The 1993 Spanish Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the XXXV Gran Premio de España, was the fifth round of the 1993 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, on the 9 May 1993. The race would see Alain Prost sweep to victory, overcoming a late race handling issue as well as a challenge from teammate Damon Hill.
The pre-weekend build-up would again be focused on the battle between McLaren and Benetton over their deals with Ford Cosworth, with the latter holding a factory deal with the engine manufacturer. Their battle had begun prior to the San Marino Grand Prix, with Ayrton Senna of McLaren threatening to boycott the race unless McLaren were given factory engines. Benetton would stand firm, however, with McLaren ultimately opting to self-develop their Ford Cosworth engines in partnership with TAG Electronics, whom had co-developed the TAG Porsche engines used by the team in the early 1980s.
Qualifying saw the two Williams-Renaults conduct their increasingly familiar duel for pole position, with Prost emerging ahead of Hill as usual. Senna was best of the rest in third ahead of the Benetton of Michael Schumacher, while Riccardo Patrese and Karl Wendlinger shared the third row.
A series of glitches at the start of the race would cause confusion, with an electrical issue for Johnny Herbert leaving him stranded on the grid on the formation lap. Then, as the field line-up for the full race start the starting lights glitched out, with the red lights replaced by a flashing pair of orange ones.
That officially signalled an aborted start, although the drivers collectively decided to sprint away anyway, having already established that it was the moment that the red-lights went out that signalled the start. Hill duly reacted the quickest to claim an early lead ahead of Prost, while Senna led the chase from third.
The two Williams would soon ease away at the head of the field, with Prost sweeping into the lead on lap eleven. The Frenchman then pulled out a small advantage over teammate Hill, while Senna had to keep an eye on Schumacher behind as they established themselves in third and fourth.
The race proved fairly processional until mid-distance, when Prost's pace suddenly began to drop-off. Indeed, the Frenchman had picked up a handling issue, meaning his car was not as balanced as it had been before, and hence gifted Hill the chance to challenge for the lead.
Unfortunately hopes of a fight for the lead were ended on lap 41, for Hill's engine would explode just as he began plotting a move. That put Senna and Schumacher onto the podium, with Schumacher looking increasingly likely to send a move past the Brazilian as the race wore on.
Yet, their fight would also fizzle out long before the end of the race, for Schumacher send himself off across a gravel-trap and hence dropped off the back of Senna. He therefore had to settle for third as Prost swept across the line to claim victory ahead of Senna, with that result putting the Frenchman into the lead of the Championship by a single point.
Ayrton Senna had seen his lead effectively eliminated after failing to finish in San Marino, although he still held a two point advantage at the head of the Championship. Alain Prost had been the man to do the damage to the Brazilian's lead, leaving Imola with 24 points to the Brazilian's 26. Damon Hill, meanwhile, had lost ground in third, with half the points of teammate Prost, while Michael Schumacher and Mark Blundell completed the top five.
The Constructors Championship had seen a change at the top of the title hunt, with Williams-Renault moving ten points ahead of McLaren-Ford Cosworth. Indeed, those two were in class of their own at the head of the field with a quarter of the season gone, with a fourteen point gap back to third placed Benetton-Ford Cosworth. Ligier-Renault, meanwhile, would hold fourth, two behind the British squad, while Lotus-Ford Cosworth had slipped to fifth.
The full entry list for the 1993 Spanish Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1993 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||8||Ayrton Senna||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:20.221||1:19.722||+1.913s|
|4||5||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:21.148||1:20.520||+2.711s|
|5||6||Riccardo Patrese||Benetton-Ford Cosworth||1:21.880||1:20.600||+2.791s|
|7||7||Michael Andretti||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1:22.286||1:21.360||+3.551s|
|10||12||Johnny Herbert||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:23.541||1:22.470||+4.661s|
|15||11||Alex Zanardi||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:23.579||1:23.026||+5.217s|
|20||23||Christian Fittipaldi||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:24.304||1:23.449||+5.640s|
|24||4||Andrea de Cesaris||Tyrrell-Yamaha||1:27.724||1:24.358||+6.549s|
|25||24||Fabrizio Barbazza||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:25.616||1:24.399||+6.590s|
- 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.
|______________||Andrea de Cesaris|
|______________|*Herbert would start the race from the back of the grid after an electrical issue on the formation lap.
The full results for the 1993 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Zanardi was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † de Cesaris was disqualified for receiving a push-start.
- 250th entry for a Minardi chassis.
- 25th pole position for Alain Prost.
- 47th career victory for Alain Prost.
- Williams registered their 64th win as a constructor.
- McLaren set a new record for most second fastest laps set by a constructor - 67.
There was a change at the top of the Championship as a result of the Spanish Grand Prix, with Alain Prost leaving Barcelona ahead of Ayrton Senna. Indeed, the Frenchman had established a two point advantage over the Brazilian, and held a three-two advantage in terms of race wins. Behind, Michael Schumacher had leapt ahead of Damon Hill, but already looked too far back to challenge, while Mark Blundell retained his spot in the top five.
In the Constructors Championship, meanwhile, it had been a day of little change, with Williams-Renault retaining their lead at the head of the hunt. The Anglo-French squad would head to Monte Carlo with a twelve point advantage over rivals McLaren-Ford Cosworth, before a fifteen point gap to third placed Benetton-Ford Cosworth. Completing the top five would be Ligier-Renault and Lotus-Ford Cosworth, while Ferrari remained at the foot of the table having claimed just two points.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Spanish GP, 1993', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr537.html, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
- 'Spain 1993: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/espagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
- 'Spanish Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1993/races/594/spain/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
- 'Spanish Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1993/races/594/spain/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
- 'Spain 1993: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/espagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
- 'Spain 1993: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/espagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
- '1993 Spanish GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1993&gp=Spanish%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
- '5. Spain 1993', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1993/espagne.aspx, (Accessed 26/07/2019)
|V T E||Spanish Grand Prix|
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