1997 Australian Grand Prix: Wikis

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Australia  1997 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 17 in the 1997 Formula One season
Circuit Albert Park.svg
Date March 9, 1997
Official name LXII Qantas Australian Grand Prix
Location Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Albert Park, Melbourne
Course Temporary Street Circuit
5.303 km (3.295 mi)
Distance 58 laps, 308.792 km (191.110 mi)
Weather Partly Cloudy, Dry
Pole position
Driver Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault
Time 1:29.396
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault
Time 1:30.585 on lap 36
Podium
First United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes
Second Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Third Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes

The 1997 Australian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on March 9, 1997 at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, Melbourne. It was the first race of the 1997 Formula One season. It was the second Grand Prix to be hosted in Melbourne.

Contents

Summary

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Pre-Race

Two new teams came into Formula One in 1997: Stewart and Lola. Footwork reverted to their old name of Arrows and acquired Yamaha engines, while Ligier were bought by Alain Prost and changed their name to Prost Grand Prix. Tyrrell acquired Ford engines. Damon Hill moved to Arrows after being replaced at Williams by Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Pedro Diniz also joined Arrows, while Sauber signed Italian Nicola Larini. Three teams changed both of their drivers. Prost signed Shinji Nakano and Olivier Panis, Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella joined Jordan, while Jarno Trulli and Ukyo Katayama joined Minardi.

The British television coverage switched to ITV for the 1997 season and beyond, after 18 years of regular coverage for the BBC. Former driver Martin Brundle joined Murray Walker in the commentary box.

Qualifying

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve took his fourth career pole position after a stunning lap of 1:29.369, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen could only manage a 1:31.121 to fill the remaining spot on the front row. Only 6 drivers managed to qualify within 3 seconds of the pole position time. The session was red flagged with just over two minutes remaining after a collision between Gerhard Berger and Nicola Larini on the straight between turns 10 and 11. This resulted in many of the cars effectively having to complete a one-lap sprint to post a lap time before the end of the session. Damon Hill struggled during the session, only just qualifying inside of the 107% limit due to an oil leak which hampered the lap times. Both of the Lola cars failed to make the qualifying limit and were over ten seconds slower than Villeneuve in their first and only F1 qualifying session, as the team had to withdraw from the next race due to a lack of funds.

Race

Before the race even began there were problems for the reigning world champion, Damon Hill. On the parade lap his throttle jammed leaving him stranded on the track and causing him to retire from the race. The drama continued into the first corner as Eddie Irvine dived into the first corner and misjudged his braking, hitting both Villeneuve and Herbert - all three were out of the race. Jos Verstappen spun off on lap two while attempting to overtake Ukyo Katayama. Both of the Jordan cars soon retired from the race, Ralf Schumacher suffering a gearbox problem and Fisichella spinning off the track while passing Barrichello. Jean Alesi embarrassingly retired from the race after running out of fuel, despite the Benetton team calling him into the pits 5 laps earlier. At the front David Coulthard continued to keep away from these incidents to lead the race, followed by Michael Schumacher and Frentzen. Schumacher had to make an unscheduled fuel stop towards the end of the race, promoting Frentzen to second. However, large quantities of dust had been coming from Frentzen's brakes for some time and with three laps to go a brake disc failed, sending him into the gravel trap at the end of the start/finish straight. Coulthard went on to take his second career win. It was also McLaren's first win since Ayrton Senna won the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.

