Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

All that has to do with the power train, gearbox, clutch, fuels and lubricants, etc. Generally the mechanical side of Formula One.
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Re: Schumacher's 5th gear in Spain`94

Post by hollus » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:54 pm

Resurrecting this thread as there is new info available.

In the context of the current news coverage of Schumi (hoping he gets well), spanish newspaper El Pais has just published an article written by Joan Villadelprat, team manager at Benetton at the time.
This is the whole article: ... 35020.html

And this the most relevant bit:
El Pais wrote: Y en España ocurrió algo increíble. A las pocas vueltas tuvo un problema con la caja de cambios y tuvo que correr el resto de la prueba con solo dos velocidades, la segunda y la quinta. No podía utilizar ni la primera, ni la tercera, ni la cuarta, ni la sexta. Y aún así fue capaz de concluir en segunda posición por detrás de Damon Hill. La prensa italiana se mostraba tan incrédula que les invité a que vinieran al taller y les mostré la telemetría para que vieran que no les estábamos mintiendo.
The important bits are that after a few laps he lost 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th gear, and (explicitly said) has only 2 gears, 2nd and 5th available. He literally says "the rest of the race with only two gears". And that the italian press didn't believe it so he (Joan Viladelprat) showed them the telemetry.

I can no longer see the videos posted here, but I guess this means that between laps 21 and 40, and when he made his only 1 second slower time, he had 2nd and 5th gears available. Then I guess from lap 41 he only had 5th, and that the subtlety got conveniently cut out in the editorial room? That is, assuming that the video really proves he was in 5th only for whole laps, would it be plausible that a broken gearbox also had a broken telemetry sensor?

Edit: No broken telemetry sensor. This lap
seems to be indeed in 5th gear only, but it is a 1:32 lap (look for the "Renault Laguna" signs just at the 0:04 mark and then again at the 1:36 mark.
And just for context, you can see Hill passing Shumi at the 1:25. Was Michael leading at the time?
It is not white, it is not black, it is probably gray.

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

Post by hollus » Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:00 pm

Thread over?

1994 Barcelona – Amazing Schumacher Drive and the background to it.

And links to the race at the end of that post to boot.

Toet's version contradicts Viladelprat's info from above. Still sounds believable. He attributes the miracle of the minimal drop in lap times and the miracle of finishing second to:

The changes in the aero rules, post Imola, had come at a time when Benetton could react faster than most teams. As a result, they probably had aero much superior to most teams for that race.
As a result, they had a second on everyone else without pushing, meaning that the fastest time before trouble hit wasn't as fast as it could have been.
The engine had low peak power, but in exchange a very wide power band.
A fantastically adaptable driver that quickly found how to maximize apex speed to compensate the lousy power out of slow corners...
... which was probably helped by a very special speed reporting system that told, live, him his minimum speed in every corner! That's described here:
Driving in Formula 1 – Michael Schumacher, some background

Lap 21 pit stop at the 54:30 mark in the part 1 video:
Race part 1
And the telemetry, with an apparently working RPM sensor, shows only 5th gear by lap 22 already. You can't hear any gear shifts either.
This is the part 2:
Race part 2
It is not white, it is not black, it is probably gray.

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

Post by Arrowsa18 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:43 pm ... rt-2_sport

Was on something like lap 23 he has 2 thumb buttons which auto downshift from 6th to 3rd or 6th to 2nd. This failed leaving him stuck in 5th. The live telemetry was not shown for the 2nd half of the race but it's visible that the drives it like a kart!! Unique circumstances for sure great chassis, torquey engine with TC???? Remember FIA found some weird code!! Flowing medium speed track and the Michael!! In this video Berger loses some gears and ends up off the track! I heard recently that Damon tried a 5th gear run in a test and couldn't get close to his times :/

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

Post by gold333 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:14 pm

This and Senna winning Brazil '91 stuck in 6th gear (having to hold the lever in to stop in popping out in places) deserve far more attention than they get.
F1 car width now 2.0m (same as 1993-1997). Lets go crazy and bring the 2.2m cars back (<1992).