The place for alternate championships that use real results as a base of forming alternative results, driver careers, and games in general
by tBone 10 May 2020, 18:39
1995 Italian Grand Prix

It is that time of the year again: the Formula 1 circus is on the legendary circuit of Monza in Italy! Ferrari will be extra motivated to have a good result in front of the devoted tifosi, but the others have big things to fight for as well. Many engine manufacturers have brought upgraded evolutions of their power units, which might have a big influence on the performance of the cars on this high-speed track. Further down the field, Italian drivers Badoer, Lavaggi, Schiattarella, Papis and Montermini will be determined to have a good week-end too, just like the Italian Minardi and Forti teams.

Qualifying

Michael Schumacher came out on top once more, joined on the front row by his team mate. The tifosi's hopes for the race were high, because the Ferraris were on the second row. The biggest surprise of the qualifying was Martin Brundle, who put his Ligier on a 5th position, just in front of Hill. Panis did also well in the other Ligier to qualify in 8th. David Coulthard was the biggest disappointment, only managing 10th. The Forti team also had something to cheer for at their home soil, as Roberto Moreno beat Schiattarella, his team mate and both Pacifics to qualify the yellow machine on the 11th row for the first time in their existence.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                                ³
³Pole                1                                           ³
³           Michael Schumacher                                   ³
³               1m 23.847s                   2                   ³
³                                     Johnny Herbert             ³
³Row 2               3                  1m 24.035s               ³
³             Gerhard Berger                                     ³
³               1m 24.294s                   4                   ³
³                                       Jean Alesi               ³
³Row 3               5                  1m 24.478s               ³
³             Martin Brundle                                     ³
³               1m 24.703s                   6                   ³
³                                       Damon Hill               ³
³Row 4               7                  1m 24.707s               ³
³              Eddie Irvine                                      ³
³               1m 24.736s                   8                   ³
³                                      Olivier Panis             ³
³Row 5               9                  1m 24.769s               ³
³              Mika Hakkinen                                     ³
³               1m 24.814s                  10                   ³
³                                     David Coulthard            ³
³Row 6              11                  1m 24.882s               ³
³           Rubens Barrichello                                   ³
³               1m 25.082s                  12                   ³
³                                      Mark Blundell             ³
³Row 7              13                  1m 25.542s               ³
³          Heinz-Harald Frentzen                                 ³
³               1m 25.558s                  14                   ³
³                                      Ukyo Katayama             ³
³Row 8              15                  1m 26.113s               ³
³            Massimilano Papis                                   ³
³               1m 26.885s                  16                   ³
³                                     Karl Wendlinger            ³
³Row 9              17                  1m 26.930s               ³
³                Mika Salo                                       ³
³               1m 27.114s                  18                   ³
³                                       Pedro Lamy               ³
³Row 10             19                  1m 27.853s               ³
³             Jos Verstappen                                     ³
³               1m 28.064s                  20                   ³
³                                       Luca Badoer              ³
³Row 11             21                  1m 28.125s               ³
³               Taki Inoue                                       ³
³               1m 28.304s                  22                   ³
³                                     Roberto Moreno             ³
³Row 12             23                  1m 28.939s               ³
³         Domenico Schiattarella                                 ³
³               1m 29.097s                  24                   ³
³                                     Nathan van Dijk            ³
³Row 13             25                  1m 29.167s               ³
³            Andrea Montermini                                   ³
³               1m 29.782s                  26                   ³
³                                    Giovanni Lavaggi            ³
³                                       1m 31.244s               ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Race

Brundle continued to surprise on race day. He started well and was incredibly late on his brakes, overtaking both Ferraris and Benettons to come out of the first chicane in the lead. Already some seconds behind the Ligier, Herbert was in 2nd, followed by Alesi, Schumacher, Berger and Irvine. Schumacher and Irvine then both gained a position into the Variante Ascari. Berger would lose another position in the beginning of lap 2, as Mika Hakkinen passed him into Variante del Rettifilo. Berger took his position back in Variante Ascari. The Austrian subsequently closed the gap to Irvine again and was able to pass the Ulsterman in lap 5, although they switched positions a couple of corners later. Their fight would continue until lap 9, when Berger was finally able to pull away a little bit.

Meanwhile, at the front, Brundle had pulled a 5-second gap in the first lap, but the Benettons edged closer lap by lap. Johnny Herbert was on his tail in lap 9 and took his chance right away, slipstreaming past the Ligier on the main straight. Brundle would keep his 2nd place until he made a very early first stop in lap 11. This was probably the explanation for his good pace in the opening stages; Brundle was carrying less fuel than the rest of the field. In fact, the only other driver in the top-10 on a two-stop strategy was Gerhard Berger, who pitted in lap 14. He dropped back into the midfield and although he looked not unlikely to still score some points, he would end the race empty-handed when his engine failed in lap 20.

Irvine had lost more ground in the meantime, as Hill had also fought a way past, although it took him some laps as well. Hakkinen was the next one to fight Irvine, but the Finn did not need to make a passing move anymore when Irvine retired in lap 16. Their fight had allowed Coulthard to close up on Hakkinen. After several attempts, Hakkinen did not have an answer to the Scot's manoeuver in lap 23.

The one-stoppers came into the pits in the following laps, with Alesi being the earliest (lap 23) and Schumacher the latest (lap 30). Schumacher's team mate, Johnny Herbert, had made his stops 3 laps before and he regained the lead, albeit by a smaller margin than before the stops. Within mere seconds, it became clear how the battle for the loead would be decided, as Herbert's Benetton started smoking just before he entered Variante del Rettifilo. The race was over for the Briton and maybe even worse for him, Schumacher was now leading the race with a vast margin, in front of Berger's and Alesi's Ferraris.

Schumacher's lead would grow even further when Gerhard Berger made his second stop, in lap 35. Berger would come out of the pits in 4th, having lost a place to Hill, but still just in front of Hakkinen. Hakkinen could not keep up with Berger; in fact, it was Berger who was steadily closing the gap to Hill. In this time, there was only one battle to enjoy on-track: Jos Verstappen had rejoined after his stop in 14th, still in front of Badoer, but just behind Nathan van Dijk. Van Dijk was clearly somewhat slower than his more experienced compatriot, but he would not easliy give way to him. Verstappen did manage to get past after several laps. Verstappen would move on to also overtake Inoue, who was just a few seconds in front of the Forti driver. Van Dijk would not be rewarded for his good race, as he had to make an unplanned extra stop due to a loose wheel and fell back to the last position.

Others had bad luck in the closing stages of the race as well. Mika Hakkinen would once again not make it to the black-and-white flag. The Finn was in a comfortable 5th position when his engine failed just 6 laps from the finish. His retirement promoted Barrichello up into the points, but the Brazilian would lose his 6th position when he had to make an extra stop due to electrical issues. Barrichello would rejoin the track in 7th, 5 seconds behind Olivier Panis with just 2 laps to go. The Brazilian drove two frantic laps, but he was 2 seconds short of regaining his points position.

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Schumacher takes an important win in Monza

Michael Schumacher and Jean Alesi cruised to the finish in 1st and 2nd position. Schumacher's win ensured he closed the championship gap with his team-mate to just 2 points. Gerhard Berger did catch up with Damon Hill to overtake him in lap 49. The tifosi did have a double podium for Ferrari to celebrate. Hill brought his Williams home in 4th, in front of Coulthard and Panis.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                  ³
³ Pos   Driver                      Time/Speed     ³
³                                                  ³
³  1st  Michael Schumacher          1h 17m 08.284s ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³  2nd  Jean Alesi                  +33.006s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  3rd  Gerhard Berger              +47.821s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  4th  Damon Hill                  +49.930s       ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  5th  David Coulthard             +1m 09.340s    ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  6th  Olivier Panis               -1 Lap         ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³  7th  Rubens Barrichello          -1 Lap         ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³  8th  Ukyo Katayama               -1 Lap         ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³  9th  Karl Wendlinger             -2 Laps        ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 10th  Mika Salo                   -2 Laps        ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³ 11th  Taki Inoue                  -3 Laps        ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 12th  Jos Verstappen              -3 Laps        ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 13th  Luca Badoer                 -3 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 14th  Nathan van Dijk             -3 Laps        ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 15th  Mika Hakkinen               Engine         ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 16th  Johnny Herbert              Engine         ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³ 17th  Roberto Moreno              Puncture       ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 18th  Martin Brundle              Engine         ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 19th  Eddie Irvine                Loose Wheel    ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³ 20th  Giovanni Lavaggi            Transmission   ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 21st  Mark Blundell               Engine         ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 22nd  Domenico Schiattarella      Transmission   ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 23rd  Pedro Lamy                  Water Leak     ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 24th  Heinz-Harald Frentzen       Puncture       ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 25th  Andrea Montermini           Engine         ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 26th  Massimilano Papis           Didn't Finish  ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Drivers' Championship
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1.  Johnny Herbert        68
2.  Michael Schumacher    66
3.  David Coulthard       41
4.  Gerhard Berger        30
5.  Jean Alesi            25
6.  Damon Hill            20
7.  Eddie Irvine          16
8.  Mika Hakkinen         10
9.  Rubens Barrichello     7
10. Karl Wendlinger        7
11. Olivier Panis          7
12. Heinz-Harald Frentzen  6
13. Nigel Mansell          5
14. Luca Badoer            2
15. Jos Verstappen         1
16. Martin Brundle         1



Constructors' Championship
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1.  Benetton-Renault     134
2.  Williams-Renault      61
3.  Ferrari               55
4.  Jordan-Peugeot        23
5.  McLaren-Mercedes      15
6.  Sauber-Ford           13
7.  Ligier-Mugen Honda     8
8.  Minardi-Ford           2
9.  Simtek-Ford            1

YOUR
LOGO

Here
by tBone 11 May 2020, 18:22
Press release - Pacific Team Lotus

Pacific Team Lotus is glad to announce a 2-race deal with Swiss driver Jean-Denis Délétraz to drive for the team. Délétraz will take the wheel of the #16 car, following up Bertrand Gachot and Giovanni Lavaggi. Jean-Denis Délétraz is 31 years old and made his Formula 1 debut in last year's Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. He has enjoyed previous successes like winning races in Formula Ford, finishing 3rd in the French Formula 3 Championship and finishing on the podium twice in International F3000.

Image

Délétraz stated in a reaction on his new cooperation with Pacific Team Lotus: "I am very happy to be returning to Formula One and we will work hard together to make this a competitive end to the season. Although the Pacific team is quite small, they have a lot of motivation and I think everyone knows that Keith Wiggins is determined to make strong progress in Formula One. For me it is a good opportunity to gain more Formula One experience, and to develop a programme which hopefully will lead to my participation in the 1996 Formula One World Championship."


Press release - Scuderia Ferrari

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Scuderia Ferrari are announcing the completion of their driver line-up for 1996 and 1997. Previously, the arrival of 1994 Formula 1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher was already announced to join the team for 3 years.. Scuderia Ferrari are now confirming that joining him in our second car will be Eddie Irvine from Northern Ireland. Irvine has signed a contract for 2 years, so he will be driving for Scuderia Ferrari in the 1996 and 1997 seasons. In a reaction, Irvine said: "I am very excited to join Scuderia Ferrari. I am looking forward to work with the team and to show what I can do in a top car and with a top team mate."


Press release - Red Bull Sauber Ford

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Proudly, Red Bull Sauber Ford are able to confirm their 1996 drivers. Gerhard Berger will join the team to drive their first car. Berger, a 10-time race winner, has signed an agreement with Petronas Sauber Ford to drive for the team in 1996, with an option for 1997. Team owner, Peter Sauber, stated: "We are delighted to welcome Gerhard to our team. Gerhard is one of Formula 1's most established drivers and we are convinced his presence will be an extra boost for Sauber."

Image

Furthermore, Heinz-Harald Frentzen has extended his contract for another year. Frentzen has proven himself over the past years with the team and Red Bull Sauber Ford are glad to keep him aboard. Heinz-Harald is, according to Peter Sauber, "One of Formula 1's biggest talents at the moment. It is great that we are able to keep him for another year and we are aiming to further improve our results together."

YOUR
LOGO

Here
by tBone 14 May 2020, 16:57
1995 Portuguese Grand Prix

Benetton have now won 5 races in a row and they only need 7 more points to win the Constructors' Championship. In other words, it looks like they will have something to celebrate this week-end, or will we see a big surprise? And how will the battle between their two drivers continue, now Schumacher is only 2 points adrift?


Qualifying

Benetton took another big step to secure the constructors' title by locking out the front row. Once again, it was Schumacher who took pole position. The Williams team did a lot better than in Italy, with Coulthard in 3rd and Hill in 5th. Hakkinen split the duo by qualifying in 4th. Berger and Alesi were close together on 6th and 7th, while Martin Brundle had another impressive qualifying and put his Ligier on 8th.

Jordan's lack of in-season development really showed as Irvine and Barrichello only managed 12th and 13th. Moreno did well to qualify on the 11th row once again. Pacific's new driver, Jean-Denis Délétraz appeared no improvement over Lavaggi, as he was well off the pace of his team mate.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                                ³
³Pole                1                                           ³
³           Michael Schumacher                                   ³
³               1m 20.602s                   2                   ³
³                                     Johnny Herbert             ³
³Row 2               3                  1m 20.726s               ³
³             David Coulthard                                    ³
³               1m 20.824s                   4                   ³
³                                      Mika Hakkinen             ³
³Row 3               5                  1m 21.044s               ³
³               Damon Hill                                       ³
³               1m 21.187s                   6                   ³
³                                     Gerhard Berger             ³
³Row 4               7                  1m 21.448s               ³
³               Jean Alesi                                       ³
³               1m 21.470s                   8                   ³
³                                     Martin Brundle             ³
³Row 5               9                  1m 21.478s               ³
³          Heinz-Harald Frentzen                                 ³
³               1m 21.484s                  10                   ³
³                                      Mark Blundell             ³
³Row 6              11                  1m 21.551s               ³
³              Olivier Panis                                     ³
³               1m 21.583s                  12                   ³
³                                      Eddie Irvine              ³
³Row 7              13                  1m 21.649s               ³
³           Rubens Barrichello                                   ³
³               1m 21.848s                  14                   ³
³                                      Ukyo Katayama             ³
³Row 8              15                  1m 21.957s               ³
³               Luca Badoer                                      ³
³               1m 23.090s                  16                   ³
³                                        Mika Salo               ³
³Row 9              17                  1m 23.207s               ³
³               Pedro Lamy                                       ³
³               1m 23.259s                  18                   ³
³                                     Karl Wendlinger            ³
³Row 10             19                  1m 23.349s               ³
³             Jos Verstappen                                     ³
³               1m 23.351s                  20                   ³
³                                    Massimilano Papis           ³
³Row 11             21                  1m 23.729s               ³
³         Domenico Schiattarella                                 ³
³               1m 24.881s                  22                   ³
³                                     Roberto Moreno             ³
³Row 12             23                  1m 25.659s               ³
³             Nathan van Dijk                                    ³
³               1m 25.832s                  24                   ³
³                                       Taki Inoue               ³
³Row 13             25                  1m 25.894s               ³
³            Andrea Montermini                                   ³
³               1m 26.373s                  26                   ³
³                                    Jean-Denis Délétraz         ³
³                                       1m 27.693s               ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Race

Michael Schumacher had a great start and created a gap to his chasers right away. Herbert and Coulthard also kept their places, while the Ferraris had a good start. Berger and Alesi moved up to 4th and 5th, followed by Mika Hakkinen. The first laps were rather uneventful, until Johnny Herbert locked his brakes into the Esses. The Briton ended in the gravel trap and although he could resume his race, he dropped all the way back to 22nd. Mika Hakkinen had another frustrating race as well, since he was forced to retire with mechanical issues once again; this time as soon as lap 10.

Jean Alesi passed his team mate Berger for 4th place in lap 11, but things would get worse for the Austrian a lap later. He ran wide in the Esses and lost 4 more places. Alesi then was the first driver to make a pit stop. He came into the pits as early as lap 18, rejoining in 8th position, just in front of Herbert who was recovering quickly. The other stops followed in the next laps; most remakable was that Damon Hill had lost a place to Jean Alesi, whose undercut strategy seemed to work as planned.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen was driving in an excellent 5th position at this moment, having benefitted from the mistakes and mechanical issues at the top teams. Frentzen would get himself into trouble, however, as he spun in lap 32, damaging his front wing in the process. Not only had he lost time in the gravel trap, he also needed an extra stop for repairs and his chance of a good result was wasted.

Alesi's second stop came in lap 37 and at that moment, it was clear that he was the only driver on a three-stop strategy. He came out of the pits just behind Gerhard Berger and Johnny Herbert. Herbert overtook Berger a lap later and Alesi followed within a few corners. It took Alesi just one lap before he caught Herbert as well with a particularly brave more in Parabolica Interior.

The second round of pit stops did not bring any position changes, but Alesi's 3rd stop dropped him back to 5th place. He did start chasing Johnny Herbert's 4th position and closed the gap quite quickly, but it was not enough to catch him before the end of the race. Meanwhile, Nathan van Dijk would again not finish the race after he had been running close to Schiattarella for most of the race. He had looked faster than his team mate, Inoue and both Pacifics, but an oil leak ended his good run.

Image
Schumacher dominates the race and takes the championship lead

Michael Schumacher had dominated the race and crossed the finish line in 1st, while Coulthard and Hill made it Williams' first double podium finish of the year so far. It was not enough to keep them in contention for the constructors' championship, though, as Herbert's 4th place made it a total of 13 points for Benetton in this race when they only needed 7 for the title. Nevertheless, Herbert was not in the mood for a party as he lost 7 points to his team mate and title rival, Schumacher. The German had now more points than the Briton for the first time this year. Alesi and Berger finished in 5th and 6th.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                  ³
³ Pos   Driver                      Time/Speed     ³
³                                                  ³
³  1st  Michael Schumacher          1h 40m 30.929s ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³  2nd  David Coulthard             +19.401s       ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  3rd  Damon Hill                  +41.553s       ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  4th  Johnny Herbert              +55.341s       ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³  5th  Jean Alesi                  +57.765s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  6th  Gerhard Berger              -1 Lap         ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  7th  Ukyo Katayama               -2 Laps        ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³  8th  Karl Wendlinger             -2 Laps        ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³  9th  Luca Badoer                 -2 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 10th  Domenico Schiattarella      -3 Laps        ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 11th  Massimilano Papis           -4 Laps        ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 12th  Heinz-Harald Frentzen       Transmission   ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 13th  Nathan van Dijk             Oil Leak       ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 14th  Jean-Denis Délétraz         Transmission   ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 15th  Mika Salo                   Transmission   ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³ 16th  Rubens Barrichello          Transmission   ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³ 17th  Olivier Panis               Transmission   ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 18th  Pedro Lamy                  Crash          ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 19th  Eddie Irvine                Transmission   ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³ 20th  Roberto Moreno              Suspension     ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 21st  Martin Brundle              Suspension     ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 22nd  Andrea Montermini           Transmission   ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 23rd  Taki Inoue                  Water Leak     ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 24th  Mika Hakkinen               Transmission   ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 25th  Mark Blundell               Transmission   ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 26th  Jos Verstappen              Transmission   ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Drivers' championship
Code: Select all
1.  Michael Schumacher    76
2.  Johnny Herbert        71
3.  David Coulthard       47
4.  Gerhard Berger        31
5.  Jean Alesi            27
6.  Damon Hill            24
7.  Eddie Irvine          16
8.  Mika Hakkinen         10
9.  Rubens Barrichello     7
10. Karl Wendlinger        7
11. Olivier Panis          7
12. Heinz-Harald Frentzen  6
13. Nigel Mansell          5
14. Luca Badoer            2
15. Jos Verstappen         1
16. Martin Brundle         1



Constructors' championship
Code: Select all
1.  Benetton-Renault     147
2.  Williams-Renault      71
3.  Ferrari               58
4.  Jordan-Peugeot        23
5.  McLaren-Mercedes      15
6.  Sauber-Ford           13
7.  Ligier-Mugen Honda     8
8.  Minardi-Ford           2
9.  Simtek-Ford            1

YOUR
LOGO

Here
by tBone 16 May 2020, 13:33
1995 European Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher had the momentum coming to his second home Grand Prix on the Nürburgring. Johnny Herbert will be more than eager to outscore him after the German's hattrick of wins. The other teams will be looking to break Benetton's streak of wins. Will Williams and Ferrari be able to finally win another race?


Qualifying

Mika Hakkinen took surprisingly his second pole position of the season. Coulthard kept his last hope of title contention alive by joining the Finn on the front row. Schumacher beat his team mate by qualifying in 3rd, while Herbert only managed 5th; Damon Hill split the two Benettons. Alesi completed the top six, with an impressive Heinz-Harald Frentzen right behind him. Nathan van Dijk had a good qualifying as well, beating his team mate by 0.3 s to get the 22nd grid slot; his best performance of the year.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                                ³
³Pole                1                                           ³
³              Mika Hakkinen                                     ³
³               1m 23.008s                   2                   ³
³                                     David Coulthard            ³
³Row 2               3                  1m 23.289s               ³
³           Michael Schumacher                                   ³
³               1m 23.420s                   4                   ³
³                                       Damon Hill               ³
³Row 3               5                  1m 23.438s               ³
³             Johnny Herbert                                     ³
³               1m 23.517s                   6                   ³
³                                       Jean Alesi               ³
³Row 4               7                  1m 23.672s               ³
³          Heinz-Harald Frentzen                                 ³
³               1m 23.721s                   8                   ³
³                                      Eddie Irvine              ³
³Row 5               9                  1m 23.775s               ³
³             Gerhard Berger                                     ³
³               1m 23.877s                  10                   ³
³                                      Mark Blundell             ³
³Row 6              11                  1m 23.907s               ³
³             Martin Brundle                                     ³
³               1m 23.998s                  12                   ³
³                                      Olivier Panis             ³
³Row 7              13                  1m 24.170s               ³
³           Rubens Barrichello                                   ³
³               1m 24.332s                  14                   ³
³                                      Ukyo Katayama             ³
³Row 8              15                  1m 24.586s               ³
³            Massimilano Papis                                   ³
³               1m 24.783s                  16                   ³
³                                     Karl Wendlinger            ³
³Row 9              17                  1m 25.604s               ³
³               Luca Badoer                                      ³
³               1m 25.827s                  18                   ³
³                                        Mika Salo               ³
³Row 10             19                  1m 26.043s               ³
³             Jos Verstappen                                     ³
³               1m 26.059s                  20                   ³
³                                       Pedro Lamy               ³
³Row 11             21                  1m 26.196s               ³
³         Domenico Schiattarella                                 ³
³               1m 26.970s                  22                   ³
³                                     Nathan van Dijk            ³
³Row 12             23                  1m 27.716s               ³
³             Roberto Moreno                                     ³
³               1m 28.033s                  24                   ³
³                                       Taki Inoue               ³
³Row 13             25                  1m 28.247s               ³
³            Andrea Montermini                                   ³
³               1m 28.829s                  26                   ³
³                                   Jean-Denis Délétraz          ³
³                                       1m 29.971s               ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Race

The top 3 got away well, keeping their positions. Jean Alesi had the best start of the whole pack, jumping to 4th place, with Hill and Herbert behind him. Hakkinen would not be in the lead for long, because Coulthard outbraked him into the Veedol chicane before the end of the first lap. Michael Schumacher's pace was also disappointing in the opening stages, as Alesi, Hill and Herbert all got past him in the first 5 laps. He would recover somewhat in the next laps, regaining a position on Herbert in lap 13.

The top 6 all looked to be on a one stop strategy, with Hill being the first of them to come into the pits, in lap 31. Coulthard and Alesi followed a lap later, with Alesi's stop not being fast enough to keep him in front of Hill. The others made their stops without any position changes, although Hakkinen was a lot closer to Coulthard than before the pit stops. The Finn's pace was quicker then Coulthard's as well and the two looked set for an intense battle for the win. Behind them, Schumacher had gained time on Hill and Alesi too. The German improved his championship chances by overtaking Alesi in lap 38 and he continued to close in on Hill.

