Antonov wrote: ↑
4 months ago
disqualification for outdragging Hill on the start of the warmup lap is a draconian measure. it would be different had he done so several times during the lap. but even then a stop/go would have been a just-er penalty. but no... disqualification, and for half a dozen races as well, so as to artificially create a championship battle which never was in reality.
As has been said, Schu was not disqualified for outdragging Hill at the start, but for disobeying the black flag, which is a very serious offence. Also, he did overtake Hill "several times", actually twice iirc, and he wasn't disqualified for half a dozen races, check your math.
That being said, there appears to have been an element of spicing up the championship in all those penalties, to be fair. Overtaking on the parade lap had never been an issue before, even in 1994 and even with Schumacher himself being the culprit - check the very first race of the season, for example. No mistaking, Schu was in the wrong doing it, but the authorities taking note and handing out a stop-go penalty was, well, let's just say unusual. However, the decision by the Benetton management to ignore the black flag was certainly not very clever, to say the very least - it opened the door to all sorts of penalties, and really set off the unpleasant feel that the championship developed in the latter half of the season. You can't blame that on anyone else but Benetton, and Schumacher who should have known what he was getting into - every driver is obliged to know the rules, so there's no excuse, he could have just come in and serve his penalty, and everything would've been fine. He chose not to.
At the time, the penalties seemed harsh, indeed. But in retrospect, with all the facts that have come to light in the meantime, I think Benetton and Schumi came off VERY lightly. This was a blatant try to win a World Championship at any cost, without ANY regard for rules or sportsmanship. These days, we're rather used to that, but in 1994 it was a first.
Winning isn't everything, but it's somewhat better than finishing second! -- Bruce McLaren