Hill wins second F1 race in row

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Date: Aug. 30, 1993
Publisher: CNW Group Ltd. - Globe & Mail
Document Type: Article
Length: 569 words

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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Associated Press SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium Britain's Damon Hill won his second Formula One race in a row, while teammate Alain Prost took a big step towards his fourth world title at the Belgian Grand Prix yesterday.

Hill held off Germany's Michael Schumacher in a closely fought race and, with Prost finishing third, he helped clinch the constructors world title for Williams-Renault with four races remaining.

"Two excellent reasons to celebrate," Hill said.

Prost had another reason, extending his lead in the world standings over Brazil's Ayrton Senna, who finished fourth. The Frenchman is now within one victory of his first world title since 1989.

"The target must be to get the title at Monza," he said of the Italian Grand Prix in two weeks.

Hill, meanwhile, savored the present, after beating the Benetton-Ford of Schumacher by 3.668 seconds.

"It is excellent to win one Grand Prix," he said of his first victory in Hungary two weeks ago. "To win two is fantastic."

Hill covered 306 kilometres in one hour, 24 minutes, 32.124 seconds, and was challenged to the finish by Schumacher after taking the lead from Prost in the 30th of 44 laps.

Prost had won the pole position with a lap record on the wooded 6.974- kilometre circuit and kept ahead of Hill until being delayed by a pit stop. When he came out of the pits, Hill blasted past him.

"I thought, 'great,' and went for it," Hill said. "Once I was in front, I drove hard all the way to the finish."

Schumacher, last year's champion, blamed his loss on a clumsy start, which dropped him from third on the grid into the middle of the pack. It was all catching up from there.

"It was an absolute disaster for me," he said. "If I could have stayed in front from the beginning, I think we could have been in a winning position."

Prost was thinking about his world championship lead after Hill went ahead, and, with a lead of about a minute over Senna, drove controlled the rest of the race.

"I wanted to protect my third place," Prost said. "I didn't want to run any risk." He finished 14.988 seconds behind Hill.

Senna trailed by 1:39.763. Johnny Herbert was fifth, his Lotus Ford one lap behind.

Prost has 81 points in the overall standings, with Senna second with 53, followed by Hill with 48 and Schumacher with 42.

In the constructor's standings, Williams-Renault has an unbeatable lead with 129 points from 12 races to clinch its second consecutive title. Benetton-Ford is second with 60 points, just ahead of the McLaren-Fords of Senna and Michael Andretti, third with 56.

Following a disastrous start two weeks ago in Hungary, Prost capitalized on his pole position yesterday and went into the opening hairpin with a clear lead over Senna, who had a scorching opening from fifth place on the grid.

In the second lap, the Williams-Renault of Hill illustrated the car's superiority when he swept past Senna to take second place behind Prost.

Schumacher, meanwhile, started a strong comeback and was back in third place at the halfway stage, seven seconds behind Prost. Hill was only 1.557 seconds behind.

Hill took the lead after Prost had a second tire change. On a long straight, Schumacher also blasted past the Frenchman.

Schumacher steadily gained on Hill and came within striking distance, but Hill held him off.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A163881012