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Schumie at Benetton "We never cheated at any time" [split]


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#51 Vic Vega

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:39

There's 2 sides to this statement:

I would have loved to see Damon Hill take the title, come Adelaide, but the Williams driver only got to that point in the championship table, because of Schumacher's Silverstone disqualification and his 2-race ban late in the season. If those DQs hadn't happened, it's likely that Schumacher would've wrapped up the title at least 1 or 2 Grands Prix prior to the final race.

You could argue, though, that Schumacher's DQs weren't for nought. He and/or his team broke the rules, and he/they were punished. And because of that, Hill/Williams reigning the German in, in the WDC/WCC table, was just as right.

What happened, happened. And we all know that the 1994 title was Senna's. (Runs. Hides.)

Are you implying he didn't have enough of god's love on his side and that that's the reason he didn't actually win it?

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#52 TifosiUSA

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:41

There's 2 sides to this statement:

I would have loved to see Damon Hill take the title, come Adelaide, but the Williams driver only got to that point in the championship table, because of Schumacher's Silverstone disqualification and his 2-race ban late in the season. If those DQs hadn't happened, it's likely that Schumacher would've wrapped up the title at least 1 or 2 Grands Prix prior to the final race.

You could argue, though, that Schumacher's DQs weren't for nought. He and/or his team broke the rules, and he/they were punished. And because of that, Hill/Williams reigning the German in, in the WDC/WCC table, was just as right.


A balanced look at things, but it can certainly be argued that the DQ/race ban was ridiculously harsh. Regardless, I was mainly responding to the allegations that the FIA "favored" MS in 1994, which is ridiculous. The FIA did everything possible to tighten a WDC race that was, quite frankly, a blowout.

What happened, happened. And we all know that the 1994 title was Senna's. (Runs. Hides.)

Nah, Schumacher was destroying Senna and already had a large lead. Senna was rattled by Schumacher's performance, that much was clear and I also believe that Schumacher was the first driver Senna truly feared.

#53 Skinnyguy

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:42

iirc, this was the origination of the "you must be able to prove physically that you were in compliance throughout the event" rule that did for BAR over the running underweight ban.


Offtopic, but this made me thought about some diabolic stuff related to last weekend´s events...

Could it be that every single qualifying out, except the last attempt, could be ended with less than one litre of fule in the car?? Is there anything forcing teams to have at least one litre of fuel in the car every moment, and not only when session ends?? If there is, there´s just no way to enforce that rule. In case there´s not, and it just when the session ends, front cars 90% sure of getting into Q3 would have an advantage over guys normally eliminated in Q2 during Q2 runs, because for midfild teams it´s end of the session while for Q3 guys it´s not supposed to be.

#54 Fastcake

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:59

I'm pretty sure that this kind of passage has been used in the defense of Lance Armstrong's career in the past as well. Michael has cheated in other parts of his F1 career, and denied it, so his word is not to be taken at face value.

The 1994 championship will always be a tainted one in the minds of a lot of F1 fans.


That's a pretty accurate statement really. There's no reason we should believe him when he's been caught out before.

#55 BoschKurve

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 17:44

Makes no sense to take out my favorite driver three time (bans) if I want him to win in the end. This theory seems far from reality.


Because you're attempting to run a supposed legitimate sport.

Once it becomes apparent to the entire world that the rules simply do not apply to Michael, just imagine the perception that F1 is now rigged completely? The legal ramifications would have been out of this world.

#56 BoschKurve

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 17:52

LOL, oh is that why they gave him an absolutely absurd 2 race ban that year then? The championship shouldn't have even been close in Adelaide. That's what people forget.

People aren't going to stop beating this dead horse in a vain attempt to discredit the MS titles. It's pathetic really. They're not going anywhere.


So we should just ignore the truth even if it doesn't change that tally?

Had the rules been adhered to, Benetton would have been kicked out of the World Championship, and that would have been it.

Yes the championship shouldn't have been that close, and I suspect Benetton and Mosely never thought it would have been once Senna was out of the picture. The combination of Hill and Coulthard certainly was nowhere as potent as that of Senna and Hill. However it didn't really much matter since Michael took matters into his own hands when he realized the title was about to go out the window, and chose to run into Damon Hill.

The whole thing was a joke really...the most horrific season in F1 history was capped off fittingly with another sham.

#57 1Devil1

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 17:58

Because you're attempting to run a supposed legitimate sport.

Once it becomes apparent to the entire world that the rules simply do not apply to Michael, just imagine the perception that F1 is now rigged completely? The legal ramifications would have been out of this world.


Wait you imply that the FIA, having the ultimate goal Schumacher as WDC, gave Schumacher the penalties to be seen as honest organization to hand him later the title with a more controversial decision? Than they did a very bad job. Would have been easy for them to give him less harder penalties to save their faces, right?

This implications is even more stretched than the first one :drunk:

#58 lustigson

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 18:46

Are you implying he didn't have enough of god's love on his side and that that's the reason he didn't actually win it?

No.

#59 spacekid

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 19:07

Because you're attempting to run a supposed legitimate sport.

Once it becomes apparent to the entire world that the rules simply do not apply to Michael, just imagine the perception that F1 is now rigged completely? The legal ramifications would have been out of this world.


The FIA banned Schumi for several races to hide the fact they were allowing Benetton to cheat because they wanted him to win for commercial reasons? Riiiiight....

Peoples minds have long been made up on this one, I don't think any preconceptions are going to be changed.

Did Benetton cheat by removing the fuel filter? I wouldn't put it past a team Flav was involved with. Dangerous. I don't know how much input either driver would have had with a decision such as this - after all, it puts them at risk, it could just have easily been Michael in that fire ball. I doubt he would have been happy with the possibility of that situation. It hardly gained so much time that it made the crucial difference in the races though. Michael didn't win so many races by saving 0.3s every pit stop.

The TC/Option 13 - Dunno. I have written computer code before and you do end up with a lot of redundant code that is // out when writing new iterations of software. If you look at the latest code for windows 8 the first line is probably //DOS 1.0 and then setting some values. The car certainly look or sound to me like it had TC or launch control. And if it did it didn't seem to do Schumi's team mates much good.

I chose to believe the car wasn't running with those illegal aids, but I don't know for a fact.

I do believe that Schumi has run in some cars very close to the borders of the rules (on both sides) but thats part of the sport - flexi floors and mass dampers and all. Innovation is part of F1 and any designer worth his salt tries his luck, there's always room for interpretation with the regs. Sometimes an 'innovation' goes too far and the designer has to rethink, sometimes its ok and everyone ends up copying it.

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#60 BoschKurve

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 19:49

Have fun reading guys....

BusinessF1 Magazine LTD. wrote:Unmasking the President

In the early evening of Tuesday 6th September 1994 Max Mosley, the president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, stepped over the mark of probity. He effectively 'fixed' the outcome of an FIA World Council disciplinary hearing. Mosley may have felt he was safe to do so and justified it by 'it being in the best interests of the sport'. Only he knew everything that had been done to prevent the certainty of the Benetton team being excluded from the 1994 world championship for blatant cheating and endangering its mechanics' safety. But one other man also knew: George Carman QC, without whom his 'fix' could not have worked.

By Christian Sylt

Ten days before he died, on Christmas Eve 2000, George Carman, Britain's greatest ever QC, handed his son Dominic a watch. Carman, who knew he was dying, said: "I want you to have this. Take it.” Inscribed on its round white face were the words 'Sword of Truth' and the date 20th June 1997. The watch had been a present from The Guardian newspaper to celebrate its libel victory over British Conservative politician Jonathan Aitken. It was accompanied by a simple request: "I'm not going to be able to do it. You'd better have a go.” Carman was acknowledging that his planned autobiography was now beyond him and he was asking his son to write it in his place. Carman had spent the previous year anticipating this day and recounted to his son everything significant that had happened in his life. The talk was to have severe repercussions. Suddenly all the attorney/client privilege that FIA president Max Mosley had been relying on to protect him was lost. A time bomb was ticking.

On the evening of Tuesday 6th September 1994, Max Mosley, the president of the Fédération Internationale de 1'Automobile, strolled out of his Paris headquarters on the Place de la Concorde into the impressive portals of the building next door, one of the most famous hotels in the world, Hotel Crillon.

Mosley had arrived in Paris a few hours before aboard Bernie Ecclestone's Learjet. Ecclestone, president of Formula One Management, the commercial rights holder of Formula One, and a member of the FIA World Council was also due in Paris for the meeting and the two men travelled together.

Ecclestone and Mosley had discussed the upcoming World Council disciplinary hearing, which had been brought forward five weeks. Although there were two other disciplinary hearings on the cobbled-together disciplinary agenda, the only one that mattered was the one that concerned the Benetton team's absence of a fuel filter from its refuelling rig at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July. The other two were sideshows.

Ecclestone, an extraordinary visionary in these situations, was desperately worried that Benetton's German driver Michael Schumacher could be excluded from the 1994 championship because of his team's actions. That would be a disaster. German television figures were rising, as was sponsorship interest from Germany in the sport. Ecclestone knew the reunited country was a potential powerhouse for Formula One.

Aside from his nationality, Schumacher was the new star of Fl, to fill the gap left by the dead Ayrton Senna. In Ecclestone's view his expulsion had to be avoided at all costs.

