I’ve just finished the second chapter of The Encounter Down Under. I reviewed the first draft yesterday, and made some minor changes. Here’s an excerpt of this first stage of the 1994 Senna versus Schumacher battle:
On [the 35th] lap, trouble emerged on the Reta Oposta, the straight between turns three and four. Eddie Irvine and Jos Verstappen, 8th and 9th respectively, came to lap Éric Bernard, who was in 16th place. Verstappen moved left to overtake Irvine. With the Dutchman already halfway past him, however, Irvine jinked left himself, because Bernard braked for Martin Brundle, whose seventh-placed McLaren slowed down with mechanical problems. This forced Verstappen onto the grass, before veering to the right, across Irvine’s bow, pushing the Northern-Irishman’s Jordan into Bernard’s Ligier.
All three out of control cars found slow-driving Brundle in their path, and at some 300 km/h Verstappen’s car touched the McLaren. The stricken Benetton somersaulted across the Englishman’s engine cover, hitting Brundle’s helmet in the process, and violently teared wheels and other parts off both cars. Amidst the havoc, Bernard had slid onto the grass on the right side of the track, while Verstappen crash-landed onto the run-off at the end of the straight. The Benetton was soon followed by the wreck of the McLaren, with Irvine’s Jordan stranded on the circuit. Miraculously, all of the four drivers involved, escaped without injury.
“I tried to pass Irvine on the straight but I don’t think he saw me”, understated Verstappen afterwards, while Irvine added: “I was catching the Ligier quite quickly and was about to overtake him when he suddenly lifted. I didn’t see the Benetton to my left because my mirror had come loose earlier in the race.”
Tell me what you think. I’m looking forward to comments. I’ll start work on the next race, the Pacific Grand Prix