In 1994, Schumacher won his first Drivers' Championship. The season, however, was marred by the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger during the third race of the year, the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola and by allegations of cheating.
Schumacher won six of the first seven races. He had been leading the Spanish Grand Prix till the fifth lap before a gearbox failure left him stuck in fifth gear for 42 laps. Schumacher finished the race in second place, behind Hill. Following the San Marino Grand Prix, the Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren teams were investigated on suspicion of breaking the FIA-imposed ban on electronic aids. Publish PostBenetton and McLaren initially refused to hand over their source code for investigation. When they did so, the FIA discovered hidden functionality in both teams' software, but no evidence that it had been used in a race. Both teams were fined $100,000 for their initial refusal to cooperate. At the British Grand Prix, Schumacher was penalized for overtaking on the formation lap. He then ignored the penalty and the subsequent black flag, which indicates that the driver must immediately return to the pits, for which he was disqualified and later given a two-race ban. Benetton blamed the fiasco on a communication error between the stewards and the team. Schumacher was also disqualified after winning the Belgian Grand Prix after his car was found to have illegal wear on its skidblock, a measure used after the accidents at Imola to limit downforce and hence cornering speed. Benetton protested that the skidblock had been damaged when Schumacher spun over a kerb, but the FIA rejected their appeal. These incidents helped Damon Hill close the points gap. With Schumacher leading by a single point going into the final race in
In 1995 Schumacher successfully defended his title with Benetton. He now had the same Renault engine as Williams. He accumulated 33 more points than second-placed Damon Hill. With teammate Johnny Herbert, he took Benetton to its first Constructors' Championship and became the youngest two-time world champion in Formula One history.
The season was marred by several collisions with Hill, in particular an overtaking maneuver by Hill took them both out of the British Grand Prix near the start of the race. Schumacher won nine of the 17 races, and finished on the podium 11 times. Only once did he qualify worse than fourth; at the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix, he qualified 16th, but went on to win the race. After Schumacher left Benetton, the team would win only one more race before being bought by Renault in 2000.