Ecclestone has since admitted that he put pressure on Mosley for that not to happen. In fact, he has tried to take the blame for what happened. But in fact Mosley was under pressure from all sides, including Italian entrepreneur, Luciano Benetton, the owner of the team, colourful team principal Flavio Briatore, who had breezed into Formula One a few years before, and Tom Walkinshaw, the team's technical director. Mosley was particularly upset by Walkinshaw's attitude. In his opinion it was he who had removed the filter and caused all the problems and then, even worse, had forgotten he had done it and got caught.

Benetton had been caught red-handed after the fuel rig had caught fire, directly because the filter had been removed, during a pitstop by its Dutch driver Jos Verstappen. The incident was dramatically caught on television, making headlines throughout the world. Worse, the team had three times changed its explanation of its actions. First it said it had the FIA's permission, then it said it had Intertechnique's, the rig manufacturer's permission, and lastly it said the filter had been removed by a junior employee without the knowledge of the team's senior managers. It had also tried to discredit the FIA's technical expertise by commissioning a dubious safety report of its own which, surprise, surprise, completely exonerated the team.

It was a disastrous situation, and Mosley realised the World Council would vote Benetton out of the championship unless he could intervene. Mosley knew the team was guilty but he had a plan and as long as he could persuade Benetton's lawyer to go along with it, it just might work. Mosley was not looking forward to the next few weeks. He knew that even if he won he would have to face the press, which although tame would not stand for what was about to happen. He would need all his powers of persuasion to get through.

Waiting in the hotel bar for him was George Carman QC, the most famous brief in England. Carman was staying the night in the Crillon with his junior. Although primarily a libel barrister, Carman often did private work on tricky and difficult quasi legal hearings as well as licensing work and criminal work for people who could afford him. Particularly lucrative was chancery and commercial work. For instance he had acted for Kevin and Ian Maxwell when they were called before a parliamentary hearing. In fact, he did anything that required good advocacy and where money was at stake.

Carman had an expensive lifestyle to support and liked to gamble for leisure. It cost him over a US$1 million to live and he was chief breadwinner for his chambers, New Court, and 25 other barristers of lesser skill. Private work paid well and his few days on the Benetton case delivered a fee north of US$100,000. He was worth it. There was only one other comparable brief in the world, Los Angeles entertainment lawyer Bert Fields. Carman had worked with Fields once when the London Daily Express newspaper had claimed actor Tom Cruise was gay. Together they had decimated the Daily Express legal team before even entering the court. He was glad Fields was not a direct competitor and operated a long way away.

Carman had been hired by Benetton team boss, Flavio Briatore, via the London office of Benetton's Italian lawyers. It was probably Ecclestone's idea to hire him. He had come across him before and instantly recognised a fellow genius.

Almost straight away Carman realised it was a hopeless case, but he had won plenty of them before. One of his strengths was being able instinctively to tell if he was being lied to, especially by his own clients. He knew Briatore and Walkinshaw were lying and he could also see they had convinced the rest of the Benetton team that they were innocent. Carman was astonishingly astute, as his son confirms: "One of the great things about my father was his preparation. I don't mean just reading the brief but actually chatting to witnesses. If he thought they were no bloody good, he'd keep them in the witness box for three minutes and boot them out, but if he thought they were really useful, he'd test them beforehand, do his homework.”

Formula One in 1994 had been a season of crookery as the Benetton Ford team took advantage of a Williams Renault team devastated by the loss of Ayrton Senna and a hopelessly uncompetitive McLaren team. All the FIA's attention had turned to making the cars and tracks safer in the wake of Senna's death. Added to that, refuelling had been reintroduced, with all the attendant hazards. Whilst no one was looking, Benetton had tried everything — launch control, traction control, flexible bodywork, lower ride height and special fuels, all of which were outlawed. One former Benetton mechanic, who now works at Williams, quipped: "The only thing we didn't have on the car was cruise control.”

But with the fuel rig, Carman's client had been caught red-handed in the worst of circumstances, changed its story three times and upset the FIA. His defence was limited to say the least He thought of pleading guilty but that appeared impossible. Clients didn't hire George Carman to represent them and then plead guilty. All he could do was argue an ignorance defence. But in his heart he knew it was hopeless and had already rehearsed in his mind a speech of mitigation.

In his usual style, Carman immersed himself in the case, learning as much as he could about Formula One, including a visit to his client's premises at Enstone in Oxfordshire. He was trying to find a loophole. He found none. After that he decided to rely on his own advocacy to defend his client and planned only to have Ross Brawn testify for the team. He knew Briatore and Walkinshaw would make very poor witnesses.

Carman had been surprised when Max Mosley asked if they could meet for a drink the night before the hearing. He knew who Mosley was, knew people who had known his father. But he wasn't sure of his role in the hearings. He thought Mosley was effectively the judge, and to meet the judge the night before and discuss a case would be totally out of order in a court of law. It was barely acceptable in this case, but Carman had little to lose and went along with it. He had little idea of Formula One's disciplinary procedures and found them rather ad hoc.

When Mosley arrived for their evening meeting, Carman was surprised, but not displeased, to find Bernie Ecclestone in tow. Carman was already sipping his normal pre dinner glass of white wine. Mosley ordered a drink and Ecclestone took a beer. Dominic Carman confirms: "My father spent an hour or two with him (Mosley) chatting and getting the measure of him and where he may be receptive and where he may not be receptive or how strict the FIA were going to be. Whether they really wanted to find a way out, as is often the case, want to find a compromise. He found they wanted to rap the knuckles the proper way if necessary but only as far as is necessary and not further'

Carman adds: "He found them both fascinating people, both highly intelligent, but chalk and cheese. My father said that Ecclestone was very cunning, very capable and Mosley very suave."

Ecclestone was there because he was unashamedly lobbying for Benetton to be let off so Michael Schumacher could take the championship. He wanted to give Carman all the help he could, although technically he was out of order as he was a member of the following day's jury But he was hardly going to be prejudiced: his vote was already cast. Mosley's role at the following day's hearing was more formal. He was effectively both the judge and a member of the jury. When the evidence had been heard he would sum up for the jury, members of the World Council. But effectively the World Council, with very little knowledge of the affair, would be heavily influenced by what Mosley said in his summing up. In fact, they would almost certainly follow what he said, particularly as Mosley had it in mind that they would not get to hear any evidence. But it all had at least to make the minimum of sense, most of all to the media who would almost certainly be hostile to any decision to let Benetton off.

Mosley had decided his strategy. He would ask Carman to plead guilty and argue his case in mitigation as to why Benetton should escape punishment, and hope the World Council would then decide there should be no punishment. He would amplify everything Carman said in his summing up, in his usual rational, persuasive way.

This is made clear in the fact that, although a disciplinary hearing, the FIA's lawyer, Ian Titchmarsh, had effectively prepared no prosecution case. He had been given the minimum of briefings and was shocked to hear there were no prosecution witnesses present. Mosley, knowing in advance the prosecution strategy and the result of the hearing, had seen no reason to trouble the chief prosecution witnesses, the FIA's technical staff and executives of Intertechnique to make a trip he knew would be wasted. It was an extraordinary decision and effectively proved his complicity in the affair. Amazingly, he later turned this to his advantage, explaining to journalists that one of the reasons Benetton could not be punished was because the Intertechnique witnesses could not be questioned. Unfortunately, the journalists hadn't the wit to ask him why not. FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting was one potential witness who must have been bemused that he wasn't called to give evidence. Whiting refuses to make any comment.

Carman chuckled to himself as he sipped his wine. When his clients were found guilty, he expected a punishment that his mitigation was to reduce. This time he was being told to argue for no punishment at all — and there would be no punishment. Carman thought to himself "This is all a bit of a set-up.” But seeing that Mosley was president of the FIA and that his client's case was hopeless he had no choice but to agree. Dominic Carman says: "My father told me that the essential message that came across was that for all of Mosley's intelligence and integrity, there was nevertheless part of him that was an agent to Ecclestone. By set-up he meant they were trying every conceivable way to finesse it so they were seen to be doing the right thing, but nevertheless not disrupting the sport.”

Mosley told Carman the guilty plea would effectively mean the case was not heard, no witnesses would be called and the HA World Council would only hear what Carman told them. It was down to Carman's skill to convince the World Council that it was an innocent 'mistake' for which there was no need to exact a punishment. This would be reinforced by Mosley's summing up, which would take the view that it was unfortunate that Carman had pleaded guilty because the World Council was not able to hear all the facts. As Mosley well knew, Carman was the world's best advocate, and he believed he was pretty good himself. As he predicted, the World Council would be dazzled and produce the required verdict, guilty but innocent.

The meeting ended with Carman telling Mosley that he would do as he said and that his mitigation strategy would be to get Benetton off with a 'rap on the knuckles' and he said there was a 'window of evidence' for when this could be achieved.

After Mosley and Ecclestone left, Carman felt he had to deliver what Mosley wanted. He was being paid handsomely and it was his job to win the best result for his client as long as his ethics weren't compromised. Losing could potentially have had a very significant effect on Benetton as it was leading the constructors' championship and would be banned from competing for the rest of the year. An enormous amount of money was at stake.

After all, this was a private hearing. The normal rules did not apply. Dominic Carman recalls: "The FIA World Council is not a court in the conventional sense, they make their own rules, but I think they generally follow the principles of English law and what you might call protecting unfairness. At least that's what my father said.”

