October 1, 1995, Nurburgring.
Coming into the European Grand Prix of 1995, Michael had a 17 point lead in the championship over Hill. A victory here would be a significant march towards the title with only 3 races to spare after this.
The race was the first one to be held at the Nurburgring since 1985. A rain-hit qualifying session on Friday and Saturday meant that Schumi could only qualify third on the grid with the Williams of David Coulthard and Damon Hill occupying the first row.
Coulthard spun off in the warm up laps meaning he had to use the spare car for the race. Everyone except the Ferraris and the McLarens started the race on the wet tires. At the start, Coulthard established the lead and Schumi pipped Hill for 2nd. As it began to dry, the Ferrari of Alesi gained a major advantage as David, Michael and Damon all were forced to stop for slicks. By the end of the stops, Alesi had a 20-second advantage up ahead. A few laps later, the unfamiliarity of the spare car took its toll on Coulthard and he found himself behind Michael and Damon in 4th.
Alesi was 30 seconds ahead when he came in for his next stop and Schumi followed him into the pits leaving Damon, who hadn’t stopped yet, challenging Alesi. Tragically, Damon made contact with Alesi before his own pitstop and lost his front wing and he rejoined 4th behind David.
Schumi’s fuel strategy meant he had to go for an extra stop on lap 52, he, however, had built enough of a lead over third place David to rejoin in second itself. Alesi, due to the extra stop, was way up ahead on the road. However, Schumi – with faster tires – began eating up into the lead at a tremendous rate. He was helped by Alesi being held up by backmarkers. At one point, he posted the fastest lap of the race which was 1.7 seconds quicker than Alesi’s fastest lap. With few laps still remaining, he was right behind Alesi.
And then on lap 65, Michael made his move. On the second last corner of the race, he overtook Alesi from on the outside of the Chicane. The cards touched briefly but both emerged without any damage. What made this move even more special than the moves that Schumi had already performed in his career was the fact that it was difficult for one car to pass through that chicane, let alone for someone to attempt an overtaking move there.
Michael builds a 2.5 second lead in the remaining two laps and stormed to the chequered flag. What made this win sweeter was the fact that Hill, Michael’s rival in the title race (who had retired some laps earlier), joined the Germans in applauding the remarkable drive of their home hero.
This was another master drive from Michael which all but sealed his 2nd consecutive championship.