The Man from Sao Paulo - Senna to Williams in 1992

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by FickleCrossroad, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Geordie Well known among the mighty men Donor

    Feb 12, 2008
    Jarrow-on-Tyne, or Farnborough, Hampshire
    So, the Lamborghini engine shows promise, but Ferrari manage to sneak onto the podium.

    Unlucky for Coulthard. As TheMann says, I wonder what his chances are of keeping the seat long term? After all, he probably knows the FW16 better than anybody else...
  2. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    DC will be the third driver in '94. Senna-Andretti has been the pairing since the previous offseason.
  3. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Sorry for the delay

    I've been bouncing around between shifts and have been exhausted. Now I look at the clock and realize, at least in my time zone, I missed the anniversary of my POD. As I'm doing this chronologically, this update includes the next two IndyCar races. Consider this the opposite of the F1 side of the story! ;)

    IndyCar Round Fourteen – Pioneer Electronics 200 – 12 September 1993 – Mid-Ohio

    With only two races to go following the day’s race, news of the silly season continued with multiple teams merging, trying to make the most of the upcoming rules changes. After the close of the 1993 season, the occasional, usually Indy-only entries of Menard and Hemelgarn were to join forces, with Scott Brayton and Buddy Lazier in the cockpits. Another merger was between the Arciero and Hayhoe organizations, allowing them to expand to two cars full time, which were to be piloted by Olivier Grouilliard and Dominic Dobson. Finally, the new PacWest team would link up to King Racing, after Bruce McCaw was intimidated by the amount of funding needed to sustain his young outfit. Knowing what was at stake, Kenny Bernstein was glad to oblige, and the two began talks with Chip Ganassi and Rick Galles towards acquiring stakes in the municipally-managed Laguna Seca and Portland tracks. With the likelihood of neither city allowing a sale outright, the idea of being junior partners appealed to the small teams, as it would give them a stake of the ticket sales. Portland in particular appealed to Bernstein, as the drag racing facility would allow him to double-dip. The talks were still tentative, but if they could get in early, perhaps they could meet their targets of 10% at each track. King-PacWest was aiming for three full-time entries the following season, but at the moment they only had Roberto Guerrero signed for 1994.

    On raceday, it was Paul Tracy on pole for the third time that season, followed by Michael Andretti, Fittipaldi, Rahal, Luyendyk, Mario, Unser, Goodyear, Sullivan, and Johannson. Notably absent near the front were both of the Foyt-Vision drivers, Pruett in 15th and Gordon all the way in 24th, not getting their qualifying setups correct, though with their practice speeds, they looked to be a threat in race trim. Debutant Mansell was a lowly 27th, on the penultimate row of the grid, which was not surprising given how he had only arrived at his team ten days ago. However, he looked to already have a hang of the technical track, and stated that he was still first aiming to finish, and if possible, grab some of the low hanging fruit on the points table.

    Paul Tracy’s poor start came a little close to surrendering the lead to Michael, but he was able to keep ahead through the esses as Vasser was one of the biggest early gainers, though, leaping past Smith and Fabi within the first lap and a half, then following Piquet past Johannson. Boesel was on the greatest tear early on, from his lowly 17th, he brought the Duracell-sponsored Lola to Johannson’s gearbox over the first four laps. Mansell’s early laps started modestly, grabbing 26th from St. James into the keyhole the first time by, and harried Brayton over the next two laps before grabbing that position as well. On the fifth lap, contact between Cheever, Vitolo, and Gordon directly in front of him brought out the years of experience, jinking around the lot and bringing him to 22nd when the first yellow waved. After the green came back out, Michael Andretti finally stole the lead from Tracy on the first turn and made it stick as he ran in clear air. Fittipaldi attempted to follow, but Tracy shut the door, which in turn let Rahal through into third. Danny Sullivan pitted under yellow, dealing with oil pressure issues, and had to call it a day as well after five minutes of looking for a quick fix.