Mosley left the Crillon to return to his office and finalise arrangements for the following day. It was something he could have done without, and but for a hot exhaust and a stray spark he might not have had to

The flash fire that engulfed the Benetton Ford pit at Hockenheim on 31st July 1994, when Jos Verstappen made his pitstop at the end of lap 15 of the German Grand Prix, produced some spectacular images, and left six mechanics injured. It made front page news and led television news reports worldwide. But what in reality was a minor, if dramatic looking, drama, set off a chain of events that would directly affect the outcome of the Formula One world championship that year, via an FIA World Council disciplinary hearing.

The FIA launched an inquiry into what it initially thought was a straightforward accident inquiry but as the investigation proceeded it got more than it bargained for.

The incident is still red raw at the FIA and Charlie Whiting, the highest ranking technical executive in the sport, absolutely refuses to answer any questions about the affair Or at least he has been ordered to make no comment. Unsurprisingly, the accident investigation brought the discovery that the Benetton team had been cheating by removing filter parts, with the result that fuel would flow 12.5 per cent more quickly through the hose, increasing the speed of pitstops. For a team that had repeatedly been under suspicion during the year for cheating, it should have been the last straw. After an 11-year absence on safety grounds, refuelling had been reintroduced to the sport only at the beginning of the year and was a contentious issue. And the FIA had to be seen to be making every possible effort on safety issues.

The immediate concerns were obvious, as then Benetton technical director Ross Brawn commented: "The worrying thing is that between two and six litres were spilt in the accident, and when you consider that we're putting 70-120 litres into the car and it is coming out at 13-14 litres per second, you can see that if there was just a second or two of spillage there would be a serious problem."

The day after the accident, on the morning of Monday 1st August, the FIA announced its own investigation. Benetton also said it would be commissioning an independent investigation. Brawn contacted a small company called Accident and Failure Technical Analysis Ltd (AFTA), run by Peter Coombs and Tony Neville. The French fuel rig manufacturer, Intertechnique, was due to meet Benetton on the Wednesday after the Grand Prix. So far, this was a straightforward accident investigation, with the main concern being legal claims threatened by the injured mechanics who sensed a payday from Benetton's insurers. Some of the mechanics were quite badly injured and that was covered up. But Benetton had made a huge mistake.

Crucially it had forgotten, or Ross Brawn didn't know, that it had removed the filter in the rig earlier in the season.

It was not until 10 days after the accident that the bombshell dropped: Intertechnique's report submitted to the FIA found the most likely cause of the accident was deliberate removal of the filter, an action that increased fuel flow by 12.5 per cent, which could have translated into a gain of one second over an eight-second pitstop. The FIA's regulations expressly forbid any modification of Intertechnique's equipment, Article 6.5.1. stating that the 'equipment must not be modified in any way whatsoever'.

Suddenly the investigation had dramatically changed from a safety issue to a cheating issue. Safety was containable, cheating which compromised safety, was not, especially when lawyers, insurance companies and the outcome of the world championship were concerned.

The FIA's press release read: "Following a detailed investigation into the fire involving car No. 6 during a pitstop at the German Grand Prix, the refuelling equipment manufacturer, Intertechnique, has reported to the FIA as follows:

"1. The fuel spillage was caused by a valve failing to close properly,

"2. The valve was slow to close due to the presence of a foreign body,

"3. The foreign body is believed to have reached the valve because a filter designed to eliminate this risk had been deliberately removed.

"A report has been submitted by the FIA Observer, Mr R. Causo, under Article 152 of the International Sporting Code and Benetton Formula Ltd. has been summoned to appear before the World Motor Sport Council on 19th October, 1994 to answer a charge that they are in breach of Article 6.5.1 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations."

It was a sensation.

Benetton had been accused of cheating before that season but this time there were rumours the punishment would be expulsion from the world championship. Furthermore, the accusation that Benetton's actions had put its own team members in danger was potentially more damning, especially if the mechanics sued. Benetton had little choice but to issue its own statement before the end of the day with some of the findings from the independent report it had commissioned. At first Benetton declined to reveal the identity of the accident investigation company it had employed, calling it 'a specialist in the field of accident investigation and assessment of engineering failures and accidents, particularly specialising in the aerospace field'. It also failed to explain how an aerospace company could have as much background knowledge about the incident as the FIA Safety Commission.

The truth about Accident and Failure Technical Analysis Ltd (AFTA), based in Camberley in Surrey, was somewhat different. The statement said the company had 'conducted investigations into over 300 serious accidents worldwide, in addition to numerous less serious cases, including involvement in most major accidents since 1972 to public transport aircraft and helicopters in the UK and surrounding waters, as well as overseas incidents where aircraft of UK registration or manufacture have been involved'. Benetton also said AFTA had frequently served as technical investigator for military boards of inquiry into serious and complex military aircraft accidents.

But Benetton's description of AFTA was entirely false. It had not existed in 1972 and was only incorporated in 1989; it had only investigated a few accidents and its turnover was tiny. It had only three employees, two of whom were the directors Tony Neville and Peter Coombs, plus a secretary, believed to be one of their wives. By 2001 its accounts revealed it was virtually dormant. Today the company is run from one of the director's homes and does little if any business. Detailed searches of accident databases reveal no significant accidents that AFTA or its directors investigated. At the time, no one questioned Benetton's description of AFTA.

The press release, which even kindly can only be described as a blatant lie, was written by Patrizia Spinelli, Benetton's longtime press officer and a close associate of Flavio Briatore. Spinelli was extraordinarily evasive when contacted and asked why she had written a totally misleading press release. She said: "I do not wish to talk about that incident." In fact the release was a sham.

Peter Coombs confirms this and has no idea why Benetton described his company as it did. He confirmed he was first contacted by Ross Brawn and that he was surprised because AFTA and its directors had no experience of motor racing accidents.

Now it appears AFTA — with no experience to base an opinion on — merely transcribed what it was told by Benetton personnel Coombs said: "We were contacted out of the blue by Ross Brawn. I have no idea why."

The Benetton statement went on to quote part of the report that explained that the filter had indeed been removed deliberately by the team, but this was because Benetton had ceased to have problems with debris collecting in the rig owing to the team's fastidious maintenance of the rig. It claimed there was no evidence from the rig that debris had fouled any of the moving parts. The statement went on to say Benetton had lodged the AFTA report with its legal advisers, Marriott Harrison of London, and urgently requested a meeting with the FIA.

Time and again Benetton and Spinelli quoted the AFTA report as justification of Benetton's innocence. Spinelli also used it in an internal communication at Benetton to put employees concerned about their own reputations at ease. The Benetton staff were fed up that the team had been brought into disrepute. Spinelli convinced them with AFTA's report that Benetton was in the right. As a result, Benetton's mechanics defended the company, including Steve Matchett, in his best-selling book 'Life in the Fast Lane'. Matchett might not have been so supportive had he known what Spinelli had written was not the truth. Equally, the FIA seems to have taken AFTA's credentials at face value. With her inaccurate description of AFTA's credentials, Spinelli had conned her colleagues into believing everything was all right.

Meanwhile, Coombs met Charlie Whiting to discuss the report. Whiting did not question his credentials.

However, it was the very last paragraph of the press release that was most explosive, as Benetton claimed: "Benetton Formula concluded the filter was unnecessary and it was removed with the full knowledge and permission of the FLA Formula One Technical Delegate, Mr. Charlie Whiting. This permission was given on the afternoon of Thursday 28th July to Mr. Joan Villadelprat in the presence of Mr. Ross Brawn."

The suggestion that the FIA had given permission for the removal of the filter stunned the governing body. It was an outright fabrication. By the end of the day, FIA communications supremo Francesco Longanesi issued the FIA's own statement: "Permission was certainly not given. Any query on technical regulations should be addressed to the FIA in writing and we have not received a letter from Benetton on this matter. We will hear what they have to say and all we can say now is that they face sanctions ranging from a reprimand to their disqualification, which would mean their exclusion from Formula One."

Intertechnique executives were also on the defensive. They claimed: "Any proposal to modify the equipment is made in writing to us through the FIA and replied to by us in writing through the FIA.”

It was an extraordinary turn of events and it was clear that one party was lying. Benetton was on the back foot, as it had most to gain, while the other teams were increasingly hostile, refusing to accept Benetton's protestations of innocence. One team principal at the time recalls: "The strangest thing was the Benetton official statement, which was virtually incomprehensible. Their excuses were questionable and their changes of story highly inconsistent. There were just too many inconsistent stories. That press release was all waffle and simply ludicrous. To me the idea that permission was given actually at the track and then that no one else was told is ludicrous. It should have been issued in a press release to all the teams.”

The filter in question had been introduced pre-season after several teams experienced problems with debris entering the tanks. Ferrari, Arrows and Lotus all admitted to having problems, although in the wake of the Benetton affair, Ferrari was quick to insist its problems occurred with a mock-up tank and prototype refuelling apparatus. The filter was referred to in a circular sent to all teams as early as 24th February, in contradiction to Benetton's later claims that it was introduced 'part way through the year'.

Benetton's claim that the filter was removed only because there was no longer any debris getting into the tanks had also been called into question. It didn't wash with the other teams. A Formula One insider explains: "You never know when you can get a foreign body in the system — that's what the filter is there for. It's the final catch-all for everything, the safety net for the trapeze artist. The presence of a foreign body is the only way the valve can be stopped from closing. It can only open when pressed onto the car. When they put the nozzle onto the car the valve didn't seal properly onto the car. In my mind it is very, very unlikely that the fire could have been caused by anything else.

