1995 Formula 1 Rejects Grand Prix 2 Championship season
The 1995 F1 Rejects Grand Prix 2 Championship season was the second season of the F1 Rejects Grand Prix 2 Championship. The season was based on the 1995 Formula One season. John Zimmer won the Drivers' Championship for Benetton-Renault. Benetton also took the Constructors' Championship over Williams-Renault.
The 1995 F1RGP2C season was a season of remarkable lack of skill from the drivers. Most drivers found themselves in spins or crashes during practice, qualifying and during the race. Several penalties were given out for egregious examples of failure, the prime examples being Tom Douglas at Canada and Pablo da Silva in Japan. Another common thread from the year was the inability of some drivers to see the color blue. Now, I know that color blindness is a common hindrance in many countries but I read something on the Internet that said blindness to the color blue is very rare. Obviously, since it came from the Internet (Wikipedia to be precise), it must be true. Therefore, these drivers had no excuse to be blocking the leaders at basically every race. I'm looking at you Sebastian Gazurek. Strangely, the increase of accidents corresponded to a slight decrease in mechanical problems meaning that more than ten cars finished the race on a regular basis, something we didn't see much of in 1994.
The Championship Fight
John Zimmer crashed and passed his way to the Drivers' Championship, battling almost the entire way with Daniel Moreno. At the start of the season, Zimmer blasted into the lead after successive mechanical failures for the Williams drivers. In fact, series president Tristan Jung declared that the championship was already won, even though barely an eighth of the season had been completed. Stupid comments from Jung would become a hallmark of the entire season (although he was right in the end). Zimmer's teammate Kazuhiko Takagi snagged a brilliant win at the 1995 F1RGP2C San Marino Grand Prix in round 3 after a clever strategic move and Daniel Moreno won the Monaco Grand Prix while Zimmer retired, bringing the championship back to earth. Zimmer and Moreno, like two carts making an inelastic collision, swapped momenta throughout the season. At one race, Zimmer would win handily but at the next, Moreno would come back fighting. This blow-for-blow battle led to some very tense moments. A quick run-through:
- Tom Douglas punts off Zimmer in Canada, allowing Moreno to take a shocking win in front of his home fans.
- Takagi, probably a bit sullen after being left in the dust by the front two, battles with his teammate in British Grand Prix, nearly taking out both Benettons in the process. Then he retires with an engine failure.
- At the same race, Daniel Moreno collided with Anton Kaliniczenko's Pacific, dropping him back down the field.
- Zimmer and Moreno proceed to alternate between winning and retiring in the next four races.
- John Zimmer crashes while leading at Jerez, leaving the win to Padraig O'Connell's Ferrari.
- Pablo da Silva takes out Moreno in Japan, icing the championship in Zimmer's favor. Feeling bad, Pablo decides to take out Zimmer at the exact same corner. After that, da Silva was so pleased with himself that he failed to notice that Leonhard von Gottorp was trying to lap him.
Chaos in the Midfield
Ah, there is truly nothing better than watching a bunch of computer simulated cars spin off at the exact same corner over fifty times in the same race. Yes, that is actually what occurred at the 1995 F1RGP2C Pacific Grand Prix at TI Aida after the cars were unable to make it to the pit entrance without spinning. I interpret this as a metaphor for the entire midfield (everyone except the two leaders, that is). If I had bothered to run a nosecone destruction championship this season, everyone except Dennis Mignolet and Andrew Spokes would have made the list. One need only look at the performance of Reiko Megumi (nine separate accidents in one season) in the Ligier to learn more. It was a de Crasherian effort. Almost everyone else was fairly crap too. Padraig O'Connell lost a couple race wins due to crashes and mechanical problems. Takagi totaled half the points that Zimmer scored all season. Douglas Mann whined about his machinery for the entire season before quitting before the end of the year. Oh yeah, he did give Ligier their first win in the series but that doesn't absolve him of his conduct.