    After Tracy began to recover, his pressure on Andretti succeeded after a long run behind the NHA car, snatching the lead on lap 64. Behind Tracy the pack remained tight, allowing Goodyear to slip past Unser for sixth, which – along with Piquet and Vasser behind, became the tightest battle on the track, gradually losing time to Mario and Luyendyk. Tracy faded off into the distance, putting up a nine second lead by lap 61, but a failing transmission ruined his chance to stretch the lead in the championship – dropping control of the race into the hands of the local hero Rahal. However, the owner of the Hilliard based team could not hang on to the lead, as Michael Andretti took advantage of traffic to better time his pit stop, while Fittipaldi came out of his just a few lengths behind Rahal. With five laps to go, Rahal fell to third, as Luyendyk picked off both the men in front of him in short succession. Fittipaldi slid one more position to Mario before the finish, while Goodyear also faded late, as Unser and Piquet leapfrogged him. Vasser tried to make it one more from Goodyear on the final lap, but couldn’t make his pass stick. Johannson finished tenth with Boesel just behind, while Mike Groff’s replacement grabbed his first IndyCar point in twelfth, continuing his slow but steady improvement from one race to the next. Debutant Mansell was able to bring his car home in sixteenth, making the most of a conservative strategy to learn as much as he could on the fly, and had posted times competitive with the leaders by the final handful of laps. The next race at Nazareth would, however, be another kettle of fish entirely…

    IndyCar Round Fifteen – Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix – 19 September 1993

    With only one race to go at the end of the day, sights were more split between this year and the next. Mari Hulman George added fuel to the fire by publically announcing the acquisition of Watkins Glen International in full, purchasing the shares from both Corning and ISC. In exchange, NASCAR secured a long-term contract to race at the venue through the 2003 season, with an option that could extend it as late as 2008. George also mentioned that the track would be heavily renovated over the coming years, claiming that Watkins Glen had been the American home of road racing and deserved to push the state of the art into the twenty-first century. The Glen would be widened, the pit lane upgraded into a full paddock past the current Formula One standards. One rumor leaked that IndyCar was considering slight alterations to the final two corners to both improve the entry into the pitlane, and increase passing down the front straightaway. The sound bite that aired during the race day coverage was simple, including George’s quote of, “America has no excuse not to have the best facility on the planet, and by the end of the decade, we hope that Formula One will come back to our shores. Detroit, Dallas, and Phoenix were embarrassments to what this country has to offer. We will not do this overnight, but Watkins Glen will be world-class once again.”

    From one champion’s home track to another, the IndyCar field moved to the Andretti hometown of Nazareth, Pennsylvania and it’s oddly shaped tri-oval. Michael Andretti took pole ahead of a Penske sweep of the following three, with Tracy, Unser, and Fittipaldi, then Mario, Boesel, Gordon, Luyendyk, Pruett, and Brayton. Further back, Danny Sullivan had a spin during his qualifying attempt, and without having posted a time, given the full field he was forced to qualify dead last, to the chagrin of the Formula Project team and Stephan Gregoire, who did not think they would have the funding to make the field – expanded to thirty-two for the race. Mansell’s first oval qualification went slower than he’d like, but without a hitch – making the cut at twenty-fourth. His comments afterward were bemused, finding the track a fresh challenge, but he was concerned how the baptism by total immersion on the oddball oval of the series would fare.

    The points battle remained incredibly tight, with Michael Andretti leading at 136, followed by his father at 133, Unser and Tracy Tied at 132, and Fittipladi at 125. Rahal and Goodyear were still mathematically alive at 111 and 98 points respectively.

    With the expanded field, there were some worries about the start, which unfortunately proved founded when an attempt at going four-wide went awry in the mid-field, when – after falling back at the start, Brayton got loose in the middle of the second corner, collecting several with him who were on the high line and setting off a chain reaction. When the dust cleared, eight cars were out, Fabi, Vasser, Johannson, Cheever, Brayton, Sharp, Buhl, and Piquet were all too damaged to continue, while Vitolo and Smith needed to pit for fresh tires after picking up punctures. Before the yellow flew, Unser was able to slip by his teammate, while Stanley had a rocket start, moving all the way up to eighth from eleventh. The single file restart was far less dramatic, though Unser made another quick pass and grabbed the lead after setting up Michael through the lap and got past in turn three. A consolation gain by the elder Andretti on Fittipaldi made the NHA cars second and fourth, with the two dominant teams now alternating through the top five. Mansell’s first oval restart did not go to plan, however, dropping back from sixteenth to eighteenth, inexperience getting the better of him.

    The next caution came out on lap fifty-three, when Fittipaldi’s streak of top-ten finishes came to a smoky end when his engine expired. This allowed for a convenient round of pit stops, which allowed Mario to gain two spots and push his son down to third. Mario took the pit-road momentum forward, grabbing the lead from Unser on the restart, with Tracy, Gordon, Ribbs, and Groulliard all gaining on the restart. Mario was able to hold onto the lead until a charging Gordon moved his way through and pressed on the low line, moving into first on lap 98. He would dominate the third quarter of the race, extending his lead to seven seconds until Guerrero and Johnstone made contact in the kink, bringing out the third yellow. As before, it was fortunate for all the surviving runners, who now could make it to the end with their stops. Gordon was advised by Foyt to turn his boost down regardless and let the others be the rabbits so he could push at the end, but to try to hold on as far as he could. The challenge was frustrating, but allowed Andretti, Unser, and Tracy to all get by on the restart. Pruett and Stanley were on other strategies, with Stanley told to run at an even pace and Pruett to push early, with the Foyt-Vision camp gambling with all three of their drivers running once again in the top ten. Pruett thus jumped into sixth, following Michael Andretti past Boesel.

