams thanks to BMW engine and Michelin tyres faster for most of the season as well).
          To sum it up it’s quite clear that you still can’t accept how good Michael was at his prime, much better than anyone just before him (Senna included of course) and all his contemporaries. Hence you just repeat the same funny and unfounded arguments about cheating and since you cannot prove any of that you add “dirty driving” to the mix. Yeah he wasn’t the cleanest of drivers I will agree. But he was one of the greatest of all time and most likely the only one who remained out of reach for any of his contemporaries for well over a decade.

          1. @constantine The comment was made that MS was on another level. In terms of being on another level, yes MS was one of the more brutal drivers on the track, with his whack on DH in 94, his whack on JV in 97, and his countless swerves off the grid sweeping right across the track, moving drivers off the track, including for example what he did to Reubens once he (MS) was at Mercedes. There are many many examples of MS being a bully that few drivers have emulated.

            Never any prove of illegalities? Better check the records. You will find they had disqualifications from skid plate issues, not to mention the refueler valve issue, and the suspicions of traction control being used as evidenced by glowing brake rotors upon exiting corners.

            Non competing teammates by contract? Yeah not just from looking at their behaviour as the races and the seasons went by, but RB admitted in the post-race interview after the debacle of Austria 02 that the reason he let MS win with metres to go was that he thought he better obey his contract.

            Your point number 4 misses my point completely. Imagine having the best car and your teammate should be the only one on the grid that can compete with you but he’s not allowed. In the case of RB it wasn’t even a team order…it was a contract that from race one of each season it was all for MS. Imagine if Wolff had done that for LH with NR what that would have been like…well…you don’t have to…we saw it with MS/Ferrari. No racing between the two drivers on the top team. A joke.

          2. Furthermore your stance loses credibility when you claim only 3 of his 7 WDC’s were in the best car when in fact only 1 time out of 7 did he not have the WCC winning car, and that was in 94 when they had several disqualifications.

          3. Your hatred towards Michael is obvious mate. I have answered to all your claims. You don’t have to be a genius in order to understand my point.

  2. My thoughts too.

  3. I hope he won’t be booed at Spa. Poor guy….

    1. Grosjean??

      1. Mick of course. By all the bitter hill/senna fans.

    2. When the top comment on the son driving the dad’s car for a show is “I wonder if it has traction control”, you can bet someone will boo. Because people.

  4. Top comment of the day @thebullwhipper

  5. i really don’t think f1 should go down the ‘spec’ route in any way outside of things like the crash structures because even things such as the drs actuators or oil coolers can produce performance gains thanks to clever engineer’s & while it may seem like small details (which on the outside you dont see), it’s little thing like that which f1 is all about just as much as the bigger more obvious stuff like the bodywork.

    i even think it would be an issue with pedals given how individualised they are for each driver, not just for comfort but also to suit there individual style of driving. whenever you see a driver jump into a team mates car or something the pedals are always one of the 1st things changed.

    the one area of the cars.. well engines that i really don’t feel should ever be made spec is the mgu-k/h systems, yes they are expensive but they are also the primary areas of development & performance improvements on these engines & going forward they are going to be where all the big gains come from. make those standardised & you may as well give everyone the same engine.

    the rules should be opened up to allow more freedom, not closed off to allow less as that simply is not what f1 is or should ever be about!

    1. “i really don’t think f1 should go down the ‘spec’ route in any way outside of things like the crash structures because even things such as the drs actuators or oil coolers can produce performance gains

      But what on earth is exciting about that?
      Let’s say 0.15 of the 2.34 seconds a lap that Alonso’s McLaren is slower than Hamilton’s Mercedes are because of a worse oil cooler.
      Firstly, you won’t even know that.
      Secondly, how would that make you excited if you knew?
      Thirdly, how does that large gap in speed between cars make you enjoy F1 more??

      1. Thirdly*, how on earth would you enjoy McLaren being 2.34 sec. behind Mercedes due a worse oil cooler more than McLaren being 2.19 sec. with spec oil coolers?

        I don’t get this fascination with the anti-sport aspect of F1.

        1. I don’t get this fascination with the anti-sport aspect of F1.

          @damon there is nothing anti-sport about wanting f1 to be what it always has been.

          to you teams developing trick oil coolers & stuff that give gains may be ‘anti-sport’, but to many it’s what f1 is all about, teams fining every avenue to develop & find gains no matter how small they may be. nothing anti-sport about it, in fact that is by definition what the sport has always been.

          the only anti-sport thing is this notion that everything need be close & equal where anyone having any advantage is bad and where there needs to be a hundred passes with constant action every lap. that push is what has taken us away from the sporting side and more towards artificial entertainment with circuits that have been butchered in the name of entertainment. that is the only thing wrong with this once great sport right now.