Rory McAllister was actually fairly dependable (if a bit lucky) but a major black mark goes against his name for this incident (McAllister is the one with the smoking car). Tom Douglas was accident-prone. Leonhard von Gottorp failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix. In the fifth best car on the grid. James Davies was awesome, when he could get his car to finish. Ditto for Damon Cannon. Jorg Scrattenheim and Pieter Kickert were the exceptions to this rule. da Silva single-handedely ruined the championship battle and was given a 3-race ban. I covered Reiko. Mignolet was okay. Gio van Dycke couldn't qualify, Poppy Whitechapel couldn't keep the car running. Miko Fäkkinen was anonymous. Spokes was brilliant but his car let him down too often. Kazuyoshi Hoshino was inconsistent. Samael Meerwick was just slow. That sums up the midfield nicely.
The backmarkers (DAMS, Pacific, Forti and Simtek) were slow. They were so slow that the F1RGP2C Commission had to boost their engine power so that they could be withing fifteen seconds of the leader. The four teams combined for a total of zero points (although Pippa Mann came heartbreakingly close in Monaco]] and racked up enough DNQs to set a house on fire. Pacific was the best of the lot, if you go by actual race starts. If you go by actual results, you will find that the Pacifics were absolutely awful during the races; at the beginning of the year, they would often not complete enough laps to be classified. DAMS worked ridiculously hard to get their car on the grid, only to have Pippa Mann walk out at the end of the year, leaving her boyfriend Ben Fleet in the lurch. Jorg Scrattenheim was a godsend for Simtek as he regularly put the car in the midfield but his teammate George Tramontani was utterly useless. Masta Valsattis only qualified for five of his sixteen starts at Forti (he filled in for one race at Ferrari) but made good use of them. Masta drove what I think was the best race of the year at the Japanese Grand Prix, dragging the Forti into eleventh place! The less said about his teammate, the better.
I know I've probably violated every rule about wiki style guides in this review, but I could care less. The 1995 F1RGP2C season was very entertaining to watch and was far more interesting than doing my homework. The end.
Drivers and teams
|Team||Constructor||Chassis||Engine||Seat holder||#||Race Drivers||Rounds|
|Mild Seven Benetton Renault||Benetton||B195||Renault RS7 3.0 V10||John Zimmer||0||John Zimmer||All|
|Nokia Tyrrell Yamaha||Tyrrell||023||Yamaha OX10C 3.0 V10||Poppy Whitechapel||3||Poppy Whitechapel||All|
|4||Gio van Dycke||All|
|Rothmans Williams Renault||Williams||FW17
|Renault RS7 3.0 V10||Prince Walik||5||Daniel Moreno||All|
|Marlboro McLaren Mercedes||McLaren||MP4/10||Mercedes FO 110 3.0 V10||Don Rennis||7||James Davies||All|
|Footwork Hart||Footwork||FA16||Hart 830 3.0 V8||Max von Hegel||9||Kazuyoshi Hoshino||All|
|MTV Simtek Ford||Simtek||S951||Ford EDB 3.0 V8||Christopher Monaldo||11||George Tramontani||All|
|B&H Total Jordan Ford||Jordan||195||Peugeot A10 3.0 V10||Leonhard von Gottorp||14||Leonhard von Gottorp||All|
|Volga Pacific Grand Prix Ltd.||Pacific||CHAD1||Volga 3.0 V8||Petr Chaddeev||16||Anton Kaliniczenko||All|
|Junior DAMS||DAMS||DA-01||Ford EDC 3.0 V8||Pippa Mann||18||Pippa Mann||1-15|
|Max von Hegel||16-17|
|Albertini Forti Ford||Forti||FG01||Ford EDD 3.0 V8||Francois Albertini||21||Masta Valsattis||1-6, 8-17|
|Minardi Scuderia Italia||Minardi||M195||Ford EDM 3.0 V8||Masta Valsattis||23||Andrew Spokes||All|
|Ligier Gitanes Blondes||Ligier||JS41||Mugen-Honda MF-301 3.0 V10||Dennis Mignolet||25||Reiko Megumi||1-15|
|26||Dennis Mignolet||1-15, 17|
|Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||412T2||Ferrari 044/1 3.0 V12||Luca de Montmelo||27||Padraig O'Connell||All|
|28||Tom Douglas||1-6, 8-17|
|Red Bull Sauber Ford||Sauber||C14||Ford ECA Zetec-R 3.0 V8||Chris Forbes||29||Pablo da Silva||1-16|
At the end of the 1994 season, the Lotus name disappeared from the grid along with Larrousse, with Forti and DAMS entering the fray. DAMS merged with the remains of Larrousse and runs the Larrousse chassis that was being developed for 1995. Ligier received Mugen-Honda engines due to their signing of Japanese driver Reiko Megumi to the team. Pacific was bought by another consortium of Russian businessmen led by Petr Chaddeev. Chaddeev re-badged the engines as Volga after signing a sponsorship deal with the Russian marque and hired two Eastern European drivers to the team.