    In the closing laps, the race slowly came back to Gordon, who was allowed to gradually increase his boost as they managed the fuel early. However, the battle with Michael Andretti meant he had company coming up the field, Andretti catching up whenever Gordon caught traffic. Gordon caught a break, though, when Tracy was able to successfully defend against Michael. With ten laps to go, Unser trailed Mario by half a second, with Gordon only a second and a half behind. However, Unser was gaining on the lead, and a three-way battle developed. Gordon dispatched Unser on lap 194, but Mario’s defense allowed Unser to remain close. When Gordon got by with two to go, Unser was able to follow, and they finished in that order. Robby Gordon was ecstatic, bringing home the first win of his young career, and the first win for the number 14 after the retirement of the legendary owner. Tracy finished fourth, and was followed by Michael Andretti, Boesel, Stanley, Luyendyk, Pruett, Ribbs, Grouilliard, and Goodyear. Nigel Mansell survived his first oval experience with a thirteenth-place finish, benefitting from some late race mechanical attrition and continuing to find his rhythm.

    Only one race remained, and the championship was down to four drivers, with only four points between them.

    TMfSP - IndyCar 1993 Standings Post-Nazareth.jpg
  4. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    For whenever I do the Story Finished Thread.

    I wish the post edit limit was longer, so I could attach this file to the first post! Suzuka, 20 October 1991.

    Suzuka 1991 Podium.jpg
  5. HesitatedEye Minister for Organised Chaos

    Oct 3, 2011
    Sunny Scotland
    interesting update Nigel's done better than he did the first time he went on a oval and how pissed would Michael be if his old man beat him to the title.
  6. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    ITTL, Mansell didn't have an offseason to transition, he only had a week, and he's not with as good a team. So, he's balancing his skill more towards his brain than his balls, though if you told him he was being Prost-like, he wouldn't be happy about it.

    The Andretti battle is simple, Mario has two fewer DNF's than Michael, and one more than the Penskes. I'd say the Penske battle would be harder as Tracy's a better qualifier and needs either a pole or luck plus a win. Then again, I don't even know who will win yet. I had my mind made up, then I started getting playful with the careers... :confused:
  7. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

    Aug 4, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    ^ All things considered, I'd give it to Mario and let him retire right on top, perhaps a way of having him stay relevant in Indycars for quite a while into the future. :)
  8. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Mario will be relevant, regardless.

    I just don't know if it's too much of a stretch at that point in his career. Indy? Absolutely. Stringing together enough consistency and lacking as many DNF's? Sure, but I'm trying not to be too sentimental here, after being so warm and fuzzy with the Indy win.

    This is after being sated watching Power win the MAV TV 500, though. :)
  9. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Watkins Glen modifications w/ F1 sector coloration

    Ok all, I know there were some reservations regarding my desire to alter The Glen, and hopefully this shows I'm not going too nuts here. What I was thinking is making the penultimate corner a bit more pass-friendly, and instead of a simple 90-degree right hander for the last corner, turning it into more of a sweeper. Between those two corners, the entrance to the pits would branch off, and the frontstretch would include construction of a large paddock.

    Now, a question:

    Something I've always wondered about regarding F1 paddocks, is that they seem like such a good idea, why don't the American series' incorporate it? To this, I'd suggest something like a double-room hotel suite, where a lockable partition between individual car garages is built into the walls of each. So, the F1 teams may have to do a bit of creative gear placement between their two, however IndyCar, and even NASCAR, could utilize the facilities. If the paddock is wide enough, you could simply expand the concept so the pit boxes are in front of the particular car's paddock. Add trailer doors to the backs of each, and streamline the operation of loading and unloading. Lump it all together, and you could lodge the team in rooms above their garage, and then put grandstands on top of THAT.

    Am I missing something here that would prevent this? Would the expense be a dealbreaker? Or is this an idea that could work?

