On this day in 1993 Alain Prost secured his fifth win in first eight races and his 100th podium place, while Damon Hill won his first career pole position, defeating Prost for the first time that year.
Williams dominated in 1992 and 1993 thanks to their brilliant chassis FW14B and the FW15C with active suspension and Renault V10 engines, and after Mansell’s title in 1992 Prost returned from retirement in 1993 and won seven pole positions and four victories in the first seven races.
In France, Hill was the first fastest (by 0.142s), while Brundle was third in Ligier with as much as 1.787 seconds behind, which were not unusual gaps behind Williams in 1992 and 1993.
Williams drivers dominated from the start and were pulling away from Blundell, who held Senna and Schumacher but spun and retired in the lap 21. Prost takes the lead after the first pitstops while Senna and Schumacher were very close to Blundell.
During the second pitstops, Prost retains the lead, while Senna and Schumacher overtook Brundle. Schumacher overtook Senna as they were navigating their way through the traffic and finished third behind Prost and Hill.
“Damon and I had a greater advantage than we expected after warm up, I thought the race would be more difficult, but at the same time I can not say it was simple. We were very close, but that was not a problem.”
“It’s important to win your home race and this was a race I did not want to lose. It was one of my best wins based on the car’s feel. Last year I worked here for French television, and this is a much better feeling!”
“It was a tough decision but today I decided to drive a spare car and with no ABS. The car worked perfectly.”
Senna finished the fourth, Brundle’s fifth and Andretti sixth.
After eight races, Prost had 57 points, 12 more than Senna, and Williams was leading convincingly with 85 points, 37 points more than McLaren.
Regardless of the overwhelming technical dominance, this was the first and the last 1-2 victory for Williams in 1993, although Prost started all 16 races in the first row (13 pole positions and three second places).
It was the first race for Jean Todt in his new position of Ferrari’s general manager who joined the Italian team from Peugeot’s sports car racing programme.
Also, this was the first race after the death of James Hunt, 1976 World Champion, who died from a heart attack in his home at Wimbledon on June 15 at age 45.