"The way the nozzles are designed is as an inner and outer tube fitting over each other, like someone putting a foot in a sock. The hose is the sock and the socket on the car is the foot, two parallel cylinders. The hose had to be one to two centimetres onto the foot before it would open — there was no way it could open at an angle. There were problems with inaccurate machinery early in the season which caused some fuel leaks. This is why Intertechnique introduced the filter and revised the fuel hose so that it couldn't be put on at an angle. To say something else caused the accident is rubbish.”

But Benetton was to find further evidence to back its case, that something was amiss outside their control, from events at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Thursday before the race, Intertechnique fitted new high-pressure pistons to the rigs, bringing accusations from Benetton insiders that Intertechnique must suspect there was a problem with the rigs. Benetton team members who inspected the replaced parts discovered they were a different size to those on Verstappen's rig at Hockenheim. Furthermore, the team would later reveal that during Saturday evening pitstop practice evening it had suffered another fuel leak, found to be due to Intertechnique incorrectly reassembling the rig, although mysteriously mechanic Steve Matchett makes no mention of this in his book.

Benetton released the findings of the AFTA report on the Sunday of the Hungarian race weekend. Predictably it was a complete exoneration of the team. AFTA claimed poor design of the refuelling equipment meant the nozzle might not align properly and that Formula One did not have enough experience with refuelling to be certain that the equipment had the necessary level of service confidence. It also claimed that there was no outlet for a refueller to take emergency action if needed and that there was a clear imbalance between the need for speed and effectiveness. AFTA's report concluded by recommending that the FIA should look closely at aviation refuelling systems for its solutions. This was incredibly naive, as Intertechnique was regarded as the world's foremost aviation refuelling expert, which is precisely why it got the job of supplying the refuelling rigs.

There were further complaints that the investigation had been hampered by Intertechnique's refusal to reveal drawings of the fuel rig, owing to 'confidentiality of design'. Displaying amazing chutzpah, Flavio Briatore was hinting that Benetton was considering suing Intertechnique for damage to its image worldwide. Rival teams were unimpressed. Some had researched AFTA's credentials. The teams saw its report as an irrelevance designed to detract from the allegations that the team had deliberately removed the fuel filter to gain a performance advantage. Which is exactly what they were.

Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher and his manager Willi Weber were becoming upset. A few days after the Hungarian Grand Prix, Schumacher told German magazine Focus: "For me honesty is the most important thing. If it turns out that some wrong was done behind my back, that would be unacceptable.”

There was concern that the fuel rig hearing would not take place until 19th October, by which time the championship might have been nominally decided. After several senior Formula One figures urged it be brought forward the FIA agreed to call an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Council on 7th September. But before that date, even more controversy was to hit Benetton. Schumacher was disqualified from first place in the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August, after the wooden skidblock under his car was found to be excessively worn. The German was privately furious and there were rumours that he was on the verge of quitting the Benetton team, fuelled by none other than his manager, Willi Weber.

Benetton appealed the Spa decision and although the hearing was originally scheduled for 5th September in London it was subsequently put back two days to coincide with the fuel rig hearing in Paris 'for the convenience of all parties and with the agreement of Benetton'. Additionally, only two days before the Paris hearing, it was announced that the hearing into McLaren's automatic gearbox misdemeanour at the San Marino Grand Prix would also be held at the same time, despite bubbling under for the previous four months.

A fine day dawned in Paris on Wednesday 7th September. Rain during the night had freshened the air, leaving a light breeze across the Place de la Concorde as members of the World Council arrived. The temperature hovered at 17 degrees and no coats were necessary. Even Bernie Ecclestone was anxious about the outcome of the day. He knew how much was at stake. The hearing started promptly. The first surprise was when the FIA's lawyer turned up. Mosley had asked Ian Titchmarsh to represent the FIA that morning on all three cases. Titchmarsh, a provincial specialist insurance lawyer from Liverpool, and a well-known motor racing commentator, was a skilled solicitor but he was not an advocate. Normally the FIA employed up to five specialist lawyers to put cases, but Titchmarsh was on his own against arguably the world's finest advocate. It was an extraordinary choice and stacked the odds heavily in Carman's favour. When questioned by sceptical journalists, Mosley defended the choice of Titchmarsh: "He previously defended Eddie Irvine in front of the Review Board (which he lost). He did indeed such a good job and that is why I decided next time we needed a good lawyer, to have him on our side and not the other side.”

There were three cases to be heard. Alongside the fuel rig hearing, Carman would also be representing Benetton in its appeal against Michael Schumacher's disqualification from the Belgian Grand Prix. The wooden skidblock on the floor of his car had been worn beyond the legal limit, but Benetton was going before the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the damage could have been done when Schumacher spun over a kerb early in the race. The third case involved McLaren. At the San Marino Grand Prix, Mika Häkkinen's car was found to have been fitted with a fully-automatic upchange gear facility and the case had only just come before the World Council. Ron Dennis argued that Häkkinen's car did indeed have the device, but that in McLaren's interpretation of the rules it was entirely legal. Dennis was also protesting against a US$100,000 fine the team had been given as a result of failing to supply its computer source codes to the FIA investigation.

The second two cases were disposed of in a few hours, before the main event, the fuel rig case. George Carman quickly rose and said Benetton would be pleading guilty. Members of the World Council who had not been paying attention suddenly looked up. They had not been expecting this. In fact a guilty plea in such circumstances was almost unprecedented. What advantage was there in not putting up a fight about such an important issue? They thought that Carman should have at least made a fist of it. Mosley rose and said in the circumstances they should now hear Carman's plea of mitigation.

As soon as Benetton pleaded guilty, Ian Titchmarsh's job was over. Carman laid out his case for mitigation and, even though he had pleaded guilty astonishingly asked for no punishment to be given. Carman argued that another Formula One team of the day, Larrousse, had previously been authorised by Intertechnique in a letter to remove a fuel filter back in May; that the Benetton filter had been removed by a junior member of staff without permission from the team director; that Benetton had made no effort to conceal that the filter had been removed despite having had ample opportunity to do so; and that the team had undertaken substantial management changes to ensure that such an incident did not happen again.

It was vintage Carman, as Titchmarsh recalls: "Carman certainly impressed. What was interesting about him was that he'd had no previous involvement in anything to do with motor racing."

Until he read Dominic Carman's book Titchmarsh had no idea about the meeting between Mosley and Carman at the Crillon the evening before. "I can't answer that. That's covered by what we call legal professional privilege,” he says.

Carman and Flavio Briatore emerged from the FIA headquarters at lunch to face a media frenzy Carman confidently commented that he was 'very satisfied' with the outcome. The World Council wasn't expected to give its decision until mid-afternoon. Things had gone to plan and a beaming Briatore announced that he was sure Schumacher would be racing again this season.

It was to be late afternoon before the verdict was announced. Whilst they were waiting Titchmarsh and Carman chatted. Titchmarsh remembers: "We were talking whilst we were waiting for the decision by the court and he said he'd been to the Benetton factory and he'd been shown around. He'd probably had one or two days to prepare, at the most there were three occasions in that whole hearing where you felt that he wasn't quite on top of motor racing technology. All the rest of the time he was on top of the whole situation and this was one of his abilities. He could involve himself in any type of situation. He was very, very impressive. He turned up with his brief and he had all the details at the ready.” Late afternoon, the result was given. Max Mosley announced that the FIA World Council had concluded that 'under the circumstances... it would not be appropriate to impose a penalty on the Mild Seven Benetton Ford team'. Benetton had pleaded guilty, but Carman had asked for leniency on four accounts and that had been accepted. The team did, however, lose on its appeal against Michael Schumacher's Belgian disqualification, although McLaren was also found innocent of any indiscretion.

Flavio Briatore was delighted. "The findings of the World Council speak for themselves:' he said. "This is a great day for the team." But Mosley was already having to fend off accusations of excessive leniency from journalists who were astonished at the outcome. "We have not been inconsistent," he said. "We are very consistent because we follow only the evidence in front of us even if it appears to be inconvenient, by which I mean that we're being lenient.” He firmly denied That the FIA World Council had been 'bamboozled or intimidated' by the legal skills of Carman.

The motor racing world was stunned. No one had expected Benetton to get off on the charge and the fact that the team had actually admitted to removing the filter and pleaded guilty made it seem all the more unbelievable. The media was outraged. Andrew Benson of Autosport interviewed Mosley after the result and was scathing, particularly of Mosley's decision to hire Ian Titchmarsh. Mosley brushed the questions aside and said it had not been relevant because Benetton had pleaded guilty. Benson asked Mosley why there had been no penalty and the fact that there hadn't set a bad precedent. Mosley denied it was a precedent. Benson, clearly disgusted, told Mosley that the World Council disciplinary hearing had been a whitewash and the FIA had come across as a fairly boneless organisation. That view was widely held.

The following Friday, at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Mosley faced a barrage of angry questions from journalists at a press conference asking him to explain the World Council's actions.

To add to the controversy, on close scrutiny none of Benetton's defence of its actions was watertight. First there was the Larrousse letter. Larrousse ran with both a Ford engine and a Benetton semi-automatic gearbox, which raised questions about the team's reasons for its support by handing over the letter. The sudden appearance of the letter was what Mosley claimed had foxed the World Council. It was only put in as evidence on the day of the hearing, according to Mosley, and it had not been copied to the FIA by either Larrousse or Intertechnique when it was initially issued. With the letter, on Intertechnique-headed paper, came a drawing of the rig that showed how the equipment could be assembled without the filter. But contentiously, on further inspection it seemed the letter did not so much give permission to Larrousse to remove the filter, but instead advise on the specification of ring that should be used if the filter was ever to be removed.

