The 1995 Formula One season was the 46th FIA Formula One World Championship season. It began on March 26, 1995 included 17 races, and ended on November 12. The Drivers' Championship was won by Michael Schumacher of Benetton for the second year in a row, beating Damon Hill of WilliamsF1 by 33 points. Benetton won the Constructor's Championship, beating Williams by a comfortable 29 points. The season was highlighted by the rivalry between Schumacher and Hill, with Schumacher winning nine races and Hill winning four races. Benetton and Williams drivers dominated the field, victorious in all but one race.
On February 6, a revised calendar was announced, with the Argentine Grand Prix moved to April 9, despite the fact it had now received official clearance from FIA safety inspector Roland Bruynseraede. The Pacific round was moved due to the Kobe earthquake, with it now one week before the Japanese Grand Prix. The European Grand Prix was moved forward seven days, leaving just a seven day gap between the Portuguese and European rounds. However, some tracks still needed clearance to race.
Larrousse were included in the official FIA entry list for the 1995 season, but because of financial struggles and friction between shareholders meant that the production of the new car was delayed. No funding ever arrived and it was too late for them to build a car for the season. There were some arrangements with the DAMS Formula 3000 team, but DAMS bosses wanted to buy Larrousse and run the team themselves. However, on February 13, the boss of DAMS, Jean-Paul Driot announced that they had abandoned plans to enter Formula One for 1995, as he could not find a good amount of sponsorship to run the team at a competitive level. Driot said he intended to return to Formula 3000 and prepare for an F1 bid in 1996.
Minardi had been expected to run with Mugen-Honda engines, but at the last minute, Ligier boss Flavio Briatore persuaded the Japanese engine supplier to supply Ligier, leaving Minardi in a mess. Their car was designed for the Honda V10 and parts were already being made. The Minardi team had to work flat out to build a brand new car with a Ford ED engine. Team owner Giancarlo Minardi announced he was taking legal action against the Japanese supplier.
The status of Ligier and who its owners were was coming under scrutiny. The news that Martin Brundle had signed with them for 1995 brought up rumours that Tom Walkinshaw was the new boss of the team. Walkinshaw's move to Ligier is part of the deal hammered out the previous year by Flavio Briatore and FIA's Max Mosley to get Benetton off the hook for the use of an illegal fuel filter in the 1994 German Grand Prix. Benetton admitted that the filter was illegal and was let off, on the understanding that major changes would be made within the team. Briatore appeared to have asked Walkinshaw to control Ligier.
The Formula One regulations changed prior to the 1995 season. The most significant change was the to the engine capacity. This was reduced from 3.5 Litres to 3.0 Litres, in order to reduce speeds. All of the cars were fitted with cockpit side protection, and the cockpit opening was made larger than the 1994-spec cars. The front and rear wings of were modified to reduce downforce, thereby reducing cornering speeds. These changes were in reaction to the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, who both died of head and neck injuries. Some of the F1 circuits were changed, with larger run-off areas featuring at tracks such as Monza and Imola.
The Benetton team had Renault engines for the first time, after running Ford V8s for several years. Michael Schumacher won nine out of the seventeen Grands Prix, and won his second World Championship. Schumacher's main title rival was Damon Hill, who was driving for Williams-Renault. Hill and Schumacher were involved in some very close battles at numerous races, including at the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix, where the two championship contenders fought wheel-to-wheel for extended periods.
Johnny Herbert, Schumacher's team mate, won his first Formula One race at the 1995 British Grand Prix. He also went on to win the 1995 Italian Grand Prix, after a collision between Hill and Schumacher. Herbert complained about the Benetton B195's handling, which was very twitchy, but the car suited his team mate Schumacher.
Damon Hill received criticism during 1995, after several incidents that were attributed to driving errors. The 1995 British Grand Prix was overshadowed by a controversial collision between Hill and Schumacher, and Hill was widely blamed for the accident. Hill also suffered with mechanical problems in his Williams-Renault.
Jean Alesi won the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix, which was his first and only victory in Formula One. Alesi also nearly won the European and Japanese Grand Prix, only being passed by Schumacher with a few laps to go in the former, and retiring with a driveshaft bearing failure in the latter.
