Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

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sldizz
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Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by sldizz » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:21 pm

It is believed that Michael Schumacher spent 2/3 of the race stuck in the 5th gear and finished second.
The problem occurred in the end of the lap 21 before the chicane where Michael was not able to switch down so he was to make his first pit.

Here is the first question:
How could Michael start from the pit using the 5th gear? Theoretically it is possible but practically...
He did it twice, by the way.

It is quite interesting to know something about the clutch construction on B194. Was it damping clutch or not? I think, Benetton used the sports clutch without dampers (as it was connected to semi-auto sequential gearbox)

There are also some more obvious moments:
Without the 6th gear Michael should have lacked about 15-25 mph of maximum speed.
Michael could not accelerate normally as 5th gear ratio differed from the 3rd gear ratio, didn't it?
The differential should have worked incorrectly in that situation, I believe.

On the other hand, it is considered that Michael's Ford Zetec was more suitable for that force-major situation as it is obvious that the engine with 8 cylinders has a wider range of optimal RPMs than V10 has.

After that he spent the whole race on a single gear.
The most striking is the fact:
the best lap using all 6 gears is 1.25.155 (lap 18)
the best lap using a single gear is 1.26.171 (lap 40)


Both lap-times are shown in the end of 1st and 2nd segment respectively.
I.e. we have the 1 second difference. How was it possible? What do the teams use gearboxes for if the difference between taut anf broken gearbox is just a second?

The explanation of that fact is quite vague. For example, it was said Michael used special tractions to reduce the lack of the pace. It seems very strange to me 'cause the only traction could help Michael - driving through the corners and chicanes

My own opinion is that Michael really had problems with his gearbox. But they were not permanent. The worst laps (about 1.30 and worse) could have been shown on the 5th gear really. But 1.26-1.28 times seem impossible to me.

There are also some questions that still have no answer:
1. When it became obvious Michael was in a trouble we saw a picture showing gear '5' and that Michael obviously slowed down. But about two laps later the situation improved (lap-time proved that) and Michael's telemetry was not shown till the end of the race. Why it happened so simultaneously? The most surprising for me was the fact that Michael was still able to race fast enough (1.26-1.28).
2. After the race it was said that Michael's telemetry was shown to some journalists who could not believe that. Another question: who were those guys who really saw that telemetry? 15 years passed but still we've got no information about those people.
3. The fact that when Michael was breaking before the chicane some sparkles of fire were visible which usually shows that the gears are switched down.

There are also some occasions when a racer has lost some gears:
a) Hill, Hungary'97 (got stuck in the 3rd gear and lost about 30 seconds on a single lap)
b) Montoya, Bahrain'04 (lost 7th gear and was losing about 2-3 seconds on every lap)
(if anyone remembers such events you are welcome)

Resources:
http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=351&FS=F1
http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr553.html
http://youtube.com/watch?v=UQNeEVWbyJ0
http://youtube.com/watch?v=5Qv3oz6CMNE
http://wildsoft.ru/cir.php?l=C&id=57&y=199405 (here are shown the track configurations)
http://esminetzz.narod.ru/90/94/94esp.htm (though this link is in Russian everyone can understand what is all about)

If anyone has got information about that event please write it down here

What interests me the most is that maybe any of you has some information about Benetton's gearbox, Ford Zetec engine and its mapping. I mean, pictures, photos, some technical details etc.

P.S. By the way, has anyone got any articles about Spain'94 (from AutoSport maybe)? It would be very interesting to know something new...

Belatti
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Belatti » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:43 pm

I cant see those youtube videos, but I have found this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xazImNY0hNg
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna

sldizz
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by sldizz » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:56 am

Really? )))
I think it's quite interesting subject to discuss, isn't it?

Belatti
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Belatti » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:03 pm

sldizz wrote:Really? )))
I think it's quite interesting subject to discuss, isn't it?
Of course!

If I was a racing driver I would study all about how guys like Schumacher, Senna, Prost and others do to be quicker than the rest.

Just watch my youtube link and hear what the guy thats speaking says :wink:
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna

Giblet
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Giblet » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:11 pm

This is a far better discussion to bring up then most new users. Kudos!

Most new users come here asking us what a diffuser does or if we think Hammy can take it again.

Welcome!!!

Well written, and it makes you think as you read it. You address questions about something I had long forgot about, but it was a major feat, and much could be learned from it.

I read in Road and Track years ago that the Zonda v16 can start in 6th gear, and accelerate to 100 mph in around 8 seconds. From a stop.

I think in MS's case, the cars had a lot more power then, and definitely more torque. That plus him being a master plus the v8's dyanmic range really help.