Few people accepted the argument about the junior employee either. One team boss at the time commented: "I'm going to run a turbo at Estoril and say a junior mechanic fitted it' while another said: "It was irrelevant whether it was removed by a junior member of staff or not. They are still guilty because they're the ones in charge:' It was also a blatant change of story by Benetton on its original claims that the filter had been removed not by a junior employee — suggested by some who were at Benetton at the time to be fuel man Simon Mosley — but by technical director Ross Brawn and team manager Joan Villadelprat.

As for the management changes that were supposed to have taken place because of the incident, there was little sign that this had occurred and when questioned about it Briatore told Autosport that no changes had taken place. Mosley suggested on the BBC's Sportsnight programme that the change had been to edge out engineering director Tom Walkinshaw, who had not been present at the hearing but his disappearance from the team was due to reasons other than the fuel rig controversy.

Concerning the claim that Benetton made no attempt to hide the removal of the filter, there were several accusations that the filter had been removed so long before the fire that its restoration was overlooked in the fuss over the accident itself.

There was also still the question of whether or not the FIA had given permission for the filter to be removed. In contradiction of the FIA's original insistence that no permission had been given, Mosley was to claim that Charlie Whiting had given permission of a sort. Mosley said: "The thing is that as far as the 'junior employee' is concerned and his removing the part, once you accept that he thought, at whatever level, that he could do that, then immediately the level of guilt changes. Now it was said by the team that Charlie said they could. What Charlie said he said was, 'it's OK by me if it's OK by Intertechnique'. In other words, 'go and ask Intertechnique, because it is not within my competence.'

"I think the junior employee thought, because of the Larrousse business, that Intertechnique had said it was all right. Or that was what was presented to us in Paris. And the whole confusion at that level, unknown to Briatore and to Benetton Formula, was taking place. Now what was said at the beginning of the season was that if we caught somebody with... it's always the same example: traction control... I distinctly remember saying that if they deliberately used it, then this means that it is a fraud, like painting a racehorse a different colour to disguise it. It is analogous to that: if you deliberately change something on the car, with the intention of getting an advantage, you will be out of the championship. That's what we said, and it still remains the case. The problem we were faced with here is that it became apparent on the facts placed before us that this knowledge, which is the essential element in deliberate cheating, was missing. And from what we were told on September 7th, it undoubtedly was missing. And as I have already said, we could have had a huge inquiry, who knows? But that's what was there, that's what we decided on."

As for the lack of any penalty whatsoever for the team, despite the fact that it had pleaded guilty Mosley told Autosport: "A scale of penalties undoubtedly exists, but you sit there given all the facts and wonder what is appropriate. If you accept what George Carman said, it wouldn't be appropriate to fine them US$1 million and when you go all the way down you ask 'why bother?'" But there was particular concern that just four days after the hearing, Williams was given an official reprimand for having modified its rig on safety grounds, with the written consent of Intertechnique and the FIA.

At the Monza press conference, Portuguese journalist Luis Vasconcelos brought up the question of why the FIA had put Titchmarsh up against George Carman and why the FIA had seemed so unprepared to contradict what Benetton said. Mosley explained: "What happens is this: if, for example, they had pleaded not guilty, or had they said they offered a defence, such as 'Charlie said we could do it', we had there a lawyer who in fact was available.

"The Stewards presented their evidence and both sides had their lawyers. The FIA lawyer was present, and he had been briefed as far as the filter was concerned. But the moment Benetton pleaded guilty, the situation changed. Instead of being out to prosecute Benetton, we listened to what they had to say in mitigation. Their argument was that a filter was necessary only to clear the manufacturing debris within the hose, and that once that debris had gone, and there was obviously nothing further to be found in the filter, it was unnecessary and the filter could be removed. "Now this was allegedly said, at a low level, between Intertechnique and Larrousse. And Benetton did produce a letter from Larrousse saying this, and they also produced a drawing from Intertechnique showing how the filter could be removed. But you still had to leave the ring in, because the ring that held the filler was part of the assembly.

"Now, at that point we could do one of two things. One thing, though, that we cannot do is evoke something that may or may not have been said on TV, or in a publication. We either have to accept the facts as put to us, or we might say 'we don't accept what has been put to us', and adjourn the entire proceedings to, in this case, October 19th, to bring in Intertechnique or, if we could get him there, Mr Walkinshaw, then examine every detail of the Larrousse/Intertechnique relationship including the letter, etc, and we considered carefully what to do and thought that in the interests of the sport, and in fairness to the other teams who wanted a decision, fairness generally would not be served by following that procedure. And once you have taken that decision, all you can consider are the matters that are placed in front of you, by counsel, on behalf of the person making his plea in mitigation. This we did. And just taking those factors into account — being strictly legal and fair about it — we decided that they were guilty but that on the basis of the facts in front of us it would not be appropriate to impose a penalty That was how it happened.

This is certainly the case in England, and probably also in other courts. Then you listen to what they have to say, and nobody is out to get them. As I have mentioned before, we could have said 'no, we don't accept all of this, we are going to adjourn it to October 19th' and have a full hearing then. For better or for worse, we felt that the best thing was to get it over and done with. This may have been excessively fair to them, but the moment they pleaded guilty there was nothing that our lawyer could then do. We didn't have witnesses there, people like Larrousse or Walkinshaw, we didn't have all sorts of people that we would normally have had there for a full inquiry. So we accepted what they said. And I think a similar procedure applies in European courts of law."

Mosley was also dismissive of allegations that no attempt had been made to address the fact that the missing filter would have give Benetton a performance advantage. He commented: "The point about getting an advantage is absolutely valid. But you see, what they were saying was that they thought they were allowed to do it. In other words, if you analyse what they were really saying, what they were saying was 'we believe that the equipment was now without the filter'. You can argue about that, but that's what they were actually saying. Now the moment you accept that, then they didn't have an advantage, because what they were doing was using the equipment. And the people who were using the wrong equipment would have a disadvantage. Now as soon as someone pleads guilty, you get into that area. But we never had to consider the guilt or otherwise, because they pleaded guilty."

Mosley also admitted his actions had been taken in the best interest of the sport rather than the interest of justice. He said: "As far as being in the interests of the sport, we thought it was definitely in the interests of the sport to resolve the Benetton filter issue, one way or the other, on 7th September. We thought that public opinion, and the interests of the sport, and certainly the teams, would have found it very difficult to accept that we had adjourned the whole thing for six weeks, to have another look at it. Perhaps the result would have been different if we had adjourned: we don't know. But it would certainly not have been the right thing to do. The suggestion that we were lenient in the interests of the sport is incorrect, though. We were lenient because the facts in front of us drove us to be lenient. It may well have been that we would have been less lenient after an adjourned hearing, but we shall never know.”

Mosley used his all his eloquence at the Monza press conference, but some of his comments simply did not make sense. His argument that the FIA couldn't effectively prosecute Benetton as the team had pleaded guilty when the FIA was expecting it to plead innocent raised eyebrows around the paddock. The implied lack of preparation was unthinkable. His reasons for not bringing in the witnesses at a later date made some sense, but was a virtual admission that he had done what he did for the interests of quick resolution rather than for the good of justice. But in particular his comment that Benetton 'didn't have an advantage because what they were doing was using the equipment and the people who were using the wrong equipment would have a disadvantage' was labelled as simply ludicrous.

The last word is perhaps best left to Ian Titchmarsh, probably the only really honest man involved in the whole hearing: "They (Benetton) weren't dealt with perhaps as severely as the media were anticipating they might be."

© BusinessF1 Magazine LTD. Additional reporting by Caroline Reid



#61 BoschKurve

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 19:56

Either way, as far as the traction control issue goes, some of you guys can believe whatever you would like.

Had more honorable people been running that team, I might have different thoughts. But one thing that's not widely known about Flavio is that prior to his involvement with the Benetton F1 team, he was convicted of multiple counts of fraud in the 1980s. Just something to consider.

#62 Crossmax

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 19:56

"We never cheated at any time, it is just not true."

Well, that's that finally sorted then, eh? :rolleyes:

:lol: It's not like, let say Lance Armstrong, ever denied cheating.



#63 Longtimefan

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 20:24

Looking at 1994 as a whole, Michael deserved that title anyway, the FIA tried their best to get Hill to win but thankfully a boneheaded move by Hill ended that, it would have been wrong.

Without the stupid over the top bans, Michael would have won the title 3-4 races before Adelaide.



#64 Risil

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 20:31

Looking at 1994 as a whole, Michael deserved that title anyway, the FIA tried their best to get Hill to win but thankfully a boneheaded move by Hill ended that, it would have been wrong.

Without the stupid over the top bans, Michael would have won the title 3-4 races before Adelaide.


Would your analysis change if the Benetton team had been guilty of knowingly endangering the safety of the whole pitlane by tampering with its fuel rigs?

I don't have much interest in awarding the world championship based on how well one driver performed in isolation. You might as well give it to Mika Hakkinen on that basis.

