- Michael Schumacher's museum in Cologne. Image credit: Martin King (Unsplash.com)

Schumacher's greatness: Reaching podium despite being stuck in fifth gear

A little throwback to one of the best races for this legend.

25w ago
4.3K

It's a sunny day in Spain, 29 may 1994. It's the first ever race held in the newly formed Grand Prix Drivers Association, with well-known names and faces being instrumental drivers, where they all come to a mutual decision to install a chicane before the Nissan corner, just so the safety is significantly improved and speed is reduced at the entry. But above all the crowd's excitement and enthusiasm, is looming a dark cloud filled with grief - it's been only two weeks since Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger lost their lives in lethal crashes.

The biggest pressure and expectations were doubtlessly on David Coulthard's back - debutant, filling the shoes of a big driver. But not just that, this weekend will be always remembered for one more thing.

Saturday, qualification day, second and easy reachable pole for Michael in Benetton, clearly aiming for the win, with Damon Hill in second place only one thousandth of a second ahead of the Finn Mika Häkkinen.

At the start of the race Michael seemed surely unstoppable, it looked like he was the only one fighting for the first place, as he left Hill and Häkkinen fighting for the second place at the back.

But all of that hope for the first place significantly faded when Schumacher's Benetton developed major gearbox issues midst the first pit stops round. Nevertheless he bravely got back on the track, proceeding with his race, setting a lot of respectable laps, even despite the fact that the issue left him stuck in a fifth gear for the remaining of it.

During the race a lot of different pit stop strategies immersed from the teams, and that lead to a big change in the positions.

Damon Hill took the lead, quickly becoming the favorite for the win. After Häkkinen's engine failure, Michael secured the second position even though his drive whilst stuck in fifth gear was absolutely extraordinary.

After the finish line was finally crossed and the chequered flag was waved , Damon Hill took the win, with Schumacher finishing in second place, followed by Mark Blundell.

“At the beginning it was a bit difficult to take all the corners in fifth gear, but then I managed to find a good line and keep up lap times that were more or less good enough to compete against the others behind me.”

Michael Schumacher post race

This race is considered to be one of the best drives for him, and maybe the best, where he had the chance to show his talent, competitiveness and raising high even with obstacle like that .

This person became a Formula 1 legend, with his seven world titles. Indisputably he is best known for his red suit, hunger, and thirst for winning and records. Last week his 91 wins record was broken by Lewis Hamilton, but as the legend once said: "I always thought records were there to be broken."

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