Team

The Race That Was: Pacific GP 1994

November 19, 2020
2020
Feature
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A topsy-turvy race that ended with Jordan’s first podium

A weekend full of challenges on a then-new Formula 1 circuit ended with champagne for Team Silverstone in the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix, as Jordan finished third in dramatic fashion.

Jordan had gone into the Pacific weekend on the back foot following the season-opening race in Brazil in which Eddie Irvine was punished with an eventual three-race ban for causing a collision.

To make matters all the more difficult, the Pacific Grand Prix was hosted by the Aida circuit, a total newcomer to F1 – only Roland Ratzenberger had ever experienced the track in any category.

With Irvine absent, Jordan turned to local driver Aguri Suzuki to line-up alongside Rubens Barrichello. Considering all the unknowns ahead, an extra practice session proved useful to the F1 field.

But come qualifying, and the circuit was catching out even the most established of names as Barrichello impressed by sealing P8 on the grid – with Suzuki down in P20.

The beginning of the race proved to be crucial in Barrichello’s charge to the podium. Ayrton Senna and Mika Häkkinen collided while grappling for the lead, effectively ruining their races.

On the fourth lap of 83, Damon Hill attempted to overtake a McLaren only to go into the gravel trap, bringing the Williams driver into Barrichello’s reach.

With Michael Schumacher now storming into the distance, going on to lead every lap of the race, there was a close battle for the remaining podium places.

Barrichello would on-and-off swap places with Hill. The two would swap places around their first pitstops as Barichello stopped on Lap 31 – with Hill extending his stint to another 11 laps.

Heading into the second half of the race, it was Barrichello, Hill, Gerhard Berger and Martin Brundle all in contention for the podium places.

Four became three when Hill retired with a transmission problem, but Barrichello’s chances looked as good as gone when his engine cut out at his final pitstop on Lap 63, but good fortune soon came his way.

With Berger now clear for a second-place finish, the final podium place came down to Brundle and Barrichello, with the Brazilian coming out on top once Brundle fell victim to overheating.

Barrichello then crossed the line to get Team Silverstone its first podium as Jordan.

"I just had a problem on the last pit-stop because the engine died,” explained Barichello. “I was running fourth and I said, 'I can't believe it is not today I am not going to the podium'.

“But suddenly I saw Brundle stopping and I'm just really pleased for me and the team because they have done a really good job."

Barrichello left Aida second in the Drivers’ Standings to Schumacher, and the 1994 season would provide consistent points-scoring for Jordan in a promising campaign.

A topsy-turvy race that ended with Jordan’s first podium

A weekend full of challenges on a then-new Formula 1 circuit ended with champagne for Team Silverstone in the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix, as Jordan finished third in dramatic fashion.

Jordan had gone into the Pacific weekend on the back foot following the season-opening race in Brazil in which Eddie Irvine was punished with an eventual three-race ban for causing a collision.

To make matters all the more difficult, the Pacific Grand Prix was hosted by the Aida circuit, a total newcomer to F1 – only Roland Ratzenberger had ever experienced the track in any category.

With Irvine absent, Jordan turned to local driver Aguri Suzuki to line-up alongside Rubens Barrichello. Considering all the unknowns ahead, an extra practice session proved useful to the F1 field.

But come qualifying, and the circuit was catching out even the most established of names as Barrichello impressed by sealing P8 on the grid – with Suzuki down in P20.

The beginning of the race proved to be crucial in Barrichello’s charge to the podium. Ayrton Senna and Mika Häkkinen collided while grappling for the lead, effectively ruining their races.

On the fourth lap of 83, Damon Hill attempted to overtake a McLaren only to go into the gravel trap, bringing the Williams driver into Barrichello’s reach.

With Michael Schumacher now storming into the distance, going on to lead every lap of the race, there was a close battle for the remaining podium places.

Barrichello would on-and-off swap places with Hill. The two would swap places around their first pitstops as Barichello stopped on Lap 31 – with Hill extending his stint to another 11 laps.

Heading into the second half of the race, it was Barrichello, Hill, Gerhard Berger and Martin Brundle all in contention for the podium places.

Four became three when Hill retired with a transmission problem, but Barrichello’s chances looked as good as gone when his engine cut out at his final pitstop on Lap 63, but good fortune soon came his way.

With Berger now clear for a second-place finish, the final podium place came down to Brundle and Barrichello, with the Brazilian coming out on top once Brundle fell victim to overheating.

Barrichello then crossed the line to get Team Silverstone its first podium as Jordan.

"I just had a problem on the last pit-stop because the engine died,” explained Barichello. “I was running fourth and I said, 'I can't believe it is not today I am not going to the podium'.

“But suddenly I saw Brundle stopping and I'm just really pleased for me and the team because they have done a really good job."

Barrichello left Aida second in the Drivers’ Standings to Schumacher, and the 1994 season would provide consistent points-scoring for Jordan in a promising campaign.

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