I have the 94 season review on DVD, and will go check the spanish race and see if there is any light brought forth, as the commentary is more current than in 94.

Understandably, there is more focus on Imola then anything else :(
Before I do anything I ask myself “Would an idiot do that?” And if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing. - Dwight Schrute

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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by jddh1 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:29 pm

Welcome sldizz.
Very interesting subject to bring up indeed.

Now, I don't know much about the events of 94 because I was much younger then. In fact, although I remember watching the race I don't remember anything other than, well, watching it.

Now, I do know that the newest Ford Mustang can begin moving from a dead stop in 5th gear, and in 10 seconds it can reach 170 mph.

Saribro
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Saribro » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:08 pm

sldizz wrote:It is believed that Michael Schumacher spent 2/3 of the race stuck in the 5th gear
Well, "It is believed" isn't all that trustworthy, is it. Could it be a misinterpretation or translation error and the original message was "limited to the first 5 gears" or something similar? That would make the situation a whole lot more plausible, I'd say.

Giblet
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Giblet » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:48 pm

I just watched the review of the Spanish Grand Prix of 94.

Schumi said that on lap 41, he was no longer able to select gears, and the commentator said he was stuck in 5th.

So I assume unable to select means stuck in whatever gear, but it was a quick soundbite, not the whole statement.
Before I do anything I ask myself “Would an idiot do that?” And if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing. - Dwight Schrute

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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by alex1015 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:04 pm

mx_tifosi wrote:Dude are you stuck in time like 'ced campo'??

It's 2009, not '94! :? :shock:
His posts actually have substance and lots of it :P

Interesting but is the OP questioning how it was possible or if it was actually done? I believe there's no doubting that it was indeed in 5th the whole time as the onboards and telemetry can verify this as well as just listening to the recordings.

Belatti
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Belatti » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:00 pm

Giblet wrote:I just watched the review of the Spanish Grand Prix of 94.

Schumi said that on lap 41, he was no longer able to select gears, and the commentator said he was stuck in 5th.

So I assume unable to select means stuck in whatever gear, but it was a quick soundbite, not the whole statement.
So, according to this he was stuck 1/3 of the race and not 2/3. This makes more sense as there were too many DNF cars. Maybe he had problems in the middle third of the race till lap 41. I have my doubts he could have lapped only 1 sec off the peace like in lap 40 with only one gear.

Another race where gearing problems and a magnificent driving took place in the same car was Brazil 1991 :wink:
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna

Cyco
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Cyco » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:52 pm

Admittedly in a car with a LOT more torque Jan Lammers drove the last couple of hours at Le Mans in 1988 in the Jag XJR-9 in only 4th gear (much longer than s F1 cars 5th), including a pit stop. Interview with Lammers here. They Jag still held on to win the race after the closest 962 ran out of fuel.

xpensive
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by xpensive » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:27 pm

I for one remember this race and the "stuck in 5th gear" story very well, which very few people around the paddock at the time bought. Wider power band or not, lapping one sec slower than with a healthy gearbox should be totally impossible.
Let alone starting in 5th gear, get outa here!

But it was a good fishing-story, which helped building the Schumacher-myth in his early days and Briatore loved it.

Around the same years, Alesi once got credit for carrying his Ferrari V12 on slicks in the wet, to which his comment was;
"Traction-control". Not exactly myth-material that.
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"

gtc
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by gtc » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:45 pm

it's a fast circuit, although I'd imagine it would be 3rd gear for turn one, then the long sweeping right (turn 3 I think) which is uphill. It would be a pain climbing a gradient in the wrong gear, we've all experienced it I'm sure. I have no great reason not to believe the official story. I'll ask the chief designer of the ford zetec-r used in that race on Monday, maybe he can shed some light on the matter.

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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Alexpcenteno » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:55 pm

There is also Senna in 1991 when he complete the Brazilian race only with 1 and 6 gears! You can see the struggle and you can listen to engine sound! Is fantastic! He was incredible!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RygGFR3ScE

P.S. - At the end you can hear Senna screaming inside the car is fantastic! A real Samurai!
"Racing, competing, it's in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life; I have been doing it all my life and it stands out above everything else." - Ayrton Senna

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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by Roland Ehnström » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:06 am

xpensive wrote:I for one remember this race and the "stuck in 5th gear" story very well, which very few people around the paddock at the time bought. Wider power band or not, lapping one sec slower than with a healthy gearbox should be totally impossible.
Let alone starting in 5th gear, get outa here!

But it was a good fishing-story, which helped building the Schumacher-myth in his early days and Briatore loved it.
Ehum, just watch the video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xazImNY0hNg



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