The battle for the win ended in an anti-climax in lap 47. Martin Brundle's Ligier was running slow in the Castrol-S as he was retiring his car. Coulthard seemed distracted and ran wide, handing the lead to Hakkinen. It soon emerged that it was not Coulthard's mistake, as he had a puncture. The Scot made it back to the pits for a fresh set of tyres, but he rejoined in 7th position, behind Berger. Just one lap later, another shock went through the paddock as Johnny Herbert's engine was on fire. Herbert was forced to retire while he was in 5th position, losing another 2 points for the championship, just after his team mate had gained another position by overtaking Damon Hill.

After those tumultuous laps, Hakkinen was enjoying a comfortable lead over Michael Schumacher and Jean Alesi. David Coulthard was on a charge after his misfortunes and he got swiftly past Berger's Ferrari in lap 52. His lead inheritor, Hakkinen, would undergo a similar fate in lap 53. The Finn was forced to pit with a loose wheel, rejoining the track just in front of Coulthard in 4th place. The crowd certainly did not mind, as their favourite, Schumacher, inherited a comfortable lead.

Hakkinen was the fastest man on track after his stop and he quickly reeled in Alesi's Ferrari. The Finn outbraked the Frenchman in lap 58 and he went on to chase Hill and Schumacher. David Coulthard followed him 2 laps later, also finding a way past Alesi in the Sportwartkurve. Hakkinen was on Damon Hill's tail by now, passing him in the Veedol chicane. The Finn now had a gap of 7 seconds to close to Schumacher in the final 5 laps. While Coulthard got past Hill in the final laps, Hakkinen was closing the gap to the lead at a fast rate. Going into the final lap, the gap was down to just 2 seconds, but the race turned out to be one lap too short for Hakkinen to attack Schumacher.

Image
Schumacher finishes just in front of Herbert to win his second home race

Schumacher kept calm, did not make any mistakes, and took the win, just 0.7 s in front of Hakkinen. David Coulthard joined them on the podium, while Hill, Alesi and Berger completed the top 6. Nathan van Dijk had driven an excellent race, he battled with Verstappen and showed to be faster than Inoue and his team mate. In the end, it got him a 15th place.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³ Pos   Driver                      Time/Speed     ³
³                                                  ³
³  1st  Michael Schumacher          1h 35m 11.813s ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³  2nd  Mika Hakkinen               +0.768s        ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³  3rd  David Coulthard             +9.752s        ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  4th  Damon Hill                  +13.027s       ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  5th  Jean Alesi                  +16.079s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  6th  Gerhard Berger              +28.385s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  7th  Heinz-Harald Frentzen       +40.456s       ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³  8th  Eddie Irvine                +43.249s       ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³  9th  Rubens Barrichello          +1m 04.002s    ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³ 10th  Olivier Panis               -1 Lap         ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 11th  Karl Wendlinger             -1 Lap         ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 12th  Luca Badoer                 -2 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 13th  Pedro Lamy                  -2 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 14th  Domenico Schiattarella      -2 Laps        ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 15th  Nathan van Dijk             -3 Laps        ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 16th  Roberto Moreno              -3 Laps        ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 17th  Mark Blundell               Electrical     ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 18th  Taki Inoue                  Engine         ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 19th  Johnny Herbert              Oil Leak       ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³ 20th  Martin Brundle              Transmission   ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 21st  Andrea Montermini           Water Leak     ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 22nd  Massimilano Papis           Suspension     ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 23rd  Jos Verstappen              Transmission   ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 24th  Jean-Denis Délétraz         Loose Wheel    ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 25th  Mika Salo                   Engine         ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³ 26th  Ukyo Katayama               Engine         ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Post-race Quotes

You have seen it correctly, Grand Prix News' race reports have a new item! From now on, our pit reporters will snatch some quotes from the top-3, as well as from the Dutch drivers, to find out how they feel about their race.

Michael Schumacher (1st): "I know I have been lucky today, but of course I am very happy about the result and I think I extracted the absolute maximum from the car this weekend. We do need to make sure why we are not the fastest team anymore, though."
Mika Hakkinen (2nd): "If you had told me before the weekend that I would be disappointed with 2nd place, I would not have believed you, but it is what it is. At least our speed was very encouraging all week-end, it is just a shame about that small issue which definitely cost me the win."
David Coulthard (3rd): "Too bad about the puncture, it would have been a nice battle with Hakkinen. I am not sure if I would have won, but 2nd was definitely possible today. Still, the car felt good all week-end and I am hopeful for good results in the final 3 races."
Nathan van Dijk (15th): "This might have been my best race week-end in F1 so far! Qualifying was great and I felt great in the race, overtaking Verstappen and Inoue, although later on, Jos was faster. Still, I feel I am still improving race by race."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "It was not our best race here. I do not know why I could not find the pace in the race and it all ended way too soon with a transmission failure. I hope we can do better again in the last races this year."


Drivers' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Michael Schumacher    86
2.  Johnny Herbert        71
3.  David Coulthard       51
4.  Gerhard Berger        32
5.  Jean Alesi            29
6.  Damon Hill            27
7.  Mika Hakkinen         16
8.  Eddie Irvine          16
9.  Rubens Barrichello     7
10. Karl Wendlinger        7
11. Olivier Panis          7
12. Heinz-Harald Frentzen  6
13. Nigel Mansell          5
14. Luca Badoer            2
15. Jos Verstappen         1
16. Martin Brundle         1



Constructors' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Benetton-Renault     157
2.  Williams-Renault      78
3.  Ferrari               61
4.  Jordan-Peugeot        23
5.  McLaren-Mercedes      21
6.  Sauber-Ford           13
7.  Ligier-Mugen Honda     8
8.  Minardi-Ford           2
9.  Simtek-Ford            1

YOUR
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by tBone 16 May 2020, 18:05
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, rumors and stories | Wednesday 4th October, 1995


Can Johnny Still Win It?

After the European Grand Prix, there are only two drivers left who have a mathematical chance of winning the World Drivers' Championship: Benetton team mates Michael Schumacher and Johnny Herbert. Schumacher's win and Herbert's DNF gave the German a 15 point lead over the Briton. David Coulthard's 3rd place got him on a deficit of 35 points, so with only 3 races to go, he has no chance of winning the title anymore.

Image

Herbert's misfortune certainly cost him badly and even if he wins all three races from now on, he is not certain to win the championship. Schumacher would do enough if he finishes 2nd twice and 3rd once. Given that Schumacher has not been off the podium since the French GP, it seems reasonable to expect that he is capable of such results. If the German wins one more race, he would need to add no more than 5 points to his tally to make it.

So, what does Herbert need to do to stand a chance? First of all, he will need to beat his team mate and all the others in the next three races. And, as a wise man once said, "To finish first, you first must finish!" Herbert has lost a lot of points in the second half of the season due to mechanical issues, but also due to driver errors. In other words, the second thing the Briton needs to do, is to stop making mistakes. And then, there is a third thing to do: hoping. Herbert will need to hope for other teams to slot in between himself and his team mate, or for Schumacher to get hit by mechanical issues, or for Schumacher to start making mistakes.

So, can Johnny still win it? Maybe, but he will need to beat everyone, he cannot make any more mistakes and he needs to hope for the unlikely...


Teams for Sale

It seems to be a recurring theme in Formula 1: teams in financial trouble. Over the last 5 years, we lost an impressive number of teams: Onyx, EuroBrun, Life, Lambo, AGS, March, Brabham, Fondmetal and Lotus. The teams of Larrousse, Scuderia Italia, Coloni, Osella and Venturi were meanwhile all sold to different owners or merged. Strong rumours are coming from the paddock that more teams will be added to the latter list in the best case, or, in the worst case, to the former.

Firstly, it seems almost certain that Jackie Oliver and Alan Rees, two of the original founders of the Arrows team, will buy out Footwork from the team, renaming it back to its original name. It is no secret that Footwork's financial input to the team has slimmed down significantly. This has been emphasized by the fact that the team needed to hire Papis and Inoue to raise some funds.

Ligier was acquired by Flavio Briatore last year, mainly to secure the Renault engines for his Benetton team. Briatore is looking to sell the French team again now. One of the main candidates to buy it is Tom Walkinshaw's TWR. Walkinshaw is already managing the team on Briatore's behalf, but he is said to be looking to run a team with his own company. Another candidate was Alain Prost, who was looking to set up his own F1 team with backing from French companies. However, Prost has just joined McLaren in an advisory role, so his own team does not seem realistic at this moment.

1994's new teams, Simtek and Pacific, both seem to be struggling as well. Simtek's finances were very tight in the beginning of the year, until they were saved with some good Dutch sponsor deals. It seems likely that those sponsors will follow Verstappen wherever he is going, and it may well not be Simtek. Pacific's money also looks to be running out quickly and their lack of results is not making the situation any easier. Both teams appear uncertain whether they will survive the winter without investments or buy-outs, but so far, Grand Prix News has not heard of any serious potential buyers.


Short but Sweet

Panis stays at Ligier in '96, '97 • Judd V10 engines for Pacific next year? • Jan Magnussen in talks with DFC, Simtek, Larrousse DAMS, manager says • DFC announces sponsor deal with Petrobras

YOUR
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by tBone 19 May 2020, 20:26
1995 Pacific Grand Prix

For the second and presumably last time in Formula 1 history, the Pacific Grand Prix will be held on the TI Circuit Aida. Michael Schumacher won here last year and if he does it again, it will be a big step towards his second world title. If Herbert wins, everything is possible again. Or will Benetton's winning streak finally be ended? The midfield will be interesting to watch as well, with Morbidelli and Suzuki returning and with many teams bringing their last upgrades of the season.


Qualifying

Mika Hakkinen has another great qualifying by claiming his second pole position of the season. The Williams duo followed closely in 2nd and 3rd, while Michael Schumacher soundly beat his team mate with 4th. Mark Blundell completed a good qualifying for McLaren in 5th, joined by Alesi on the third row. Johnny Herbert managed only a disappointing 7th position, followed by Irvine, Frentzen and Barrichello. Further down, Aguri Suzuki and Gianni Morbidelli did a fine job on their return, qualifying in 14th and 15th respectively.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                                ³
³Pole                1                                           ³
³              Mika Hakkinen                                     ³
³               1m 09.892s                   2                   ³
³                                       Damon Hill               ³
³Row 2               3                  1m 10.016s               ³
³             David Coulthard                                    ³
³               1m 10.059s                   4                   ³
³                                   Michael Schumacher           ³
³Row 3               5                  1m 10.157s               ³
³              Mark Blundell                                     ³
³               1m 10.363s                   6                   ³
³                                       Jean Alesi               ³
³Row 4               7                  1m 10.556s               ³
³             Johnny Herbert                                     ³
³               1m 10.640s                   8                   ³
³                                      Eddie Irvine              ³
³Row 5               9                  1m 10.820s               ³
³          Heinz-Harald Frentzen                                 ³
³               1m 10.836s                  10                   ³
³                                   Rubens Barrichello           ³
³Row 6              11                  1m 10.853s               ³
³             Gerhard Berger                                     ³
³               1m 10.866s                  12                   ³
³                                      Olivier Panis             ³
³Row 7              13                  1m 11.251s               ³
³              Ukyo Katayama                                     ³
³               1m 11.380s                  14                   ³
³                                      Aguri Suzuki              ³
³Row 8              15                  1m 11.610s               ³
³            Gianni Morbidelli                                   ³
³               1m 11.715s                  16                   ³
³                                       Luca Badoer              ³
³Row 9              17                  1m 12.260s               ³
³                Mika Salo                                       ³
³               1m 12.322s                  18                   ³
³                                     Jos Verstappen             ³
³Row 10             19                  1m 12.383s               ³
³             Karl Wendlinger                                    ³
³               1m 12.773s                  20                   ³
³                                       Pedro Lamy               ³
³Row 11             21                  1m 12.790s               ³
³         Domenico Schiattarella                                 ³
³               1m 13.746s                  22                   ³
³                                     Nathan van Dijk            ³
³Row 12             23                  1m 14.121s               ³
³             Roberto Moreno                                     ³
³               1m 14.201s                  24                   ³
³                                       Taki Inoue               ³
³Row 13             25                  1m 14.584s               ³
³             Bertrand Gachot                                    ³
³               1m 14.875s                  26                   ³
³                                    Andrea Montermini           ³
³                                       1m 15.222s               ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Race

Michael Schumacher had a brilliant start and took the lead, followed by Hakkinen, Hill and Coulthard. Herbert also had a good start and came out of the first corner in 5th, right in front of Mark Blundell. Damon Hill had a bad first lap, as he was overtaken by Coulthard in Attwood curve and by Herbert in the hairpin. Blundell would also lose another place, as Irvine outbraked him into the hairpin. In lap 3, Hill took back his position from Herbert, while Alesi moved up into 6th by overtaking Irvine. Schumacher could not keep his leading position for long. Mika Hakkinen outbraked him in lap 4 going into the hairpin and the Finn was imitated by Coulthard a lap later. Johnny Herbert was far from gaining points on him, however, as Jean Alesi overtook the Briton for 5th place. Herbert got his position back in lap 12, when Alesi had to retire with transmission issues.

The first series of pit stops caused only one position change: Gerhard Berger's undercut worked and he moved up to 5th position, in front of Herbert. Michael Schumacher seemed to be much quicker in his second stint and he swiftly overtook Coulthard. Only a few laps after the regular stops, Mika Hakkinen was forced to make another stop. After the race, it appeared he had a throttle problem. Hakkinen's stop made him drop all the way back to 6th, behind Johnny Herbert, who made up another position one lap later by overtaking Berger in the hairpin.

A series of incidents followed halfway the race. Firstly, it was Michael Schumacher who hit Domenico Schiattarella when lapping him. The race was over for the Italian, but Schumacher got away without damage, although he lost two places to both Williams drivers. Coulthard had inherited the lead, but his team mate Damon Hill overtook him in lap 37. Mika Hakkinen also was making up for his lost time; he passed Berger and Herbert within a couple of laps. Another backmarker caught some attention: Bertrand Gachot collided with Berger when he was lapped. The result was once again time loss for the frontrunner and retirement for the backmarker. Schumacher was on his way back again and overtook Coulthard in lap 40, only to make a mistake in Attwood corner 2 laps later and lose his position again.

The second series of stops showed some interesting differences in strategy, as Coulthard and Herbert were driving a longer second stint than the others. Schumacher was one of the first drivers to make his stop and it payed off for him, because Damon Hill was behind him for a couple of seconds when he came out of the pits. It would indeed last for mere seconds, because Schumacher lost control of his car and spun in the first corner, like Hakkinen had done two laps earlier. Both drivers lost a lot of time and places.

When Coulthard had made his stop, he dropped to 2nd place behind his team mate. Schumacher and Herbert followed the Williams duo, with Hakkinen and Berger completing the top 6. Berger lost his place in the points when he was forced to make an extra pit stop with electrical issues, promoting Frentzen to a fine 6th place. Michael Schumacher was struggling in his final stint: Herbert got past when the German ran wide in the hairpin and 2 laps later, Hakkinen easily got past in Attwood. Schumacher was not the one with the worst closing stage of the race, though. The worst heartbreak was for Damon Hill, whose engine failed just two laps from the end.

Image
David Coulthard breaks Benetton's winning streak in Aida

Hill's team mate, David Coulthard, inherited the win, joined on the podium by Johnny Herbert and Mika Hakkinen. Schumacher came home in a disappointing 4th position, while his compatriot Frentzen was more than satisfied with 5th. Gerhard Berger scored the final point.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                  ³
³ Pos   Driver                      Time/Speed     ³
³                                                  ³
³  1st  David Coulthard             1h 31m 42.809s ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  2nd  Johnny Herbert              +29.424s       ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³  3rd  Mika Hakkinen               +33.128s       ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³  4th  Michael Schumacher          +34.280s       ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³  5th  Heinz-Harald Frentzen       -1 Lap         ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³  6th  Gerhard Berger              -1 Lap         ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  7th  Damon Hill                  -2 Laps        ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  8th  Ukyo Katayama               -2 Laps        ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³  9th  Gianni Morbidelli           -2 Laps        ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 10th  Mika Salo                   -2 Laps        ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³ 11th  Karl Wendlinger             -2 Laps        ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 12th  Luca Badoer                 -2 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 13th  Pedro Lamy                  -3 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 14th  Taki Inoue                  -4 Laps        ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 15th  Olivier Panis               Engine         ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 16th  Aguri Suzuki                Transmission   ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 17th  Eddie Irvine                Loose Wheel    ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³ 18th  Bertrand Gachot             Didn't Finish  ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 19th  Domenico Schiattarella      Didn't Finish  ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 20th  Roberto Moreno              Transmission   ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 21st  Nathan van Dijk             Suspension     ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 22nd  Jos Verstappen              Engine         ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 23rd  Mark Blundell               Oil Leak       ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 24th  Jean Alesi                  Transmission   ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³ 25th  Rubens Barrichello          Electrical     ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³ 26th  Andrea Montermini           Water Leak     ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Post-race Quotes

David Coulthard (1st): "Of course I am happy to finally win again, but Damon deserved this one. It was really a shame to lose a 1-2 for the team so close to the finish."
Johnny Herbert (2nd): "I knew I needed a steady race and I think I delivered. Beating Michael means I gained 3 points on him and my title hopes are still alive."
Mika Hakkinen (3rd): "The throttle problem was a shame, as I was feeling really good in the car. After that, I overdrove and lost even more, which was also a shame."
Nathan van Dijk (retired): "It was another week-end where we showed our speed, but unfortunately it was also another week-end where we did not finish."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "I had a great race and had moved up to 14th place within just a few laps. It was disappointing it did not last longer."


Drivers' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Michael Schumacher    89
2.  Johnny Herbert        77
3.  David Coulthard       61
4.  Gerhard Berger        33
5.  Jean Alesi            29
6.  Damon Hill            27
7.  Mika Hakkinen         20
8.  Eddie Irvine          16
9.  Heinz-Harald Frentzen  8
10. Rubens Barrichello     7
11. Karl Wendlinger        7
12. Olivier Panis          7
13. Nigel Mansell          5
14. Luca Badoer            2
15. Jos Verstappen         1
16. Martin Brundle         1



Constructors' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Benetton-Renault     166
2.  Williams-Renault      88
3.  Ferrari               62
4.  Jordan-Peugeot        23
5.  McLaren-Mercedes      21
6.  Sauber-Ford           15
7.  Ligier-Mugen Honda     8
8.  Minardi-Ford           2
9.  Simtek-Ford            1

YOUR
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by tBone 21 May 2020, 20:26
1995 Japanese Grand Prix

Despite his disappointing race in Aida, Michael Schumacher says his mission is to clinch the title in Suzuka, but Johnny Herbert will do everything to prevent it. The Williams team will also be looking to add more to their winning tally this year. In the constructors' championship, there still is a fierce battle for 4th between McLaren, Jordan and Sauber. All three teams are eager for a good result as well. The season is almost over, but there is plenty left to race for!


Qualifying

Hill and Hakkinen both make the front row again, but this time it is Hill who narrowly beats the Finn. Coulthard managed to take 3rd on the grid, while Schumacher beat Herbert again to take 4th. Berger squeezed his Ferrari between the two Benettons, while his team mate Alesi got 7th, followed by Mark Blundell. There were no big surprises in the midfield, although Van Dijk's qualifying was disappointing. The young Dutchman was soundly beaten by his team mate this time.

Results
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ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                                ³
³Pole                1                                           ³
³               Damon Hill                                       ³
³               1m 37.018s                   2                   ³
³                                      Mika Hakkinen             ³
³Row 2               3                  1m 37.033s               ³
³             David Coulthard                                    ³
³               1m 37.319s                   4                   ³
³                                   Michael Schumacher           ³
³Row 3               5                  1m 37.490s               ³
³             Gerhard Berger                                     ³
³               1m 37.673s                   6                   ³
³                                     Johnny Herbert             ³
³Row 4               7                  1m 37.809s               ³
³               Jean Alesi                                       ³
³               1m 37.878s                   8                   ³
³                                      Mark Blundell             ³
³Row 5               9                  1m 37.930s               ³
³              Olivier Panis                                     ³
³               1m 37.976s                  10                   ³
³                                      Aguri Suzuki              ³
³Row 6              11                  1m 38.101s               ³
³              Eddie Irvine                                      ³
³               1m 38.191s                  12                   ³
³                                   Rubens Barrichello           ³
³Row 7              13                  1m 38.255s               ³
³          Heinz-Harald Frentzen                                 ³
³               1m 38.693s                  14                   ³
³                                      Ukyo Katayama             ³
³Row 8              15                  1m 38.935s               ³
³            Gianni Morbidelli                                   ³
³               1m 39.415s                  16                   ³
³                                        Mika Salo               ³
³Row 9              17                  1m 40.122s               ³
³             Karl Wendlinger                                    ³
³               1m 40.256s                  18                   ³
³                                       Luca Badoer              ³
³Row 10             19                  1m 40.611s               ³
³             Jos Verstappen                                     ³
³               1m 40.728s                  20                   ³
³                                       Pedro Lamy               ³
³Row 11             21                  1m 40.923s               ³
³         Domenico Schiattarella                                 ³
³               1m 42.205s                  22                   ³
³                                     Roberto Moreno             ³
³Row 12             23                  1m 42.487s               ³
³               Taki Inoue                                       ³
³               1m 42.700s                  24                   ³
³                                     Nathan van Dijk            ³
³Row 13             25                  1m 42.879s               ³
³             Bertrand Gachot                                    ³
³               1m 43.713s                  26                   ³
³                                    Andrea Montermini           ³
³                                       1m 43.974s               ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Race

Schumacher took a giant leap to his second world title at the start. The German rocketed into the lead, followed by Hill and Hakkinen. Herbert also had a good start: he moved up to 4th, while David Coulthard had dropped to 5th. Aguri Suzuki had a marvellous start in front of his home crowd; the Japanese Ligier driver came out of the first corner in an excellent 6th position. Herbert tried to waste no time to close in on his team mate, passing Hakkinen still on the first lap on their way to 130R, but the Finn got him back at the Casio Triangle. In the next lap, Herbert even lost a place when Coulthard overtook him in the same chicane. The Scot also got past Hakkinen two laps later.

As Schumacher built a comfortable lead and Herbert was only driving in 5th position, the German was set to become a double world champion in Suzuka. Nobody looked like they could stop him, until his transmission failed in lap 8. The furious Schumacher refused to comment on the situation afterwards. Meanwhile, Aguri Suzuki did a great job in keeping his 6th position, although Gerhard Berger found a way past in lap 7. With Schumacher's retirement, Suzuki was back in the points until Barrichello overtook him in lap 9. The Brazilian would retire with transmission issues though, handing Suzuki back the 6th position.

At the front, Damon Hill had inherited the lead, but David Coulthard was faster. The Scot pulled off a brave pass on the Englishman in 130R to move into 1st. He would keep the lead until he made his first stop in lap 20. It was a short stop, indicating that Coulthard was one of the few drivers on a two stop strategy. Coulthard dropped to 5th place, but he passed Gerhard Berger within a few laps to take 4th. A few laps later, Ligier caused a massive disappointment for the crowd, as Suzuki's suspension failed in lap 25. The Japanese desperately tried to reach his pit crew, but his car stranded in the pit lane.

After all the stops of the one-stoppers, the order had returned without any position changes. Coulthard was back in the lead, although his margin was small. Hill was just a few seconds behind, while Mika Hakkinen put in some fast lap times in 3rd position. The Finn lost his chance at 2nd place when he had to retire with a puncture. David Coulthard made his second stop pretty late, in lap 42. He rejoined the race in 2nd place and could not catch his team mate anymore.