Schumacher's heightened sense of ethics contrasts quite touchingly with his failure to live by them in the heat of the moment. He'd make an appealing tragic character, if it weren't for the fact that -- Monaco 2006 aside -- he's always gotten away with it.

Edited by Risil, 06 November 2012 - 20:31.


#65 Longtimefan

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:12

Would your analysis change if the Benetton team had been guilty of knowingly endangering the safety of the whole pitlane by tampering with its fuel rigs?

I don't have much interest in awarding the world championship based on how well one driver performed in isolation. You might as well give it to Mika Hakkinen on that basis.

Schumacher's heightened sense of ethics contrasts quite touchingly with his failure to live by them in the heat of the moment. He'd make an appealing tragic character, if it weren't for the fact that -- Monaco 2006 aside -- he's always gotten away with it.


Benetton contacted intertechnique about the fuel filter before they removed it, intertechnique gave them permission to do so.

I wouldn't call that 'tampering' when they had official permission from the manufacturers.

Edited by Longtimefan, 06 November 2012 - 21:12.


#66 Risil

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:27

Benetton contacted intertechnique about the fuel filter before they removed it, intertechnique gave them permission to do so.

I wouldn't call that 'tampering' when they had official permission from the manufacturers.


The article above quotes Intertechnique saying that any permission had to go through the FIA, and quotes the FIA saying that no request was made. At the official hearing, Benetton could not produce any evidence proving they'd asked for permission. Instead they relied on a letter to the Larrousse team, which was strictly on "if you remove the fuel filter, here's how to make the fuel rig work" lines, and not proof that anyone had been allowed to modify it.

So if we accept Sylt's version of events, then no, they didn't have official permission.

Course it's been argued that Rubython as editor of the BusinessF1 magazine was better at hunting a story than he was about checking the facts. But that doesn't mean the stuff I mentioned here is false, necessarily. But it's also been argued that the FIA's World Council wouldn't be fit to judge a Miss World contest.

#67 Shambolic

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:37

Would your analysis change if the Benetton team had been guilty of knowingly endangering the safety of the whole pitlane by tampering with its fuel rigs?

I don't have much interest in awarding the world championship based on how well one driver performed in isolation. You might as well give it to Mika Hakkinen on that basis.

Schumacher's heightened sense of ethics contrasts quite touchingly with his failure to live by them in the heat of the moment. He'd make an appealing tragic character, if it weren't for the fact that -- Monaco 2006 aside -- he's always gotten away with it.


He got away with Hill slamming into him from behind at the end of 94, having not got away with a minor infringement of warm up lap procedure that same year, or his plank being over-worn (due to a spin) when he won at Spa that same year. The Spa thing in particular was disgusting, the black flag penalty for a previously unimposed warm up rule was almost acceptable, if you looked at it sideways and squinted.. A lot.

He was penalised for his heat of the moment Jerez incident 97, after Villeneuve ran under appeal and then withdrew said appeal in a previous race - A race where he was hardly a gentleman driver himself if you watch closely.

What else has/ had he done that he ought to be penalised for? The Monaco 2006 was clumsy, and if deliberate, then very stupid - And possibly lost him the title. But I'd go so far as to say it was so clumsy as to think it might have been genuine - Surely he'd have at the very least let his wing take a thwack if he were trying to fake it.

Austria 2002? Team orders were legal, and chosen by the team. The end of 99? Again, that was for Irvine's championship hopes, and a team issue.

Schumacher has made one obvious skullduggerous move, one questionable one, and one that only the die hard alnglocentrics call upon to suit their agenda. Name any other top driver who hasn't? Hamilton was part of a team involved in a historical case of team espionage, even if he didn't play a direct hand (much as Schumacher wasn't an ECU programmer in 94) he benefited. He also was proven to lie, even if apologists claim it was at the teams behest, a lie that didn't only boost himself but saw a competitor grossly penalised. Alonso gained from what turned out to be a pre-planned crash and safety car event, and again you could say Alonso had no knowledge of this, but you cannot deny he benefited from the outcome of his teams rule breaking. Vettel has been in a car that has skirted a little closer to the wind than is acceptable with regard to engine mapping and flexible aero parts, and though he's not the person designing these his results have been all the better for these near and actual transgressions. Button may well have run better for the fact of that fuel as ballast issue in his BAR a few years ago.

If you go down the line of blaming a driver for their teams infractions, then there's scant few drivers can be called innocent. And even if you only look at times a driver has broken a rule or code of conduct, you'll find very few successful ones are squeaky clean. Yet we only ever seem to see Schumacher's transgressions - And most of those alleged, not proven - When talking of cheating drivers.

#68 Risil

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:48

Schumacher penalised in 1997? You'll have to point to the actual sporting penalty he received. 2006 he was punished for, rightly. The 1994 Adelaide collision has its fanatics who make "balance of probabilities" judgements impossible to debate. Then there are numerous chops, swerves and blocks which in fairness to him were established practice among frontrunning F1 drivers while he was still in Formula 3. But it's amazing, isn't it, how most great racing drivers went their whole careers without having to do anything like Schumacher did at Jerez in 1997?

Hamilton's ethics aren't relevant here but I think you'll find his actions after the 2009 Australian GP are at the root of a lot of British fans' and commentators' coolness towards him. To say everyone turned a blind eye isn't true at all.

I think MS kept his distance from the technical infractions on the 1994 Benetton. Plausible deniability. The Sylt article draws attention to this, even says that Schumacher was on the verge of quitting the team over its constant troublemaking. But the team's obvious crookedness almost certainly played its part in his decision to move down the pecking order to Ferrari.

#69 FigJam

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:52

Nah, Schumacher was destroying Senna and already had a large lead. Senna was rattled by Schumacher's performance, that much was clear and I also believe that Schumacher was the first driver Senna truly feared.


Schuey was destroying Senna, was he? I distinctly remember Schumacher being a force to be reckoned with, something Senna and Williams maybe didn't quite expect...but I suppose no one thought the Benetton would be that great...did they?

However Senna and Williams had far bigger problems, the main one being the FW16 was a complete pig to handle on the limit. Senna wrestled it to 3 pole positions, was taken out in the 2nd race and spun off at the first race chasing MS hard.

Whilst there is no doubt Ayrton would have had an uphill battle reeling MS's point lead in, had tragedy not occured at Imola, I also would say given the performance of the revised FW16 later in the season, its likely Schumacher would have ended up with a titanic fight on his hands. Pace-wise Ayrton would have been untouchable in the revised FW16.

Schumacher destroying Senna, like you said though?? Your havin a larf. :up:


#70 Sakae

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:06

I'm pretty sure that this kind of passage has been used in the defense of Lance Armstrong's career in the past as well. Michael has cheated in other parts of his F1 career, and denied it, so his word is not to be taken at face value.

The 1994 championship will always be a tainted one in the minds of a lot of F1 fans.

Sorry, but whilst I am aware of frequent adveserial opinions about various incidents in his F1 career, I am not aware of any act you describe which could be presented in forensically sound terms, despite that I am with him since Prost retired. He was judged by media, racing enthusiasts, and by FiA; a body of three people who are working with limited resources, time, and are prone to human error. (I sometimes actually wonder where and by whom they were trained on modern techniques of investigation of incidents they judge). I think we can leave it at that.

Edited by Sakae, 07 November 2012 - 06:20.


#71 Oho

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:12

The TC/Option 13 - Dunno. I have written computer code before and you do end up with a lot of redundant code that is // out when writing new iterations of software. sometimes its ok and


Bollocks, option 13 had entry points intact, the code had been compiled and the functionality was available. No doubt this was verified with binaries from the ECU, makefile or equivalent and sources whereby making binary from the provided sources must yield identical binary for the sources and build process to have been identical.

If the code was either commented out or #if 0:ed out the compiler would never have seen it. Instead of just taking out entry points Benetton added supposedly needless complexity to their program to keep the rule violating functionality available.

#72 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:07

Bollocks, option 13 had entry points intact, the code had been compiled and the functionality was available. No doubt this was verified with binaries from the ECU, makefile or equivalent and sources whereby making binary from the provided sources must yield identical binary for the sources and build process to have been identical.

If the code was either commented out or #if 0:ed out the compiler would never have seen it. Instead of just taking out entry points Benetton added supposedly needless complexity to their program to keep the rule violating functionality available.


From the FIA report:

[...]When asked why, if this system was only used in testing, such an elaborate procedure was necessary in order to switch it on, we were told it was to prevent it being switched on accidentally. [...]


That they wanted to have the opportunity to use it in testing doesn´t sound dubious to me. Their explanation, why it was progammed that way, sounds more like that. That´s why i prefer to simply look at MSC´s starts instead of agonising about the credibility of their explanations.


btw. As we know only 10 options were visible in the menu. Launch control was Option 13. I always wondered, what were the other two options? ;)

Edited by LiJu914, 07 November 2012 - 07:08.


#73 Oho

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:25

That they wanted to have the opportunity to use it in testing doesn´t sound dubious to me.


No kidding? If opportunity to use it in testing was all they wanted, why was it found on race prepared car which actually raced? How long does it take to switch the ECU?

Well options ten and elven, the odds are, were empty with no functionality attached.

Edited by Oho, 07 November 2012 - 07:39.


#74 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:50

No kidding? If opportunity to use it in testing was all they wanted, why was it found in race prepared car which actually raced? How long does it take to switch the ECU?

Well options ten and elven, the odds are, were empty with no functionality attached.