    Watkins Glen - 01.jpg
  10. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

    Aug 4, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    One potentially-large problem with the large paddock is that the front straight at Watkins Glen runs quite markedly downhill. It's possible to get around that, but teams need their garages to be as flat as possible, particularly for F1 and Indycar style garages. It's possible to get around that I suspect, but it require considerable earthworks at the far end of the pits. (Suzuka has this same issue.) As far as the track layout, I can see that last two corners' arrangement working well if the last turn is a wide enough radius that drivers don't do much (or any) braking into it, thus setting up a challenge to get the best run out of it for the scream down the straight into Turn One. Having a slight bank to the curve might make that work better still, and a good bridge over the pit entrance and the curve onto the front stretch could give fans on the front straight an excellent view of the action in the pit lane.

    Your paddock design idea is excellent, except for two problems. The first is the fans would see little of the cars being worked on or any of the action. This is not a problem for F1 or NASCAR (It has been many years since either series allowed fans into the paddock), but for IMSA or Indycar this could be a considerable issue. The other problem presented is what does one do about the support series of any such weekend if the teams have occupied the pit garages with all of their cars and equipment?

    One other issue whether one could rebuild Watkins Glen to F1-level standards without it costing an arm and a leg. Runoff in the esses alone would be a huge job, made worse by the entrance tunnel underneath the second portion of the esses. One idea I've seen before is some extra runoff, with a paved section immediately off the track before you hit a gravel trap and an energy-absorbing barrier (Read: SAFER barrier) on the outside of the circuit. Watkins Glen's esses have had NASCAR and Grand Am wrecks where cars have gone over the fences, which in an Indycar or F1 car could very easily be lethal. All of that Armco would have to go and the cost of putting up huge sections of such barriers would cost millions, but if the series is gonna spend money like this, it might be a great idea.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  11. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Oh! Forgot I never posted this!

    I made another draft of the Neue-Nurburgring a few months ago and never posted it.

    Nurburgring - Revised Layout - 2 - Finished.jpg
  12. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Re-Revised Hockenheim

    Also never posted this re-edit.

    Hockenheim - Revised Layout - 3.jpg
  13. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Hmmm... Good point on topography. Would the paddock be better placed as far to the right (in the picture)?

    Regarding the width, that's the plan. The whole track would be slightly widened, but not obscenely. The bridge may be necessary due to increased costs of earthworks, I'm more a fan of tunnels myself, but understand the wallet may be about drained here.

    I'd keep the garages in place until/unless the paddock was expanded to accommodate everyone. It'd just be a long pit lane with a lot of pit stalls.

    That was the intent. The Glen is going to be a moneypit, and suck up a LOT of the funds of IndyCar. However, it will be getting a lot more business, and when a sanctioning body owns a track outright, coffers get filled.
  14. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Hopefully not the last update this weekend

    Formula One Round Fourteen – XXII Grande Premio de Portugal – 26 September 1993 – Estoril

    With the second European leg of the season at its closing stage, the intra-team battle for second place in the drivers’ standings was still burning hot. However, Mika Hakkinen’s efforts at putting another nail in the coffin came to fruition, lining up on the grid directly ahead of Schumacher. Senna took his tenth pole ahead of the season, sitting alongside of Hill, who squeaked by ahead of Coulthard. Hakkinen was fourth, then Brundle in the other McLaren, followed by Schumacher, Alesi, Berger, Capelli, and Blundell.

    When the lights flipped to green, Hill’s start was fast enough to pass Senna down the front straight, but his lead did not last as Senna overtook him out of the Parabolica Interior. Coulthard was able to remain ahead of Hakkinen, but the defensive line taken by the junior Williams driver allowed Brundle to briefly grab both spots, before going off into the first corner, ending his day early. Alboreto had an impressive start in the Lola-Ford, reaching eighth by the end of the first lap after starting twelfth.

    As the race progressed, it was clear the Williams drivers were on a split strategy, with Senna staying out on a one-stopper while Coulthard pitted from second on lap 24, followed quickly by most of the other frontrunners. The long straightaway of Estoril claimed two engines early, just after pitting Hakkinen’s failed on the end of his out lap, as well as Alesi’s on lap 31. After Senna returned to the track with fresh rubber on lap 37, Coulthard was trailing by fifteen seconds, with Hill harrying him on the straightaways. The two made contact on lap 42 into Curva 1, both of their races over with damage. Coulthard’s impact sent him skipping across the sand trap, colliding with the barrier hard and leaving him with a severe concussion, while Hill climbing out of the car frustrated but unscathed. When the dust cleared, the closest fight on the track was for fourth, with Wendlinger and Alboreto both surviving the earlier attrition. That soon became a duel over the final podium spot, when Senna’s suspension failed on him on lap 51, taking him out of the second successive race and guaranteeing that the Williams team would finish two races in a row without points.