      2. @damon exactly my point too. Items that are on the car to make it run, rather than for performance, could all be standardized as its of zero consequence to the on track racing. I attended Silverstone this year and although it was freaking awesome, I did notice the lack of close on track battles, with the cars closer and the little teams not having to chase expensive but tiny gains on things that bearly matter.

      3. @damon
        And What if Honda Maclaren has a better oilcooler than Mercedes?
        If they standardised the oilcooler the gap might be 2.49 instead of 2.34, how on earth would that make things more interesting?

        1. Gabriel @rethla
          You have to use logic here. We have a continuum where the starting point is a 100% spec series = all cars are the same, they are equal and the gap in speed between them is 0. Then as you add more and more room for technical disparity, the gap grows. So a non-standardized oil cooler – or anything else – pushes you further from the point of 0 sec. gap. and enlarges the gap. Whether it would be a McLaren, that I used an a random example, with a poor oil cooler or another team, it is a fact that it can only enlarge the preexisting gaps and stretch the field even more.

          1. Gabriel @rethla
            “the gap might be 2.49 instead of 2.34, how on earth would that make things more interesting?”

            Wow, Gabriel, now you have to start being honest with yourself or re-evaluate your views. Because in this quote you share my view that a larger disparity between cars is not good. Why then support regulations that make it larger? You’re self-contradicting.

          2. @damon
            I just gave you an example on how more standard parts doesnt necessarly reduces the gap. I dont know how you got that into your view that standardising always reduces the gap. Its the opposite.

            My poiny is with more parts open for developement theres more chance for smaller teams to bring some innovation to the table. It doesnt matter if its visible or not. I mean what is the difference between a slightly different curved wing and a different oilcooler. Its nothing you see anyway without reading about it.

    2. I think f1 SHOULD go down the spec route, more manufacturers and privateers will join, better competition(racing) and the best team and driver will win! Why are people so scared of that? Its like conservative republicans in america!

      1. kpcart, asides from the fact that you are tearing up the entire history and identity of the sport in order to do that?

      2. kpcart
        I totally agree!! And I think one could figure out a new format for a spec series where you could retain the constant high tech development.

      3. @kpkart.

        Why on earth do you bother watching other of course, than for your anti LH/Mercedes fulfilment?

        Why do you not just watch F2 where you can find your spec series wishes in full?

        Funny thing though, good drivers still make the difference.

        For reference watch 2006.

  6. In reference to COTD, As I said in reply to it originally I think the spec parts route isn’t an issue as long as they don’t go too far with it.

    Area’s that have no impact on performance & safety related items (The Halo for example) I don’t have much of an issue with been made into a spec part thats supplied to all the teams. However I think things that are performance parts like the hybrid systems, turbo’s, wings, gearboxes, suspension, floor’s/diffuses etc… should be left open for teams/manufacturer’s to design for themselves as is the case currently.

  7. Mick Schumacher driving the 94 Benetton at Spa… what a beautiful story. Well, not that I can read the article, it’s in Francais innit. What an incredible day it must have been for the lad. Very emotional I’m sure. And what a gorgeous car too, lovely livery.

    1. FlyingLobster27
      13th August 2017, 8:18

      This is just a test too. The article states that he will drive the car again for some parade laps at the Belgian GP. That’ll be emotional.

    2. It is it is beautiful! @unicron2002
      And it touches me more than seeing Jacques Villeneuve’s driving his dad’s Ferrari or Damon Hill driving his dad’s Lotus. Because this time I was the dad’s fan, not the son’s.

      Can you imagine Mick Schumacher and Max Verstappen being team-mates one day in F1?
      Max would have his dad on his side though… :(

      The romantic side of me would love to see Mick having one of his father’s old foes as a mentor. Jacques Villeneuve or Damon Hill, who share a similar story perhaps? Maybe Mika Hakinnen?

      I’ve gotten all feely man… :(

      1. In the case of the Villeneuves, I was a fan of both the father and the son. So JV driving his Dad’s 312T4, wearing his Dad’s helmet…indescribable…

        JV has sons…hmmmm….

  8. That tweet from Honda is just asking for jokes to be made… -_-

    1. @praxis My thoughts exactly!!

      “…the floor is actually made of diarrhoea, since we spout so much of it in here…”

    2. That heat is wasted energy, which is another way of saying “less performance”. I guess the trick is trying to find a way to harness that wasted energy.