Classification

Qualifying

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 3 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:29.369
2 4 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault 1:31.123 +1.754
3 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:31.472 +2.103
4 10 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.531 +2.162
5 6 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:31.881 +2.512
6 9 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.971 +2.602
7 16 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 1:32.287 +2.918
8 7 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:32.593 +3.224
9 14 France Olivier Panis Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:32.842 +3.473
10 8 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:32.870 +3.501
11 22 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 1:33.075 +3.706
12 11 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Peugeot 1:33.130 +3.761
13 17 Italy Nicola Larini Sauber-Petronas 1:33.327 +3.958
14 12 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Peugeot 1:33.552 +4.183
15 20 Japan Ukyo Katayama Minardi-Hart 1:33.798 +4.429
16 15 Japan Shinji Nakano Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:33.989 +4.620
17 21 Italy Jarno Trulli Minardi-Hart 1:34.120 +4.751
18 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Ford 1:34.229 +4.860
19 23 Denmark Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford 1:34.623 +5.254
20 1 United Kingdom Damon Hill Arrows-Yamaha 1:34.806 +5.437
21 18 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Tyrrell-Ford 1:34.943 +5.574
22 2 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows-Yamaha 1:35.972 +6.603
DNQ 24 Italy Vincenzo Sospiri Lola-Ford 1:40.972 +11.603
DNQ 25 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Lola-Ford 1:42.086 +12.717

Race

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 10 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 58 1:30:28.718 4 10
2 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 58 +20.046 3 6
3 9 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 58 +22.177 6 4
4 8 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 58 +22.841 10 3
5 14 France Olivier Panis Prost-Mugen-Honda 58 +1:00.308 9 2
6 17 Italy Nicola Larini Sauber-Petronas 58 +1:36.040 13 1
7 15 Japan Shinji Nakano Prost-Mugen-Honda 56 +2 Laps 16  
8 4 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault 55 Brakes 2  
9 21 Italy Jarno Trulli Minardi-Hart 55 +3 Laps 17  
10 2 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows-Yamaha 54 +4 Laps 22  
Ret 22 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 49 Engine 11  
Ret 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Ford 42 Engine 18  
Ret 23 Denmark Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford 36 Suspension 19  
Ret 7 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 34 Fuel 8  
Ret 20 Japan Ukyo Katayama Minardi-Hart 32 Electrical 15  
Ret 12 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Peugeot 14 Spun off 14  
Ret 18 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Tyrrell-Ford 2 Spun off 21  
Ret 11 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Peugeot 1 Gearbox 12  
Ret 3 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 0 Collision 1  
Ret 6 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 0 Collision 5  
Ret 16 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 0 Collision 7  
DNS 1 United Kingdom Damon Hill Arrows-Yamaha 0 Throttle 20  
DNQ 24 Italy Vincenzo Sospiri Lola-Ford - Did not qualify 23  
DNQ 25 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Lola-Ford - Did not qualify 24  

Notes

  • Qualifying Note

Both of the Mastercard Lola entries failed to qualify for the grand prix. Neither Sospiri or Rosset managed to keep inside the 107% benchmark time needed to race. Pedro Diniz was also outside of the 107% time, however he was permitted to race, having set a time in practice within the 107% time, something neither of the Lola drivers came near to achieving. It proved to be the only grand prix the team entered.

References

Race Details
"1997 Australian Grand Prix". Chicane F1. http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1997&gp=Australian%20GP. Retrieved 2007-08-02.  

Classification
Qualifying
"1997 Australian Grand Prix Qualifying". Chicane F1. http://www.chicanef1.com/race.pl?year=1997&gp=Australian%20GP&type=qual. Retrieved 2007-08-02.  
"1997 Australian Grand Prix Qualifying". Grand Prix Racing. http://www.gpracing.net192.com/races/qualify/598.cfm. Retrieved 2007-08-02.  

Race
"1997 Australian Grand Prix". Official Formula One Website. http://www.formula1.com/results/season/1997/147/. Retrieved 2007-08-02.  
"1997 Australian Grand Prix". Chicane F1. http://www.chicanef1.com/race.pl?year=1997&gp=Australian%20GP&type=res. Retrieved 2007-08-02.  

Previous race:
1996 Japanese Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1997 season
Next race:
1997 Brazilian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1996 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix Next race:
1998 Australian Grand Prix
Awards
Preceded by
1996 Australian Grand Prix
Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter

1997
Succeeded by
1998 San Marino Grand Prix

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