    With twenty laps to go and on new tires, Schumacher inherited a comfortable sixteen-second lead over Berger, and cruised to his second victory of the season after grabbing the fastest lap of the race on lap 55. Berger also had a safe gap in second, with Wendlinger finally prevailing for his second podium of the season – and filling that podium with Germanophones. Alboreto finished only two seconds behind in fourth, then Capelli. Fittipaldi was gifted the final point late in the race when Comas’ engine failed with two laps remaining, a frustrating end to a day which otherwise would have given Lola-Ford their first double-points finish as a team.

    TMfSP - F1 1993 Standings Post Estoril.jpg
  15. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Apologies all, I wanted to have this season knocked out by the end of October. I just can't think well lately, my sleep cycle has been screwed with too much recently, and the few times I'm well-rested things come up. I started posting this TL at a busy time and want to knock it out of the park. After '94, things will speed up a bit. I want to trim a lot of the play-by-play unless there's demand for it. This coming offseason will be much shorter than last.

    The current thought is to take it to whenever present day is when I catch up. Everything I wanted to try was beaten to death by the time I got here. Senna will live here though, dammit.

    I'm sick of having to drop an excuse for slow updating, I can't keep this out of my head, I just keep getting blocked for one reason or another. At least I'll be on one steady shift for a few weeks coming soon. That'll help big time. Ideally, I win the lottery and can write three hours a day, sculpt, screw, paint, and run the rest, but I don't see that happening.
  16. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    1993 IndyCar Finale

    IndyCar Round Sixteen – Toyota Grand Prix of Monterey – 03 October 1993 – Laguna Seca

    Despite the fact that he was the only driver at Team Penske not in contention for the championship, it was Emerson Fittipadi who took the pole position at Laguna Seca. Michael Andretti was beside him on the grid, followed by Tracy, Luyendyk, Mario, Sullivan, Rahal, Piquet, Unser, Boesel, with Mansell beside him in twelfth. It was bittersweet at the front for Fittipaldi, who was leaving Penske at the end of the season for the expanding Rahal-Hogan outfit, with Rahal luring Pat Patrick back into the pitlane. As a three-car team, Rahal and Fittipaldi would be partnered by Johnstone, who signed for the 1994 season. 1993 Indy Lights champion Bryan Herta was to replace Fittipaldi at Penske.

    Another driver set to move on at the end of the season was Nazareth winner Robby Gordon, set to leave for Walker after a rollercoaster relationship with team boss AJ Foyt. After Nazareth, Foyt had attempted to lure the Gordon back, but the damage between the two had already been done. With Foyt and George set to split into separate two-car teams at the end of the season, Pruett would be partnered with the recently demoted Ligier driver Eric Bernard, who was joining the team full-time. Tony George was rolling the dice, not only by bringing the spare car for Stanley to run at Laguna Seca, but signing another young local talent, the twenty-two year old USAC driver Tony Stewart. Piquet was replacing Mansell at Ganassi, while the young Pac-West team would merge with King. Bettenhausen Motorsports was pulled deeper into the Penske orbit, becoming their “B-Team” in all but name, and running Johannson, Sharp, and Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. full time. Discussions were ongoing amongst the teams regarding qualifying and total amount of entries allowed per race, as the entry lists were set to climb into the mid-high 30’s for every race. At Laguna Seca, the entry list included thirty-two drivers, and all were allowed to run.

    When Fittipaldi took the green flag, he remained unchallenged early on as Tracy and Michael Andretti were running two-three. This was a relief to the elder Penske driver, and quickly maddening for Luyendyk as the fight in front of him allowed Mario Andretti to get a run out of the fourth turn. Sullivan had a comparatively poor start behind them, falling first to Rahal and then to Piquet before holding off a desperate Unser. After five laps, Michael remained in control of his own destiny, with 163 points to Mario’s 160, Tracy’s 158, and Unser’s 152. It took Unser until the twelfth lap to make it past Sullivan, but he wasn’t the only one on the move. Nigel Mansell climbed from twelfth into the top ten over that same stretch of time, and was managing his pace in the dirty air well. Piquet dispatched Rahal on the tenth lap, and began to pressure Luyendyk shortly thereafter, with Arie holding on tightly for over a dozen laps.