Image
Damon Hill wins his first race of 1995

Damon Hill kept his lead and finally won his first race of the year, with Coulthard completing the first 1-2 for Williams of the season. Herbert collected another 4 points with 3rd, closing the gap to Schumacher for the final race to 8 points. Berger came home in 4th, followed by Eddie Irvine and Mark Blundell, who scored his first point of the season at last.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                  ³
³ Pos   Driver                      Time/Speed     ³
³                                                  ³
³  1st  Damon Hill                  1h 29m 22.159s ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  2nd  David Coulthard             +11.202s       ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  3rd  Johnny Herbert              +35.338s       ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³  4th  Gerhard Berger              +46.617s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  5th  Eddie Irvine                +1m 28.496s    ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³  6th  Mark Blundell               +1m 32.231s    ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³  7th  Ukyo Katayama               -1 Lap         ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³  8th  Gianni Morbidelli           -1 Lap         ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³  9th  Karl Wendlinger             -1 Lap         ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 10th  Mika Salo                   -1 Lap         ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³ 11th  Domenico Schiattarella      -2 Laps        ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 12th  Pedro Lamy                  -2 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 13th  Roberto Moreno              -2 Laps        ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 14th  Taki Inoue                  -3 Laps        ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 15th  Bertrand Gachot             -3 Laps        ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 16th  Andrea Montermini           -3 Laps        ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 17th  Mika Hakkinen               Puncture       ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 18th  Jos Verstappen              Engine         ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 19th  Heinz-Harald Frentzen       Water Leak     ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 20th  Nathan van Dijk             Electrical     ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 21st  Aguri Suzuki                Suspension     ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 22nd  Luca Badoer                 Puncture       ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 23rd  Olivier Panis               Engine         ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 24th  Rubens Barrichello          Transmission   ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³ 25th  Michael Schumacher          Transmission   ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³ 26th  Jean Alesi                  Engine         ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Post-race Quotes

Damon Hill (1st): "Finally I am back! My compliments to the team, we really had a great car again. Fortunately I could finish the job this time around."
David Coulthard (2nd): "This was another great race for the team. Unfortunately, my two stop strategy did not work out the way we hoped, but 2nd it not a bad result at all."
Johnny Herbert (3rd): "I am proud that I have stretched the title battle to the last race; who knows what will happen in Adelaide."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "I lost a lot of time in the battle with the Fortis. When I finally had some free space, the pace was quite good. It is just a shame about the mechanical issues again."
Nathan van Dijk (retired): "I could not really get it together in qualifying, but the race was quite fun. I could have gained some places with the undercut, but unfortunately the car failed right after my pit stop."


Drivers' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Michael Schumacher    89
2.  Johnny Herbert        81
3.  David Coulthard       67
4.  Damon Hill            37
5.  Gerhard Berger        36
6.  Jean Alesi            29
7.  Mika Hakkinen         20
8.  Eddie Irvine          18
9.  Heinz-Harald Frentzen  8
10. Rubens Barrichello     7
11. Karl Wendlinger        7
12. Olivier Panis          7
13. Nigel Mansell          5
14. Luca Badoer            2
15. Mark Blundell          1
16. Jos Verstappen         1
17. Martin Brundle         1



Constructors' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Benetton-Renault     170
2.  Williams-Renault     104
3.  Ferrari               65
4.  McLaren-Mercedes      26
5.  Jordan-Peugeot        25
6.  Sauber-Ford           15
7.  Ligier-Mugen Honda     8
8.  Minardi-Ford           2
9.  Simtek-Ford            1
Last edited by tBone on 31 May 2020, 14:59, edited 2 times in total.

YOUR
LOGO

Here
by tBone 25 May 2020, 18:58
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, rumors and stories | Wednesday 1st November, 1995


Down to the Wire

With only 8 points between Michael Schumacher and Johnny Herbert, the drivers' championship will be decided in the final race of this year. While we are waiting to find out who takes the title in Adelaide, Grand Prix News looks back at the last five title deciders in the final race.

1994
Image
It was only last year that Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill headed to Adelaide with just one point separating them. Memories are still fresh of the controversial crash between the two title contenders, which resulted in both of them retiring from the race and Schumacher taking his first championship.

1986
Image
It is difficult to imagine that it has already been nine years since the three-way title decider of 1986. Nigel Mansell was leading the championship going into the final race, but Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet also had a chance. Mansell was on course to clinch his first championship, until a puncture ended his race. Piquet was called into the pits precautionarily for new tyres and had to chase Prost afterwards. The Frenchman managed to keep the lead by just 4 seconds and win the championship.

1984
Image
Niki Lauda was 3.5 points ahead of his McLaren team mate Alain Prost before the final GP in Estoril. Prost was dominating the race, while Lauda was recovering from a poor qualifying. A brake failure for Nigel Mansell meant Lauda could gain 2nd place from him, giving him enough points to win the title by just half a point.

1983
Image
Before the season's final Grand Prix in South Africa, three drivers still had a chance of winning the championship: Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and René Arnoux. Arnoux's race only lasted 9 laps, while Piquet was pulling away in the lead. Prost fought himself up the field, but before he could really challenge Piquet, the Frenchman also suffered mechanical failure. Piquet was then able to cruise home and get enough points with 3rd place.

1982
Image
The situation in 1982 may be the most similar to this year. Keke Rosberg needed one more point to secure his world championship, while John Watson still had a theoretical chance as well. Watson drove a good race after running a lowly 12th in the opening staged and finished 2nd, but Rosberg's 5th place was enough for the Finn to win the only world championship of his career.


Larrousse DAMS LD-I Unveiled

Image

Larrousse DAMS unveiled their 1996 F1 chassis, the LD-I, at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. It was already known that the LD-I has been designed by Reynard, but it was the first time that it has officially been confirmed that the French team will use Ford V8 engines next year. Apart from the car itself, the biggest news of the day was the confirmation of Emmanuel Collard as one of the team's drivers. Collard also gave the car its shakedown on the Bugatti circuit.

Image

The most eye-catching features of the chassis, which is at the moment painted in a testing livery, are the double air intakes in the sidepods. The intakes are rather narrow, even combined, but they are supposed to provide the cooling system a more laminar airflow, while the drag coefficient should be lower than for conventional air intakes. Larrousse DAMS have gone for a raised nosecone, just like more and more of the other teams have done over the last few years. Lap times have not been communicated, but it has to be said: although it will be down on power to the V10s, the car certainly looks interesting.


Short but Sweet

Verstappen, Badoer main candidates for 2nd Ligier seat • Blundell signs for CART team PacWest • Pacific on the brink of ruin • Taki Inoue in talks with Minardi • Paul and Jackie Stewart planning to enter F1 with own team

YOUR
LOGO

Here
by tBone 31 May 2020, 14:58
1995 Australian Grand Prix

The championship decider is finally here! It has been a tumultuous season with many ups and downs for both Benetton drivers, Michael Schumacher and Johnny Herbert. If Schumacher finishes the race in a decent position, he is sure of his second world title. Or can Herbert still provide a surprise and keep the numbers 1 and 2 on the Benettons for next year?


Qualifying

Mika Hakkinen and Mark Blundell both set a good first step to give McLaren 4th in the constructors' championship, with the Finn taking another pole and the Briton qualified in a decent 7th position. The Williams duo of Hill and Coulthard did well once again with 2nd and 3rd on the grid, followed by Jean Alesi in 4th. In the other Ferrari, Berger had a decent qualifying as well to take 6th. Johnny Herbert needed a good qualifying to keep his title dreams alive, but he did not deliver. While his team mate, Michael Schumacher, managed a 5th place on the grid, Herbert could do no better than 10th.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                                ³
³Pole                1                                           ³
³              Mika Hakkinen                                     ³
³               1m 16.233s                   2                   ³
³                                       Damon Hill               ³
³Row 2               3                  1m 16.284s               ³
³             David Coulthard                                    ³
³               1m 16.496s                   4                   ³
³                                       Jean Alesi               ³
³Row 3               5                  1m 16.644s               ³
³           Michael Schumacher                                   ³
³               1m 16.658s                   6                   ³
³                                     Gerhard Berger             ³
³Row 4               7                  1m 16.730s               ³
³              Mark Blundell                                     ³
³               1m 16.889s                   8                   ³
³                                      Olivier Panis             ³
³Row 5               9                  1m 16.986s               ³
³          Heinz-Harald Frentzen                                 ³
³               1m 17.202s                  10                   ³
³                                     Johnny Herbert             ³
³Row 6              11                  1m 17.218s               ³
³           Rubens Barrichello                                   ³
³               1m 17.224s                  12                   ³
³                                      Eddie Irvine              ³
³Row 7              13                  1m 17.231s               ³
³             Martin Brundle                                     ³
³               1m 17.422s                  14                   ³
³                                    Gianni Morbidelli           ³
³Row 8              15                  1m 17.866s               ³
³              Ukyo Katayama                                     ³
³               1m 17.877s                  16                   ³
³                                        Mika Salo               ³
³Row 9              17                  1m 18.652s               ³
³               Luca Badoer                                      ³
³               1m 18.807s                  18                   ³
³                                     Jos Verstappen             ³
³Row 10             19                  1m 18.955s               ³
³               Pedro Lamy                                       ³
³               1m 19.028s                  20                   ³
³                                     Karl Wendlinger            ³
³Row 11             21                  1m 19.054s               ³
³         Domenico Schiattarella                                 ³
³               1m 19.739s                  22                   ³
³                                     Nathan van Dijk            ³
³Row 12             23                  1m 20.344s               ³
³             Roberto Moreno                                     ³
³               1m 20.726s                  24                   ³
³                                       Taki Inoue               ³
³Row 13             25                  1m 21.004s               ³
³            Andrea Montermini                                   ³
³               1m 21.119s                  26                   ³
³                                     Bertrand Gachot            ³
³                                       1m 21.318s               ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Race

Mika Hakkinen wasted his pole position with a terrible start; the Finn dropped back to 6th place. Hill took the lead into the first corner, followed by David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher, who had a good start. Alesi and Berger were in 4th and 5th place. Still in the first lap, both Coulthard and Berger overtook their team mates at Dequetteville. Alesi lost more places in the subsequent laps to Hakkinen and Frentzen, although he quickly regained 6th from Frentzen again.

Meanwhile, Johnny Herbert had started quite well to take 8th, but he could not gain any more places in the opening laps. The fight for the world championship ended with an anti-climax in lap 8, when Herbert had to park his car with a failed transmission. Michael Schumacher knew he was a double world champion now and he could now take some more risks. The German overtook Damon Hill for 2nd position in lap 10 at Dequetteville. Mika Hakkinen performed a similar move on Berger to take 4th.

Schumacher was the first driver to make a pit stop and it soon emerged that there was quite a variety of strategies chosen throughout the field. Coulthard and both Ferraris also made an early stop, while Hill, Hakkinen, Frentzen and Barrichello went for a longer first stint. Coulthard was swiftly back in the lead, because he overtook his team mate just a few laps after his stop. Michael Schumacher did something similar to quickly move back up into 3rd, followed by Mika Hakkinen. Hakkinen's race would be over before he could make his first stop, though, as he once again suffered from mechanical issues. His retirement gave Frentzen the final points scoring position, until Barrichello found a way past the German after a long fight.

When Hill finally made his stop, he kept his 2nd position in front of Schumacher. The second stint did not provide too much excitement; everybody seemed to be waiting for the second stops and the final stint to make up any positions. Hill did lose a place in that second series of stops; Schumacher was back up to 2nd place. Hill was on a charge in the final stint and quickly regained his position with a clean overtake in Dequetteville. Nevertheless, Schumacher was still set to celebrate his world title on the podium, but it was not to be. Benetton's season ended in shame as their other car also recorded a DNF with mechanical failure.

At the front, the Williams team did provide an exciting show. Damon Hill had closed in on his team mate after overtaking Schumacher and he was right on Coulthard's gearbox in the final laps. Just 4 laps from the finish, Hill made perhaps one of the greatest overtaking manoeuvres of the entire season. Jos Verstappen had to be lapped by both on the way to Dequetteville. Coulthard moved alongside the Dutchman, but Hill took another slipstream and made a late move all the way to the inside and braked at the very last possible moment to get in front of the Scot.

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Hill wins again, this time after a late move on his team mate

Damon Hill kept the lead to end a disappointing season on a high with his second consecutive win. David Coulthard completed the Williams 1-2, while Jean Alesi finished his final race for Ferrari on the podium as well. Gerhard Berger took 4th place. Rubens Barrichello secured 2 points for Jordan with 5th, allowing Jordan to end the season with a single point more than McLaren in a surprising 4th in the constructors' championship. Heinz-Harald Frentzen settled for the final point.

Results
Code: Select all
ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³                                                  ³
³ Pos   Driver                      Time/Speed     ³
³                                                  ³
³  1st  Damon Hill                  1h 47m 42.398s ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  2nd  David Coulthard             +1.613s        ³
³       Williams - Renault                         ³
³  3rd  Jean Alesi                  +18.054s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  4th  Gerhard Berger              +22.585s       ³
³       Ferrari                                    ³
³  5th  Rubens Barrichello          +53.711s       ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³  6th  Heinz-Harald Frentzen       +55.775s       ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³  7th  Eddie Irvine                +1m 09.292s    ³
³       Jordan - Peugeot                           ³
³  8th  Mark Blundell               -1 Lap         ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³  9th  Olivier Panis               -1 Lap         ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 10th  Martin Brundle              -1 Lap         ³
³       Ligier - Mugen Honda                       ³
³ 11th  Ukyo Katayama               -1 Lap         ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³ 12th  Gianni Morbidelli           -2 Laps        ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 13th  Mika Salo                   -2 Laps        ³
³       Tyrrell - Yamaha                           ³
³ 14th  Jos Verstappen              -3 Laps        ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 15th  Luca Badoer                 -3 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 16th  Pedro Lamy                  -3 Laps        ³
³       Minardi - Ford                             ³
³ 17th  Nathan van Dijk             -3 Laps        ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 18th  Roberto Moreno              -4 Laps        ³
³       Forti - Ford                               ³
³ 19th  Andrea Montermini           -4 Laps        ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 20th  Taki Inoue                  -6 Laps        ³
³       Footwork - Hart                            ³
³ 21st  Bertrand Gachot             Brakes         ³
³       Pacific - Ford                             ³
³ 22nd  Michael Schumacher          Oil Leak       ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
³ 23rd  Karl Wendlinger             Transmission   ³
³       Sauber - Ford                              ³
³ 24th  Domenico Schiattarella      Transmission   ³
³       Simtek - Ford                              ³
³ 25th  Mika Hakkinen               Transmission   ³
³       McLaren - Mercedes                         ³
³ 26th  Johnny Herbert              Transmission   ³
³       Benetton - Renault                         ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ



Post-race Quotes
Damon Hill (1st): "It was another great week-end and another very good race. It looks like we finally have a very good package and I hope we will continue in this form next year."
David Coulthard (2nd): "It was a shame I couldn't keep Damon behind, but he deserves the credits today. I have learned a lot this year and I am looking forward to new experiences with McLaren."
Jean Alesi (3rd): "I am glad to be back on the podium, it had been a while. I had hoped more from my time at Ferrari, but it will be interesting to move on with Benetton in '96."
Jos Verstappen (14th): "Most of all, I am happy that we finished a race again. I think we showed our speed again by beating the Minardis."
Nathan van Dijk (17th): "Forti's progression this year has been quite good and we showed it again today. I can also tell you that we are close to a deal for next year, which will be an exciting year for this team with a bigger budget."
Michael Schumacher (retired): "I am very happy and proud to have won the championship again. It was not always an easy year and to be honest, I would have hoped to end it better, but we fought our way through."


Drivers' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Michael Schumacher    89
2.  Johnny Herbert        81
3.  David Coulthard       73
4.  Damon Hill            47
5.  Gerhard Berger        39
6.  Jean Alesi            33
7.  Mika Hakkinen         20
8.  Eddie Irvine          18
9.  Heinz-Harald Frentzen  9
10. Rubens Barrichello     9
11. Karl Wendlinger        7
12. Olivier Panis          7
13. Nigel Mansell          5
14. Luca Badoer            2
15. Mark Blundell          1
16. Jos Verstappen         1
17. Martin Brundle         1



Constructors' Championship
Code: Select all
1.  Benetton-Renault     170
2.  Williams-Renault     120
3.  Ferrari               72
4.  Jordan-Peugeot        27
5.  McLaren-Mercedes      26
6.  Sauber-Ford           16
7.  Ligier-Mugen Honda     8
8.  Minardi-Ford           2
9.  Simtek-Ford            1

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by tBone 09 Jun 2020, 15:20
Press Release - Total Jordan Peugeot

Image

Total Jordan Peugeot is confirming its 1996 driver line-up. After Rubens Barrichello's contract extension earlier this year, the team is now announcing that the experienced Briton Martin Brundle will join him. Team owner and principal, Eddie Jordan, commented "It was a complicated task to find a suitable replacement to have another talented line-up. Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine were one of the fastest duos on the grid, but Martin Brundle is both a very quick and a very experienced driver. I am convinced we can take another step in the right direction in 1996."


Press Release - Equipe Ligier

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Equipe Ligier is pleased to make two big announcements for the 1996 season. Firstly, the team have agreed on a 3-year sponsorship deal with Gauloises Blondes, one of France's most famous cigarette brands. The deal implies that the team will be known as Ligier Gauloises Blondes until the end of the 1998 season.

Furthermore, both Ligier Gauloises Blondes drivers for the 1996 season are now officially confirmed. Olivier Panis had already extended his contract to keep the seat in the first Ligier. Joining him in 1996 will be Italian Luca Badoer. Badoer said: "This is very good news for me. I have a lot of confidence in Ligier's package for next year. My objective will be to score more points, after having scored my first ever points in F1 in 1995."


Press Release - Petrobras DFC Ford

Petrobras DFC Ford, formerly known as Forti Corse, has finalized negotiations to complete their driver pairing for next year. Next to Pedro Diniz, who had already signed a 2-year contract, the team is now confirming the contract extension of Nathan van Dijk. Van Dijk made his Formula 1 debut with the team this year as one of the youngest ever F1 rookies and has been impressive throughout the season. DFC is looking forward to the 1996 season with excitement, as the team is expecting to perform stronger next year.

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by tBone 11 Jun 2020, 19:26
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, rumors and stories | Wednesday 6th December, 1995


1995: a Year of Many Firsts

1995 was a unique season in many aspects. A lot of things happened for the first time ever, or for the first time in a long time. Looking back at this F1 year, Grand Prix News identified some of these special moments.

First German double world champion
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Michael Schumacher took his second world title in impressive fashion. Last year, he became the first ever German world champion and he added another title this year. It was not an easy win, though, as he suffered a lot of bad luck in the first half of the season. He bounced back with a very impressive second half of '95 and took a deservedly second world championship.

First teenager in F1 since Mike Thackwell
Dutch rookie Nathan van Dijk followed in the footsteps of Ricardo Rodriguez, Chris Amon and Mike Thackwell when he joined the grid in Sao Paulo. Van Dijk was only 19 years, 11 months and 26 days old, making him the fourth ever teenager and the first since 1980. He will hope not to have a similar career to his three predecessors, though, since none of them ever managed to win a race in F1.

First constructors' championship for Benetton
The team got already close in 1994, but 1995 was the year that Benetton won both the drivers' and the constructors' championship. With a strong chassis, the best engine, decent reliability and a very well-performing driver duo the team was a worthy champion. The team previously known as Toleman joins an illustrous group of constructors with Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Lotus, Cooper, Brabham, Vanwall, BRM, Matra and Tyrrell.

First time top 4 without McLaren since 1983
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McLaren-Mercedes had a rather disappointing season, mainly hampered by reliability issues. While they were fast on occasion, the Woking-based team only managed a 5th place in the constructors' championship, their lowest classification since 1983. In fact, last year, the team already ended a 10-year streak of top-2 classifications. The McLaren-Mercedes package still looks promising, but they desperately need to break the spell of their downward spiral.

First wins of Herbert and Coulthard
1995 was a breakthrough year for two talented British drivers: Johnny Herbert and David Coulthard. Both of them did not only win their first race, they both ended the championship in the top-3 with multiple race wins. Add Damon Hill, who ended an otherwise difficult season on a high, and the occasionally very fast Eddie Irvine to the equation as well and Great Britain can have high hopes of a new world champion in the very near future.

First points for Simtek

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The small Simtek team punched above their weight numerous times throughout the year. Their best race result came in Argentina, where Jos Verstappen beat Pierluigi Martini to take the final point. Simtek has shown impressive progress in a year's time, despite having to operate on a shoestring budget. It will be interesting to see whether they can continue their progress, or their budget limits cause a setback next year.


Pacific Takes Step Back

Keith Wiggins' Pacific Racing will compete in F3000 next year. The team has stated that financial constraints force them to withdraw from a third season in F1. Instead, they have chosen to keep the team safe and running in F3000, a class where they previously won 5 races and a world championship.

Image

Pacific's F1 stint was less of a success. In 1994, they usually struggled to qualify and the team did not finish a single race. 1995 was slightly better, as they did not have to worry about qualifying any more. In the first few races, they showed a similar pace to the Simteks and Fortis, although later in the year, Pacific dropped back until they were usually the slowest two cars on track.


Short but Sweet

Oliver, Rees complete Footwork buy-out, name it Arrows again • Verstappen almost out of options for '96: Simtek or Arrows? • Works Ford engines for Stewart Grand Prix from '97 • Kristensen close to Simtek race seat • Jan Magnussen stays McLaren test driver in ‘96, despite Larrousse DAMS offer

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by tBone 16 Jun 2020, 17:56
Press Release - Arrows Grand Prix International

Arrows Grand Prix International is able to confirm its driver line-up for the 1996 season. Joining Brazilian Ricardo Rosset, who had already been confirmed at an earlier stage, will be Dutch driver Jos Verstappen. Verstappen is not completely new to the team, as he already completed a test in 1993, having impressed the team. In the mean time, Verstappen has gained a lot of F1 experience, scoring two podium finishes and 11 points in total.

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Verstappen commented: "I am very glad that I could join Arrows. It is good to have a race seat confirmed for the next season and I am eager to find out what is possible with this team." Jackie Oliver mentioned "Jos has established himself as one of F1's best drivers of the moment. With his speed and experience, I am sure we have strenghtened the team with a fine driver."


Press Release - MTV Simtek Ford

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MTV Simtek Ford is officially announcing that Tom Kristensen will be one of its race drivers in the 1996 season. Kristensen joined the team in 1995 as a test and reserve driver and already drove two races to replace the injured Domenico Schiattarella. Nick Wirth said: "Tom has been very impressive last year and we are rewarding him with a race seat next year. It is a shame that Jos Verstappen, who scored our first point, decided to leave the team, but I am convinced Tom will be a worthy successor."

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by tBone 19 Jun 2020, 13:57
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, rumors and stories | Wednesday 3rd January, 1996


To-Do Lists Before Melbourne

The season opener in Melbourne is getting closer and closer and the F1 circus is getting more and more ready to run. However, there is still plenty left to be done before the lights turn green on the 10th of March. What are the teams up to in these months?

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Although most seats are taken, some teams and drivers are still busy, trying to find an agreement for 1996. Minardi has only confirmed Pedro Lamy, although they are nearing an agreement with Taki Inoue for the second seat. Another still available seat is the second Simtek. The British team have recently confirmed Tom Kristensen, securing a deal with Danish roof window company Velux in the process. Andrea Montermini might join him, but Jean-Christophe Bouillon and Massimilano Papis are also still serious candidates. At Larrousse DAMS, it seems likely that Hiro Matsushita will be signed, bringing a healty amount of Panasonic money to the French team.

Probably even more important than the drivers, are the cars. Most of the teams will be finalizing the designs and production of their new chassis these weeks. So far, nothing has officially confirmed, but we are expecting to see the first glimpses of the cars before the next edition of this magazine. The only new car that has been shown to the public is the Larrousse DAMS LD-I, although its racing livery is still a mystery. Rumor has it that some teams might already be in trouble before the season starts, though. According to insiders, Simtek has shelved a revolutionary new design due to lack of financial resources. They will most probably enter a slightly updated version of last year’s S951 instead. Minardi is following a similar route with their M195 chassis, for similar reasons. On the contrary, it seems like DFC will be able to pull off a revolution. They will need to change their chassis significantly to fit the V10 engine anyway, but we heard some Italians whisper that a lot more changes will be made. Crucially, the Diniz money arrived at quite an early stage in the development, helping to improve this year’s car.

