|Race 17 of 17 in the 1995 Formula One season|
|Date||12 November 1995|
|Official name||LX EDS Australian Grand Prix|
|Location||Adelaide Street Circuit, Adelaide, Australia|
|Course||Temporary street circuit
3.780 km (2.362 mi)
|Distance||81 laps, 306.180 km (191.362 mi)|
|Weather||Dry and cloudy|
|Time||1:17.943 on lap 51|
The 1995 Australian Grand Prix (officially known as the LX EDS Australian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 12 November 1995 at the Adelaide Street Circuit, Adelaide. It was the seventeenth and final race of the 1995 Formula One season. It was the 60th Australian Grand Prix and the eleventh and last Australian Grand Prix to be held in Adelaide before moving east to the state capital of Victoria, Melbourne.
The race was contested over 81 laps, with Damon Hill dominating the race for Williams after starting from pole position in his Williams FW17B. Olivier Panis finished second in a Ligier JS41, with Gianni Morbidelli third in a Footwork FA16. It was the best result of the season for both teams and would prove to be a career high for Morbidelli, his only podium finish. Only eight drivers finished the race out of the twenty two that started, the lowest number of finishers in the 1995 season.
The race held the record for the number of people that have attended a Formula One race, with 210,000 watching the event, until 2000, when it was surpassed by the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis with 250,000. The crowd figure was inflated by rock band Bon Jovi performing the Adelaide leg of their Australian tour post-race, inside the track for which a race ticket needed to be purchased.
Heading into the final round of the 1995 Formula One season, both the Drivers' Championship and Constructors' Championship were already settled, with Michael Schumacher having claimed the Drivers' Championship two rounds earlier in the Pacific round. It was Schumacher's last race with the Benetton team, having already announced that he was going to Ferrari for the 1996 season. Benetton claimed the Constructors' Championship at the penultimate round of the championship – the Japanese Grand Prix, with Williams too many points behind to be able to catch them. It was announced beforehand that it would be the last Formula One event to be held at the Adelaide Street Circuit, with the Australian Grand Prix moving to Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne from the 1996 season.
In the Friday afternoon session, Mika Häkkinen in his McLaren car suffered a puncture heading towards Brewery Bend, causing him to crash heavily. An emergency tracheotomy was performed on Häkkinen at trackside, before he was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, which was conveniently located less than 1 km from where Häkkinen crashed.
The Williams' cars dominated qualifying, with Damon Hill in pole position and David Coulthard alongside him. Schumacher was third in his Benetton, with the Ferrari drivers fourth and fifth, Gerhard Berger ahead of Jean Alesi. Heinz-Harald Frentzen rounded out the top six in his Sauber.
Despite starting in pole position, Hill lost the lead at the start, with Coulthard taking the lead at the beginning. Schumacher also lost ground at the start, with Berger moving into third and Alesi moving into fourth. Schumacher made his way back up to third, overtaking Alesi on lap one, before overtaking Berger a few laps later. Coulthard kept the lead until the first round of pitstops. However, he came into the pitlane too fast, locking his front tyres and ran into the pitwall. He was forced to retire from the race. A few laps later, Forti's Roberto Moreno spun and caused terminal damage to his suspension in the same place where Coulthard had crashed earlier.
After the first round of pitstops, Schumacher and Alesi collided, with both retiring. Schumacher's Benetton team-mate, Johnny Herbert took second place briefly before coming in for his first stop later than many of the other drivers, while surviving a potential accident which was very similar to Coulthard's, missing, however, the pit entry and rejoining the track. Berger was promoted to second, but his Ferrari encountered an engine problem, forcing him to retire. This promoted Frentzen to second, but he too retired due to a gearbox problem. With many of the front-runners out, Hill led at the front, with Herbert second. Jordan driver Eddie Irvine rounded out the top three, before retiring after losing all of his pneumatic pressure. Herbert was still second, and looked set as a result to claim third place in the Drivers' Championship. He was, however, forced out of the race as his Benetton suffered a driveshaft failure. Olivier Panis was now second in his Ligier a lap behind Hill, with Footwork driver Gianni Morbidelli third, two laps down. However, with a few laps remaining, Panis' Ligier was suffering an oil leak. Hill lapped him for a second time on his way to victory. Panis remained second, with Morbidelli third for his only career podium, and the first podium for the Footwork/Arrows team in 6 years. Behind the top three, Mark Blundell was fourth in the sole McLaren, with Mika Salo fifth in the Tyrrell. Pedro Lamy after a spectacular mid-race spin rounded out the points with sixth in his Minardi – his only Formula One point. Only eight cars finished the race, with Pedro Diniz seventh place being Forti's best Formula One finish at the last grand prix at Adelaide.
The race marked the end of Pacific Racing, as the team went back to International Formula 3000 for 1996. In a last gasp effort, Pacific tried to have their test driver Oliver Gavin in the seat, but he was not granted an FIA Super License and shareholder Bertrand Gachot was in the car. It was only the second time the winner won by two laps– the first time was at the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix when Jackie Stewart won. Hill, who had come in for an enormous amount of criticism for his performances in all of the three previous races, was praised by commentator Murray Walker for this performance, with Walker immediately citing that, with Schumacher and Coulthard's imminent moves to Ferrari and McLaren respectively, Hill would be a strong favourite to win the title in 1996 if he could continue to perform in the way he had done so in this particular race. This would also be the last race for a V12 engine, specifically Ferrari. The Italian outfit would use a more fuel-efficient V10 engine for 1996.
|18||29||Karl Wendlinger||Sauber-Ford||1:19.561||no time||+4.056|
|2||26||Olivier Panis||Ligier-Mugen-Honda||79||+2 Laps||12||6|
|3||9||Gianni Morbidelli||Footwork-Hart||79||+2 Laps||13||4|
|4||7||Mark Blundell||McLaren-Mercedes||79||+2 Laps||10||3|
|5||4||Mika Salo||Tyrrell-Yamaha||78||+3 Laps||14||2|
|6||23||Pedro Lamy||Minardi-Ford||78||+3 Laps||17||1|
|7||21||Pedro Diniz||Forti-Ford||77||+4 Laps||21|
|8||16||Bertrand Gachot||Pacific-Ford||76||+5 Laps||23|
|Ret||25||Martin Brundle||Ligier-Mugen-Honda||29||Spun off||11|
|Ret||22||Roberto Moreno||Forti-Ford||21||Spun off||20|
|Ret||14||Rubens Barrichello||Jordan-Peugeot||20||Spun off||7|
|Ret||10||Taki Inoue||Footwork-Hart||15||Spun off||19|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1995 Australian Grand Prix.|
1995 Japanese Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1996 Australian Grand Prix
1994 Australian Grand Prix
|Australian Grand Prix||Next race:
1996 Australian Grand Prix
1994 Pacific Grand Prix
|Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter
1996 Australian Grand Prix