How would i know? I have no clue about programming. My statement was about the option being existent in general - not about it´s presence in the ECU at May 1st 94.
What i can evaluate from the outside is MSC´s start in that race. At the first start MSC gets solid off the line (click) - but not extra ordinary and not better than Senna...and e.g. Berger´s Ferrari has a better start than both of them. At the restart MSC has too much wheelspin and a poor getaway as a consequence (click). Berger easily gets in front.

So do i think, MSC used a launch control, that was found in the software sample from Imola? I think, either he didn´t use a LC or the LC was quite crap.;)

Edited by LiJu914, 07 November 2012 - 07:54.


#75 Oho

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:57

So do i think, MSC used a launch control, that was found in the software sample from Imola? I think, either he didn´t use a LC or the LC was quite crap.;)


Well as far as technical regulations were concerned whether he used it or not should have been a red herring, but it wasn't because FIA was and is more about show than sport.



#76 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:14

Well as far as technical regulations were concerned whether he used it or not should have been a red herring, but it wasn't because FIA was and is more about show than sport.


Fair enough, but as a specator my interest is not so much in formal jurisdiction but rather whether people actually use something illegal to get an unfair advantage.

Of course i agree about FIA. Under Mosley they always tried to spin things in a way, which allegedly provided the highest suspense in the WDC (third brake pedal 98, barge boards 99, new regs in 2003, mass-damper ban in 2006 etc.) Regarding 1994 they had certainly no interest to disqualify Benetton and their drivers as that would´ve gifted Williams the championship (similar: see spygate 07 - notwithstanding Mosley´s claim, that he wanted to ban them, but didn´t get the necessary support) - and they also had no interest in MSC easily running away in the championship hence the rigorous penalties.

Edited by LiJu914, 07 November 2012 - 08:47.


#77 britishtrident

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:37

Even ignoring the deleted fuel rig filters and the usable traction code that wasn't deleted the guy cynically turned the steering wheel drove into to Damon Hill millions of fans watching the race saw it. From my racing days I seem to recall one of the most important lines at least in the UK MSA Blue Book was "Motor Racing is a non-contact sport".

My view from 2012 with Michael's a long list of controversial incidents since there things are pretty clear (1) Michael Schumacher has his own private rule book. (2) Michael Schumacher is so economical with the truth he never lets it out. (3) In his mind Michael Schumacher cannot conceive he has ever done anything wrong.

Edited by britishtrident, 07 November 2012 - 08:43.


#78 spacekid

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:57

Ok fine, Michael Schumacher himself personally removed the fuel filters from the fuel rigs. It was his decision alone, and no one else knew that he did it. And that gave him such a huge advantage in pit stops it won him the title. He is also a master ECU programmer. Indeed the man is worse than Hitler, who couldn't have programmed an ECU if Berlin depended on it.

Or...

The driver is paid to drive. Lots of drivers have driven in cars that were questionable in terms of being 'within' the rules, but only Michael appears to be accountable. Michael still absolutely destroyed his team mates in the Benneton. I still very much doubt that he would have been happy with the fuel filters being removed given how much direct danger that placed the driver in, but hey they guy is so twisted and evil he's capable of pretty much anything. He belongs in prison.

#79 britishtrident

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:23

Ok fine, Michael Schumacher himself personally removed the fuel filters from the fuel rigs. It was his decision alone, and no one else knew that he did it. And that gave him such a huge advantage in pit stops it won him the title. He is also a master ECU programmer. Indeed the man is worse than Hitler, who couldn't have programmed an ECU if Berlin depended on it.

Or...

The driver is paid to drive. Lots of drivers have driven in cars that were questionable in terms of being 'within' the rules, but only Michael appears to be accountable. Michael still absolutely destroyed his team mates in the Benneton. I still very much doubt that he would have been happy with the fuel filters being removed given how much direct danger that placed the driver in, but hey they guy is so twisted and evil he's capable of pretty much anything. He belongs in prison.


Yes he was brilliant in his early years and did spectacularly out drive his team mates (something even Martin Brundle concedes) but if you read the Brundle's book Michael's mental attitude was such that his needed to underline his top wolf status by punting Brundle off for no reason.

Edited by britishtrident, 07 November 2012 - 09:24.


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#80 Diablobb81

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:43

You mean like the "old boys" did to him when he was a rookie?

Hilarious how much lack of info is around. But everyone has an opinion.

#81 noikeee

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:44

I'm not a fan of conspiracies but find it very very hard to believe they had TC operational on the car yet didn't use it. As said before, key people on that team (and I don't mean Schumacher) cheated at various other points of their careers, so again I find it very hard to presume their innocence in presence of some evidence.

I don't however blame Schumacher himself that much for this, he of course would be well in the know given he had to activate the system itself and drive differently with it. But it's an unwritten code of behavior in F1 that the key to winning is circumventing the rules the best you can, and the orders would've come from the top. Every driver (and every team - even the usually honest McLaren would later get caught badly in 2007) would do iffy stuff to get the car faster if they think they can get away with it, but the blame must be bigger at the top of the pyramid.

As for the FIA again I very much doubt their ability at the time to make unbiased calls, and with F1 dying on its arse after the tragedies in Imola it's remarkable they did exactly what would've kept the sport the most interesting as possible through all season: suspended Schumacher when he had a massive lead opening up the championship; but took a blind eye on the TC issue to avoid disqualifying a champion and further ruining F1's credibility and diminishing fanbase at the time.

#82 Spillage

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 13:17

However Senna and Williams had far bigger problems, the main one being the FW16 was a complete pig to handle on the limit. Senna wrestled it to 3 pole positions, was taken out in the 2nd race and spun off at the first race chasing MS hard.

Was it really a pig to handle at the limit? 3 consecutive pole positions suggests otherwise, especially when you consider that Senna had only scored two in the previous two seasons. So he made a mistake in Brazil, it happens, it is no proof that the car was difficult to drive.

Anyway, back OT, there was never much evidence that Benetton were using the mysterious 'Option 13'; there is lots of footage on Youtube of Schumacher getting wheelspin at starts and power oversteer that is not at all consistent with the idea that he was using a wide variety of illegal gizmos - look at the restart at Imola after Senna's accident, for example. Quite a lot of it is blown out of proportion by the two-race ban, but the two-race ban had nothing to do with TC and was due to a sporting, rather than a technical, infringement.

#83 Oho

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 13:22

Was it really a pig to handle at the limit? 3 consecutive pole positions suggests otherwise, especially when you consider that Senna had only scored two in the previous two seasons. So he made a mistake in Brazil, it happens, it is no proof that the car was difficult to drive.


Senna if I correctly recall had lapped Damon Hill by the time he retired from Brazil, that certainly bears witness to car being more than a handful to drive. Car being pig does not necessarily imply being slow.

#84 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 13:28

Was it really a pig to handle at the limit? 3 consecutive pole positions suggests otherwise, especially when you consider that Senna had only scored two in the previous two seasons. So he made a mistake in Brazil, it happens, it is no proof that the car was difficult to drive.


Well Hill said it, Senna said it, the whole team said it.
Handling/drivability doesn´t always come hand in hand with speed (or the lack of it). Another example would be the Benetton one year later - a fast but very nervous car.

Edited by LiJu914, 07 November 2012 - 13:29.


#85 kyriakos75

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 13:56

Even ignoring the deleted fuel rig filters and the usable traction code that wasn't deleted the guy cynically turned the steering wheel drove into to Damon Hill millions of fans watching the race saw it. From my racing days I seem to recall one of the most important lines at least in the UK MSA Blue Book was "Motor Racing is a non-contact sport".


Apparently this UK book was never shown to Nigel Mansell.


#86 engel

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 14:22

Was it really a pig to handle at the limit? 3 consecutive pole positions suggests otherwise, especially when you consider that Senna had only scored two in the previous two seasons. So he made a mistake in Brazil, it happens, it is no proof that the car was difficult to drive.

Anyway, back OT, there was never much evidence that Benetton were using the mysterious 'Option 13'; there is lots of footage on Youtube of Schumacher getting wheelspin at starts and power oversteer that is not at all consistent with the idea that he was using a wide variety of illegal gizmos - look at the restart at Imola after Senna's accident, for example. Quite a lot of it is blown out of proportion by the two-race ban, but the two-race ban had nothing to do with TC and was due to a sporting, rather than a technical, infringement.


the FW16 was very very unpredictable, it could switch from understeer to snap oversteer in the same corner in the space of a lap. The FW16b, which came out around mid season was a much better car to drive. Both were fast, it's just the original had a very difficult to pin down sweet spot.

#87 BoschKurve

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 17:05

All this traction control BS started after Senna was upset he was having his ass handed to him by Schumacher and needed an excuse. There was a new sheriff in town and Senna didn't want to admit it and his zombie fans don't now.


There wasn't a new sheriff in town.

True story, Senna out-drove Schumacher in the 1993 season in spite of Benetton receiving works status from Ford with their engine supply, and McLaren running the previous generation version Ford engine. Even Damon Hill finished behind Senna in '93 in spite of having a superior car in the FW15C.

Schumacher couldn't even take a pole till Senna was dead...his first career pole was the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix.

#88 1Devil1

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 17:23

There wasn't a new sheriff in town.

True story, Senna out-drove Schumacher in the 1993 season in spite of Benetton receiving works status from Ford with their engine supply, and McLaren running the previous generation version Ford engine. Even Damon Hill finished behind Senna in '93 in spite of having a superior car in the FW15C.

