F1 flashback: Schumacher hits back after suspension

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Michael Schumacher stamped his authority on F1 after returning from suspension on this day in 1994.

Schumacher had been banned for two races for failing to observe a stop-go penalty during the British Grand Prix. Title rival Damon Hill won both the races. Making matters worse for Schumacher, he’d been disqualified after winning the previous race at Spa, handing Hill another win.

His Benetton team had been lost in his absence. JJ Lehto temporarily returned from injury but proved woefully ineffective. Team mate Jos Verstappen added just two points to the team’s tally while Schumacher was forced to watch Hill decimate his advantage.

As they arrived at Jerez for the European Grand Prix Schumacher’s championship lead, which had stood at a daunting 37 points at one stage, was down to a single point.

But on the twisty Spanish track Schumacher regained the initiative in a race that was all about fuel strategy. While Hill plodded around on a two-stopper, struggling in traffic, Schumacher went on the attack with a lighter-fuelled car, pitting three times.

In the end it mattered not that Hill beat pole-sitter Schumacher to turn one – the Benetton driver’s speed won the day.

Nigel Mansell was back in the other Williams again but spun out. Mika Hakkinen joined Schumacher and Hill on the podium but was well over a minute behind.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”