    Piquet’s quest for another top five was put on hold when Robbie Stanley and Groulliard collided at the tenth turn, taking Stanley out of the race and forcing Groulliard to pit for a new set of tires early. Fortunately, the field was inside of the pit window and the Frenchman only lost one position out of the ordeal. When everyone cycled through the pits, Fittipaldi retained the lead, but Unser’s crew helped get him ahead of Rahal and Piquet to sixth, while Mario was able to overtake Tracy in the pit lane. With 24 laps raced, Michael’s lead was cut from 163 to 162 over his father, and the Penske contenders tied at 156. Unser was set up to contend, with only Luyendyk between himself and the Andrettis, and Fittipaldi was not about to relinquish the lead to anyone given his contract situation.

    Tracy was able to get by Mario at the restart, and continued his attack on Michael – both all the more desperate to get in the lead. However, Emmo was able to use the cleaner air to his advantage, and once again pulled away. Little Al finally cleared his way past Luyendyk on lap 31, followed three laps later by Piquet. Mansell continued his march deeper into the low points on lap 40 by passing Sullivan. At this point Fittipaldi had a gap of six seconds over Tracy, who passed Michael on lap 40 as well. The top five remained static through the following sixteen laps, earning Fittipaldi the second bonus point for most laps led. As they ran, Michael was still the presumptive champion, but now by a margin of 161 to 160 over Tracy and his father, and 158 to Unser, who was beginning to press hard on Mario for fourth. During the middle portion of the race, St. James, Smith, Luyendyk, and Johnstone all succumbed to mechanical failures and retired from the race.

    The next round of pit stops were done under green, and the Penske crew for Unser was able to get him past Mario for fourth after spending most of the race behind, turning his battle with Michael into a straight-up fight for the PPG Cup which only Tracy could spoil by reeling in Fittipaldi. However, while the second through fifth placed drivers and fought amongst themselves, Piquet and Rahal had closed in during the past dozen laps, and by lap 65, they were both within a second of Mario. It took another fifteen laps to do it, but Mario’s IndyCar career closed with one more pass against him, by a fellow former world champion. In the closing laps, the interteam rivalry at the front began to sour, as Tracy harried Fittipaldi increasingly closer, finally making it stick with seven laps remaining into the hairpin. Michael followed with four to go, and made a few desperate attempts on the final two laps, but to no avail. Paul Tracy held on to become the 1993 IndyCar champion.

    TMfSP - IndyCar 1993 Final Standings.jpg
  17. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

    Aug 4, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Paul Tracy is the Indycar champ at age 24 and Nelson Piquet's second career as a racer begins with him being the Indycar rookie of the year. Not bad, not bad at all. :cool: If I was Mario Andretti, I'd be keen on racing in 1994 after coming so lose to the 1993 title, particularly after he was so strong during the season in terms of both results and consistency. Michael is gonna go into Formula One on a high, having won three times and landed on the podium five other times in a single season.

    If I'm reading this right, in 1994 Rahal and Fittipaldi will be teammates, while Bryan herta will join Paul Tracy and Al Unser Jr and Team Penske, while Bettenhausen is sorta becoming the Penske B-Team for Stefan Johansson, Scott Sharp and Tony Bettenhausen Jr. Robby Gordon is going to go race for Derrick Walker, presumably next to Willy T. Ribbs. Vision will have Scott Pruett and Eric Bernard full time and Robbie Stanley on the oval races and some road courses. Nelson Piquet and Mauricio Gugelmin will be driving for Ganassi (good pair, that one). Mansell will be somewhere in Indycar in 1994, and PacWest and King are merging. (I don't get this one - PacWest has cash to burn and doesn't need what King has, and here Kenny Bernstein is probably still enthusiastic about Indycar, particularly if he's now an owner of the series as well as his team.)
  18. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Tracy got his wake-up call to drive maturely, and sacrificed a few OTL wins for a PPG cup. At 25 years old, he's still young enough to put in a couple more years and do F1 for awhile.

    Piquet was a turbo-era master, and while his injuries have diminished his skill, he can still perform. Expect him to last another few years in IndyCar to help bankroll his personal life and business interests.

    Mario Andretti did come close, but he's retiring on a high. Winning Indy and the series evolving have made him content with hanging up his helmet full-time. He may run at Indy, he may not.

    I'll be posting my '94 rosters after I knock out the last F1 update, and do some research on who I want where in F1. SimTek and Pacific are still going to happen, though I'm not sure who I want where.

    Regarding KingPacWest, the merger is out of foresight. More money will be on the table, but costs for results will increase. Teams with stakes in tracks earn more of the winnings, so mergers and combined-team expansions are going to happen in the next couple of years. KingPacWest will be looking at getting their feet in as many doors as possible, taking the Andretti route with Pocono and upgrading an existing facility in exchange for some of the take.

