Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Schumacher cheated his way to 1994 title?

Did Michael Schumacher cheat his way to his first Formula One World Championship with Benetton?

That's the claim that has been made by then team-mate Jos Verstappen.

The 1994 Formula One World Championship will always be looked upon as a tragic season for the sport.

The deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna at Imola will never be forgotten, while the Drivers championship was decided under controversial circumstances when Schumacher deliberately collided with title rival Damon Hill after the German had already made a mistake around the Adelaide track.

That collision forced the retirement of both drivers and Schumacher claimed his first of seven Formula One World Championships.

However according to then team-mate Jos Verstappen, Schumacher was only in the position to win the World title following the use of a number of illegal aids.

The Dutch driver who went on to win the Le Mans 24 Hour race in the LMP2 class strongly believes that he did not race the same car as Schumacher.

Schumacher won nine of the fourteen races that he took part in that season, with the Australian season finale, being his only retirement. [however he was later disqualified from the Belgian Grand Prix victory and he was also banned from two races after his disqualification after the British Grand Prix.]

Schumacher's team-mates Jos Verstappen retired from six of the ten races he started [with two third place finishes], JJ Lehto retired from three of his six races [sixth was his best finish] while Johnny Herbert ended the season with two retirements.

Verstappen believes that Schumacher not only had an illegal advantage over the other cars, but also his team-mates.

'People think I'm looking for an excuse, I just know that his car was different to my car. I kept thinking: this can't be done! I braked at the limit and went as hard as possible into the corners. Schumacher was able to do things and not to me. There was something wrong.' he told NuSport as quoted by Sky Sports.

'There were electronic aids. They will never admit it, but I am convinced, I later asked Flavio Briatore, who had brought me to Benetton and was then the team manager. He said, 'Let's not talk about it.' So I know enough now.'

'Michael depends on the car just like everybody else. To some people he is God. That bit is disappearing. He is not superman - he never was.

'When we went karting he never beat me. I know the reason why he beat me at Benetton.'


During the first three races of the Formula One season, Ayrton Senna [who had moved to Williams that season] grew suspicious that the Benetton car was illegal.

Schumacher was enjoying fast starts away from the grid and had also gained an advantage over Senna during the first Grand Prix of the season in Brazil when the Benetton pit-crew were able to fuel Schumacher's car faster than the Williams team could fuel Senna's car.

Benetton were later in the season found guilty of cheating by the FIA after an investigation into a pit-stop fire at the German Grand Prix that involved Verstappen.

The FIA deemed Benetton's fuel valve illegal as it was without a fuel filter, which enabled them to pump fuel into the car 12.5% faster than the legal fuel valve that was used by other teams.

However as the equipment was supplied by Intertechnique, Benetton received no punishment.

After Senna's retirement on the first lap of the second race of the season at the Pacific Grand Prix in Japan, Senna stood and watched the race from beside the track attempting to hear any suspicious noises that suggested traction control was being used illegally, Senna returned to the Williams pit suspicious that the Benetton car was indeed illegal.

Benetton, along with Ferrari and McLaren were later investigated by the FIA on suspicion of breaking the FIA-imposed ban on electronic aids.

Ferrari supplied the required information immediately and no further action was taken, while Benetton and McLaren initially refused to help with the investigation and were fined $100,000 for their initial refusal to cooperate.

When the FIA investigation concluded, both teams were found to have hidden functionality in their software, the McLaren software aided the gearbox program [that allowed automatic shifts] and was deemed legal, however the Benetton software included the ability to improve traction, which was illegal as drivers gained a benefit from such things as fast starts, but with no evidence that it had been used in a race, Benetton avoided further penalties and fines.








Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 13 2011

Time: 12:00PM

Club Execution error : spV3GetArticleFeedback 665,0,0 [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Could not find stored procedure 'spV3GetArticleFeedback'.