Image

And then, there is a lot of stuff that not directly has anything to do with racing. Several teams are still looking for new sponsorships, the most notable example is probably the Jordan team, who are still negotiating a deal with a title sponsor. Cigarette brand Camel looks like a likely candidate to make an F1 comeback with the Silverstone-based team. Closely related to the sponsorship deals, are the cars’ paintjobs. The arrival of a new sponsor package usually comes with a new colour scheme. For example, expect the Jordans to have a radical new look and a more Brazilian-tinted design for DFC.


New Year's Resolutions

1995 has ended, welcome in the year 1996! It is a whole new year, with a whole lot of new opportunities. Grand Prix News was wondering what the new year's resolutions of the F1 teams were. We honed our psychic skills over the winter and in this article, we show you the results of our mind-reading operations...

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Benetton: Stop having driver controversies
Williams: Stop wasting opportunities to fight for the championship
Ferrari: Win more than one race per year
Jordan: Stop breaking down when contending for podium finishes
McLaren: Start performing like a top team again
Sauber: Stop being invisible
Ligier: Make it clear who is actually running the team
Minardi: Stop being poor
Simtek: Stop being unreliable
Tyrrell: Have a car that lives up to the expectations
Arrows: Survive another season
DFC: Do not make it look like they are favouring the boss’ son
Larrousse DAMS: Pay all the bills


Short but Sweet

Keith Wiggins to get involved in Lola F1 project? • Paul Ricard nominated to host French GP from ’97 • Honda seriously considers re-entering F1 • Environmental protests continue at Albert Park circuit, but GP will take place • Dome-Mugen to test in March

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by tBone 23 Jun 2020, 20:41
Press Release - Red Bull Sauber Ford

Image

In a startling musical show at the Space Theater in Baden, Switzerland, Red Bull Sauber Ford officially unveiled its 1996 chassis, the C15, to the public. The Sauber C15 has a flashing new livery with newly introduced Petronas sponsoring. One of the biggest changes can be found underneath the big Red Bull logos: the all-new Ford Zetec-R V10 engine, which replaces the previously used V8.

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Team principal, Peter Sauber, explained about the new design: "We started with a clean sheet of paper for 1996. The new engine, as well as the regulation changes for this year, gave us this opportunity. The car looks great and the first test runs in Paul Ricard and Estoril were very promising. We think we can make a big step forward this year."

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Red Bull Sauber Ford's drivers for 1996 will be Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who starts his third year with the team, and Gerhard Berger. Berger is new to the team, but he is one of the most established drivers in Formula 1 at the moment. Berger told about his experiences with the team so far "It is great to be back in the Alps so often again! Joking aside, things are looking promising. The Ford V10 is difficult to compare with the Ferrari V12 I was used to, but it surely has great potential."


Press Release - Scuderia Ferrari

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Scuderia Ferrari's new car for 1996, the Ferrari F310, was launched at Maranello. The F310 is powered by Ferrari's new V10 engine, the 046. Joining the launch for the first ever time was Fiat's president Gianni Agnelli. He was accompanied by Ferrari president, Luca Di Montezemolo, Scuderia Ferrari executive director Jean Todt, the race driver couple of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine, and test driver Nicola Larini.

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Di Montezemolo stated "Ferrari has to change because of the changing world around us, but it is also very important to keep the tradition of Ferrari. In my opinion, part of that tradition is to be a successful F1 team and we are well on our way back to being one. We hope to win at least three races this year." Michael Schumacher added "It will be too soon to talk about the world championship this year. We definitely need to work more on several areas, mainly reliability. If we manage that, I think we will get closer and closer to the top."


Press Release - Mild Seven Benetton Renault

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The Benetton-Renault B196 was launched at Taormina in Sicily, Italy after the new car was shaken down on the Estoril circuit. On the event, not only the 1996 car was presented, but due to the canceled ceremony in December, FIA president Max Mosley presented the 1995 Constructors' trophy to Benetton's team manager Flavio Briatore as well. Briatore was delighted to receive the '95 trophy, but he mostly looked ahead, saying "We are entering 1996 without our double world champion, Michael Schumacher. The fact that he left our team for Ferrari got us more motivated than ever to make another very strong start."

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The car is an evolution of Benetton's most succesful car yet, the B195. Chief designer Rory Byrne explained "What is the most sensible thing to do when you need to succeed a mightily successful car? Indeed, you try to keep its key features and only change what still could be improved or what had to be changed because of regulations. That does not mean that we spent our winter relaxing, we were simply able to spend more time on optimizing our concept."

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The B196 will be driven in races by Johnny Herbert and Jean Alesi. Herbert had a successful first full season with the team last year, finishing 2nd in the Drivers' Championship and he is looking to improve himself even further. Alesi is new to the team. He said about his expectations for 1996: "I have been very eager to win my first race for quite some time now. Last year, I was very close a couple of times, but I am certain that I will get more opportunities this year. And once I start winning races, who knows what will be possible."

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by tBone 28 Jun 2020, 18:40
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, stories and rumors | Wednesday 7th February, 1996


The Tracks of 1996

Anticipation is rising as the start of the 1996 season edges closer. The first cars have been revealed, but not all of them, so we will wait until our next edition to analyse those. The same applies for the drivers, as some seats have still not yet been filled. There is one subject on which we can already write a preview: the tracks. What kind of results do we expect, who are the specialists on each track and what is new?

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10th March - Australian Grand Prix - Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne
Australia will host two races in a row: after the '95 season ended with the last GP in Adelaide, '96 will begin in Melbourne on the new Albert Park Circuit. It is a partial street circuit, but it will be quite different from what we used to see in Adelaide. The circuit has more medium-speed corners and looks to favour cars with good aerodynamics and a lot of grip. In the recent past, Williams was usually the team with those competences, but that is of course no guarantee for this year!
Last winners:
-

31st March - Brazilian Grand Prix - Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo
The Autódromo José Carlos Pace, also known as Interlagos, has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix in its current form since 1990. The track is remarkable for being one of only two anti-clockwise tracks on the calendar. The bumpiness of the track and the tropical Brazilian climate add to the physical toughness of this race, both for drivers and for cars. Benetton won the last two races here, both times benefitting from retirements of other cars. However, the fanatic crowd will be rooting for their home drivers and maybe Barrichello could spring a surprise if the Jordan is any good.
Last winners:
1995 - Johnny Herbert (Benetton)
1994 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1993 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)
1991 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)

7th April - Argentine Grand Prix - Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, Buenos Aires
The Argentine Grand Prix returned on the calendar last year, driven on the short and tight Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez. The circuit is situated near the country's capital Buenos Aires and is one of the most technical tracks of the year. Cars with good mechanical grip and handling in slow corners will be the fastest here. Coulthard got his maiden win here last year, driving for Williams.
Last winners:
1995 - David Coulthard (Williams)

28th April - Grand Prix of Europe - Nürburgring, Nürburg (Germany)
Thanks to Michael Schumacher's great popularity in his home country, Germany has been organising a second GP since 1995 again. The new GP-Strecke layout of the Nürburgring had been the venue of two more Formula 1 GPs, in 1984 and 1985. The GP-Strecke has not too much in common with the 20 km long Nordschleife layout, although it remains a challenging track. It is quite a fast track, but overtaking is rather difficult. Therefore, qualifying well is crucial on this circuit.
Last winners:
1995 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1985 - Michele Alboreto (Ferrari)
1984 - Alain Prost (McLaren)

5th May - San Marino Grand Prix - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola (Italy)
Imola has been the host of Italy's second Grand Prix for a long time now. The track has seen significant changes since the tragic 1994 weekend, adding chicanes to make the track slower. It is still quite a fast track, which is especially heavy on the brakes. It is also a narrow track, leaving little room for error, but also for overtaking.
Last winners:
1995 - David Coulthard (Williams)
1994 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1993 - Alain Prost (Williams)
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)
1991 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)

19th May - Monaco Grand Prix - Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo
Monaco is perhaps the very centre of Formula 1 racing. The narrow, tight and slow street circuit takes a big place in F1 history and the event probably is the best example of the glitter and glamour of the sport. It is a track where everything needs to be perfect to perform well. The car needs tremendous grip and the driver needs to be at his best to win. The walls are right next to the track, so every little mistake can be fatal. Senna was a true master of this circuit, winning six times in seven years time and only losing out in 1988 due to a driver error when he was well ahead of the rest of the field.
Last winners:
1995 - Gerhard Berger (Ferrari)
1994 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1993 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)
1992 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)
1991 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)

2nd June - Spanish Grand Prix - Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
The Circuit de Catalunya hosts the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991. The track is modern, with a long start-finish straight, requiring a good engine. The rest of the track features many medium to high speed corners, so a lot of downforce is necessary. This combination results in an interesting compromise between top speed and drag; a combination which the Williams team managed to find very well in the first four editions of the Spanish GP in Barcelona. Last year however, it was Michael Schumacher in the Benetton who won the race.
Last winners:
1995 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1994 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1993 - Alain Prost (Williams)
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)
1991 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)

16th June - Canadian Grand Prix - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a fast circuit with several heavy braking zones. It is therefore notoriously hard on the brakes, but it also provides good overtaking opportunities. The circuit has given several surprising results, not in the last place due to the toughness of the races. Remarkably, Benetton has won this GP three times in the last five years.
Last winners:
1995 - Johnny Herbert (Benetton)
1994 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1993 - Alain Prost (Williams)
1992 - Gerhard Berger (McLaren)
1991 - Nelson Piquet (Benetton)

30th June - French Grand Prix, Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours
Magny-Cours has been the venue for the French Grand Prix since 1991. The track is built on a rather small surface, resulting in a tight and technical layout. Downforce and grip are the keywords to have successes on this circuit. Over the last five years, Williams usually got it right, winning four times.
Last winners:
1995 - David Coulthard (Williams)
1994 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1993 - Alain Prost (Williams)
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)
1991 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)

14th July - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone
The British Grand Prix has been on the F1 calendar in every single year since the start of the world championship in 1950. After many years of alteration with venues like Aintree and Brands Hatch, the Silverstone circuit has hosted the British GP consecutively since 1987. The track is fast, but straight-line speed alone is not enough. Corners like Becketts, Maggots and Stowe ask a lot of drivers and cars and have always proven to be a big challenge.
Last winners:
1995 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1994 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1993 - Alain Prost (Williams)
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)
1991 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)

28th July - German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring, Hockenheim
The Hockenheimring is one of the longest and fastest tracks on the calendar. On the long straights through the forest, the highest top speeds of the year are recorded. The race is extremely tough on engines and brakes. Another challenge is the combination of the long straights with the tight and twisty Motodrom section at the end of the lap.
Last winners:
1995 - Johnny Herbert (Benetton)
1994 - Gerhard Berger (Ferrari)
1993 - Alain Prost (Williams)
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)
1991 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)

11th August - Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Budapest
The Hungaroring has been the first, and so far only, Grand Prix venue behind the former iron curtain. The track is narrow, twisty, dusty and with Monaco, one of the slowest on the calendar. A good chassis with a lot of grip is crucial, but a good qualifying maybe even more so, as the Hungaroring is one of the most difficult circuits to overtake.
Last winners:
1995 - Johnny Herbert (Benetton)
1994 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1993 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1992 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)
1991 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)

25th August - Belgian Grand Prix - Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot
Spa-Francorchamps is often regarded as the best circuit on the F1 calendar. Its fast layout with extremely challenging corners such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimont is perhaps the biggest challenge for the drivers. The best drivers get a chance to truly stand out on this track, but a good chassis and a lot of engine power are also essential for a top result in Belgium.
Last winners:
1995 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1994 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1993 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1992 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1991 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)

8th September - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza
Home of Ferrari's tifosi, Monza has been on the F1 calendar for every year, except for 1980. Monza is with Hockenheim one of the fastest tracks of the season. The chicanes provide very tough braking zones after the long straights where a lot of slipstreaming can be seen. Drivers need to have the courage to brake late, while cars need to be powerful, but reliable. The fans are always in favour of Ferrari, but the Italian team has not won here since 1988.
Last winners:
1995 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1994 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1993 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1992 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)
1991 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)

22nd September - Portuguese Grand Prix - Autodromo do Estoril, Cascais
The Estoril circuit is oftenly praised by drivers and has been the stage for memorable races such as Ayrton Senna's first win in 1985. It is a technical track with big elevation changes and therefore tough on the suspensions. A robust and well-balanced chassis can make all the difference, although the long main straight also requires a good engine.
Last winners:
1995 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1994 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1993 - Michael Schumacher (Benetton)
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Williams)
1991 - Riccardo Patrese (Williams)

13th October - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka
1996's season finale will take place in Japan, on the Suzuka Circuit. The unique circuit with a figure-of-8 layout has hosted the title showdown on several occasions. The track was originally designed as a test track for Honda and therefore requires a varied set of skills, both from drivers and cars. It also features one of F1's most challenging corners: 130R, a very fast left-hander which is crucial to position the car before the final chicane.
Last winners:
1995 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1994 - Damon Hill (Williams)
1993 - Ayrton Senna (McLaren)
1992 - Riccardo Patrese (Williams)
1991 - Gerhard Berger (McLaren)


Short but Sweet

Montermini close to Simtek deal • Stewart buys Ikuzawa design for new team • Walkinshaw to leave Ligier and buy Arrows? • Renault considers leaving F1 after '97 • Hiro Matsushita to sign for Larrousse DAMS? • Bridgestone preparing for F1 tests later in the year

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by tBone 03 Jul 2020, 19:33
Press Release - Rothmans Williams Renault

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Rothmans Williams Renault has officially launched its new car for the 1996 season, the Williams-Renault FW18. The car is an evolution of the '95 chassis, the FW17, which won the last two races of last year. Technical director Patrick Head explained Williams' strategy with this car, saying "The car was very good last year, especially in the final few races. It would make no sense to throw away such a well-balanced and well-performing concept, so we decided to focus on the few weaknesses of the FW17 and improve them."

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The team has a clear target for the 1996 season. Team owner and principal Frank Williams told: "Last year, we lost both world championships to the Benetton team. It is no secret that we want to have those trophies back. Although the competition will be tough again this year, we believe in ourselves." The first step towards that target was set on the Silverstone circuit, where the new car had its shakedown.

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Press Release - Marlboro McLaren Mercedes

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The new McLaren-Mercedes MP4/11 has been revealed to the public. Marlboro McLaren Mercedes' car for the 1996 season underwent its first testing sessions in Estoril, Portugal, immediately setting impressive lap times. The team's technical advisor and four-time F1 world champion, Alain Prost, was the first to drive the MP4/11 in a shakedown.

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Team principal Ron Dennis commented on the new design "This is a completely new car. We learned from our experiences with Mercedes last year and we are confident that we will improve this year. A normal new car would have 25% carry-over parts from the previous year, this one only has 7.5%, so it actually is a small revolution for us."

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Newly signed driver David Coulthard added "The car has indeed set some promising times already. We are expecting to be on the second or third row of the grid this season, trying to win some races and building up for a championship challenge in 1997 and '98."


Press Release - Benson & Hedges Total Jordan Peugeot

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Jordan Grand Prix are announcing both their new car and new title sponsorship. The Jordan 196 was presented officially in its new colour scheme, featuring Benson & Hedges' corporate gold colour. The Peugeot powered car is designed under supervision of Gary Anderson and the team has high hopes with it. Team owner Eddie Jordan elaborated, saying “After we broke through to the top-4 of the championship last year, we decided not to be too conservative and design a car that is new in many aspects. We are still chasing our first win and this year, everything may well be in place to take it.”

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A multi-year deal with cigarette brand Benson & Hedges was also announced, resulting in an eye-catching gold livery for 1996. The partnership is another important step for the team on their way to become one of F1’s top teams. The association with a major global brand will result in the availability of more resources for Jordan. The Peugeot-powered Jordan 196 ran for the first time in testing on the Silverstone circuit, close to Jordan's headquarters. Both Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle came in action, performing an extensive testing programme successfully.

Press Release - Petrobras DFC Ford

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The all-new DFC-Ford FG03 was presented officially by Petrobras DFC Ford, after the car had undergone initial testing on the Mugello circuit. The FG03 is the successor of the Forti FG01 and is the first car that will race with the DFC name. Team manager Guido Forti told “The FG03 is a big leap forward for our team. We have set ourselves ambitious goals for the future, but we will take it step by step. The target for this year is to score at least one point, while next year we want to score more than 10. In 1998 we should get our first podium finish and in ’99 our first race win. By the turn of the century, DFC wants to be a true title contender.”

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DFC’s drivers in 1996 will be Nathan van Dijk and Pedro Diniz. Van Dijk, still only 20 years old, will enter his second year in the sport and his first as lead driver of a team. He previewed the new season, saying “It will be a very exciting year. I still find it almost beyond imagination that I am now a team leader at such a young age. The car feels like a vast improvement over last year and I think I can now really show what I am worth.”

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Diniz shared Van Dijk’s excitement and added “I too am really looking forward to the start of the season. Last year, we decided it would be better to gain another year’s experience in F3000, but now I feel like I am completely ready to start my first season as an F1 driver.”

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by tBone 07 Jul 2020, 19:05
Press Release – Ligier Gauloises Blondes

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Ligier Gauloises Blondes have presented their new chassis, the Ligier JS43, on an attractive event in Monaco. The JS43 features several new sponsor logos for the team, with especially cigarette brand Gauloises Blondes and skate brand Roces standing out. The Ligier JS43 is powered by a Mugen-Honda engine. Its aerodynamics were designed under supervision of Loic Bigois. “The JS43 is an evolution of 1995’s JS41, which was a fast car,” Bigois said, “But this year we hope to unleash its full potential.” Team owner Guy Ligier explained that the team has found some stability again, with a fixed driver pairing for the entire season.

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That driver pairing consists of French Olivier Panis, entering his fourth year with Ligier, and Italian Luca Badoer, newly arriving at the team after he had an impressive 1995 season, scoring his first ever points. Badoer said “I had some good first tests with the team and the new car and I am getting more and more used to it. I was very happy with my first points last year, but this year I am sure I can add more to my tally.”

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Before Badoer drove the JS43, Olivier Panis had already performed a day of testing on the Estoril circuit. Panis told he is “very satisfied with the JS43. It may not look like a revolution from the JS41, but it really feels just that little bit better in every aspect. I have some good hopes we can challenge the top teams on occasion.”


Press Release – Tyrrell Yamaha

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The new Tyrrell-Yamaha 024 was revealed to the public after it underwent its first tests at Brands Hatch. The car features the revolutionary new Yamaha OX11 V10 engine, as well as a new six-speed gearbox. It will be driven by the same drivers as in 1995, Ukyo Katayama and Mika Salo.

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Both drivers are expecting to improve their performance over last year, as Salo said “Although 1995 was difficult, I think we can take some positives out of it. I learned a lot from all the challenges and I think this year’s car is a vast improvement. It really cannot be compared to the 023, to be honest.”

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Chief designer Dr Harvey Postlethwaite provided some more background on the design philosophy of the 024. “We analyzed the characteristics of all the 1996 circuit”, he said, “and the interesting thing is that the most common racing corner is a second gear corner. So the car has been built quite specifically for the slower circuits. It is not a completely revolutionary car, but it was designed without compromise and it will most probably bring us a steadier season this year.”


Press Release – TWR Arrows Hart

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On an impressive launch event, the Arrows Formula 1 team proudly made several announcements. The first announcement which was made, was the acquisition of the team by Tom Walkinshaw’s TWR organization. TWR has enjoyed successes in various racing categories, such as endurance racing and touring cars. Although their logos will not be very prominent on the new car, TWR will act as a title sponsor for the 1996 season. Therefore, the team will be known as TWR Arrows Hart.

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“It has been a dream of TWR for a while,” Walkinshaw said, “but having a TWR Formula 1 team is just the first step. We do not only want to participate, we want to be successful. Of course, we will not yet be fighting for the championship this year, but who knows what kind of surprises we can come up with in 1996.”

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TWR Arrows Hart also revealed its car for the 1996 season, the Arrows A16. The car is again powered by the light V8 engine from Hart and will be driven by Arrows’ new drivers, Ricardo Rosset and Jos Verstappen. Rosset will make his F1 debut with the team, following a successful F3000 season in 1995, when he won 2 races. Verstappen already has two years of F1 experience, having impressed many with some good races last year. The last thing which was announced, is the new sponsor package for TWR Arrows Hart. The team announced new partnerships with Power Horse, Quest International, Philips, Lycra, Bauducco and Track & Field.

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by tBone 09 Jul 2020, 18:43
Press Release - Minardi Team

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Minardi Team is announcing its driver line-up and presenting its car for the 1996 Formula One season. Portuguese driver Pedro Lamy had already driven the last races of the 1995 season and was already confirmed for 1996. Joining him will be Japanese driver Taki Inoue. Inoue gained some solid F1 experience in the past two years, having driven for several teams.

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Furthermore, Minardi completed its first tests with the upgraded car for 1996, the Minardi M195B. The M195B is an upgrade of last year's M195, which secured the team an 8th position in the constructors' championship. The Minardi M195B is once again powered by a Ford Cosworth V8 engine, which will also be an upgrade from last year's unit.

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Giancarlo Minardi, team owner, shared his thoughts on the new year, saying "We had a relatively good year last year, despite the struggles with engine suppliers. This year, we will again have Ford V8s, but we have proven last year we can be fighting in the midfield with those. Our financial resources are still quite a lot less than many of our competitors', so that is still a big challenge. We hope we can be competitive again and punch above our weight."


Press Release - MTV Simtek Ford

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MTV Simtek Ford had their official 1996 team presentation at the Silverstone circuit. The new Simtek S961 was presented by team principal Nick Wirth. The S961 is an evolution of the S951 which ran in the 1995 season. The car's new livery immediately caught a lot of attention: the asymmetrical design was a hit with the journalists and especially with the photographers.

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"This car is the next step in our growth to be a competitive team," said Wirth "although it may not look too different from the S951. We are convinced we had a very good basic design, which we especially showed by scoring our first point. We refined this design in many small details, in order to unleash its full potential this year. We have pretty high hopes of scoring more points than last year, despite our financial limitations."

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Not only the new Simtek S961 was shown for the first time at Silverstone, MTV Simtek Ford also announced the completion of its driver line-up for 1996. Tom Kristensen had been confirmed as one of Simtek's racing drivers at an earlier stage. Italian driver Andrea Montermini will join him in 1996, making his comeback with the team after entering the 1994 Spanish Grand Prix for Simtek. Montermini has gained valuable F1 experience last year, as he drove all the races.


Press Release - L'Oréal Larrousse DAMS GP

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After an intensive testing programme was completed, L'Oréal Larrousse DAMS GP is now officially launching its chassis, livery, commercial package and driver line-up for the 1996 Formula 1 season. With this launch, the team is celebrating the return of the Larrousse name after one year of absence and the debut of the DAMS name in F1 racing. Now the commercial package is complete, the team is showing it in its racing livery. L'Oréal is the team's main sponsor, but Panasonic, Elf, Rizla, Kronenbourg and Zanussi will be big commercial partners as well. "With these sponsors, Larrousse DAMS GP is not only sure to have the opportunity to keep developing the LD-I during the season, but also to keep a stable team in the longer term," said Gérard Larrousse, co-owner of the team.

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Emmanuel Collard has performed all the tests with the new car so far. He will also be one of Larrousse DAMS' race drivers for 1996. Joining him will be Japanese driver Hiro Matsushita, who signed a two-year contract with the team. Matsushita has a vast experience in single seater racing, as he has driven in several classes in the USA. He scored podium finished at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Sebring 12 Hours, but his biggest success was winning the 1989 Toyota Atlantic championship with the largest point margin of all time. Subsequently, Matsushita drove in Champ Car, becoming the first ever Japanese driver to participate in the world-famous Indy 500 race.

