I actually thought that the penalty meted out at the British GP in 1994 was intended to tighten up the championship, which MS was running away with. Benneton didn't instantly obey the imposed 5 second penalty because Briatore (curse him) was appealing the call and asking for clarification as to whether the 5 seconds was going to be added to the time at the end of the race, or if the car had to come in. The stewards got pissed and essentially meted out a 3 race penalty for having passed someone on the formation lap and having the temerity to ask for clarification of the steward ruling.
siffert_fan it was talked about at the time that Schumachers race penalty magically created a close championship battle in F1 at a time when Bernie was desperate to get interest back to F1.
Senna's death, Prost retirement and Mansell's departure had left F1 with no big household names at the exact same time as Indy Car's popularity was on the rise.
Bernie negociated for Mansell's return just for a few races and certainly set the wheels in motion for Jacques Villeneurve to eventually come to F1.
Schumacher's two race ban conveniently created a title battle in F1 that was pumped for all it was worth in the media. The insueing collision instantly created a massive big name rivalry between Schumacher and Hill and propelled them both into the consciousness of the international public. It continued through 95 and F1 was suddenly exciting with huge names again.
The end of the 94 season certainly made sure that F1 weathered the Indy Car storm and it only happened due to Schumachers 2 race ban.
RasputinLives Well there was that to contend with but if that had been Schumacher I am sure a phantom pitstop about tyres or dodgy brakes would have been applied to allow Schumacher extra points in the drivers title
One Ferrari conspiracy incident that was one of the most shameful episodes for Maranello was the treatment of Niki Lauda in 1977. Lauda having been nearly burned to death in 1976 at Nurburgring . Having initially thought Lauda needed much longer recovery and they immediately hired Carlos Reutemann who Niki did not get on with to replace him
Lauda against the odds came back within 6 weeks to defend his lead against James Hunt and leading into the final race deciding to quit after 1 lap not wanting to risk his own life. Ferrari hierarchy dismayed and upset by Lauda's tame surrender and open admission he gave up to the press rather than blame mechanical failure.
It was suggested that Lauda should hang up his helmet and retire and Niki told his bosses what he thought . Having signed Reutemann and Lauda wanting to continue as a driver then that mean Regazzoni had to be shown the door( who got on well with Lauda).
A decision that Lauda felt undermined his position further within the team whilst they were fairly evenly matched initially. Then little incidents and shift in team focus began to appear within Ferrari such as Reutemann was given first options to try out new parts for testing , fresher tyres and new set ups much sooner than Lauda.
Much to Lauda's annoyance who was sure he could go quicker with the parts fitted and tyres the team wanted to make sure Reutemann extracted maximum effort before giving Lauda knackered parts.
Lauda also sensing the shift in team focus continued to test furiously and displayed a level of consistency to keep himself ahead of the competition but unlike previous years Reutemann instead of acting as a rear gunner was allowed to race Lauda
Asked if he considered Reutemann " A teammate or a rival " , his response was " Neither". To further undermine his position , Ferrari decided to run a 3rd car at Montreal for Gilles Villeneuve to try out . Lauda realising what was happening and having already secured the championship - walked away from the team which had previously loved him.
Worse was to follow in typical Maranello fashion - a scapegoat had to be made for the failing to carry out the plan to keep the title within Maranello or at least not with Lauda taking it elsewhere. The person targeted for disloyalty was Lauda's engineer who Niki offered to take him with to Brabham
I agree with you FB and I suppose the conspiracy was arguably against McLaren rather than the 'conspiracy' they got caught for. Still, nothing will change the outcome though I really wish the real story would come out some day, even if it proves me wrong.
....including whether the Williams and Saubers did use chilled fuel..... If they had done so and the appeal had been heard then Lewis would have been the 2007 Champ and Bernie would have had to suffer the indignity of failing to get McLaren thrown out only for their driver to win the WDC....
He knew exactly what he was doing there. Schumacher was a habitual line-stepper. It's part of what made him a 7 time champ though. Michael would find himself on the right side of a few stewards decisions in the future though, eh?