    I plan on writing brief interludes with Senna, Schumacher, Hill, Hakkinen, Berger, Alboreto, Wendlinger, the Andrettis, Honda, Rahal, Unser, Tracy, Mansell, the Georges, Stokkan, and Ueberroth.

    Anyone with driver preference insights please post your thoughts on IndyCar driver numbers. The "number draft" will be decided by IndyCar championships, wins, then starts, with wealthier drivers lacking at the statistical end can buy out those with a high seed that do not care.

    So, a driver like Mansell would have to work with someone near the front to purchase rights to the number five, should he choose. I don't know whether or not to include Michael Andretti in this draft, and am leaning not to. Curently, I'm thinking Rahal would take 8, (he is highest on the list if I recall,) then Unser takes 3, Fittipaldi takes 2 or 20, and have no clue on Sullivan, who will be the only other active champion. Expect Tracy to take 12 as his permanent number. I just don't want to assign random numbers if someone has info that a driver really identified with a certain number.
  19. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Formula One Round Fifteen: XIX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix – 24 October 1993 – Suzuka

    David Coulthard’s recovery over the preceding four weeks had worried the Williams team, as their second driver experienced several migraines during testing efforts. This included one during the first practice session, which made Frank Williams decide that bringing in Patrese had been the smart decision. The FIA initially blanched at the mid-event swap, but Patrese was given an exemption and was allowed to race. Another driver to make his first start of the season, and indeed his career, was Toshio Suzuki, on loan from Honda’s program to allow their driver experience on a Formula One grid. This irritated the hapless Andrea de Cesaris, but Tyrell had been starting to run short on funding for the season, and a fully Japanese-driven team had resulted in an extra million dollars of backing.

    Qualifying went on form, with Senna taking pole for the eleventh time that season, three clear of twice the career total of second place Nigel Mansell at 83. Hakkinen was second, then Brundle, Schumacher, Hill, Berger, (a rusty) Patrese, Barrichello, Alboreto, and Blundell. Alesi’s qualifying woes left him a distant 13th on the grid, with Wendlinger alongside. Capelli ran into even more frustration, not being able to put a good time in after damage from a spin in the final session, dropping him to dead last on the grid, outside of debutant Suzuki.

    Hill’s flying start was reminiscent of the previous race at Estoril, however Schumacher was also on form and ready. Despite the power advantage and the inside line of Hill, Schumacher’s inside weave caught his Benetton into Hill’s wheels, sending the pair straight off into the gravel between the first two turns – ending each of their days. This unfortunately also resulted in a retirement for Berger, who ran out of room attempting to avoid the debacle unfolding in front of him. Hill was beyond irate, having his fourth retirement in five races, and had to be pulled aside by a track marshal as he was about to throw a punch.

    At the front, Hakkinen also had a great start, but it wasn’t enough to make it past Senna who was on the clean line, slotting in neatly behind while under pressure from Brundle behind. The McLaren driver succumbed to Patrese two laps later, who made a brilliant run into Denger. Alboreto, already in the points, pressured Barrichello into a mistake and grabbed fifth place on the following lap. Alesi cleared Herbert and Panis early on, and by the ninth lap had started working on Blundell for seventh, taking the position finally on lap eleven, only to see his engine let go on the exit of 130R, which was oddly enough only the second double retirement for Ferrari over the season (Donington Park). Wendlinger’s impressive run six consecutive finishes in his Sauber ended in smoke as well on lap seventeen.

    Senna gradually stretched his lead over Hakkinen to five seconds by the time the Finn had to pit, but the Williams drivers were running a split strategy, with Senna doing on a one-stop. Patrese pitted two laps later, and was able to come out ahead of the Benetton. Once Senna took his tires, Patrese led by four seconds over Hakkinen, and another two over Senna. Quickly, Senna was on the attack, but Hakkinen defended well. This battle lasted the nine laps until the Benetton needed to pit, surrendering second after falling back another six seconds to Patrese. When Hakkinen rejoined, he did so just behind Brundle, who held him up even further. A one-two seemingly in-hand for Williams, Senna backed off, knowing Patrese was pitting. When he rejoined, it was in second and barely just behind Senna.

    With the front four finally sorted, the battle over the two final points positions was tightening. Alboreto was hounded by Barrichello’s Jordan and Blundell’s Footwork, and was caught out by backmarkers when Barrichello exploited Morbedelli’s blue flag into Spoon. Caught in the middle, Alboreto ran out of room and into the Minardi. This set up a battle for sixth with three laps to go, with Olivier Panis coming into the picture. However, it was not to be for the rookie, with Blundell holding on to put a Mugen in the points at their home race.