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by tBone 10 Jul 2020, 13:01
Press Release - Minardi Team

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Minardi Team has ended their contract with Taki Inoue due to commercial issues. Inoue's sponsors were not able to meet the obligations in his contract. The young and talented Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella will replace him on a race-by-race basis. Fisichella won the Italian Formula 3 championship in 1994, as well as the F3 Grand Prix of Monaco. He gained important experience as a test driver with Minardi last year, so the team is confident he will be on the pace right away.

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by tBone 05 Feb 2021, 21:46
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, stories and rumors | Wednesday 6th March, 1996


1996 Season Preview

The wonderful world of Formula 1 will start its first race of yet another exciting season in just a few days. The 1996 season will have its overture on the new Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, Australia. Not only that track is new; no less than 6 drivers will enter their first Grand Prix there. Many driver transfers have also taken place before this season, most notably the reigning world champion, Michael Schumacher's move to Ferrari, David Coulthard's switch to McLaren and Jean Alesi's new signing at Benetton. To prepare all of you, our readers, to the 1996 season, Grand Prix News provides an overview of all the teams and drivers and we looked into our crystal ball to see what we can expect next Sunday when the lights turn green.

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Many eyes are on Ferrari this season, even more than the years before. Michael Schumacher arrives as a double world champion, bringing the number 1 back to the Italian team. Eddie Irvine is one of F1's most promising young drivers and played a big role in Jordan's impressive 1995 season. However, it does not look likely that the team will be a serious challenger for the championship yet. Pre-season testing has been very troublesome with many reliability issues, although when the car ran, it ran according to the team's expectations.

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Benetton is the reigning constructors' champion and they will be looking to keep their title. There are some reasons why they may not make it, though. Their star driver Schumacher left and their star designer, Rory Byrne, has already announced that 1996 is his last year. This might decrease the motivation within the team, although the driver duo will be very eager. Jean Alesi is chasing better luck after he once again proved he can win races if his car lasts a race distance, while Johnny Herbert had his first taste of a title challenge last year. The Briton showed he can be a challenger and he just needs a slight improvement.

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The Williams team is perhaps the top favourite for the championship this year. Ferrari and McLaren will not be ready yet and whether Benetton can continue their form is uncertain, so that leaves the Didcot-based team to seize the opportunity. The FW18, designed by Adrian Newey, looks very fast and the Renault V10 is still the engine to beat. Damon Hill had a difficult season last year, but he proved what he is worth in the last few races. Jacques Villeneuve is the most exciting rookie of 1996. The 1995 IndyCar champion has had an extensive preparation programme, but the pressure on him will be high to be on the pace from the word go.

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Jordan enjoyed their most successful season yet last year with a fast, albeit unreliable car. The new 196 looks interesting, the Peugeot engine has been further developed and, perhaps most importantly, the team now has a strong financial partner in Benson & Hedges, enabling them to invest more in in-season development. Barrichello was unlucky on several occasions last year, but he remains very quick. Brundle brings a lot of experience to the team. The team is still chasing its first win and with the challenging circumstances at several of their competitors, 1996 may just be the year it all comes together for them.

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McLaren-Mercedes was without a doubt the biggest disappointment of the 1995 season. The car was fast in some races, but due to the woeful reliability they almost never capitalized on that. Furthermore, the shenanigans over the second drive cast another shadow over their year. 1996 has to be the year of their resurgence and the MP4/11 is the tool to do it. The car has been co-developed by Alain Prost, but Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard will be the race drivers. It is a young, fresh duo and McLaren will hope to finally end the driver carrousel of the last few years.

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Sauber already knows it will be their final year of their partnership as the principal customer of Ford engines. It will therefore be a crucial year to show their competences, in order to secure another competitive engine deal. If the new Zetec-R V10 engine is as good as it promises to be, the team may be an outsider for some good results this year after 1995 was their best season in F1 so far. Heinz-Harald Frentzen will try to prove once again he deserves a top seat, while Gerhard Berger will be eager to show he is still quick and he can still add value to a team.

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Ligier will be one of the dark horses for this season. Their engine supplier Mugen does not work with the big budgets some of their competitors have, but the V10 was more than solid last year. Both Olivier Panis and Luca Badoer maximised their chances last year, so the French team may be the one to take some surprise results. The JS43 looked decent in pre-season testing, albeit not spectacular.

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The small Italian Minardi team had a good chassis last year, but they were let down by the underpowered Ford V8 engine. Not too much has changed for 1996, as the chassis is only a B-version and the engine is just a small development too. The team's lack of financial backing is the main reason for their lack of development. The fact that rookie Giancarlo Fisichella will be flown in last minute, will also not help their performance, although the young Italian is likely to be faster than Inoue had been. Joining him is Pedro Lamy, who did a solid job last year.

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Simtek looks to be in the same boat as Minardi. The team did a good job last year, but their development has also been critically underfunded. The S961 looks worryingly similar to last year's S951, but at least it performed a solid pre-season testing programme. Simtek's first driver Andrea Montermini did a solid job last year, although the Pacific was too far off the pace to truly judge the Italian's qualities. Tom Kristensen was rewarded for making a good impression in his two starts for the team last year. The drivers do not look to be a problem for Simtek, but the competitiveness of the car may be one.

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Tyrrell tried to punch above their weight last year and unfortunately, they miserably failed. The car was too complex and too ambitious for the little team. The new 024 is more conservative, although the new Yamaha V10 engine does look to be innovative. The Japanese engine is remarkably light, which might contribute to some good team performances on the slower circuits. Their driver duo is the same as last year, with Katayama bringing some considerable experience and Salo wanting to fulfill more of his promise in 1996.

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The Arrows team returns to F1, with Tom Walkinshaw's TWR as owner. TWR's influence on the 1996 car has not been big yet, but the A17 looks quite competitive nevertheless. Their major weakness will be the Hart V8 engine, which is light, but down on power from the V10s. Jos Verstappen is the driver who will need to get the results in for Arrows this year. He proved he is more than capable of doing so, regularly punching above his and the Simtek's weight in 1995. His team mate will be 1995 F3000 runner-up Ricardo Rosset from Brazil. Rosset brings a healthy amount of sponsor money to the team, but question marks have been raised about his speed. Perhaps Arrows' biggest issue for this year will be the question when they will shift their focus to 1997, though, as Walkinshaw has great ambitions for the future.

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The team formerly known as Forti struggled in their debut season in F1. The FG01 was underpowered and lacked aerodynamic stability. However, the FG03 looks to be a big step forward, as does the Ford Zetec-R V10 engine, despite the fact that DFC will receive updates later than Sauber. Pedro Diniz made it to the podium in his third F3000 season, but in general he was not impressive. Of course, he is in the team because of the "D" in DFC, but he will need to be surprisingly quick to get any results. Nathan van Dijk is his team mate, staying at the team for another year. The Dutchman, still only 20 years old, gets an early chance to lead a team which may now be capable of scoring some points.

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The Larrousse name is back in Formula 1, now merged with the DAMS racing outfit. Their Reynard-designed LD-I has undergone a long testing programme and looked at least able to challenge teams like Minardi and Simtek to get off the last row on the grid. The French team has two weaknesses: an underpowered Ford V8 engine and a rookie driver duo. Emmanuel Collard has been something of a promise for some years and is finally on the grid in 1996. His team mate, Hiro Matsushita from Japan, is the biggest mystery of F1 this year. Matsushita was quick in the lower American single-seater classes, but he never got up to speed in IndyCars. He is already 33 years old, so it seems quite uncertain that he can manage the steep learning curve to be on the pace in Formula 1.


Short but Sweet
Mugen-Hondas for Sauber in 1997? • Keith Wiggins (Pacific) to get involved in Lola's F1 programme • FOCA awards French GP to Magny-Cours until 2001 • Former Ferrari engineer Franco Rocchi (72) passed away

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by tBone 06 Feb 2021, 16:42
Press Release - Minardi Team

Minardi Team are announcing a deal with Brazilian driver Tarso Marques for the next two Grands Prix, in Brazil and Argentina. The 20 year old driver will be replacing Giancarlo Fisichella, who was in the second car on a race-by-race basis. After Marques' deal expires, Fisichella will be back in the car on the same basis.

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Tarso Marques will be making his Formula 1 debut in Brazil, after he had an impressive career in several junior categories. Marques became the youngest driver to ever win a car race in 1992, when he won on several occasions in Brazilian Formula Chevrolet. A year later, he moved up to South American Formula 3, where he was the youngest man ever to take a pole position and win a race. Marques also became the youngest ever to score points, a pole position and a race win in International F3000 in the subsequent two years.

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by tBone 07 Feb 2021, 15:04
1996 Brazilian Grand Prix

The Williams team was dominant in the season opener, but Damon Hill will be looking for revenge after an incident-filled race. Both Ferrari and McLaren had a double DNF and will also want to do much better this time. How will the cards be stacked in the second race of the year?


Qualifying

The top 3 was exactly the same as in Australia, although Damon Hill's margin was a lot smaller this time. Both Benettons were a lot closer to the front now, with Herbert in 4th and Alesi 5th. Irvine still did a decent job in 6th, just in front of the McLarens who looked like the 4th fastest team again. In the midfield, Mika Salo and Nathan van Dijk stood out by qualifying a lot better than in the season opener: they now got 13th and 14th on the grid respectively. Tarso Marques raised some eyebrows too, by qualifying only 0.08 s behind his experienced team mate, Pedro Lamy.

Results
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Race

Damon Hill had a poor start from pole position and got passed by Villeneuve and Schumacher on the way to turn 1. Things looked even worse for him when Johnny Herbert also outbraked him into turn 4. Alesi had meanwhile kept his place, while Hakkinen had gained a place on Irvine to move up into the points. The opening laps of the race would be eventful, starting with two overtaking maneuvers in the first corner of the second lap. For the first time, Michael Schumacher took the lead in a Ferrari when he passed Villeneuve. Behind them, Hill regained 3rd by passing Herbert again. Just one lap later, on the same part of the circuit, the top positions were shuffled again. Schumacher's engine blew and Damon Hill was more alert than his team mate in the smoke, overtaking him into the first corner. Some meters further, Alesi, who had passed Herbert in the meantime, was caught by surprise by the slow Ferrari and had to dodge him through the grass. The Frenchman dropped to 7th as a result, while Michael Schumacher came to a standstill. The German had a terrible start to the season, completing just 5 laps in the first two races.

Alesi quickly moved back up through the ranks by passing both Irvine and Hakkinen in the next few laps. Hakkinen had already been passed by his team mate, David Coulthard. In lap 9, Alesi also found a way past the Scot and was back in 4th position. Hill was building a steady lead in the meantime, securing him a fine track position after the first stops. Those first stops were kicked off by Jean Alesi, who came into the pits in lap 19. The rest of the top six followed, with two exceptions. Jacques Villeneuve appeared to be on a one stop strategy and was now in the lead. Eddie Irvine ran in 6th, but his race ended with an engine failure, just like Schumacher's. Home driver Rubens Barrichello was also on a one stop strategy; the Brazilian was up to 6th after the first round of stops. That would even become a fine 5th position when both McLarens retired from the race once again, showing that Ferrari was not the only top team struggling with reliability issues.

Villeneuve's lead had shrunk to just 2 seconds when he came into the pits to make his only stop of the race. The Canadian would rejoin in 3rd, just behind Herbert. The Canadian got past swiftly and started chasing his team mate again. Barrichello's stop saw him drop to 6th behind Frentzen, who was on a two stop strategy like most of the field. It was clear that the second round of stops would most probably restore the pecking order in this race. Hill and Alesi kicked off that round in lap 46. While Alesi kept his 4th position, Hill rejoined the track right behind Herbert in 3rd. Herbert would stop in lap 48, but Hill had no patience to wait for that. He outbraked Herbert with quite some risk in the Juncao corner. Herbert subsequently just about kept his 3rd position after his stop, but Alesi was not too far away. Frentzen also pitted in lap 48, handing points positions to both Jordan cars of Barrichello and Brundle.

Damon Hill was still on the move and closed the gap with his team mate quickly. He was right on Villeneuve's gearbox by lap 52 and just one lap later, he made his final move in Descida do Lago. While Hill disappeared in the distance, Frentzen was making his way back up into the points. Much like Hill, the German made good use of his fresher tyres to take back 6th from Brundle. The Benetton duo were driving a less eventful race in 3rd and 4th position, although Alesi was still pushing to beat his team mate. The Frenchman overcooked it in lap 58, spinning and suffering significant time loss, although he could continue in 4th. Just two laps later, Herbert unexpectedly made an extra pit stop and his steering wheel needed to be replaced. The team cleverly made use of the situation to put him on fresh tyres once again too, but the Briton lost his 3rd place to his team mate.

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Damon Hill wins the Brazilian Grand Prix

Hill cruised to victory, followed by Villeneuve who could not stay close to him in the closing stages. The Benettons did have a close battle in the final laps, as Alesi suffered from the flat spots on his tyres, while Herbert was flying on a fresh set. Herbert had one chance to pass the Frenchman in the final lap and he took it when he outbraked Alesi into the first corner. Alesi could not attack him any more and finished behind him in 4th. Barrichello finished his home Grand Prix in a fine 5th place, while Frentzen took the final point. The only home driver still running towards the end was Tarso Marques, who had had a solid race. He unfortunately had to retire his car just before the finish, which handed Montermini the 10th place.

Results
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Post-Race Quotes

Damon Hill (1st): "This is more like it. I think we had a perfect weekend, with pole position, fastest lap and the race win. I had to fight some other drivers to make the two stop strategy work, but we pulled it off in good fashion."
Jacques Villeneuve (2nd): "We chose to split the strategies, just like we had done in Australia. This time, my strategy did not seem to work perfectly, but Damon was very quick too. I'm still satisfied with 2nd and I've kept the championship lead."
Johnny Herbert (3rd): "I think this was the maximum we could achieve this weekend. As I said last time, we are not really quick enough to challenge the Williams, but at least we got the most out of what we currently have."
Nathan van Dijk (retired): "I really think we were stronger this weekend than we were in Australia, although the results don't match that. I ran comfortably in front of Brundle when we got to the first stops, but unfortunately we had cooling issues after that. It would have been a nice fight with Frentzen for the final point, I think."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "This was a weekend to forget, to be honest. Qualifying was not great and the race was over way too soon."


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by tBone 08 Feb 2021, 16:35
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, stories and rumors | Wednesday 3rd April, 1996


Teams in Trouble

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The 1996 season has barely started, but it looks like some teams are in trouble already. Many eyes were on Ferrari and Michael Schumacher during the first two races, but they certainly did not live up to expectations. The German retired very early in both races and his team mate, Eddie Irvine, suffered from mechanical failures as well. It seems clear that more changes on the technical side are needed at the Italian team. John Barnard may well be the victim of those changes, as sources in the paddock tell Grand Prix News that Ferrari is either trying to sign Adrian Newey, or to lure back former Benetton designer Rory Byrne from retirement.

Meanwhile things at McLaren are not too much better. The MP4/11's pace does definitely not look better than last year's car and much like Ferrari, McLaren is yet to finish a race. McLaren is said to be developing some radical updates for later in the season, although they are not expected to become serious contenders for race wins anymore. The updates may be crucial for McLaren's partnership with Mercedes-Benz. Last year, the German manufacturer did not provide a reliable engine, costing the team some good results, but this year the McLaren chassis seems to be the main weakness. Mercedes is believed to be disappointed in McLaren's performance so far.

Troubles at the back of the grid are on quite a different level. The small Simtek team is showing even bigger MTV logos on the car this year, but insiders say this is not due to increased sponsoring. On the contrary, MTV negotiated a deal to pay less for more exposure. By lack of alternatives, Simtek had no choice but to accept this setback. The team is said to be looking for at least $15 million extra before the end of the year to survive. Fellow minnows Minardi have a similar problem after Taki Inoue's sponsors withdrew short before the season. Minardi's financial hole is estimated to be $10 million.


Dome Kicks Off

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The Japanese Dome team have set an important step towards their 1997 Formula 1 entry. A prototype F1 chassis, the Dome F105, was revealed two weeks ago and underwent its first testing at the Mine and Suzuka circuits. Dome is planning to perform an extensive testing program this year, including several runs on European circuits in the summer.

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The F105 is powered by the same Mugen-Honda V10 as currently used by Ligier. The chassis was designed by Akiyoshi Oku, who also designed the constructors' F104 chassis, which won the 1994 Japanese F3000 championship, driven by Marco Apicella. The Italian is also one of the team's test drivers for this year, joined by Japanese drivers Naoki Hattori and Shinji Nakano.

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To complete their preparation for 1997, Dome still needs two major things: tyres and money. The F105 is running on Goodyear tyres so far, but no tyre deal is in place yet. Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone is entering F1 in 1997 and looks to be a likely candidate for the team. Perhaps even more important is a sponsor package. The car still looks quite empty as the team is still looking for sponsors. Several companies are being rumored, most notably retail company 7-Eleven, Pepsi cola, video game and console brand Nintendo and printer manufacturer OKI. However, until a deal is in place, all the testing may be in vain.


Short but Sweet

Renault to decide in 2 months whether it stays in F1 after '97 • Taki Inoue might get paid Simtek seat • Ecclestone negiotiates F1 mechandising with Disney • Austrian GP will return from '97 onwards • Williams engineer Eghbal Hamidy to join Stewart Grand Prix

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by Kinnikuniverse 08 Feb 2021, 17:39
-Shucks! minardi need to survive!

-honestly, adrian newey going to ferrari would be a very interesting POD. What does that mean for ross brawn, though? Is he gonna stay at bennetton, or going to Mclaren or williams? Any of these scenarios could drastically change how competitive F1 Will be in the 90s and 00s.

-i really, really hope DOME makes it on the grid in 1997. That is one what if that i find very fascinating. With Larousse-DAMS and forti staying around, F1 will finally continue having full grids. The key to all of this, though, would be controlling the costs of the series. Maybe an earlier adoption of the budget cap?

-needless to say, renault staying after 97 would also be interesting.

-
by tBone 08 Feb 2021, 18:42
I will not give away too many spoilers, but I'm happy to say that you'll be delighted how some things will turn out. However, I'm sorry to say you'll be disappointed about some other things.

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by tBone 12 Feb 2021, 10:41
Press Release - Scuderia Ferrari

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Scuderia Ferrari is officially confirming that its second driver, Eddie Irvine, will not drive in the Argentinian Grand Prix this weekend. Irvine is suffering from a serious food poisoning, so it was decided on Friday morning that his place will be taken by test and reserve driver Nicola Larini. Irvine is expected to be back in the car for the next Grand Prix on the Nürburgring.

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by tBone 12 Feb 2021, 23:55
1996 Argentinian Grand Prix

Just one week after the tough Brazilian GP it is time for the Argentinian Grand Prix. The slowest circuit so far on the calendar may give teams with a less powerful engine an opportunity to shine. Last year's race in Buenos Aires was also full of attrition, enabling Minardi and Simtek to score their only points of the season. Will the 1996 edition spring new surprises, or is it business as usual in Argentina?

Qualifying

Once again, Hill and Villeneuve lock out the front row, followed by Schumacher and the Benettons. Rubens Barrichello had a great qualifying, beating both McLarens to claim 6th on the grid. The barely prepared Nicola Larini did a very solid job to take 9th, while it was more or less business as usual in the midfield. The biggest disappointments were Martin Brundle, Luca Badoer and Ricardo Rosset, who were all too far back on the grid and beaten soundly by their team mates.

Results
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Race

Hill kept the lead at the start, but both Benettons rocketed out of their grid slots with Herbert taking 2nd and Alesi 3rd. Schumacher, Villeneuve and Coulthard completed the top 6 out of the first corner, but Villeneuve conquered 4th a couple of metres later in the S do Senna. Although Schumacher was running a bit further back than in the previous races, he must have been glad that his car lasted more than 3 laps for the first time this year. That could not be said of his team mate's car: Nicola Larini had to retire with a puncture in lap 3, probably caused by small debris from the midfield battles in the first laps.

Another tyre failed because of these debris and it caused another retirement: Jacques Villeneuve could also not continue in lap 7. The Canadian's retirement put Barrichello back in the top 6 and the Brazilian was on the move. He passed Coulthard for 5th a couple of laps later. The Scot's team mate followed some more laps later. No further changes would occur in the top 6 until Johnny Herbert kicked off the first round of pit stops, in lap 30, followed by Barrichello and both McLarens. Hill, Alesi and Schumacher now made up the top 3, all appearing to be on a one stop strategy. Hill and Alesi stopped in lap 43 and 46 respectively and kept their positions. Although he got a lot closer this time, Michael Schumacher still did not get to make his first pit stop for Ferrari. Once again he had to retire with transmission issues.

After the whole field had made their first stop, Hill was still in the lead, followed by Alesi and Herbert. Barrichello had moved up to a brilliant 4th, followed within a few seconds by Hakkinen in 5th and Frentzen in a fine 6th position. Nobody was able to really close in on a rival until the second round of stops, which was once again started by Herbert. Barrichello, Hakkinen and Frentzen followed later, with the latter losing a place to David Coulthard in the process. With reasonably big gaps between all drivers, it looked like a simple cruise to the finish for the top six.

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Damon Hill won by more than a minute in Buenos Aires

However, the sting was in the tail of this Argentinian Grand Prix. No less than three drivers retired in the final six laps of the race. Johnny Herbert saw a 3rd place disappear when his transmission failed, while Minardi's Tarso Marques had to end another solid race just before the finish. Rubens Barrichello was now set to be rewarded with a podium finish for a very strong weekend, but the Brazilian would not get what he deserved. In lap 70, his Jordan came to a standstill due to electrical problems. This meant that Damon Hill and Jean Alesi were joined on the podium by Mika Hakkinen, who scored his first points of the year. David Coulthard took his first points for McLaren with a 4th place, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen came home in 5th, finishing in the points for the second race in a row. Olivier Panis scored Ligier's first point of 1996 by finishing 6th.

Results
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Post-Race Quotes

Damon Hill (1st): "Another great weekend, I think. I'm actually struggling to find anything that could have gone better here. It's also great to be in the championship lead now, I believe this is the first time that's happened to me."
Jean Alesi (2nd): "The gap to Damon was definitely too big, but I am getting more and more used to the car and the team. I think we are still getting stronger each race and 2nd is a very good result today."
Mika Hakkinen (3rd): "Well, this was an unexpected podium. It is very good that both our cars finished today, but we need to work on our pace. Anyway, I am enjoying this first podium of the year now!"
Nathan van DIjk (9th): "I think it was a solid race. The car was stable, but we lacked a bit of pace. The extra pit stop half way through the race also did not really help. We might have been closer to points again."
Jos Verstappen (10th): "The race was quite boring, to be honest. I think this is where we are at the moment, so we need to seize every opportunity for results. Today, that opportunity did not come."

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by tBone 13 Feb 2021, 15:44
1996 European Grand Prix

Formula 1 is back in Europe, 3 weeks after the previous race in Argentina. Most of the teams have used the time to test and introduce upgrades. The Nürburgring will be the proving ground for these upgrades. Will Williams retain their dominance? Will Ferrari find their reliability in the first of Schumacher's home races? Or will Benetton or Mclaren perhaps close the gap?

Qualifying

Damon Hill had another very strong qualifying, but his team mate Villeneuve lagged a bit behind, allowing Schumacher to take 2nd on the grid. The Canadian followed in 3rd, just in front of Alesi and Herbert. Barrichello did very well again to take 6th. McLaren's European season did not start well at all, as Coulthard and Hakkinen were only able to qualify in 9th and 10th respectively. The biggest gap between team mates was once again between Verstappen and Rosset, the latter still having to prove he is worthy of an F1 seat.

