Date:Tuesday December 13 2011
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.
Date:Tuesday December 13 2011
Ecclestone wants to tear up the rulebook (Friday January 20 2017)
Renault bidding to match Mercedes (Thursday January 19 2017)
How long has Bottas joined Mercedes for? (Wednesday January 18 2017)
New optimism for McLaren (Wednesday January 18 2017)
British GP fate being discussed with F1 bosses (Tuesday January 17 2017)
Bottas announcement expected (Monday January 16 2017)
Australia prepares for 2017 F1 (Friday January 13 2017)
F1's new owners could save British Grand Prix (Thursday January 12 2017)
Paddy Lowe leaves Mercedes (Wednesday January 11 2017)
Pirelli uncertain over new 2017 tyres (Tuesday January 10 2017)
Silverstone considers dropping British Grand Prix (Monday January 9 2017)
Formula One to lose 1 team from the grid (Monday January 9 2017)
Sky and Channel 4 announce F1 races for 2017 (Monday January 9 2017)
Ricciardo would not swap Red Bull for Merc (Friday January 6 2017)
Expect field to be spread in 2017 says Newey (Thursday January 5 2017)
Red Bull can provide a benchmark for Renault (Wednesday January 4 2017)
Haas just a stepping stone for Magnussen? (Tuesday January 3 2017)
Hamilton against another reshuffle of mechanics (Monday January 2 2017)
Renault project will take time says Hulkenberg (Friday December 30 2016)
Toro Rosso to rebrand engines? (Thursday December 29 2016)
Williams pays tribute to Symonds (Wednesday December 28 2016)
Marko mocks Mercedes (Tuesday December 27 2016)
Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Sunday December 25 2016)
Renault building for 2017 (Friday December 23 2016)
Honda wants to supply second team in 2018 (Thursday December 22 2016)
Gasly building bridges with Marko (Wednesday December 21 2016)
I'll take on anybody says Hamilton (Tuesday December 20 2016)
Massa to return from retirement with Williams? (Monday December 19 2016)
No room at the Red Bull Racing Inn (Friday December 16 2016)
Mercedes now regret Hamilton instruction (Thursday December 15 2016)
Mercedes to take no action on Hamilton (Wednesday December 14 2016)
Aston Martin continue Red Bull partnership (Tuesday December 13 2016)
Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams merry-go-round (Monday December 12 2016)
Mercedes offer €10million for Bottas (Monday December 12 2016)
Formula One to return to France (Monday December 12 2016)
Red Bull Racing to take advantage of Merc turmoil? (Friday December 9 2016)
Straight fight - Wehrlein or Bottas for Merc? (Thursday December 8 2016)
Vettel's future is clear (Wednesday December 7 2016)
Wolff rules out big name driver for Mercedes (Tuesday December 6 2016)
Lauda annoyed by Rosberg retirement (Tuesday December 6 2016)
Button philosophical following race retirement (Monday December 5 2016)
What next for Mercedes? (Friday December 2 2016)
Rosberg retires from F1 (Friday December 2 2016)
New contract for Italian Grand Prix (Friday December 2 2016)
Hamilton blames Mercedes for lost title (Thursday December 1 2016)
Hamilton receives team boss backing (Wednesday November 30 2016)
What did Merc think of Hamilton's 'dirty tactics' (Tuesday November 29 2016)
Hamilton's dirty tactics? (Tuesday November 29 2016)
Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Monday November 28 2016)
AND NEW Formula One World Champion - Nico Rosberg (Sunday November 27 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - Race (Sunday November 27 2016)
Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 26 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 26 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP3 (Saturday November 26 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP2 (Friday November 25 2016)
2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP1 (Friday November 25 2016)
Blog: Abu Dhabi Preview (Friday November 25 2016)
Vettel needs to learn (Thursday November 24 2016)
Hamilton plays down title chances (Wednesday November 23 2016)
Drivers make their tyre choices for Abu Dhabi (Tuesday November 22 2016)
Las Vegas to replace Singapore on the calendar? (Monday November 21 2016)
Dennis betrayed by McLaren (Monday November 21 2016)
Max's memorable Motor race (Friday November 18 2016)
An extraordinary motor racing day (Thursday November 17 2016)
F1 Prediction competition open for final round (Wednesday November 16 2016)
Who will win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? (Wednesday November 16 2016)
All working out fine for Rosberg (Tuesday November 15 2016)
Hamilton living in the moment (Monday November 14 2016)
Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Monday November 14 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - Race (Sunday November 13 2016)
Blog: Interlagos Qualifying (Saturday November 12 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 12 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - FP3 (Saturday November 12 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - FP2 (Friday November 11 2016)
2016 Brazil GP - FP1 (Friday November 11 2016)
Renault stick with Palmer (Friday November 11 2016)
Haas make driver change (Friday November 11 2016)
How can Rosberg win the title? (Thursday November 10 2016)
Blog: Interlagos Preview (Wednesday November 9 2016)
Drivers make their tyre selections for Brazil (Wednesday November 9 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 20 (Tuesday November 8 2016)
Who will win the Brazilian Grand Prix? (Monday November 7 2016)
Kvyat happy to survive 2016 (Friday November 4 2016)
18 year old to replace Massa at Williams (Thursday November 3 2016)
Ross Brawn to return to Formula One (Thursday November 3 2016)
Vettel avoids FIA action (Wednesday November 2 2016)
Blog: Mexican GP Report (Tuesday November 1 2016)
Ferrari blame bureaucracy for loss of podium place (Tuesday November 1 2016)
Horner slams Vettel for radio profanity (Tuesday November 1 2016)
Podium place changes hands for a third time (Monday October 31 2016)
Verstappen chucked out of podium celebrations (Sunday October 30 2016)
2016 Mexico GP - Race (Sunday October 30 2016)
Blog: Mexico City Qualifying (Sunday October 30 2016)
2016 Mexico GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 29 2016)
2016 Mexico GP - FP3 (Saturday October 29 2016)
2016 Mexico GP - FP2 (Friday October 28 2016)
2016 Mexico GP - FP1 (Friday October 28 2016)
Blog: Mexico City Preview (Thursday October 27 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 19 (Thursday October 27 2016)
Who will win in Mexico? (Thursday October 27 2016)
|7.||Push The Button||491|