During the season, the Simtek team announced bankruptcy.
At the start of the season
- McLaren signed former Ferrari driver Rory McAllister to drive for 1995 after McAllister did not renew his Ferrari contract after a string of poor results in 1994. Douglas Mann was retained by the team.
- Ferrari signed former McLaren driver Tom Douglas in a swap for Rory McAllister. Padraig O'Connell remained with Ferrari.
- Former Footwork driver Max von Hegel decided to retire at the end of 1994 to take the position of seat holder for Footwork. His first decision was to hire former Lotus driver Samael Meerwick to the team, alongside Kazuyoshi Hoshino
- Éadbhard Ó'Caoimhín retired after 1994 to pursue an academic career. His seat at Jordan was taken by ex-Lotus driver Damon Cannon.
- Pablo da Silva was interested in the Jordan seat but it was taken by Cannon. da Silva stayed at Sauber for another year. Seat holder Chris Forbes announced that Pieter Kickert had taken the seat.
- Masta Valsattis became the seat holder for Minardi but withdrew himself from driving for the team. Andrew Spokes was confirmed along with Mikko Fäkkinnen.
- Sebastien Belo was fired by Ligier and replaced with Reiko Megumi; as a result, Ligier carried Mugen-Honda engines for this season.
- Forti announced that their seat holder would be Monegasque driver/team owner Francois Albertini. Sebastian Gazurek took the Forti drive.
- Pippa Mann left Simtek to become seat holder and driver at DAMS. She brought Ben Fleet into the team to be the second driver.
- Gio van Dycke initially left Larrousse to join Pacific Grand Prix but left for Tyrrell after he received a better offer. Pacific was forced to hire Artiom Zielenkovski.
- Pieter Kickert refused to return to Tyrrell despite his contract with the team. Kickert then left for Sauber.
- Jack Christopherson shocked the paddock by announcing that he would be retiring as the undefeated champion.
- Douglas Mann took Christopherson's vacated seat at Williams and James Davies snatched the second McLaren seat.
- At Pacific Giovanni Roda was sacked by Petr Chaddeev and replaced by Artiom Zielenkovski while Fleet's vacant seat was taken by Anton Kaliniczenko.
- Tom Douglas was suspended for one race after taking out John Zimmer while trying to unlap himself at the Canadian Grand Prix. Douglas was replaced by Masta Valsattis at Ferrari and Martin McFry took the vacated Forti seat.
- After a disastrous race at the 1995 Japanese Grand Prix, a frustrated Douglas Mann left the Williams team. He was replaced by Jorg Scrattenheim in a surprise move by Prince Walik. Douglas Mann moved to Ligier subsequently.
- At the same race, a frustrated Pippa Mann also left DAMS. She was replaced by Max von Hegel in a surprise move by the former driver.
- Following Scrattenheim's improbable victory at the 1995 F1RGP2C Pacific Grand Prix, Chris Forbes hired Jorg to Sauber for the final race of the year after Pablo da Silva was given a three-race ban for dangerous driving. Prince Walik, the Williams seatholder, took over the vacated Williams drive.
|8||Leonhard von Gottorp||5||4||Ret||DNQ||5||6||8||Ret||6||5||7||Ret||9||Ret||6||5||5||16|
|14||Pablo da Silva||Ret||6||12||4||9||11||Ret||7||Ret||Ret||Ret||10||Ret||10||Ret||DSQ||4|
|17||Gio van Dycke||8||Ret||10||5||8||12||9||9||Ret||7||6||12||Ret||9||9||Ret||10||3|
|23||Max von Hegel||Ret||9||0|
- * Driver didn't finish the race but completed over 90% of the full race distance
|Formula One Rejects Grand Prix 2 Championship Seasons|