    In the lead, Senna remembered the joy he had on the podium two years before in Suzuka, and realized what better thanks to give a teammate and test driver in a one-off exit from retirement. Over the last three laps, he began to shortshift, and left plenty of room when the sister car came up from behind on the following lap. Not having finished a race since Monza in 1992, Riccardo Patrese took the checkered. Senna, Hakkinen, Brundle, Barrichello, and Blundell finished behind, in order. Elated to finally get his first win in over two years and his sixth in his career, the Williams drivers and staff started a nice long party well into the evening atop the podium. After two straight points-free races, a one-two at Suzuka was well received.

    Formula One Round Sixteen: LVIII Australian Grand Prix – 07 November 1993 – Adelaide Street Circuit

    Arriving at the final race of the 1993 season, Ayrton Senna was set to prove just what the FW-15D was capable of one final time, before the active suspension era ended. By the end of the qualifying session, Senna posted a 1:12.810, disheartening the remainder of the field as the second-place entry of Schumacher did not even break into the 1:13’s. Hakkinen and Coulthard shared the second row, while behind on the grid were Berger, Hill, Alesi, Capelli, Brundle, and Alboreto.

    Standard service at the front followed the green lights, with Senna a fading blur into the distance sending the -15D off in glory. He gained over two seconds a lap as he went unchallenged into the distance. Schumacher was hounded through the chicane by Coulthard – already past Hakkinen, and was forced to surrender second as they entered the Brabham straight. Hakkinen attempted to follow, but the German was having none of it, looking not to finish the season down in points to his teammate. After that first lap, it was already apparent that barring retirements, the closest fights would be among the Benettons and over fifth place, as Berger held his own against Hill’s McLaren.

    By the time that Senna took his second set of tires on lap twenty-five, he had already lapped his way up through Capelli in ninth place, and exited the pitlane nine seconds ahead of Coulthard and twenty-two over Schumacher. However, Benetton’s fortunes would start to fall to pieces when Schumacher developed issues with his fuel pump and had to retire on lap thirty-one, while Hakkinen’s engine failed twelve laps later. Firmly locked into second place in the constructors, the greater irony was that even while he spotted the Benetton drivers four races, neither could overhaul Mansell thanks to a combined five retirements in the final quarter of the season. The double retirement had put Capelli into the points for the fifth time in the season briefly, but Brundle’s McLaren took back the sixth position after his second pit stop. Four laps later, Capelli regained sixth when Brundle’s engine quit in the entry to Wakefield. By mid-race, attrition on the street track was starting to increase, Wendlinger and Blundell’s brakes couldn’t handle the strain of the point-and-squirt circuit. Zanardi’s suspension quit on lap 49, while transmission failures ended Panis and Barrichello’s seasons early.

    The latter round of pit stops saw Alesi finally make it past Hill, who had difficulties when one crew member could not seat the wheel nut properly, leaving his MP4/8 on the jacks for an additional six seconds. Alesi then took off after Berger, hoping to trim the intra-team margin instead of letting it grow at the end of the season. He did get past the Austrian on lap sixty, briefly worrying the Ferrari garage as they simultaneously heard the news that Coulthard was encountering a potential transmission failure and was told to slow. If either driver could pass Coulthard before the race ended, and only keep Coulthard ahead of Hill, Ferrari would jump past McLaren for third in the constructors. Hill had been relayed the same message a lap later, and began to push harder in an attempt to prevent Ferrari from having the chance. It was not to be, however. Coulthard hung on to second until the final lap, before Alesi picked him off at the exit of Dequetteville. Berger was too far behind to make for a Ferrari double podium, locked in his defense of fourth against Hill, prevailing in the end thanks to an assist on the previous lap when Senna came up to lap them. A thriller for sixth unfolded in the final laps when Comas reeled in Capelli, bringing him down with two laps to go and surviving to the checkered, taking his first point since Magny Cours the previous year. This also served to elevate Lola-Ford to seventh in the constructors’ standings at the last minute, to the pleased disbelief of the engineers.

    On the podium, David Coulthard was soaked by both the others before Senna let loose for himself – having nearly lapped the field for the second time that season, he scored his fifth Grand Slam of the season, and tenth of his career. In the backs of all the drivers’ minds was one simple worry: What would next year bring?

    Although this was unplanned, coincidentally, Benetton racked up 13 DNF’s both IOTL and ITTL.

    TMfSP - F1 Final Standings - Drivers - 1993.jpg
  20. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

    Oct 4, 2012
    Constructor's Standings

    TMfSP - F1 Final Standings - Constructors - 1993.jpg