The 1993 Japanese Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XIX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix (XIXフジテレビ日本グランプリ in Japanese) was the fifteenth and penultimate round of the 1993 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan, on the 24 October 1993. The race would see Ayrton Senna once again demonstrate his wet race talents to claim victory, a result which put McLaren joint top of the all-time winners list with Ferrari at 103 victories.
The build-up to the race was dominated by Alain Prost's decision to retire at the end of the season, the Frenchman opting to end his F1 career having secured his fourth title. His employers Williams-Renault duly announced his old nemesis Senna as his successor, while McLaren announced a deal to use Peugeot engines for 1994. There was also some controversy at Ligier, with team boss Cyril de Rouvre reported to be in legal trouble back in France.
Qualifying would see Prost sweep to pole position as expected, although a spin for teammate Damon Hill would leave the Brit a distant sixth. Second on the grid therefore went to Senna ahead of his teammate Mika Häkkinen, while Michael Schumacher and Gerhard Berger also got ahead of Hill.
The start of the race would see Senna sprint clear of Prost to claim an early lead, with the Frenchman left to fend off the attentions of Häkkinen and Berger. Behind, meanwhile, Jordan-Hart debutante and Suzuka specialist Eddie Irvine shot up to fifth, before fending off early attempts to pass from Schumacher and Hill.
It was not long, however, before both the Benetton and Williams were ahead of Irvine's Jordan, with the top six quickly breaking clear of the rookie. That was, until Hill and Schumacher went for the same gap when trying to pass Berger, resulting in Schumacher receiving terminal damage.
The pit stop window opened on lap eleven, although rain would begin to fall as Senna made his stop, rejoining in second behind Prost. The Brazilian duly caught and passed his old rival as the rain intensified, with both duly stopping for full wets moments after Senna claimed the lead.
The rain soon stopped however, although Senna would build a huge thirty second lead before the field began to stop for fresh tyres. However, that advantage would be cut in half after the Brazilian got caught trying to lap Hill and Irvine, the latter having passed the #8 McLaren to un-lap himself after making the switch back to slicks, much to the Brazilian's later ire.
Senna and Prost duly stopped again with eleven laps to go, although Prost would not manage to make up any more time on the Brazilian. Irvine, meanwhile, would fall behind teammate Rubens Barrichello during the stops, before accidentally hitting the back of Derek Warwick as the pair scrapped for sixth, knocking his compatriot out of the race.
With that the race was run, with Senna able to cruise home to claim his fortieth career victory ahead of Prost. Häkkinen swept home in third to secure his first podium finish ahead of Hill, while Barrichello and Irvine survived to claim the remaining points.
After the race there would be an infamous clash between Senna and Irvine in the paddock, the former receiving a suspended two race ban after punching the Brit. Their dispute was the result of Irvine's decision to un-lap himself during the race.
Second place for Alain Prost in Portugal ensured that the Frenchman had done enough to claim the 1993 FIA Formula One World Championship with two rounds to spare. Indeed, the Frenchman would leave Estoril with a 25 point lead over closest challenger Damon Hill, with the Brit only able to score twenty points across the remaining two rounds. The Brit was, however, set to finish second, holding a nine point advantage over third placed Ayrton Senna.
In the Constructors Championship Williams-Renault had been able to again extend their title winning lead, moving onto 149 points after fourteen races. Benetton-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had inched further away from McLaren-Ford Cosworth, leaving Portugal twelve points ahead with 32 left to fight for. Benetton could therefore secure the runner-up spot in Japan, while Ferrari had claimed fourth from Ligier-Renault.
The full entry list for the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||8||Ayrton Senna||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:38.942||1:37.284||+0.130s|
|3||7||Mika Häkkinen||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:38.813||1:37.326||+0.162s|
|4||5||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:38.589||1:37.530||+0.376s|
|10||6||Riccardo Patrese||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:40.748||1:39.291||+2.137s|
|18||4||Andrea de Cesaris||Tyrrell-Yamaha||1:41.480||1:40.696||+3.542s|
|19||12||Johnny Herbert||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:41.488||3:41.040||+4.334s|
|20||11||Pedro Lamy||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:43.165||1:41.600||+4.446s|
|22||24||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:42.388||1:41.989||+4.835s|
|24||23||Jean-Marc Gounon||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:46.782||1:43.812||+6.658s|
- 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.
- * Alboreto and Badoer's entries were withdrawn after Lola and BMS Scuderia Italia left F1.
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
The full results for the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Lamy and Warwick were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Debut race for Eddie Irvine, Jean-Marc Gounon and Toshio Suzuki.
- 7,500th entry for a car using Goodyear tyres.
- 33rd and final pole position for Alain Prost.
- Ayrton Senna claimed his 40th career victory.
- McLaren scored their 103rd win as a constructor.
- Maiden podium finish for Mika Häkkinen.
- Maiden points finish for Irvine.
- Prost recorded the 41st and final fastest lap of his career.
- This was also the 75th fastest lap set by a Williams chassis.
Alain Prost moved even further ahead in the Championship having already secured the crown, leaving Japan with 93 points to his name. His teammate Damon Hill had retained second, although the Brit headed into the finale in Australia just two ahead of race winner Ayrton Senna. Those two would therefore duel for second at the finale, with Michael Schumacher too far back to challenge in fourth.
In the Constructors Championship Williams-Renault had once again shown why they had been the team to beat in 1993, moving onto 158 points for the campaign. McLaren-Ford Cosworth, meanwhile, had moved back into second, heading into the finale with a two point advantage over Benetton-Ford Cosworth. They would be in a private duel to be runner-up in Australia, with Ferrari and Ligier-Renault set to fight for fourth instead.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 'Japanese GP, 1993', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr547.html, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
- ↑ 'Japan 1993: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/portugal/engages.aspx, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
- ↑ 'Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1993/races/603/japan/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
- ↑ 'Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1993/races/603/japan/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 'Japan 1993: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/japon/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 'Japan 1993: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/japon/classement.aspx, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 '15. Japan 1993', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/japon.aspx, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 '1993 Japanese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1993&gp=Japanese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 31/07/2019)
|V T E||Japanese Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Fuji (1976–1977, 2007–2008), Suzuka (1987–2006, 2009–present)|
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|See also||Pacific Grand Prix|
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