Results
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Race

Both Williams had a good start, but Jean Alesi cheekily took 2nd in the Castrol-S. Hill kept the lead, while Villeneuve remained in 3rd. Michael Schumacher got away poorly and had lost two places in the first metres. Behind the German, Herbert kept 5th into the Castrol-S, but Frentzen gained another place by passing him at the exit of the chicane. Herbert lost one more place when Barrichello outbraked him into turn 3. The Veedol chicane was the scene for more action, as Schumacher passed Villeneuve and Herbert regained his 6th place on Barrichello.

Just one lap later, the top 6 was shook up again. Jacques Villeneuve regained a podium spot by passing Schumacher, while Johnny Herbert further recovered from his poor start and overtook Frentzen. The British Benetton driver kept the momentum and outbraked Schumacher for 4th just 2 laps later. After this, the order seemed pretty much settled for the first stint, with Hill leading from Alesi, Villeneuve, Herbert, Schumacher and Frentzen. The latter lost his place in the points to Barrichello in lap 11 when he had to retire with transmission issues. Alesi had the same kind of trouble one lap later, handing Coulthard a place in the top 6.

While Damon Hill was still comfortably leading, Johnny Herbert showed a very strong pace and closed the gap to Villeneuve. He managed to get passed in lap 19 and was now up to 2nd. 3 laps later, Herbert was handed the lead of the race as the most shocking moment of the race took place. Damon Hill got on the throttle too early out of the Coca-Cola Kurve, lost control of his Williams, and crashed out of the race. Hill had won the previous two races, but this was already the second time this year he lost points due to a driver error.

Herbert came into the pits in lap 24; he looked to be the only driver at the front to be on a two-stop strategy. He rejoined in 5th, but he quickly found a way past both Coulthard and Barrichello to move up to 3rd. The one-stoppers followed from lap 34, when Barrichello and Hakkinen were the first two drivers to make their stop. Villeneuve followed one lap later, which meant that Michael Schumacher was leading a race for Ferrari for the first time. It only lasted for one lap, as the German came into the pits in lap 36. After the entire field had made their first stop, the top 6 consisted of Herbert, Villeneuve, Schumacher, Barrichello, Hakkinen, who had passed his team mate just before the stops, and Coulthard.

The leading Benetton of Johnny Herbert suddenly drove slowly around the track in lap 43. The team declared after the race that it was a throttle issue, which fortunately could be fixed in the pits. Herbert did need to stop a bit earlier than planned and he did lose quite some time on that particular lap. The Briton rejoined the race in 3rd and his chances of winning were gone. The same could be said once again about Michael Schumacher just one lap later. The German had a puncture and was unable to return to the pits. As a very small consolation for Ferrari, the world champion's retirement did promote his team mate, Eddie Irvine, into the points.

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Jacques Villeneuve wins his second race and re-takes the championship lead

The only position change in the last stint occured when Mika Hakkinen had to stop his car with a failed suspension. Jacques Villeneuve could take it easy after Herbert's problems to take his second F1 victory. Herbert followed him home in 2nd after an impressive, albeit unlucky, race. Just like in Argentina, Rubens Barrichello had a stong weekend, but the difference was that he did finish on the Nürburgring to take his and Jordan's first podium finish of the season. David Coulthard finished in 4th, while Eddie Irvine scored Ferrari's first points of 1996 in 5th. Gerhard Berger took the final point after a rather anonymous race.

Results
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Post-Race Quotes

Jacques Villeneuve (1st): "I must admit: Damon was faster all weekend and it could have been a tense battle with Herbert if he hadn't struck trouble. But we made no mistakes where others did and that's why we took the win."
Johnny Herbert (2nd): "I somehow couldn't get the car to really work in qualifying, but the race pace was fine. The bad start and the throttle problem did harm my race, but I'm not sure if we could have won today anyway."
Rubens Barrichello (3rd): "Well, after the unfortunate last weekend, I think we got wat we deserved here. Before the season, we perhaps hoped to be closer to the top, but looking at where we stand now, 3rd is a very nice result."
Jos Verstappen (8th): "It's good that we finished again, but we do need to improve the car to be closer to the points. The race itself went quite well, but I drove alone for most of the time, so it was not too exciting to be honest."
Nathan van Dijk (retired): "Until the retirement, it was another solid weekend. We are more and more understanding the car after the testing and I hope we can show that in the following races."


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by tBone 14 Feb 2021, 15:31
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, stories and rumors | Wednesday 1st May, 1996

Engines and Politics

The 1996 season has barely started, but work and negotiations have already started for 1997 and beyond. One of the hottest topics at the moment are the engines. Big changes could be about to happen, although nobody seems to be sure how and when exactly. The only thing set in stone for the next years, is Ferrari's own engine supply. Grand Prix News tries to unravel the mysteries in this article.

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Renault is a dominant force in F1, having powered the constructor's champion every year since 1992. The French V10 is still the engine to have and currently, Williams and Benetton are the lucky ones. Both teams have a contract until the end of 1997 and Renault wants to limit their engine supply to two teams. However, French political pressure to make Ligier an all-French team again, may interfere with this plan. Ligier had Renault engines in the past and getting them again as early as next year would undoubtedly be an upgrade. Renault's plans for 1998 and beyond are a different story. Benetton's results may not be sufficient for Renault to continue their collaboration, especially when Williams remains the dominant force they are now. If Renault leaves F1, that would leave an even bigger impact. Renault Sport boss Patrick Faure admitted lately that the company does not have any plans yet for '98 and '99.

The second French engine supplier, Peugeot, is in a more or less similar situation. Their deal with Jordan is running until the end of next year and there seems to be a preference to stay exclusive. Ligier could however become a second team with Peugeot's V10s, which have improved significantly over the last year. Rumor also has it that DFC and Arrows are looking for a full works deal, with Peugeot being one of the candidates. Both teams will need to sign some top notch technicians though, as Peugeot will need to be convinced that these teams are capable of challenging for top results.

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Mercedes-Benz meanwhile has a deal with McLaren that ends this year. The partnership has been one with ups and downs so far, but the Mercedes engine does not seem to be without its flaws. Still, it seems that McLaren will need to convince Mercedes that things will get better soon, or the Germans may well be on their way out of the team, or even out of the sport. DFC is believed to be the only team both interested and financially capable to take over the deal if McLaren is left behind.

Ford's plans with their works V10 are already known: the new Stewart team as a 3-year deal. If and how this will impact Sauber and DFC still remains to be seen. It seems unlikely that both teams will keep the V10s, but perhaps one of them could sign a deal similar to DFC's 1996 supply. Ford is also badging Cosworth V8 engines, which are supplied to Simtek, Minardi and Larrousse DAMS. No decision has been taken by Ford yet on whether they will continue supporting this program. If Ford withdraws its support, it may cause trouble for these budget-strapped teams as it is unlikely they will find such a cheap supplier anywhere else.

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Mugen-Honda, Yamaha and Hart will as always be interesting options for teams in the midfield. Mugen's deal with Ligier is likely to be extended for a year if the French government does not manage to arrange a French engine. The most exciting thing about Mugen is the possibility that Honda could take over business again. Strong rumors suggest that Benetton is already in talks for 1998 and beyond, while Walkinshaw's Arrows is also on the outlook. The new Dome team is very likely to get a customer deal with them as well, perhaps for a downgraded version of the Japanese V10. Arrows is also linked by insiders to Yamaha, while they are currently being supplied by Hart, which is eager to resume its V10 programme. The Hart engines may be rebadged as Volvo's as an extension of TWR's current joint venture with the Swedish company. Hart is also an option for Sauber and Tyrrell, as their engine deals are set to end this year.


A Chat with Nathan

On the Sunday evening after the European GP, Grand Prix News was able to sit down with Dutch DFC driver Nathan van Dijk. We caught up with him about his season so far, we discussed both his and DFC's future and we even got a glimpse of his personal life and friendships.

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Nathan, thanks for making time for this interview. To start off with a standard question: how are you doing?
You're welcome. I am fine; I am getting more and more used to F1 and it really begins to feel like "my world" now.

That's good to year. Does the season so far meet your expectations?
Well, before the season DFC set their target to score points this year. We already met that in the first race, where I took 6th place. I do need to admit that after that race, we were perhaps too optimistic about the rest of the year. We are still quite competitive, we are well in the midfield, but I am not sure if it is very realistic to say we will score a lot more. Let's see how good the upgrades through the season turn out to be.

For those upgrades, DFC will need more resources than they had last year. Can you tell us anything about that?
I think Guido Forti and Abilio Diniz can give you a better answer, but the team has grown for sure. We have tripled the amount of employees and we are still expanding. The sponsor budget is bigger as well with the new partners. The only thing we can only hope for at the moment is that later in the season, we get the same engine upgrade Sauber got for the Nürburgring.

So things look to be on the rise at DFC. However, you do only have a contract until the end of the year. Will you stay at DFC?
So far I see no reason why not. The team is satisfied with my performance and I feel like I am still growing.

What do you then make of the rumours that Abilio Diniz wants to sign a Brazilian star driver to lead the team?
Well, they are rumours, so I am not sure how true they are. I have gotten to know Mr. Diniz as a very performance-focused person, though, so I am sure that he will keep me if I keep performing well.

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Forti had something of a Brazilian star driver last year with the experienced Roberto Moreno. This year, rookie Pedro Diniz is your team mate. How are your relationships with them and what are the main differences?
Roberto was great to have as a team mate. Such an experienced driver, who had seen it all. His technical feedback was great, but he was most of all a very good mentor for a young rookie like me, who really lacked a lot of experience. I definitely learned a lot from him and I think I am bringing that in practice this year. Pedro is now the rookie and I have a year under my belt. I am still learning, but Pedro is new to the F1 world, although he has more experience in the lower classes than I had. I know opinions on Pedro are sometimes harsh, simply because his father owns the team, but I don't think that is really justified. He is genuinely quick, especially in qualifying, and he is a nice guy to work with.

And how are your contacts with other drivers in the paddock? Do you sometimes have a conversation in Dutch with Jos Verstappen, for example?
I was kind of shy when I started last year. I was a bit of an unknown guy in the paddock, but I grew into it as I grew into every aspect of F1. For sure, it is nice to talk in Dutch with Jos sometimes, but other youngsters like Rubens Barrichello and Giancarlo Fisichella are nice guys too. I wouldn't call them friends, but we get along well.

Well Nathan, thank you very much for having us. Good luck on the rest of the season, with the next race already in a week. One last question: what do you need to do the rest of the season to make be satisfied at the end of the year?
Thank you for interviewing, I enjoyed it! That's actually a tough question. I suppose it is three things: score more points on at least one or two occasions, beat Pedro in the qualifying and in the championship and making sure that I have a race seat in 1997.


Short but Sweet

F3 and F3000 team Shannon looking to form alliance with current F1 team • Williams' wind tunnel moved to new base in Grove • Hakkinen and Frentzen linked to Hill's Williams seat • Agip possibly to sponsor Benetton, Minardi, or both in 1997 • 1996 German GP first to be broadcast digitally • Martin Whitaker new Ford European Motorsport Director, Gilitzer dumped

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by tBone 14 Feb 2021, 20:12
1996 San Marino Grand Prix

Jacques Villeneuve conquered the lead after Damon Hill made an unforced error on the Nürburgring. Eddie Irvine scored Ferrari's first points, but Michael Schumacher suffered another retirement. Only one week later, the next race is coming up. Can Villeneuve extend his lead or will Hill strike back?

Qualifying

Jacques Villeneuve qualified on pole position for the first time in his F1 career, while Damon Hill completed Williams' front row lockout. Michael Schumacher beat both Benettons once again, taking 3rd in front of Johnny Herbert and Jean Alesi. Eddie Irvine completed the top 6. At the back, Ricardo Rosset qualified in a career-best 22nd position, while Hiro Matsushita was the only driver to qualify in the same spot for five races in a row. The Japanese cannot be satisfied with this peculiar statistic, as he qualified last for all those races.

Results
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Race

Michael Schumacher had a brilliant start in front of the Italian crowd. He took the lead on the way to the first corner, followed by Jacques Villeneuve. Damon Hill and Jean Alesi started the race with an intense battle for 3rd. The duo went side by side into the first corner and they lasted until Hill got ahead in Piratella. Rubens Barrichello and Johnny Herbert completed the top 6, while things behind them went completely wrong in Acqua Minerale. Eddie Irvine braked too late and punted David Coulthard off the track, while the Ulsterman himself spun off. They both ended in the gravel, but both could continue their race without damage. A recovery drive awaited both of them, although Irvine's ended after just 10 laps.

The incident between Irvine and Coulthard proved to be the first of many. In lap 3, Villeneuve braked too late for Taguardo. He tried to quickly rejoin the track, but forced his team mate off the track in the process. While the Canadian kept his 2nd place, Hill lost everything and dropped back to the last place. Just behind the shenanigans of the Williams duo, Herbert moved up to 4th by outbraking Barrichello. The Briton gained another position in the same lap when he passed his team mate at the Variante Bassa. Herbert was now increasing the pressure on Villeneuve, but despite several fierce efforts, he could not get past in the opening stages. Villeneuve's team mate Hill was less fortunate when his recovery drive ended prematurely in lap 8. His transmission had let him down.

Michael Schumacher lost the lead in another incident in lap 13. The German ran wide in Acque Minerali, had to take the long route through the gravel and rejoined in 4th, behind Villeneuve, Herbert and Alesi. Just one lap later, it was Villeneuve who succumbed to the pressure of Herbert. The Canadian spun on the same point where Schumacher had made his mistake. He tried to rejoin just in front of Schumacher, slowing both of them down so much that Barrichello could get passed and move up to 3rd. Surprisingly, the Brazilian was able to hold on to that position for many laps.

It became clear why Herbert had been to quick when he came into the pits as early as lap 17. The Benetton driver was the only one in the entire field on a 3 stop strategy. He dropped to 8th, but made his way back into the top 6 in just two laps time. Not only did he pass Frentzen, but he gained another place when Jacques Villeneuve completed a disastrous weekend for Williams. His retirement was caused by an engine failure. Michael Schumacher was next to share the misfortunes when his engine failed in lap 21.

The two-stoppers came into the pits in the next laps, when it appeared that Mika Hakkinen was on a one stop strategy. The Finn had moved up to 2nd, although Alesi was able to pass him quickly after his stop. After Hakkinen and Frentzen, who had the same strategy, had made their only stops, Herbert was back in the lead, followed by Alesi, Barrichello, Hakkinen, Brundle and Frentzen. Herbert soon had to make his second stop and came back in 3rd. Frentzen lost his chance of a good result when his engine was the next one to fail, while Brundle harmed his potential result by spinning and losing a place to Panis.

The second round of stops came and almost simultaneously, Herbert had to make his third and final stop as well. After the stops, Alesi and Barrichello were still the numbers 1 and 2. Hakkinen's strategy paid off as he was back in 3rd, just in front of Herbert. Panis and Brundle completed the top 6. Herbert made good use of his fresher tyres by passing Hakkinen, but he could only enjoy his 3rd position for a few corners before his engine made him leave Imola empty handed. Herbert's retirement resulted in Coulthard's comeback in the top 6. The Scot extended his surge through the field by overtaking Brundle for 5th in the closing stages of the race.

A top 6 of Alesi, Barrichello, Hakkinen, Panis, Coulthard and Brundle seemed to settle, but nothing was as it seemed in this San Marino Grand Prix. Olivier Panis was on his way to a brilliant 4th place after a strong race, but his suspension failed just 5 laps from the finish. The Frenchman's bad luck put Nathan van Dijk in the position to score a point for the second time in his career. The Dutchman managed a comfortable lead over his team mate Pedro Diniz, but he would lose it all even closer to the finish. Just two laps from the end, his suspension failed. His team would still get the final point though, as it was now rookie Diniz who scored his first ever point in his first ever race finish.

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Jean Alesi takes his maiden win in an eventful GP at Imola

Jean Alesi could not be bothered by anyone's misfortunes on this day. Finally the Frenchman had luck on his side and he took a much-deserved maiden win. Rubens Barrichello got his second consecutive podium by finishing 2nd and Mika Hakkinen finished 3rd for the second time this year. David Coulthard finished 4th after an impressive catch-up race, followed by Martin Brundle in 5th. Pedro Diniz completed the top 6.

Results
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Post-Race Quotes
Jean Alesi (1st): "Finally! This is a great feeling, even when we know we were a bit lucky. I do think, however, that we could have beaten everyone today, apart from Hill maybe. The car felt great and I could quite easily go fast. We will definitely celebrate tonight!"
Rubens Barrichello (2nd): "Things are now going our way and that is great. I could really keep up with the leaders in the first stint and it was not too difficult to keep Villeneuve behind, which was nice. In the end, we did not fail where others did and 2nd is a great result."
Mika Hakkinen (3rd): "We took a bit of a gamble with our strategy, but I don't think we could have gotten a better result otherwise. We are not yet fast enough, to be honest, but the team is working hard and until we improve the car, at least the team shows we can maximize our results."
Nathan van Dijk (12th): "I'll try not to swear, haha. It's great for Pedro, who had lost time earlier in the race and who did really do well today, but so did I, I think. Better luck next time."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "I am actually a bit more positive than last week. The car did well, I was involved in some nice battles in the first stint and to be honest, I think I was at least as quick as Diniz today. It shows that we may be able to score some points this year."


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by tBone 15 Feb 2021, 08:14
1996 Monaco Grand Prix

Formula One's most famous venue was last year the stage for Ferrari's only win of the season. The Italian formation are yet to score a podium this year. Will they finally be able to challenge Williams and Benetton for the top positions? Can Benetton keep the momentum and will they decrease Williams' lead further? Or will Williams restore the pecking order? A surprising weekend may be coming up, especially because many teams have brought new upgrades.


Qualifying

Damon Hill scored another pole position, but the margin was surprisingly small. Johnny Herbert showed that Benetton's upgrades were effective: the Briton was only 0.008s slower. Jacques Villeneuve qualified in 3rd, closely followed by the other Benetton of Jean Alesi. Michael Schumacher did not completely feel comfortable in the Ferrari, but managed a 5th place, while Gerhard Berger had by far his best qualifying of the year, earning himself a 6th position on the grid. Experience seemed valuable in more cases: Hakkinen, Brundle, Verstappen and Van Dijk all easily outqualified their less experienced team mates. Three youngsters impressed however: Salo, Fisichella and Kristensen all got a fine position on the grid and beat their team mates.

Results
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Race

Damon Hill kept the lead at the start, but it was Michael Schumacher who got away the fastest. The German rocketed to 2nd place, in front of Herbert, Villeneuve and Alesi. Gerhard Berger lost two places from his good starting slot, handing Mika Hakkinen the last points position. Hill swiftly pulled a gap in the first laps, while Schumacher seemed to be holding up the three cars behind him. However, he German's race once again ended prematurely in lap 5. For the second time this year, it was a puncture that rendered his car unable to continue. Because Schumacher slowed down rather abruptly, Herbert had to brake, allowing Villeneuve and Alesi to get past him when entering the tunnel. Alesi also tried to get past Villeneuve when braking for the Nouvelle Chicane, but the Canadian kept 2nd position.

Although Villeneuve, Alesi and Herbert stayed close together, overtaking was as difficult as usual in the principality. The order remained unchanged until lap 26, when Alesi suddenly slowed down and Herbert got past. Herbert had to make his first pit stop right after, while Alesi also had to come in to get a new steering wheel. The Frenchman lost even more time waiting some seconds when Herbert got fresh tyres and fuel. Herbert came back in 4th, while Alesi dropped behind Heinz-Harald Frentzen in 6th. It did not take the Frenchman long to pass the German, though: just one lap later he gained 5th position. Both Benettons also had not much trouble to get in front of Hakkinen again, but they did lose too much time in the process, as Damon Hill could make his first stop and stay ahead in 2nd position.

Because Villeneuve was on a one stop strategy, he was now in the lead. Hill and the Benettons did close in on him, but the Canadian had a couple of seconds margin left when he made his first stop in lap 38. He rejoined the race in 4th, but just two laps after, it was Alesi who already made his second stop. The Frenchman had closed the gap to Hill and Herbert significantly with his lighter car, but now he was back in 4th again. Meanwhile, Gerhard Berger had made an early two stop strategy work to get up to 5th. The experienced Austrian showed that his qualifying speed was no fluke: his race pace was impressive as well.

The second round of pit stops was kicked off by Berger and Hakkinen in lap 47. The Sauber team did well with a quick stop, keeping Berger in front of the Finn. Herbert came in in lap 50. It was crucial now to see if his margin over Villeneuve and Alesi, who were now very close together, would be sufficient to keep his track position. He got caught short, though, and rejoined even a couple of seconds behind his team mate. The same question was asked when Hill pitted in lap 52. His position looked a lot better, but also Hill would rejoin behind the fighting duo. Hill and Herbert were over a second per lap faster than Villeneuve and Alesi, and were closing the gap quickly.

After all pit stops were made, the top 6 consisted of Villeneuve, Alesi, Hill, Herbert, Berger and Hakkinen. The top 4 remained very closely together, but again, no overtaking between them seemed possible. Especially the Benettons did make some attempts in vain. The situation changed in lap 62, when Andrea Montermini's Simtek was to be lapped by the nervous group of leaders. Villeneuve got past easily, but when Alesi tried to lap the Italian in the tunnel, things went completely wrong. Montermini seemed to make a last-minute move, trying to leave the racing line, but Alesi had already chosen the outside. The Benetton ran into the Simtek, damaged its front wing, and bounced off into the Williams of Damon Hill, who also suffered front wing damage. Herbert got away with it, only losing a couple of seconds, but not suffering any damage. Hill and Alesi had to come to the pits for repairs and Hill got out of it faster than Alesi, gaining 3rd position.

Both Williams were now under pressure from a Benetton, but both of them benefitted from the earlier mentioned fact that overtaking in Monaco is notoriously difficult. After the incident in the tunnel, the top 6 remained therefore unchanged. Behind them, a remarkably big number of drivers retired in the final 8 laps: Rosset, Panis, both DFCs, Lamy, Montermini and Coulthard all suffered mechanical problems just before the finish.

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Jacques Villeneuve does not crack under pressure and wins the Monaco Grand Prix

Jacques Villeneuve scored another 10 points and extended his championship lead by an impressively calm race. 15 years after his father's win in the principality, the Villeneuve name was victorious in Monaco again. Johnny Herbert scored another strong result in 2nd, while Damon Hill limited the damage by finishing 3rd, just in front of Jean Alesi. Gerhard Berger got rewarded for a tremendous weekend with 5th place and Mika Hakkinen scored the final point.

Results
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Post-Race Quotes

Jacques Villeneuve (1st): "I think this was my best race in F1 so far. I am really proud of what we did and how we made the strategy work today. I could not really see what happened behind me in the tunnel there, but at least everybody is OK. I think that could have been a lot worse."
Johnny Herbert (2nd): "We lost this race in the qualifying and at the start, I think. I dropped to 5th and after that, it was really difficult to get back to the front. A 2nd place is good damage limitation in my opinion."
Damon Hill (3rd): "It was a pity that the strategy didn't work out like we hoped. I was definitely fast enough to win today and I still thought I had a chance before that incident with the Simtek happened. I definitely do not blame Jean for it, I think he was very unfortunate as well."
Nathan van DIjk (12th): "This was a difficult weekend for us. I never really felt comfortable with the car in this high-downforce setup and some other teams seemed to do better. I was going to challenge Salo for 10th near the end, but then we had to retire the car again."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "Well, the race was short for me: just 5 laps. The car was actually quite good, of course here the effect of the lighter, less powered V8 is completely different. It's a shame we couldn't see where we would have ended up in the race."