Schumacher couldn't even take a pole till Senna was dead...his first career pole was the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix.


And formula one was all about engines in the nineties right, that's the reason Williams was competitive or Benetton in 1994 despite not having the best engine. Aerodynamic (Adrian Newey was the new chef in town) was the key like it is today. Mercedes is better than RedBull in the last three seasons I guess. :lol: Never understood the discussion about the engines. Perhaps I should remind you that Benetton needed longer to install their gizmos like tractions control. Furthermore Schumacher was 8 times faster than Senna in Qualifying in his second season and everybody knew Schumacher was even stronger race-pace wise. Even Senna knew in the best or second best car Schumacher will be a problem for him. What do you want from a youngster? To trash Senna in the third best car ?

Edited by 1Devil1, 07 November 2012 - 17:26.


#89 spacekid

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 17:39

Yes he was brilliant in his early years and did spectacularly out drive his team mates (something even Martin Brundle concedes) but if you read the Brundle's book Michael's mental attitude was such that his needed to underline his top wolf status by punting Brundle off for no reason.


Brundle had even less complimentary things to say about Senna's style of racing.

I'm sorry but I don't understand the relevance of this to whether Schumi knew of and/or approved of Benneton removing the filter from the fuel rig. Perhaps you can explain it to me?

#90 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:02

There wasn't a new sheriff in town.

True story, Senna out-drove Schumacher in the 1993 season in spite of Benetton receiving works status from Ford with their engine supply, and McLaren running the previous generation version Ford engine. Even Damon Hill finished behind Senna in '93 in spite of having a superior car in the FW15C.



So we can assume the FW16 was far superior compared to the B194 as it had much more brake horsepower, right?
Oh and btw. McLaren got the same engine since mid-season - and Senna didn´t even like the new specs very much as they had worse drivability.
Furthermore Benetton had neither active suspension nor traction control for the first five races - and as it rained in each of these GPs at some point except Barcelona TC was quite a nice thing to have.


I agree that Senna was better in 1993 (92 might be another story) - not so much pace-wise, but rather because MSC made far too many mistakes that season.

Ps. Damon Hill could´ve even challenged Prost for the WDC if his car hadn´t failed in Hockenheim and Silverstone while leading. So it´s not like he was completely underachieving in that car.

Schumacher couldn't even take a pole till Senna was dead...his first career pole was the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix.


And? You know how many poles Williams got in 92&93 right?

Edited by LiJu914, 07 November 2012 - 18:06.


#91 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:03

Yes he was brilliant in his early years and did spectacularly out drive his team mates (something even Martin Brundle concedes) but if you read the Brundle's book Michael's mental attitude was such that his needed to underline his top wolf status by punting Brundle off for no reason.


True, but the meaning of this has to be balanced with J.J. Lehto saying on Finnish TV that Schumacher's car had buttons on the wheel that Lehto didn't.

#92 BoschKurve

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:04

And formula one was all about engines in the nineties right, that's the reason Williams was competitive or Benetton in 1994 despite not having the best engine. Aerodynamic (Adrian Newey was the new chef in town) was the key like it is today. Mercedes is better than RedBull in the last three seasons I guess. :lol: Never understood the discussion about the engines. Perhaps I should remind you that Benetton needed longer to install their gizmos like tractions control. Furthermore Schumacher was 8 times faster than Senna in Qualifying in his second season and everybody knew Schumacher was even stronger race-pace wise. Even Senna knew in the best or second best car Schumacher will be a problem for him. What do you want from a youngster? To trash Senna in the third best car ?


Honestly, I wish you would stop commenting on things you're completely unaware of. F1 back then was a lot different than it is today...it wasn't a spec race. Engines actually had a more measurable impact on the performance of cars. McLaren desperately tried to get a deal to receive Renault V10's.

The greatest strength of the FW16 at the start of the 1994 season was the Renault V10 it had. The Renault V10 was by far the best engine on the grid, and the most powerful as it was putting out around 800HP. The Ford engines were down by about 50-60HP. Even Michael himself said prior to the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix the Williams-Renault package at Imola was superior to what he had at Benetton because Imola favored the Renault V10 due to the circuit's characteristics. And trust me, the Benetton could not keep up with with the Renault V10's.

Adrian Newey wasn't the only reason for success at Williams, a lot of it was due down to Patrick Head being there as well. People underestimate the role Patrick had far too much.

Anyway, Michael still benefited from flagrant cheating at Benetton.

#93 BoschKurve

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:05

So we can assume the FW16 was far superior compared to the B194 as it had much more brake horsepower, right?
Oh and btw. McLaren got the same engine since mid-season - and Senna didn´t even like the new specs very much as they had worse drivability.
Furthermore Benetton had neither active suspension nor traction control for the first five races - and as it rained in each of these GPs at some point except Barcelona TC was quite a nice thing to have.


I agree that Senna was better in 1993 (92 might be another story) - not so much pace-wise, but more because MSC made far too many mistakes that season.

Ps. Damon Hill could´ve even challenged Prost for the WDC if his car hadn´t failed in Hockenheim and Silverstone while leading. So it´s not like he was completely underachieving in that car.



And? You know how many poles Williams got in 92&93 right?


And Senna was the only driver not in a Williams in 1992 and 1993 to even take a pole.;)

#94 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:12

True, but the meaning of this has to be balanced with J.J. Lehto saying on Finnish TV that Schumacher's car had buttons on the wheel that Lehto didn't.


Let´s assume that would be true and that it was furthermore something related to a TC, even tough FIA didn´t find one.
How much time do you gain per lap with a TC? After its reintroduction in 2001 the advantage was estimated to be around 2-3 tenths per lap - and these system were probably far more developed then their predecessors from the early nineties.

Now you can look up, how big the performance differences between MSC and his respective teammates were...

#95 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:14

And Senna was the only driver not in a Williams in 1992 and 1993 to even take a pole.;)


Yes i know. His pole in Adelaide was great - but so was the McLaren at that time. Hakkinen was just 2 tenths away from both Williams.
The other was in Canada 92. Horsepower was/is very important for this track - so no chance for a V8 car to get pole there.

MSC had no realistic chance to get a pole in 92 or 93, period.

Edited by LiJu914, 07 November 2012 - 18:15.


#96 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:17

Let´s assume that would be true and that it was furthermore something related to a TC, even tough FIA didn´t find one.


The FIA found one, they just couldn't prove it was used.

How much time do you gain per lap with a TC? After its reintroduction in 2001 the advantage was estimated to be around 2-3 tenths per lap - and these system were probably far more developed then their predecessors from the early nineties.

Now you can look up, how big the performance differences between MSC and his respective teammates were...


IMHO if these additional buttons are true (and I agree that Lehto may not be the most reliable source), then assessments like the one you propose would not make sense. The cars would have been very different and it would be impossible for us to say how much of MS's advantage over team mates was due to his driving.


#97 Diablobb81

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:22

The FIA found one, they just couldn't prove it was used.


No, they didn't, no matter how times this is wrongly repeated.


#98 1Devil1

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:30

Honestly, I wish you would stop commenting on things you're completely unaware of. F1 back then was a lot different than it is today...it wasn't a spec race. Engines actually had a more measurable impact on the performance of cars. McLaren desperately tried to get a deal to receive Renault V10's.

The greatest strength of the FW16 at the start of the 1994 season was the Renault V10 it had. The Renault V10 was by far the best engine on the grid, and the most powerful as it was putting out around 800HP. The Ford engines were down by about 50-60HP. Even Michael himself said prior to the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix the Williams-Renault package at Imola was superior to what he had at Benetton because Imola favored the Renault V10 due to the circuit's characteristics. And trust me, the Benetton could not keep up with with the Renault V10's.

Adrian Newey wasn't the only reason for success at Williams, a lot of it was due down to Patrick Head being there as well. People underestimate the role Patrick had far too much.

Anyway, Michael still benefited from flagrant cheating at Benetton.


I am aware of such things, but you tried a cheap game here. Engines were not the factor for being the best team or not. You needed a good aerodynamic, traction control and active suspension and Formula One was heading the domination of aerodynamic even in this days. I never denied that engines were more important in comparison to today but you came around and make it look like all you needed was the better engine to be ahead of the other team. That's simple not true. Some people technics said the Benetton of 1994 was better than the 1995 car because it was not so nervous because of a better torque. So your HP mathematic is too simple in every view. Benetton had perhaps a little advantage in the sector engines but you completely failed to say something about the others.

Edited by 1Devil1, 07 November 2012 - 18:33.


#99 LiJu914

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:34

The FIA found one, they just couldn't prove it was used.


No they didn´t find a TC. They found a launch control.

IMHO if these additional buttons are true (and I agree that Lehto may not be the most reliable source), then assessments like the one you propose would not make sense. The cars would have been very different and it would be impossible for us to say how much of MS's advantage over team mates was due to his driving.


That´s pretty unspecific. From another POV: Johnny Herbert was a certainly not worse than Jos Verstappen and in 95 they weren´t any rumours about the legality of the Benetton. He was still completely dominated by MSC.

Edited by LiJu914, 07 November 2012 - 18:34.


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#100 1Devil1

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 18:35

No, they didn't, no matter how times this is wrongly repeated.


It was a program for (deactivated) Launch control. Tractions control was never found at the Benetton. I guess Ayrton ears are fine for some users as evidence  ;)