Why Benetton (and by proxy Schumacher) were allowed to stay in the 1994 championship after almost incinerating a pit crew is beyond me and many others, I suspect. Oh yes, that's right, it's because they pleaded guilty to the offence and according to Max Mosley because they pleaded guilty, he (the FIA) couldn't punish them. How does that work?
And Schumacher was actually handed race bans for ignoring black flags (British Grand Prix), and an undersized skid block (Belgian Grand Prix).
1st: Regarding the fuel rig stuff: I´m to lazy to write this whole stuff in my own words, but as i also read the book...here´s a post from another person about that topic:Further to this (apologies for the delay in getting back to you on this, believe it or not this is the 1st chance I've had to post on this thread again...better late than never), I've now looked further into what Steve Machett views RE; the 1994 Benetton fuel fire & here's the background surrounding the situation...
Following the 1994 Hockenheim fuel fire there was an inspection by Intertechique & an acident investigation company (which was commissioned by Benetton). When they dismattled & measured the fuel rig, both companies concluded that the problem layed with the manufacting torrelances between the various compenents within the rig (lets call this report A). However when Intertechinque reported back to the FIA they decided to ignored report A & instead concluded that the most likely cause for the Hockenhiem fire was a foreign body (i.e. a bit of dirt/grit) entering into the rig which jammed on the fuel value (lets call this report B). Therefore implying that it was a direct result of Benetton removing an internal filter & not an intertechinque problem. Benetton only learnt that they were being blamed for the fuel fire on the Tuesday/Wednesday before the 1994 Hungarian GP.
Interestingly shortly before the 1994 Hungarian GP, Intertechique did change the suspect components which had been idenitfied in report A as the cause of the Hockenhiem fire. They did this for all fuel rigs in use up & down the Hungaroring pitlane (so not just Benetton's rigs). Read into that what you will.
In the wake of the Hockenhiem fire & the subsquent FIA press release on the matter which concluded that the cause was the removal of the internal filter by Benetton. Benetton management had made no attempt to conceal the fact that they did removed the filter, they stated 'yes a filter had been removed, but only after the approval of an FIA offical'. Indeed it later came to light that the Larousse team had asked for and recieved the go-ahead to remove that exact same filter from their fuel rig equipment. In fact they were given drawings on how to remove it. Steve Matchett also says that he is convinced that the removal of that filter from the fuel rig had absolutuely nothing to do with the Hockenhiem fuel fire & points out that once in Budapest factors like...
The displayed of concern still shown for all the mechanics welfare working in the pitlane
The fitting of replacement parts by the rig manufacture (after the Hockenhiem fire)
& The extra satefy equipment introduced by every other team as a result (irrespective of whether or not that particular team had removed the filter from their fuel rig)
...convinced him that he wasn't alone in that view. It is also worth noting that Mclaren apparently experienced simliar fuel rig problems in 1994 pre-season testing & Mclaren hadn't touched the fuel rig filter. In that particular incident Mclaren were using water instead of Fuel so thankfully no injuries result. However when Bob Vasha (US commentator) interviewed Ron Dennis about the incident Bob noted that Ron's body languange suggested Mclaren were extermely worried over the safety of the fuel rigs system in Brazil 1994.
2nd: Yes i know the official reasons for the DQs and race bans thx.
But i also know the following:
- Besides MSC also Mika Hakkinen overtook a Ferrari on the formation lap, but didn´t get a penalty
- the time-penalty was invalid, because the stewards failed to impose it in the allowed time window. That and also the fact, that Benetton thought the time-penalty would just be added to his race-result (which was not unusal at that time, but still their own fault to assume that), lead to these bizarre negotiations between Benetton and the Stewards during the race. Dont´forget: The stewards eventually accepted to withdraw the black flag, so they at least thought, that Benetton had a point in that discussion.
- despite MSC getting the black flag under controversial circumstances, FIA punished him for ignoring it. Fair enough. But two races? For comparison: Not too long before that Nigel Mansell received a legitimate black flag, ignored it and collided with race leader and championship contender Ayrton Senna in the process. He had to sit out for a single race.
The FIA just used the incident to make the WDC interesting again. Period.
Edited by LiJu914, 06 November 2012 - 15:57.