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by tBone 15 Feb 2021, 19:59
Press Release - FIA World Motor Sport Council

The FIA World Motor Sport Council announces the verdict of the stewards in response to the lap 62 incident of the Monaco Grand Prix, involving Jean Alesi, Damon Hill and Andrea Montermini. After analyzing the available camera recordings and interviewing all involved drivers, it has been decided that Montermini shall receive a one-race ban, effective for the Spanish Grand Prix. Montermini was found to be guilty of failing to make way for the leaders after being shown blue flags and causing a dangerous situation by moving off his line unexpectedly.


Press Release - MTV Simtek Ford

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After the verdict of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, MTV Simtek Ford announces the replacement of Andrea Montermini for the Spanish Grand Prix. Montermini will be replaced by David Brabham, who already drove for the team in the 1994 season. Brabham will perform a quick test in Jerez on Wednesday, before travelling to Barcelona for the race weekend. The team is convinced that Brabham will be able to have a solid performance, before Montermini will be back in the car in the Canadian Grand Prix.

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by tBone 16 Feb 2021, 12:15
1996 Spanish Grand Prix

Qualifying

Damon Hill extended Williams' perfect qualifying run in 1996, but the Benettons were close. Jean Alesi joined Hill on the first row, followed by Johnny Herbert and Michael Schumacher. Jacques Villeneuve had a disappointing qualifying: the rookie only got up to 5th on the grid. Eddie Irvine did well to complete the top 6. The McLarens disappointed once again as Coulthard and Hakkinen would have to start from the fifth row. At the back, David Brabham did a credible job by putting his Simtek in 24th, just a couple of tenths off the time of his team mate Tom Kristensen. Behind Brabham there was a première: Hiro Matsushita was off the last grid slot, having beaten Ricardo Rosset.

Results
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Race

Damon Hill was able to keep the lead, although Jean Alesi got very close. Both Ferraris seemed to take a lot of risk by braking extremely late for the first corner, but it paid off. Michael Schumacher moved up to 3rd and his team mate Eddie Irvine conquered 4th position. Johnny Herbert and Jacques Villeneuve had dropped to 5th and 6th respectively. Schumacher was not at all done gaining positions in the first lap: the German passed Alesi at La Caixa.

Going into lap 2, David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello grabbed the attention on Barcelona's long main straight. Barrichello's Jordan came to a standstill before the first corner with a broken suspension, while Coulthard managed to pass not only the Brazilian's slowing car, but also Villeneuve and Herbert. The Scot subsequently also got past Irvine at the Repsol corner, moving him up from 8th to 4th in just a few corners. Ferrari's second driver was under more pressure from Herbert, but the Briton spun trying to pass the Ulsterman and dropped to last place. Meanwhile, Schumacher fared better in the #1 Ferrari: the reigning world champion outbraked Hill at La Caixa and was now in the lead.

The action continued in lap 3. Firstly, Hill lost another place when Alesi passed him going into turn 1. A little further behind, Villeneuve pulled off a similar move on Irvine to get into 5th place. Half a lap later, Irvine also saw Hakkinen get past and the Ulsterman would drop further down the order in the next laps, on his way to an anonymous race. Villeneuve would do the opposite: the Canadian took 4th from Coulthard in lap 4, he passed his team mate in lap 8 and in lap 10, he was up into 2nd when he got past Alesi into turn 1. After the Canadian's surge forward, the top 6 seemed settled, but one other moment changed the order before the first stops. Coulthard spun in La Caixa, losing positions to Hakkinen and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Until the first pit stops, the top 6 consisted of Schumacher, Villeneuve, Alesi, Hill, Hakkinen and Frentzen.

Hakkinen was the first driver to make a pit stop in lap 18. Schumacher, Villeneuve and Coulthard followed in the next two laps; Frentzen 3 laps after that. Meanwhile, Alesi and Hill stayed out on a one-stopper. Villeneuve saw his race, which was rather impressive up until this point, heavily compromised when he was forced to come in for an extra stop. Williams declared after the race that a software issue caused the delay. Villeneuve's team mate Hill also lost a place in lap 25, when Schumacher barged past again into 2nd position. One lap later, Herbert got back into the top 6 by passing Coulthard. Frentzen's race ended in lap 29, when the German lost hopes of an impressive result because of an engine failure. After that, the top 6 remained unchanged until the final round of pit stops.

Hakkinen was again the first one to pit, as it appeared that Alesi and Hill had started on a very heavy fuel load. Alesi was next, dropping behind Schumacher and Hill. Hill was next to make his stop, rejoining in 4th behind Schumacher, Alesi and Villeneuve. When Schumacher made his stop, he crucially rejoined in front of Villeneuve, giving him an extra margin to Hill until the Canadian would come in. Just when things seemed to be finally working out for the double world champion, he lost his chance of a first podium for Ferrari. Only 2 laps after his final stop, the Ferrari slowed down, allowing Hill to pass. Schumacher came into the pits; Villeneuve behind him did the same. Only Villeneuve's stop was a regular one, while Schumacher's was because he required some repairs. Ferrari took some seconds longer than Williams, allowing the Canadian rookie to get out in front of the German.

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Jean Alesi makes a one-stopper work and wins in Barcelona

Hakkinen's early stop had enabled him to perform an undercut and it seemed to work when both Villeneuve and Schumacher came back on the track behind him. Both of them were significanly faster, though, and Hakkinen could keep neither of them behind, settling for 5th place instead. Nothing else changed in the final stint, so it was Alesi who drove to a controlled victory. The Frenchman was now truly showing to be a candidate for the championship. Behind him, Hill closed the gap to his team mate by 2 points, finishing in 2nd. Villeneuve finished in 3rd, followed by Schumacher, who finally finished his first race in a Ferrari. Hakkinen and Coulthard completed the top 6.

Results
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Post-Race Quotes

Jean Alesi (1st): "This was a very good weekend. 2nd in qualifying and I think we were the fastest in the race as well. Compliments to the team for the strategy: I was a bit worried about Schumacher in the opening stage, but I never saw him again after his first stop."
Damon Hill (2nd): "Yesterday, everything went perfectly. Today, it felt more like damage limitation. I unfortunately could not keep up with Jean and I was lucky that Michael had problems. After all, second is not a bad result and it is quite good for the championship."
Jacques Villeneuve (3rd): "I still don't know what happened in qualifying, but we need to figure that out. I just did not feel at ease in the car. Today was a lot better, but the software issue was a shame. I might have been able to challenge Jean and Damon otherwise."
Nathan van Dijk (retired): "Qualifying was once again difficult and together with the team, we are really looking at how to improve that. The race was quite good. I was on an agressive two-stopper and I could even keep up with Irvine in my first stint. But then, it was all over way too soon."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "Qualifying was all right and the start was all right. I can't tell you too much more, because my race was over just after it started."


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by tBone 17 Feb 2021, 20:37
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, stories and rumors | Wednesday 5th June, 1996

The Silly Season has Started

Although the current season is not even halfway done, much work in the paddock is already being done for 1997. And of course, the spread of rumors cannot be avoided, especially when speaking about one of the most asked questions: who drives where next year? With only eight drivers already under contract for next year and, if all the announced teams make it to the grid, 32 seats to fill, there is a lot to talk and gossip about. Furthermore, the teams will need an engine to power their cars as well. Grand Prix News tells you per team what we know and what we heard.

Ferrari
Ferrari is the only team where everything seems sure. Obviously they will keep Ferrari engines, but both Michael Schumacher (until '98) and Eddie Irvine ('97) have a contract for next year. The only way something might change, is if Schumacher is bought out of his contract by Williams or McLaren, but it seems more likely that he continues his Ferrari project.
Engine
Confirmed: Ferrari
Drivers
Confirmed: Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine

Williams
Both Renault and Jacques Villeneuve have a deal for 1997 with Williams. The biggest mystery is the other seat at the championship-leading team. Damon Hill is Williams' current lead driver, although he is behind his team mate in the standings. Hill does not have a contract for next year, though. Heinz-Harald Frentzen is strongly rumored to have already signed a contract with the team. A perhaps less likely story is that Williams is looking to buy Mika Hakkinen out of his contract with McLaren. Renault is said to desire a French driver, which would make Olivier Panis an outsider to snatch the seat as well.
Engine
Confirmed: Renault
Drivers
Confirmed: Jacques Villeneuve
Likely: Heinz-Harald Frentzen/Damon Hill
Rumored: Mika Hakkinen/Olivier Panis

Benetton
Benetton looks to have suffered from the departure of Michael Schumacher and Rory Byrne, although the Italo-British team seems to have recovered a little bit over the last few races. Renault still has a contract for one more year with them and Jean Alesi was recently rewarded with a contract extension for 1997 as well. Johnny Herbert's future is a little less certain at the moment. He was expected to lead Benetton's title charge this year, but so far, Alesi is the main candidate for it. Meanwhile, Italian youngster Giancarlo Fisichella is showing at Minardi that he deserves a better seat in F1.
Engine
Confirmed: Renault
Drivers
Confirmed: Jean Alesi
Likely: Giancarlo Fisichella/Johnny Herbert

Jordan
1996 should have been the year Jordan really closed the gap to the top, but it has been slightly disappointing so far. Peugeot will stay for 1997 nevertheless, although that may well be their final year together. Jordan has not signed any drivers for next year. Rubens Barrichello is performing maybe better than ever and he should be likely to stay. However, some say the Brazilian is not happy anymore at the Irish team and he is looking for new possibilities. Brundle looks unlikely to stay, unless he improves a lot in the second half of the season, while the team may have a golden opportunity to sign Damon Hill if he is dropped by Williams. Eddie Jordan is said to be looking for a new young talent. Ralf Schumacher, Michael's younger brother, has sparked Eddie's interest, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Nathan van Dijk may be possibilities as well. The wildest, yet still persisting rumor is that Nigel Mansell is plotting a comeback.
Engine
Confirmed: Peugeot
Drivers
Likely: Rubens Barrichello/Ralf Schumacher
Rumored: Nathan van Dijk/Heinz-Harald Frentzen/Damon Hill/Nigel Mansell

McLaren
Although McLaren hold a solid 3rd position in the constructors' championship, the gap with the top teams is disappointingly big. Mercedes is yet to confirm their plans in F1, although it is getting more and more likely that Ron Dennis can convince them to stay and invest. McLaren's drivers are already signed: Hakkinen has a contract until the end of 1997; Coulthard even until '98.
Engine
Likely: Mercedes
Drivers
Confirmed: Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard

Sauber
Things are still quite uncertain at Sauber at the moment. The Swiss team is trying to secure another deal with Ford for V10 engines, but DFC's money and the influence of Ford do Brasil may prevent that. Another possibility is that Sauber's sponsor Petronas rebadges V10 engines, which would then most likely come from Hart or Judd (the current Yamaha engines). Sauber did already sign their current driver Gerhard Berger for another year, rewarding the Austrian for a solid season so far. Heinz-Harald Frentzen is under consideration at teams higher up the grid and is likely to leave the team. His successor could almost be anyone at this moment, although the names of both Dutch F1 drivers are being mentioned, among some others.
Engine
Likely: Ford
Rumored: Hart/Judd (Yamaha)
Drivers
Confirmed: Gerhard Berger
Rumored: Nathan van Dijk/Tom Kristensen/Jörg Müller/Jos Verstappen

Ligier
The biggest uncertainty at Ligier is who will own the team next year. The French government would love to make the team all-French again, but they will still have Mugen-Honda engines next year. Olivier Panis is also already contracted for 1997, but his team mate is less certain. So far, Luca Badoer's performances have not been that impressive and Mugen, or rather Honda, is willing to pay to give a Japanese driver a seat. Several Formula Nippon stars' names have been dropped lately. A French youngster such as Laurent Redon could also be an option.
Engine
Confirmed: Mugen-Honda
Drivers
Confirmed: Olivier Panis
Likely: Luca Badoer
Rumored: Emmanuel Collard/Naoki Hattori/Shinji Nakano/Laurent Redon/Toranosuke Takagi

Minardi
The small Minardi team may currently be working more on surviving this year, than preparing for 1997. After the sponsor issues with Taki Inoue, it looks likely that the Italians will need to sign a pay driver to finish the season. A cheap V8 engine and at least one driver with deep pockets will be required next year.
Engine
Likely: Cosworth (Ford)/Hart
Drivers
Rumored: Norberto Fontana/Pedro Lamy/Andrea Montermini/Pedro de la Rosa/Ricardo Rosset

Simtek
The same applies to Simtek as to Minardi. The team is in serious financial trouble and they will need money. Strangely, Taki Inoue's name is still mentioned by several sources when talking about the small British team. Deals with drivers and an engine supplier will be highly dependant on a possible investor.
Engine
Likely: Cosworth (Ford)
Drivers
Likely: Andrea Montermini
Rumored: Naoki Hattori/Taki Inoue/Elton Julian

Tyrrell
Tyrrell's deal with Yamaha is uncertain at the moment. Mutual disappointment and lack of budget may force Yamaha out of the Surrey-based team. Hart or Cosworth customer V8s look like the only feasible alternative, even though both scenarios would be a step backwards. Mika Salo will stay at the team, looking to further improve his performances. Ukyo Katayama's season has been disappointing so far, as he has been largely outperformed by his young team mate. Tyrrell is most probably looking for a new young talent, although Ken Tyrrell also still holds his former test driver, Emmanuel Collard, in high regard.
Engine
Likely: Cosworth (Ford)/Hart/Yamaha
Drivers
Confirmed: Mika Salo
Rumored: Kenny Bräck/Emmanuel Collard/Tom Kristensen/Jan Magnussen/Gianni Morbidelli/Jörg Müller/Vincenzo Sospiri/Jos Verstappen

Arrows
Tom Walkinshaw is highly ambitious with Arrows. According to some, he is even looking to start in-house engine development on the longer term. The easiest way to achieve that is to buy an existing engine program, such as Hart's or Yamaha's. The ambitions are no less on the driver front: a big budget is said to be available to sign one or two big names. Jos Verstappen may be a relatively cheap second driver; the Dutchman performing well with an underwhelming car so far. Several more or less realistic names are rumored for the first driver seat, with the wildest rumor probably being that Walkinshaw is in negotiations with Damon Hill. A paydriver would then be required to pay his salary, though.
Engine
Likely: Hart/Yamaha
Drivers
Likely: Jos Verstappen
Rumored: Rubens Barrichello/Mark Blundell/Martin Brundle/Gil de Ferran/Damon Hill/Pedro Lamy

DFC
DFC is yet another ambitious project. A deal for Ford V10s is all but signed, although Mugen-Honda and Yamaha rumors are persistent, as well as talks about a customer Mercedes deal. The owner's son Pedro Diniz has unsurprisingly extended his contract with the team for two more years. Nathan van Dijk is almost consistently outperforming Diniz in the races, but DFC's plan is to sign a big Brazilian star from F1, F3000 or CART. If that plan proves to be too ambitious at this moment, Van Dijk looks the most likely candidate.
Engine
Likely: Ford
Rumored: Mercedes/Mugen-Honda/Yamaha
Drivers
Confirmed: Pedro Diniz
Likely: Nathan van Dijk/Christian Fittipaldi
Rumored: Rubens Barrichello/Gil de Ferran/Marcos Gueiros

Larrousse DAMS
Things are rather quiet around Larrousse DAMS. The team is having a bit of a slow start on their return in F1 this year, but there seems to be no panic. A customer deal with Peugeot seems quite likely, otherwise the French team will keep the Cosworth V8s for another year. Hiro Matsushita has already a contract for next year and Emmanuel Collard looks likely to stay if he cannot find a better seat. The French sponsors will push another French talent forward if Collard leaves.
Engine
Likely: Cosworth (Ford)/Peugeot
Drivers
Confirmed: Hiro Matsushita
Likely: Emmanuel Collard
Rumored: Jean-Christophe Bouillon/Laurent Redon/Christophe Tinseau

Stewart
Jackie Stewart's new team looks like an interesting gamble for several drivers. Their long-term contract as a works partner of Ford gives them a good prospect, although their performance in their first year could be anything from surprisingly good to disastrous. Apart from Jordan, Stewart looks like the most likely new team for Damon Hill if he loses his seat. A driver with some years of F1 experience seems like a must for the team anyway, so Rubens Barrichello, Nathan van Dijk and Martin Brundle could be serious options. Former or current Paul Stewart Racing drivers like Ralph Firman and Jan Magnussen could join one of the experienced guys.
Engine
Confirmed: Ford
Drivers
Rumored: Rubens Barrichello/Martin Brundle/Nathan van Dijk/Ralph Firman/Dario Franchitti/Damon Hill/Jan Magnussen

Dome
Dome is another new F1 project with some significant backing. In this case, it is Mugen-Honda which will provide the team with engines and it is not unlikely that Honda will take over the project in the near future to transform it into a full works team. Dome is currently testing with Shinji Nakano and Marco Apicella; both seem likely to become the race drivers for 1997. Ukyo Katayama might be an interesting alternative if he is dropped by Tyrrell.
Engine
Confirmed: Mugen-Honda
Drivers
Likely: Marco Apicella/Shinji Nakano
Rumored: Ukyo Katayama

Lola
The third team aspiring to enter F1 in 1997, is Lola. Whether or not they will make it to the entry list, is highly dependant on their search for a main sponsor. At this moment, it is anyone's guess which engines and which drivers they will have. Allan McNish is an educated guess, as he tested for Lola last year. A paydriver to join him is in the line of expectations.
Engine
Rumored: Cosworth (Ford)/Judd (Yamaha)
Drivers
Rumored: Giovanni Lavaggi/Allan McNish/Ricardo Rosset


Short but Sweet

Australian GP will be season opener again in 1997 • First Bridgestone tests to be done by Verstappen this week • Shannon to buy Simtek already this year? • Designer Chris Murphy joins Lola

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by tBone 18 Feb 2021, 09:47
1996 Canadian Grand Prix

Qualifying

Damon Hill scored his third consecutive pole position in dominant fashion. Jean Alesi joined him on the front row, just like in Spain. Jacques Villeneuve and Johnny Herbert took the second row, with Michael Schumacher close behind. Rubens Barrichello had another impressive qualifying to take 6th. In the midfield Luca Badoer beat his team mate Olivier Panis for the first time, but it was business as usual for most others. Andrea Montermini had his best qualifying of the year by taking 22nd on his return after his one-race ban.

Results
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Race

Damon Hill kept the lead at the start, but Michael Schumacher showed his class by braking very late into the first corner, moving him up to 2nd. Jacques Villeneuve managed to keep 3rd, followed by Jean Alesi, Johnny Herbert and Rubens Barrichello. Alesi did manage to regain a provisional podium spot a couple of corners later when he outbraked Villeneuve into turn 6. The Canadian would lose another place to a Benetton in lap 2, when Herbert made a similar move in the same corner. Herbert was pushing hard, but it came at a big cost just a few corners later. Still in lap 2, the Briton crashed out of the race in the last corner: a costly mistake. Luckily, Herbert walked away from the heavy impact without injuries.

Villeneuve had briefly lost a place to Barrichello, because he lost time avoiding Herbert's crash, but the Williams rookie was quickly able to regain 4th position. Alesi was meanwhile still on the move and passed Schumacher in lap 4 with a clean manouever in turn 12. The top six settled after that moment and remained unchanged until several laps later, when Villeneuve made a mistake in turn 1. He spun and lost a place to Barrichello, but he was able to continue his race without further problems. Schumacher was less lucky in lap 17. Once again, the title defender retired from a good position in the race, through no fault of his own. This time, an oil leak ended his race which looked like a certain podium finish for the German.

A top six of Hill, Alesi, Barrichello, Villeneuve, Eddie Irvine and Gerhard Berger was now getting ready for the first round of pit stops. Barrichello and Berger looked to be the only ones on a two stop strategy, with stops in lap 22 and 21 respectively. Both of them dropped a couple of positions, but they looked set to move back up the order. Berger would not get the chance however, since he had to retire with a loose wheel. His team, Sauber, was heavily criticized for sending him out with an apparently unfixed wheel, but no further sanctions were given. Barrichello did get back into the top six within few laps when he passed Mika Hakkinen in lap 23.

When the one-stoppers were getting ready to pit, Hill was leading Alesi, Villeneuve, Irvine, Barrichello and Hakkinen. The top three remained unchanged after those stops, but Irvine dropped behind Barrichello again. Mika Hakkinen's stop also made him drop out of the top six, as the surprisingly fast Luca Badoer, who was also on a two-stopper, moved up to 6th. We would never get a realistic outcome of the comparison of the two strategies, though. Barrichello retired from the race in lap 43 with a blown engine. Badoer was forced to pit just one lap later as he was suffering from electrical problems. It looked like the Italian saw another shot at points slip through his fingers.

A top six of Hill, Alesi, Villeneuve, Irvine, Hakkinen and Coulthard was now heading for the finish, but the race proved to be too long for some of them. Firstly, Hakkinen was forced to make an unplanned extra pit stop. Hydraulic issues were the issue, as explained by McLaren after the race. The Finn dropped behind his team mate, but remained in the points. In lap 56, Alesi lost a certain 2nd place when his engine blew and just two laps later, Villeneuve suffered the same fate.

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Survival of the fittest: Hill avoids problems and wins in Canada

All problems for others had moved Irvine up into 2nd, even though he was a full lap down on race leader Hill. Behind them, Coulthard was quickly losing time to his team mate, who was determined to make up for his lost time. Hakkinen finally got past in lap 62, taking the final spot on the podium and Coulthard would finish in 4th. Badoer had passed Martin Brundle earlier and because of Alesi's and Villeneuve's engine woes, he was able to score his first points of the season with a well-deserved 5th place. Brundle brought his car home in 6th.

Results
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Post-Race Quotes

Damon Hill (1st): "Of course, I'm satisfied. I think it was a perfect weekend all around, but I do realise I am very lucky to be the only title contender to finish today. Nevertheless, it is great to be back in the championship lead, lucky or not!"
Eddie Irvine (2nd): "Finally we're on the podium. As Damon said, it was a strange race and we're lucky to be here, but I really think the team deserves it. We have been very unlucky so far, with many car breakdowns and this makes up for it a little, at least. Although I do feel for Michael, he really deserved this one."
Mika Hakkinen (3rd): "Our car was only the fourth or fifth fastest this weekend and I hit trouble in the final stint. To then still be on the podium is strange, but I am proud of the race I drove. It was not easy to reel David back in, but I managed it."
Jos Verstappen (7th): "I always like this track and the car was not bad at all in the race. I saw on my pit board I was in 7th place all of a sudden. Of course you then hope for one more retirement in front of you, but it was my own car which broke down in the final lap. Thankfully it didn't cost me any places."
Nathan van Dijk (retired): "I think I was really good in the race today. I could match the pace of guys like Brundle and Badoer and I wasn't even that far off the McLarens. The way this race turned out, I'm not sure what would have been possible, but several points could have been on the table. Unfortunately, it was once again a case of what could have been."


Drivers' Championship
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Constructors' Championship
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by tBone 19 Feb 2021, 11:21
1996 French Grand Prix

Last year's French Grand Prix only saw six cars cross the finish. Will this year's edition provide a similar race? Even if it does not, there is plenty to look for as the season passes its halfway point. How will the title battle between the Williams teammates develop? Can Benetton improve and will they still have an outside chance of the championship? And when will Ferrari start to really perform?


Qualifying

Damon Hill had not lost anything of the momentum on his flight back to Europe: the Briton secured a dominant pole position. Once again, he was joined by a Benetton on the front row, but this time it was Johnny Herbert to take 2nd place, in front of Jacques Villeneuve and Jean Alesi on the second row. Michael Schumacher could once again not make it onto the front two rows and just like in Canada, Rubens Barrichello impressively qualified the Jordan in the top six again. The biggest disappointment of qualifying was McLaren: Hakkinen and Coulthard could only manage respectively an 11th and 14th place.

Results

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Race

The field got underway safely with few changes at the front. Villeneuve did start better than Herbert and was briefly in front of him, but the Briton regained 2nd place at the Adelaide hairpin. More position changes would occur shortly thereafter at the same corner: Barrichello took 5th from Schumacher in lap 3 and Alesi passed Villeneuve for 3rd in lap 5.

