The 1993 Belgian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the LI Grand Prix de Belgique, was the twelfth round of the 1993 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium, on the 29 August 1993. The race would see Damon Hill claim his second victory in a row and secure the Constructors Championship for Williams-Renault, as Alex Zanardi had a huge accident at Eau Rogue that caused significant brain injuries.
The Italian's accident happened during Friday practice, with the #11 Lotus-Ford Cosworth flying into the barriers at 150 mph. Indeed, such was the ferocity of the accident that many believed that the Italian had been killed, with Zanardi swiftly extracted and sent to hospital.
Qualifying was hence somewhat overshadowed, with Alain Prost claiming a predictable pole position ahead of Damon Hill. Michael Schumacher was best of the rest for Benetton-Ford Cosworth with Jean Alesi in fourth, while Ayrton Senna would start from fifth.
The start of the race saw Prost make a strong start, easing clear of teammate Hill on the run to La Source. Schumacher, in contrast, would crawl away from the grid, the result of an issue with Benetton's new launch software, which saw the German plummet down the field.
Senna also made a strong start, and would ease ahead of Hill on the run to Eau Rouge for second, only for Hill to get back past the Brazilian a lap later. Alesi, meanwhile, would drop out early having decided his Ferrari was too dangerous to drive, while Schumacher quickly battled back through the order to fourth.
The race soon settled down, with Prost leading Hill, but not able to pull away, while Schumacher harassed Senna for third. Indeed, it was only when the field swept into the pits that the order changed, with Schumacher shooting past Senna on the grass as they dived into the pit lane.
The order would subsequently be shaken again during the second round of stops, with the Williams team dropping the ball to cost Prost a lot of time. Hill hence sprinted into the lead, while Schumacher mugged the Frenchman for second as he emerged from the pit lane.
With that the race was run, with Hill managing to keep Schumacher at arm's length to claim victory, three seconds ahead of the German. Prost duly finished third to secure the Constructors Championship for Williams, while Senna was a distant fourth as the last man on the lead lap.
The race was also noted as the final race in which a Team Lotus chassis scored points, with Johnny Herbert's fifth place putting their final tally at 1,322 (1,358 if dropped scores were not applied).
There was no change atop the Championship as a result of the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Alain Prost still holding a 27 point lead over Ayrton Senna. Indeed, the only driver in the top four to score had been Damon Hill, who duly moved back into third after his maiden win, two ahead of Michael Schumacher. Riccardo Patrese, meanwhile, would solidify his grip on fifth, moving six clear of Martin Brundle.
In the Constructors Championship, meanwhile, Williams-Renault had once again extended their advantage, leaving Hungary with 115 points to their name. A huge 62 point gap then followed back to McLaren-Ford Cosworth in second, although they were now in a major fight for second with Benetton-Ford Cosworth, rather than challenging for the title. Indeed, McLaren were now only ahead of Benetton on count-back, with the pair otherwise level in terms of points.
The full entry list for the 1993 Belgian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1993 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||5||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:50.305||1:49.075||+1.504s|
|5||8||Ayrton Senna||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:51.385||1:49.934||+2.363s|
|8||6||Riccardo Patrese||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:51.925||1:51.017||+3.446s|
|10||12||Johnny Herbert||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:52.369||1:51.139||+3.568s|
|14||7||Michael Andretti||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:53.554||1:51.833||+4.262s|
|17||4||Andrea de Cesaris||Tyrrell-Yamaha||1:53.559||1:52.647||+5.076s|
|21||24||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:54.968||1:53.526||+5.955s|
|22||23||Christian Fittipaldi||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:56.947||1:53.942||+6.371s|
|NC||11||Alex Zanardi||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||—|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
|18||Andrea de Cesaris|
- * Berger would start the race from the pitlane.
The full results for the 1993 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Berger and Blundell were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † Zanardi's entry was withdrawn after his accident in practice.
- Williams-Renault declared as the 1993 FIA Formula One World Championship Constructors Champions.
- 163rd and final Grand Prix start for Thierry Boutsen.
- JJ Lehto started his 50th race.
- 200th entry for a Minardi chassis.
- Christian Fittipaldi entered his 25th race.
- Damon Hill entered his twentieth race.
- Second career victory for Hill.
- Williams claimed their 70th victory as a Constructor.
- Renault secured their 50th win as an engine supplier.
- Alain Prost claimed the 170th podium finish for a Williams chassis.
Alain Prost had once again extended his Championship lead in Belgium, leaving the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on 81 points. That ensured that the Frenchman had a 28 point advantage over his nemesis Ayrton Senna, meaning Prost could win the title at the following race in Italy. Indeed, Prost would claim the Championship if he won in Italy, while Senna and Damon Hill would likely have to take victory at Monza just to remain in the hunt.
The Constructors Championship, meanwhile, was all over, with Williams-Renault having scored 129 points in twelve races. That meant that they held a 69 point lead with four races to go, and with only 64 left for their rivals to fight for it was Williams' title for the second successive season. Behind, Benetton-Ford Cosworth and McLaren-Ford Cosworth would spend the rest of the season fighting for second, with the former having moved ahead of the latter as a result of the battle of Spa.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Belgian GP, 1993', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr544.html, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
- 'Belgium 1993: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/belgique/engages.aspx, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
- 'Belgian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1993/races/600/belgium/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
- 'Belgian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1993/races/600/belgium/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
- 'Belgium 1993: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/belgique/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
- 'Belgium 1993: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/belgique/classement.aspx, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
- '12. Belgium 1993', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/belgique.aspx, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
- '1993 Belgian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1993&gp=Belgian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 29/07/2019)
|V T E||Belgian Grand Prix|
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