Nigel Mansell made a brief return to Formula One with McLaren. The McLaren-Mercedes cockpit was initially too small for Mansell, and he had to miss the first two races whilst McLaren redesigned the monocoque. His eventual return for the 1995 San Marino Grand Prix was disappointing, and he was outpaced by Häkkinen. After another disappointing race at the Spanish Grand Prix Mansell and McLaren parted ways, and Mark Blundell drove the second McLaren for the remainder of 1995. Mika Häkkinen was seriously injured in a crash during practice for the 1995 Australian Grand Prix. The fast actions of the medical crew saved his life, and he later returned to the track in . Later that year, Mansell revealed that he intended to "fight for the championship with Williams", but the Williams team chose David Coulthard instead.
One of the rookies for 1995 was Taki Inoue who drove for Footwork Arrows. During First Qualifying for the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix his car stalled on the track, and the session was stopped in order to recover the car. A course car driven by Jean Ragnotti was travelling too fast and Ragnotti was unsighted by the barriers on the twisty circuit. Ragnotti's car crashed into Inoue's stranded car, flipping the Arrows. Inoue was knocked unconscious but he recovered and took part in the race on Sunday. At the 1995 Hungarian Grand Prix Inoue's car retired with a mechanical problem. He got out of his car and grabbed a fire extinguisher in order to put out a small fire on his car. Inoue then walked into the path of a course car, and was knocked over. Inoue bounced off the front of the car and collapsed on to the grass. He suffered minor leg injuries.
|Mild Seven Benetton Renault||Benetton||B195||Renault RS7 3.0 V10||1||Michael Schumacher||Emmanuel Collard|
|Nokia Tyrrell Yamaha||Tyrrell||023||Yamaha OX10C 3.0 V10||3||Ukyo Katayama||Gabriele Tarquini|
|Rothmans Williams Renault||Williams|| FW17|
|Renault RS7 3.0 V10||5||Damon Hill||Jean-Christophe Boullion|
|Marlboro McLaren Mercedes||McLaren|| MP4-10|
|Mercedes FO 110 3.0 V10||7||Mark Blundell||Jan Magnussen|
|Footwork Hart||Footwork||FA16||Hart 830 3.0 V8||9||Max Papis||n/a|
|MTV Simtek Ford||Simtek||S951||Ford EDB 3.0 V8||11||Domenico Schiattarella||Hideki Noda|
| Total Jordan Peugeot|
B&H Total Jordan Peugeot
|Jordan||195||Peugeot A10 3.0 V10||14||Rubens Barrichello||n/a|
|Pacific Grand Prix Ltd||Pacific||PR02||Ford EDC 3.0 V8||16||Bertrand Gachot||Oliver Gavin|
|Parmalat Forti Ford||Forti||FG01||Ford EDD 3.0 V8||21||Pedro Diniz||n/a|
|Minardi Scuderia Italia||Minardi||M195||Ford EDM 3.0 V8||23||Pierluigi Martini||Giancarlo Fisichella|
|Ligier Gitanes Blondes||Ligier||JS41||Mugen-Honda MF-301 3.0 V10||25||Aguri Suzuki||Franck Lagorce|
|Scuderia Ferrari SpA||Ferrari||412T2||Ferrari 044/1 3.0 V12||27||Jean Alesi||Nicola Larini|
|Red Bull Sauber Ford||Sauber||C14||Ford ECA Zetec-R 3.0 V8||29||Karl Wendlinger||Norberto Fontana|
The status of Ligier and who it's owners were was coming under scrutiny. The news that Martin Brundle had signed with them for 1995 brought up rumours that Tom Walkinshaw was the new boss of the team. Walkinshaw's move to Ligier is part of the deal hammered out last year by Flavio Briatore and FIA's Max Mosley to get Benetton off the hook for the use of an illegal fuel filter in the 1994 German Grand Prix. Briatore appeared to have asked Walkinshaw to control Ligier.