Lap 13 was definitely an unlucky lap for Ferrari. Schumacher dropped out of the points when Gerhard Berger passed him, but things were even worse for Eddie Irvine. The Ulsterman, who was struggling down in 15th place, had to retire from the race due to a failed suspension. A couple of laps later, Schumacher's transmission was the cause of another race weekend which ended prematurely for Ferrari.

The first series of pitstops was kicked off by Alesi and Berger in lap 20. The rest of the top six followed soon and Villeneuve came out of it as a winner: the Canadian stayed in front of Alesi and retook 3rd. The Frenchman did not get a chance to challenge Villeneuve again, because just like Schumacher, he fell victim to transmission problems. Disaster struck for Alesi's team mate just 3 laps later, when Herbert retired with a similar issue. The competition's trouble put the Williams team in a comforbable position: Hill and Villeneuve were well ahead of the rest of the pack now, while Barrichello looked set for a certain 3rd place.

The top 3 would not remain unchanged for long, though. Barrichello had to retire from a race for the fourth time in a row, as yet another transmission did not survive the race on the Magny-Cours circuit. Yet another victim did not make it to the second series of pit stops: Olivier Panis, who had moved up to a brilliant 4th place, also had to retire with transmission problems. By the time the second pit stops came around, the top three consisted of Hill and Villeneuve, now followed on a long distance by Gerhard Berger. Behind him was Luca Badoer, who was just ahead of the McLaren duo of Hakkinen and Coulthard.

The second pit stops did not bring any position changes: Hill and Villeneuve were still cruising towards a Williams 1-2, Berger could drive safely to the podium as well, but Badoer was still under pressure from Hakkinen, who never let the gap grow above 2 seconds. One more driver would fall victim to the transmission issues which were so common in the French GP: Berger's hopes of scoring Sauber's first-ever podium in F1 ended in lap 57.

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Damon Hill cruises to a dominant win in France

Berger's misfortunes did not affect the Williams duo of Hill and Villeneuve, who finished the race in 1st and 2nd place respectively. They were joined on the podium by Badoer, who impressively held off Hakkinen to secure his maiden top-3 finish. Hakkinen and Coulthard followed in 4th and 5th and an unusual name appeared to take the final point: Pedro Lamy. The Portuguese stayed out of trouble, did a very solid job and scored his first point in Formula 1.

Results

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Post-Race Quotes

Damon Hill (1st): "This was just about the perfect race weekend for me. The car was great, I never got into trouble and I nicely extended my championship lead."
Jacques Villeneuve (2nd): "I'm pretty satisfied. I don't really know why I never was on Damon's pace here, but at least we managed to maximise our result."
Luca Badoer (3rd): "I am extremely happy today! The car was very good this weekend and that promises a lot for the second half of the season. To be rewarded with my first podium is an amazing feeling."
Nathan van Dijk (retired): "Like a lot of drivers, I'm going to say that today was a big opportunity to finish in the points, but nobody had such a small reason to retire like me. It's really a shame that wheel nut failed, because the car felt very good and I was really on my way to score well."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "In Canada I was pretty satisfied with the car, but this weekend, we just couldn't really get it together. I should have been able to beat Lamy for the final point, though, but it was not to be. It's a pity."


Drivers' Championship

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Constructors' Championship

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by tBone 20 Feb 2021, 09:26
GRAND PRIX NEWS
Your monthly source for racing news, stories and rumors | Wednesday 3rd July, 1996

Mid-season Report Cards

Time flies when you are having fun! The year is halfway done and the 1996 Formula One season is already more than that, with 9 of the 16 races completed. It is time to take stock of the situation: who is doing well and who really need to take their grade back up?

Ferrari | 3
In our season preview, we already talked about Ferrari's reliability issues in pre-season testing. The team have so far not been able to solve them at all. The F310 seems to be reasonably quick: especially Schumacher is almost always in the top 6 before he retires, which unfortunately happened in all but one race so far.
Michael Schumacher | 8
To be honest, it is rather difficult to judge Schumacher's race performances of 1996. He did show an impressive pace and he has dominated his team mate so far. The only thing that is missing is some results: the double world champion really needs to finish some races in the second half of the year to avoid 1996 becoming his first full season without podiums in F1.
Eddie Irvine | 6
Irvine has been slightly more lucky with reliability than his superstar teammate. The Ulsterman salvaged Ferrari's only podium so far and he deserves some praise for that. His speed so far is somewhat questionable, though: he has rarely been close to Schumacher in either qualifying or in the races.
Nicola Larini | 6
Larini's time to shine was very short in Argentina: his race was over after just two laps. He did an adequate job in qualifying, placing his Ferrari well in the top 10; something Irvine did not manage on every occasion.

Benetton-Renault | 6
The Benetton team is definitely in a different position than the past two years, since they already look out of contention for the world championship fight. The car is occasionally good enough to challenge the Williams, as proven by Alesi's two race wins, but the team seem to be lacking consistancy. On top of that, the two double DNFs in the last two races further worsened their position significantly.
Jean Alesi | 8.5
Jean Alesi finally had his breakthrough win in Imola this year and he did not have to wait long for his second one, which came in Spain. The Frenchman usually is slightly faster than his teammate and has taken the best possible result in most of the races he finished. After Spain, he still looked to be in title contention, but he had to retire from the two subsequent races through no fault of his own.
Johnny Herbert | 7
Last year, Johnny Herbert was leading the championship at the halfway point. His fortunes definitely have changed in 1996. Alesi seems to be having the upper hand over Herbert, but the Briton had been quite consistent so far and has collected several important podium finishes.

Williams-Renault | 9.5
Williams are dominating the standings in both the drivers' and the constructors' championship. Seven race wins in the first nine races is an impressive statistic, while they took pole position in all nine. The only disappointing weekend was in the San Marino GP, where both cars had to retire with mechanical issues.
Damon Hill | 8,5
Hill is looking better and better to get his first championship. The Hill-Williams package is the fastest one on the grid and the Briton has won the most races so far. He did lose the opening race by his own mistake, however. Mistakes like those could be costly, as long as Villeneuve is on his tail. Hill also still does not have a contract for next year, so the pressure is on his shoulders.
Jacques Villeneuve | 9
The hype around Villeneuve was huge, but he proved himself from the word go. The Canadian won his first race on his first try and backed it up with two more wins and three other podium finishes. As mentioned above, Hill still slightly has the upper hand over him, but Villeneuve has an extremely impressive rookie season so far.

Jordan-Peugeot | 6,5
Eddie Jordan's team is once again challenging F1's top 4 teams, but it has to be said: many were expecting a next step from them. In our season preview, we were speculating about race wins, but the golden cars have never looked even close to challenging for that. However, they did quite consistently pick up points and the occasional podium, which is a proof of their improved reliability and consistency.
Rubens Barrichello | 8
Barrichello is on another strong season: he is "best of the rest" in the championship behind the drivers of Williams, Benetton and McLaren by quite a margin. The Brazilian also is making his experienced teammate look like a novice every now and then; Brundle cannot keep up with Barrichello's pace so far. He could even have been a lot higher up in the championship if he had not retired from the last four races. Barrichello needs to be careful not to get too frustrated over those issues.
Martin Brundle | 5,5
The second most experienced driver in the field has scored points on several occasions, but Barrichello is showing that the car can do more than Brundle gets out of it so far. Brundle will need to show he has still got it very soon, or his Formula 1 career may be all but over.

McLaren-Mercedes | 7
McLaren is not quite there yet, but they are on their way back for sure. Reliability was key for this season after all their trouble last year, but both cars finished in the last five races. However, it is somewhat disappointing that they do not seem to get close to the top on pure performance. In fact, they may need to worry more about Jordan and even Ligier if they cannot improve in the second half of the season.
Mika Hakkinen | 8
Hakkinen is further proving himself as a driver who is both fast and consistent. Furthermore, this year he is getting the results to back up his claim, less hindered by mechanical problems. Beating his team mate in all the races both of them finished gives him some bonus points in our rating.
David Coulthard | 7,5
Last year's revelation made a somewhat surprising move to McLaren and the car is definitely not an improvement this year. Coulthard seems to need a bit of time to get really used to the team and car and to get fully up to speed. So far, Hakkinen has an edge over him, but we also have not seen the Scot make any silly mistakes and he is a consistent points scorer.

Sauber-Ford | 7
Sauber is more or less meeting the expectations. Both drivers are picking up some good points when they get the chance to and both are usually among the better midfielders. Especially Frentzen has suffered from a lot of reliability issues, though. A bit more luck and a bit more development could still lead to some surprising results later this year.
Gerhard Berger | 7,5
F1's senior seems to feel more and more at home at the Swiss team. He even looked on course for a podium in the French GP, only for mechanical gremlins to strike his car. It does need to be said that the championship standings do flatter his performance a bit, especially relative to his teammate. Berger has had less bad luck than Frentzen.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen | 7,5
Frentzen is still considered as one of F1's biggest talents of this moment. He has a highly rated and experienced teammate, but he generally has the upper hand over him so far. Frentzen's points tally could have looked a lot better, if he could have finished as many races as Berger.

Ligier-Mugen Honda | 6
Ligier's fortunes changed massively in the last two races. The French team had been somewhat disappointing up until that moment, but both performance and results seem to have improved. The car is reliabile, the engine and the chassis seem decent, but Ligier seems to lack that little bit extra to do anything more than picking up the crumbs dropped by the big guys.
Olivier Panis | 6,5
Panis' season is just like the performance of his car: solid, but not spectacular. He has the edge over Badoer in qualifying and he scored Ligier's first point of the year, but Panis has not been in the position to really surprise yet.
Luca Badoer | 6,5
Badoer has been solid as well. He is usually slightly slower than Panis, but in the Italian's defense it could be said that he is still new to the team. Of course, he deservingly caught a lot of attention with his 5th place in Canada and in particular with 3rd in France. It does need to be said that Panis would most likely have finished ahead of him in the latter, though.

Minardi-Ford | 6
Minardi is again on a shoestring budget, but again they already scored a point. They seem to be absolutely maximising their resources by having a pretty reliable car which is usually not too far off the pace of the lower midfielders.
Pedro Lamy | 7
Lamy is proving to be an F1-worthy driver and he now belongs to the club of point scorers. We have not seen him make any terrible mistakes anymore, too. It does need to be said that Fisichella is beating him significantly in most qualifyings.
Giancarlo Fisichella | 7,5
Fisichella is an interesting talent. He has been consistently strong, especially in qualifying, despite his very limited season preparation with Minardi. It is difficult for him to shine with limited machinery, but the paddock does notice his occasional battles with the likes of Verstappen and Katayama.
Tarso Marques | 6,5
Like Fisichella, Marques was rather ill-prepared for his F1 debut. He did not make a fool out of himself though: he qualified near Lamy and he finished both races he started.

Simtek-Ford | 5,5
Our pre-season worries proved to be justified: Simtek's lack of resources has led to a lack of improvements on the car. Where they could occasionally move ahead of the bottom 3 rows of the grid last year, they are properly back at the bottom this year. Rumor has it they are not even sure they will make it to the end of the year, such is the severity of Simtek's financial troubles.
Andrea Montermini | 6
Montermini is showing nothing new in 1996: just like last year, he is solid, but not spectacular. He brings the car home, keeps it usually off the back row of the grid and that is all that really can be said to be honest.
David Brabham | 6
Brabham did an adequate job when he had to replace Montermini in Spain. The Australian did what the Italian probably would have done: qualify on the 12th row, no mistakes, but an unfortunate early retirement with engine issues.
Tom Kristensen | 7
Kristensen does not have the material to really catch attention, but it is a shame the Dane flies a bit under the radar. He only had two race starts under his belt before the season, but his lack of experience has not shown once. He generally has the edge over Montermini and we have even seen him fight with Minardis and Arrows on several occasions.

Tyrrell-Yamaha | 4
Last year was a disappointment for Tyrrell, but so far, they have not improved at all. Katayama has not even finished a race yet, while Salo is quick, but also finished far outside the points when he saw the checkered flag. The pace is there to score an occasional point though, if they finish more often.
Ukyo Katayama | 5,5
Katayama was always quite an interesting driver to keep an eye on, but this year he has not been able to impress yet. The Japanese is slipping behind his teammate in the qualifying battle and, as far as we have been able to judge it, his race pace does not seem too much better too.
Mika Salo | 7,5
Salo is usually well ahead of his teammate this year. Due to his poor material, it remains largely unnoticed, but the Finn may be the most improved driver of 1996 so far. If any driver comes in the position to score points for Tyrrell this year, it is most likely going to be Mika Salo.

Arrows-Hart | 5
Arrows is more or less in the same boat as Tyrrell. Arrows' focus seems to have gone to next year quite a while ago, so their hopes for the rest of 1996 will be low. Reliability is not that bad yet, but they will need to get lucky to score points.
Ricardo Rosset | 4
Rosset is in F1 for his money, that is clear now. He is way off the pace of Verstappen and didn't even manage to get off the last row of the grid on five occasions. At least he brought the car home several times, but the A17 is way better than the Brazilian makes it look.
Jos Verstappen | 6,5
Verstappen is usually in a bit of a no man's land in the races: somewhere between the midfield and the Minardis. He will hope for an opportunity to really show his talent, like he occasionally could in the Simtek last year.

DFC-Ford | 8
By no means has the season of the team formally known as Forti been flawless, but who could expect that? DFC has vastly improved compared to last year and they snatched some points already. The team closed the gap to the midfield and they can be expected to seize more opportunities in the second half of 1996.
Pedro Diniz | 6,5
Diniz entered F1 with low expectations, perhaps even lower than Rosset's. However, he has definitely exceeded those. Diniz is doing a solid job so far and even scored a point in the San Marino GP. Especially in the race, he is not always on the pace of his teammate, but Diniz proves to be a worthy F1 driver.
Nathan van Dijk | 7
Van Dijk scored a point in the first race. It could have been more, but DFC does not have its reliability completely in order yet. The young Dutchman needs to improve his qualifyings, but he has definitely shown himself in the races so far.

Larrousse DAMS-Ford | 5
Larrousse DAMS had an extensive testing program before the season, but a lot of work still needs to be done. The car is neither reliable nor fast, although one could wonder what a more proven driver could get out of it.
Emmanuel Collard | 6
We can only compare Collard to one other driver: Matsushita. He easily beat him in all races and qualifyings so far. Other than that, Collard has not really made an impression yet, but that is probably down to the disappointing car.
Hiro Matsushita | 4
Matsushita has not done anything yet to prove he belongs in F1. The Japanese has not been off the back row of the grid yet and the only times he is seen in the race is when he is the first car to get lapped.


Short but Sweet

TWR wins Le Mans 24 Hours • Confirmed: Renault to leave F1 after 1997 • Hill says he will retire before 2000 • Minardi wants to buy old Ferrari V12s • Rumor: Williams will need to take option on Frentzen for '97 before end of this month

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by Ciaran 20 Feb 2021, 17:34
Just how many black cat corpses littered the streets of Maranello during the '95/'96 off-season? :?

Manager of Calsonic Team Impul in Formula E, K-Apex in PES & Eurasian F3 and Mitsuoka in Alt-F1 '76.
My career mode thread - 1988: AGS (19pts, 9th) // 1989: Arrows (25pts, 8th, 1 win!)
You'll never DNF if you always DNPQ. #RollSafe
by tBone 20 Feb 2021, 21:31
Regenmeister94 wrote:Just how many black cat corpses littered the streets of Maranello during the '95/'96 off-season? :?

I actually don't think there were any black cat corpses. Those spiteful creatures kept crossing paths... :badoer:

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by tBone 21 Feb 2021, 18:17
1996 British Grand Prix


Damon Hill is the man to beat at the moment; the Briton has the momentum going into his home race. After Benetton's reliability woes, only Hill's teammate, Jacques Villeneuve, seems to be a serious competitor for the championship. Will the Canadian rookie be able to turn the situation around and get the upper hand over Hill again? More drivers and teams will be looking to impress close to home: Herbert wants to bounce back, Irvine wants to snatch another podium, just like Coulthard. Williams, McLaren, Jordan and many others would also love to do well in front of many regional sponsors.


Qualifying

Damon Hill kept his excellent form in qualifying; he secured his sixth consecutive pole position. Just like in France, he was joined on the front row by his compatriot Johnny Herbert, with Jean Alesi just behind him in 3rd. Michael Schumacher showed he can still be very close to the top with a 4th place, while Jacques Villeneuve again somewhat disappointed in qualifying with only a 5th place. Gerhard Berger did surprisingly well to close off the top six. The biggest disappointment of the midfield was probably young Dutchman Nathan van Dijk. The DFC driver only managed a 17th place, well behind his rookie teammate Pedro Diniz.

Results
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Race

Both Ferraris rocketed off their starting positions: Michael Schumacher took the lead and Eddie Irvine jumped from 8th to 4th. Hill and Herbert dropped to 2nd and 3rd as a result, while Alesi and Villeneuve completed the top six. As the field rushed over the Hangar Straight, it was clear that more position changes were coming up. Herbert took a good slipstream behind Hill and outbraked him into Stowe. Alesi followed his teammate's example to take 4th from Irvine. The latter clearly could not really capitalise from his excellent start, because going into lap 2, Villeneuve also found a way past in Copse corner. Meanwhile, Hill's race went in a similar direction as Irvine's, when Alesi got past in Stowe and Villeneuve made it two passes in one lap as he passed his British teammate in Abbey. After all the position changes in the first two laps, Schumacher led the pack. The German was followed by Herbert, Alesi, Villeneuve, Hill and Irvine.

While Hill was able to settle in 5th, Irvine would drop back even further during the first stint. In lap 5, Heinz-Harald Frentzen entered the top six when he overtook Irvine in Copse with a bold move. A bit further ahead, Alesi had closed the gap to his teammate and got past in Stowe. The Frenchman was the fastest driver on track at this stage and started slowly closing the gap to Schumacher. Villeneuve was quick as well and closed the gap to Herbert in the next laps. The Canadian found a way past the Briton in lap 9, when he benefitted from a good slipstream and braked extremely late for Stowe. By that time, Alesi had closed the gap to Schumacher, although the German defended his position well. It took the Frenchman until lap 11 to make a successful move in Stowe to conquer the lead. The top six at that moment: Alesi, Schumacher, Villeneuve, Herbert, Hill and Frentzen.

An explanation for Alesi's and Villeneuve's superior pace came in lap 16, when both drivers were the first ones to make a pit stop for fuel. Herbert had already had to retire from the race at that moment due to a suspension failure. Coulthard, who was 6th after Herbert's retirement, was the next one to stop in lap 17, followed by Frentzen a lap later. The German came back on track in 6th position, but Mika Hakkinen was right on his tail and passed him into Stowe. Frentzen would stay in the top 6, however, because Alesi's engine failed just moments later. The Frenchman saw a big chance of a win go up into smoke. Gerhard Berger and Irvine had moved up into 4th and 5th position as a result of all the retirements and pit stops, but problems struck both of them in lap 19. Irvine saw his one stop strategy being compromised because he had to pit early with electrical problems, while Berger's race ended altogether when his engine blew up. The last 2-stoppers to come in for tyres and fuel were Hakkinen in lap 20 and Schumacher in lap 22. After the German's stop, Hill led the race, followed by Schumacher, Villeneuve, Frentzen, Barrichello and Coulthard. Hill and Barrichello still had to make their only pit stop, though.

That moment came for both the Briton and the Brazilian in lap 26, with Hill coming back on track in 3rd and Barrichello all the way down in 11th. As the field seemed to settle into these positions, Hill's championship position suddenly massively improved when Villeneuve pulled over to the side of the track with engine issues. The Canadian was robbed from a certain podium position, with serious chances of more than just that. A new name entered the top six as a result: Nathan van Dijk was on the longest first stint of the field and it had brought him into 6th by this stage. The talented Dutchman drove an impressively solid race, but he dropped back into the lower midfield after his stop in lap 31. Before the second series of stops came up, some on-track action was anticipated as Irvine closed in on Coulthard in the battle for 4th place. Just when the Ulsterman was within a second of the Scot, a curious incident occurred. Both drivers closed in on Simtek's Tom Kristensen to lap him. The Dane moved out of the way nicely for Coulthard, but immediately cut back onto the racing line when the McLaren was past. Irvine could not avoid a touche, although both cars could continue undamaged. It did cost Irvine some time, though, and he had to close the gap once again.

The second round of stops began in lap 39, when Schumacher was the first one to come in. The German came back on track behind Hill, although the gap was small. Frentzen and Hakkinen followed a lap later. Both Coulthard and Irvine stopped in lap 41, when the Ulsterman had closed the gap once again. Ferrari did a remarkably good job, because Irvine's stop was so much faster than Coulthard's that he passed him in the pits. It looked like Ferrari's best weekend of the year by a mile and this excellent stop on a crucial moment was the icing on the cake for the Italians, who were visibly satisfied. After all stops were done, the top six was Hill, Schumacher, Frentzen, Irvine, Coulthard and Hakkinen, who had stayed well in front of Panis and Van Dijk after his second stop.

At the front, Schumacher made good use of his fresher tyres to creep towards Hill again. A tense battle would follow, but the key moment looked to happen in lap 45. Schumacher positioned his Ferrari well on the Hangar Straight and got alongside Hill in the braking zone for Stowe. The German was on the inside and was able to get out of the corner in the lead. He could extend the gap slightly over the next few laps up to 3 seconds, before his tyres also seemed to suffer. His compatriot Frentzen suffered more, though, when his engine failed just 14 laps before the finish. Another strong race would not be rewarded for the German, who could not avoid looking very frustrated with his unreliable car.

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Damon Hill takes a hard fought and controversial home win

The backmarkers would once again play a controversial role in this race in lap 53. This time, it was Hiro Matsushita who had to be lapped by the front runners. Schumacher was severely held up by the Japanese Larrousse DAMS driver, enabling Hill to close the gap to less than a second again. The pressure was back on, as Schumacher clearly could not raise the pace anymore. Hill was right on his gearbox for several laps, but the German once again defended his position fiercely. Hakkinen caused some extra consternation in lap 55 by spinning and having to go through the gravel trap, but the Finn was lucky enough not to lose any places. The leaders had still not settled for the final result, however, and just three laps before the end, Hill pulled a similar move on Schumacher as the latter had done a while before on him to take the lead again. Schumacher did not have an answer to that anymore and had to settle for 2nd behind Hill. Irvine completed a double podium for Ferrari with 3rd place, while Coulthard and Hakkinen once again managed a double points finish for McLaren and Panis took the final point for Ligier.

Results

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Post-Race Quotes

Damon Hill (1st): "I definitely enjoyed this win; it was a hard fought one. It's great to maximize my championship lead and as I said, I really enjoyed the fight with Schumacher. I'm very happy to have been the best one here today."
Michael Schumacher (2nd): "Let me start by giving Ferrari a big compliment. The car is getting better and better and, perhaps more importantly, more reliable. But I really should have won today. I absolutely don't understand what Matsushita was doing, but I know for sure that's what made me lose this race. I could have managed the gap, I'm sure of it."
Eddie Irvine (3rd): "Like Michael, I need to thank the team. That pit stop was amazing and it was just what I needed to pass Coulthard. I'm glad I could reward the guys with a podium finish."
Nathan van Dijk (7th): "7th is of course never a fun place to finish, but we need to look on the bright side. I was able to keep in front of cars that were way lighter on fuel in the first stint, even though I perhaps lost a bit too much time trying to defend my position from them. I ran 6th in the race for a while, the car felt stable and we beat both Jordans at the finish."
Jos Verstappen (retired): "Another race, another difficult weekend to be honest. I know the team has been fully focusing on next year for a while now and it shows on track this year. The fact that I had to retire from a race once again didn't exactly cheer me up too, as you can probably imagine."


Drivers' Championship

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Constructors' Championship

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