      1. Do you think the other F1 engines have cooler exhausts?

        1. Yes, I’d expect the other engines to have cooler exhaust.

          1. @drycrust
            I doubt it, why would anyone cool their exhaust?

  9. These changes could save the teams millions of dollars …

    Which they will then spend on the forever decreasing number of areas of development, or on other nonsense things which don’t really benefit anyone like bigger and shinier motorhomes. We need to face the facts here, the only way to make teams save money (the ONLY way) is too reduce their income, let’s not pretend otherwise.

    1. I’m on about the cost of actual racing, if they want to buy motor homes that don’t add performance to their cars then that’s a choice a team is free to make. But if the cost to go racing is lower and it doesn’t directly effect performance, then if big team what to p!#s money up the wall, let them, but then see the smaller more canny teams catch them up on track.

    2. I think a more equal system of TV rights payout is more important that trying to cut costs. It will result in a more equal performance between teams. While it isn’t completely true, as a rough guide TV rights payout from last year does equate to performance this year, so one has to suspect reducing the payout for the front running teams and increasing it for those at the back of the grid will produce a more even performance across the grid.

  10. @keithcollantine thanks so much for COTD, it’s a subject I believe can really change F1 for the better. The tighter the grid, the better the racing, so anything to bring it closer is good in my book. I still want to see the spread of performance across the grid, but smaller steps between and have more chances of a little fish upsetting the apple cart and steeling the odd win.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      15th August 2017, 12:47

      Good stuff BullWhipper but you didn’t mention the most obvious spec component which has a big effect on performance… the tyres. That make the argumant a whole lot more convincing.

      How many of these ‘no spec series’ at any cost advocates would recommend a return to multiple tyre suppliers?

      More spec parts is a good stopgap until the rule makers can write better rules so that spending loads of money has less effect.

  11. @cotd

    All the things you mention as standardised are for safety or control reasons, none are for costs. ECU need to be standard so teams cant cheat and crash structures needs to be standard to keep good safety etc.

    1. U have to have some order to things……
      Control is control, be it to stop cheating or reduce costs. The teams, can’t regulate themselves, it requires a nanny state.

      1. @thebullwhipper No control isnt control. They have rules and they need the tools to enforce those rules, thats not the same thing as controling cost.

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      15th August 2017, 15:26

      One of the biggest performance differentiators is a spec component. The tyres.

  12. Erhm is that headline missing something? Now I kind of read it that Michael himself is driving that car((Rolf and Elisabeth) Schumacher’s son drives his 1994 title-winning car).

    1. It says ‘Mick Schumacher will drive, at the opening of the Belgian GP, the car with which Schumi won his 1st title’

      He’s already driven it there as practice and will do a lap after the drivers’ parade, an hour before race start.

  13. Standardised parts FTW. This is the only way forward.

    Could anyone here argue, if come Spa race 20 Mercedes cars line up, and all drivers race in equal machinery, the racing would not be better?

    I watched several spec races and boy are they fun. GP2, GP3, Indy… All they are missing is top drivers.

    We need spec aero elements designed to improve racing, like indy has done it.

    That is all.

    1. I hope you enjoy your GP2, GP3 and Indy races – and there are many other spec series that you can wallow in to your heart’s content. Series’ in which the driver is the ONLY differentiating factor already abound, yet for some reason, the very best drivers in the world all seem to want to get into F1. Why do you think that is?

      What sets F1 apart is a unique combination of driver and engineering excellence. The added element of setting engineering teams competitively against each other adds a whole extra dimension to the competition, and enforcing spec parts diminishes that. There are very few components of an F1 car which are not performance related, and those are the ones that are safety mandated. Everything else is designed to maximise it’s functionality and minimise it’s weight.

      I’m sorry you don’t appreciate this element of the competition, but as you already know, there’s plenty of racing series where you can get your fix. Just don’t go round spoiling it for us true F1 fans.

      1. I think there are a few more parts like the wheel nuts that probably could be standardised but F1 has never been a “spec” series and i think this is the line that most F1 fan’s would rather not be crossed. There are indeed a lot of motorsports that are spec series and there’s nothing wrong with that, but that is how F1 differenciates itself from other motorsports. We either want to retain that difference or we don’t.

      2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        15th August 2017, 16:54

        The very best drivers in the world aim for F1 because they want to be World Champion and drive the fastest cars. They don’t aim to be in F1 to drive a car that is 2 or 3 seconds a lap slower than another.

        What sets it apart is its status. I enjoy the engineering and technical aspects but those can sometime come at a ridiculous financial cost. At the end of the day F1 is a sport. The same teams winning every few weeks because they have the most money is not sport.

        True F1 fans want to see a close competition. At the moment it is not.

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