|1||Brazilian Grand Prix||March 26||Interlagos|
|2||Argentine Grand Prix||April 9||Oscar Gálvez|
|3||San Marino Grand Prix||April 30||Imola|
|4||Spanish Grand Prix||May 14||Catalunya|
|5||Monaco Grand Prix||May 28||Monaco|
|6||Canadian Grand Prix||June 11||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve|
|7||French Grand Prix||July 2||Magny-Cours|
|8||British Grand Prix||July 16||Silverstone|
|9||German Grand Prix||July 30||Hockenheimring|
|10||Hungarian Grand Prix||August 13||Hungaroring|
|11||Belgian Grand Prix||August 27||Spa-Francorchamps|
|12||Italian Grand Prix||September 10||Monza|
|13||Portuguese Grand Prix||September 24||Estoril|
|14||European Grand Prix||October 1||Nürburgring|
|15||Pacific Grand Prix||October 22||TI Circuit, Aida|
|16||Japanese Grand Prix||October 29||Suzuka|
|17||Australian Grand Prix||November 12||Adelaide|
|Round||Grand Prix||Pole Position||Fastest Lap||Winning Driver||Winning Constructor||Report|
|1||Brazilian Grand Prix||Damon Hill||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|2||Argentine Grand Prix||David Coulthard||Michael Schumacher||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault||Report|
|3||San Marino Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Gerhard Berger||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault||Report|
|4||Spanish Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Damon Hill||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|5||Monaco Grand Prix||Damon Hill||Jean Alesi||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|6||Canadian Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Jean Alesi||Ferrari||Report|
|7||French Grand Prix||Damon Hill||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|8||British Grand Prix||Damon Hill||Damon Hill||Johnny Herbert||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|9||German Grand Prix||Damon Hill||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|10||Hungarian Grand Prix||Damon Hill||Damon Hill||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault||Report|
|11||Belgian Grand Prix||Gerhard Berger||David Coulthard||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|12||Italian Grand Prix||David Coulthard||Gerhard Berger||Johnny Herbert||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|13||Portuguese Grand Prix||David Coulthard||David Coulthard||David Coulthard||Williams-Renault||Report|
|14||European Grand Prix||David Coulthard||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|15||Pacific Grand Prix||David Coulthard||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|16||Japanese Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Benetton-Renault||Report|
|17||Australian Grand Prix||Damon Hill||Damon Hill||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault||Report|
(*) Driver did not finish the race but was classified, having raced more than 90% of race distance.
|1||Michael Schumacher||Benetton Renault||17||9||11||4||8||102|
|2||Damon Hill||Williams Renault||17||4||9||7||4||69|
|3||David Coulthard||Williams Renault||17||1||8||5||2||49|
|4||Johnny Herbert||Benetton Renault||17||2||4||0||0||45|
|7||Mika Häkkinen||McLaren Mercedes||16||0||2||0||0||17|
|8||Olivier Panis||Ligier Mugen-Honda||17||0||1||0||0||16|
|9||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Sauber Ford||17||0||1||0||0||15|
|10||Mark Blundell||McLaren Mercedes||15||0||0||0||0||13|
|11||Rubens Barrichello||Jordan Peugeot||17||0||1||0||0||11|
|12||Eddie Irvine||Jordan Peugeot||17||0||1||0||0||10|
|13||Martin Brundle||Ligier Mugen-Honda||11||0||1||0||0||7|
|14||Gianni Morbidelli||Footwork Hart||10||0||1||0||0||5|
|15||Mika Salo||Tyrrell Yamaha||17||0||0||0||0||5|
|16||Jean-Christophe Boullion||Sauber Ford||11||0||0||0||0||3|
|17||Aguri Suzuki||Ligier Mugen-Honda||6||0||0||0||0||1|
|18||Pedro Lamy||Minardi Ford||8||0||0||0||0||1|
|19||Pierluigi Martini||Minardi Ford||9||0||0||0||0||0|
|20||Ukyo Katayama||Tyrrell Yamaha||16||0||0||0||0||0|
|21||Pedro Diniz||Forti Ford||17||0||0||0||0||0|
|22||Max Papis||Footwork Hart||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|23||Luca Badoer||Minardi Ford||17||0||0||0||0||0|
|24||Taki Inoue||Footwork Hart||17||0||0||0||0||0|
|25||Andrea Montermini||Pacific Ford||17||0||0||0||0||0|
|26||Bertrand Gachot||Pacific Ford||11||0||0||0||0||0|
|27||Domenico Schiattarella||Simtek Ford||5||0||0||0||0||0|
|28||Karl Wendlinger||Sauber Ford||6||0||0||0||0||0|
|29||Nigel Mansell||McLaren Mercedes||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|30||Jan Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|31||Jos Verstappen||Simtek Ford||5||0||0||0||0||0|
|32||Roberto Moreno||Forti Ford||17||0||0||0||0||0|
|33||Gabriele Tarquini||Tyrrell Yamaha||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|34||Jean-Denis Délétraz||Pacific Ford||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Giovanni Lavaggi||Pacific Ford||4||0||0||0||0||0|