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1994 Brazilian Grand Prix

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1994 Brazilian Grand Prix

  1994 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 16 in the 1994 Formula One season
Date March 27 1994
Official name XXIII Grande Prêmio do Brasil
Location Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.325 km (2.703 mi)
Distance 71 laps, 307.075 km (191.921 mi)
Weather Sunny
Pole position
Driver Williams-Renault
Time 1:15.962
Fastest lap
Driver Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford
Time 1:18.455 on lap 7
First Benetton-Ford
Second Williams-Renault
Third Ferrari

The 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on March 27, 1994 at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo. It was the first race of the 1994 Formula One season.


  • Report 1
    • Pre-Race 1.1
    • Qualifying 1.2
    • Race 1.3



With it being the first race of the season, new drivers made their debuts. Roland Ratzenberger, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Olivier Panis, Olivier Beretta and Jos Verstappen made their debuts and Simtek and Pacific Racing also debuted.


Ayrton Senna took pole position from Michael Schumacher, with Jean Alesi over a second further behind. Heavy rain disrupted Saturday's proceedings. Debutant Heinz-Harald Frentzen impressed with taking the 5th spot on the grid in his very first race.


At the start Ayrton Senna maintained his lead, while Jean Alesi overtook Michael Schumacher. Schumacher retook second place on lap 2 and started chasing after Senna, who had pulled a 4-second lead in the opening laps. Before the pit stops Schumacher had reduced the gap to just over a second, and on lap 21 the leading pair entered the pit lane together. Despite both teams running the same fuel strategy, Benetton's stop was much faster than Williams' stop, and Schumacher left the pitlane in the lead.

On lap 35 there was a four-car pile-up as Eddie Irvine and Jos Verstappen came up to lap the Ligier of Éric Bernard. Irvine forced Verstappen on to the grass; Verstappen then lost control of his car and somersaulted over Martin Brundle's McLaren. Irvine was penalized for this maneuver by a one race ban, which was increased to three after the appeal of Jordan failed. Irvine was already under investigation due to an incident with Ayrton Senna in Suzuka the year before.

Schumacher increased his lead to 10 seconds after the second round of pit stops, after which Senna started to close. By lap 55 the pair had lapped third-place runner Damon Hill and the gap was down to 5 seconds, but then Senna lost control of his Williams and retired. After Senna's retirement Schumacher

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