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Vital F1 Articles

Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top (Monday March 2 2015)

Williams top first day of final test (Friday February 27 2015)

Manor name first driver (Thursday February 26 2015)

Alonso released from hospital (Wednesday February 25 2015)

Alonso remains hospitalised (Tuesday February 24 2015)

Alonso airlifted to hospital (Monday February 23 2015)

Maldonado tops third day in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)

Red Bull on top on day two in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)

Maldonado tops first day in Barcelona (Friday February 20 2015)

F1 set for Qatar in 2016 (Thursday February 19 2015)

Raikkonen unfazed by uncertain future (Tuesday February 17 2015)

Alonso just wants equality at McLaren (Friday February 13 2015)

Honda plan upgrades for next test (Wednesday February 11 2015)

Force India look set to miss second test (Tuesday February 10 2015)

Marussia push on with return (Monday February 9 2015)

Force India block Marussia return (Friday February 6 2015)

Raikkonen and Ferrari on top in Jerez (Thursday February 5 2015)

Signs of progress for McLaren? (Wednesday February 4 2015)

Marussia to exit administration (Wednesday February 4 2015)

Sauber top third day (Wednesday February 4 2015)

Early struggles for McLaren Honda (Tuesday February 3 2015)

Hamilton set for contract talks (Monday February 2 2015)

Formula One teams hit the test track (Monday February 2 2015)

Bernie wants one wish (Friday January 30 2015)

Could F1 lose German Grand Prix? (Tuesday January 27 2015)

New engines attract new fans (Friday January 23 2015)

Vettel's big gamble at Ferrari (Wednesday January 21 2015)

Honda allowed to make in-season changes (Tuesday January 20 2015)

Qatar bid for F1 scuppered? (Monday January 19 2015)

More aggressive tyre strategy in 2015 (Wednesday January 14 2015)

Robson swaps McLaren for Williams (Friday January 9 2015)

2015 Formula One Calendar (Thursday January 8 2015)

All change at Sauber (Thursday January 8 2015)

F1 teams to exploit engine rule loophole (Wednesday January 7 2015)

Korea dropped for 2015 (Wednesday January 7 2015)

Podromou is McLaren's master (Friday January 2 2015)

Long recovery for Ferrari (Thursday January 1 2015)

Red Bull Racing retain Buemi (Wednesday December 31 2014)

Talks to save Caterham continue (Tuesday December 30 2014)

Vettel had a great run at Red Bull (Friday December 26 2014)

Hamilton reflects on Rosberg rivalry (Wednesday December 24 2014)

Vergne joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 23 2014)

Trio depart Ferrari (Friday December 19 2014)

Ecclestone to propose v8 return (Thursday December 18 2014)

20 stolen Red Bull trophies recovered (Wednesday December 17 2014)

Gutierrez joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 16 2014)

Hamilton wins SPOTY (Monday December 15 2014)

McLaren confirm Alonso return (Thursday December 11 2014)

McLaren confirm Button on multi-year deal (Thursday December 11 2014)

Button stays at McLaren (Thursday December 11 2014)

Ricciardo surprised himself (Wednesday December 10 2014)

Red Bull factory ram-raided (Monday December 8 2014)

McLaren board meeting fails to decide (Friday December 5 2014)

2015 - Formula One's biggest season yet (Thursday December 4 2014)

FIA file report on Bianchi crash (Thursday December 4 2014)

Virtual Safety Car to get debut in 2015 (Wednesday December 3 2014)

Vettel completes first day at Ferrari (Tuesday December 2 2014)

Caterham could run old cars in 2015 (Tuesday December 2 2014)

Toro Rosso announce Sainz Jr for 2015 (Monday December 1 2014)

Formula One scrap double points round (Friday November 28 2014)

Problems for McLaren Honda continue (Thursday November 27 2014)

Successful season for Williams (Wednesday November 26 2014)

McLaren Honda manage 3 laps (Wednesday November 26 2014)

Caterham takeover complete 'in weeks' (Wednesday November 26 2014)

Audio: Abu Dhabi Recap (Tuesday November 25 2014)

Force India confirm Perez place (Tuesday November 25 2014)

Wolff praises Mercedes team-mates (Monday November 24 2014)

Greatest day for Hamilton (Monday November 24 2014)

Rosberg wins friends in defeat (Monday November 24 2014)

Archived Vital F1 Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Red5 1036
2. DJ 932
3. The Fear 771
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 573
6. Druss_the_Legend 528
7. Push The Button 441
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 155
10. __villa__ 145

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who holds the best driver pairing in 2015?
Mercedes: Hamilton & Rosberg 33%
Red Bull: Ricciardo & Kvyat 2%
Ferrari: Vettel & Raikkonen 19%
McLaren: Alonso & Button 43%
Williams: Massa & Bottas 3%