OTD in F1: Damon Hill Won in Australia by a Mile

By 2 years ago

On this day in F1, there were a few significant events that took place. Right from a driver literally winning by a country mile to an exciting race 12 months ago.

Back in 1995, David Coulthard was in his last race for Williams. The Scotsman was comfortably leading Adelaide’s last F1 race when he came in for his first stop. He was denied a swansong when he understeered into the barriers at the pit entry and retired. It remained one of the few pit lane-related retirements only to be surpassed in embarrassment by Lewis Hamilton in Shanghai some 12 years later.

Benetton’s Michael Schumacher was also out after a collision with Jean Alesi. Oddly enough, almost every other front-runner also dropped out. As a result, Damon Hill was left to cruise to victory – and by a massive margin, too. He beat Olivier Panis by two laps, the largest victory gap since Jackie Stewart won the 1969 Spanish GP by two laps.

Gianni Morbidelli was third for Footwork, followed by Mark Blundell’s McLaren, Mika Salo’s Tyrrell, and Pedro Lamy’s Minardi.

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Damon Hill

Fast-forward to 22 years later, It was the 2017 Brazilian GP hosting the penultimate round. Second-placed man, Sebastian Vettel grabbed the lead from pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas at the start and went on to take victory. Bottas ended the race second and Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen was third.

Meanwhile, after crashing in qualifying, Lewis Hamilton took on a lot of new power unit parts. The Briton elected to start from the pit lane to avoid potential chaos. With no engine management to worry about he rocketed through the field to finish fourth, just 5.4 seconds away from the winner.

In all honesty, it was probably one of the best attempted comebacks of the season. But it must be remembered that the Mercedes, at the time was highly dominant, like now.

Sebastian Vettel
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