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The LIV Grand Prix de Belgique, otherwise known as the 1996 Belgian Grand Prix, was the thirteenth round of the 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps near Spa, Belgium, on the 25 August 1996.[1] The race would see Michael Schumacher secure victory, as newly crowned Champions Williams-Renault made a mess of both their drivers' races.[1]

Schumacher's hopes of victory had looked fairly bleak before the race, with a heavy crash on Friday seeing him destroy his preferred race car.[1] He would, however, bounce back to claim third on the grid during qualifying, as Jacques Villeneuve beat Damon Hill to pole position in the familiar Williams duel for pole in a rain affected session.[1]

The start would see Hill continue his run of poor starts, allowing Schumacher to charge into second and Villeneuve run unopposed into La Source to secure the lead.[1] David Coulthard would threaten the Champion elect into the hairpin, before drafting past on the run to Les Combes.[1]

Out front, meanwhile, the familiar sight of a Williams blasting clear in the early stages simply did not happen, with Schumacher able to keep pace with the Canadian racer.[1] Indeed, by lap eight it seemed as if Schumacher was winning the psychological battle if not the physical one, with a huge lock-up for Villeneuve into the Bus Stop damaging the Canadian tyres.[1]

From that moment on Villeneuve picked up a worsening vibration, with his flat-spotted tyres also increasingly prone to locking up on the brakes.[1] Indeed, the Canadian was fast running out of options, with Schumacher remaining glued to his tail as the first stops approached.[1]

Villeneuve's chance looked to have come on lap twelve, for a heavy accident for Jos Verstappen resulted in the safety car being called.[1] Williams immediately radioed Villeneuve to drag him into the pits, although a poor signal saw Villeneuve miss the message and charge past the pitlane.[1]

Williams then hastily called Hill in, although with the pit-equipment setup to receive Villeneuve the Brit was quickly told to stay out.[1] Unfortunately Hill was making his way through the pit-entry as that message was relayed, meaning he slipped behind Mika Häkkinen and Gerhard Berger as he weaved back onto the circuit.[1]

Schumacher, meanwhile, had been planning to stop on lap twelve anyway, and so the safety car had worked beautifully for his strategy.[1] Jean Alesi and Mika Salo also managed to get in on the first of four safety car laps, with Villeneuve and Hill slipping to fifth and thirteenth respectively in the confusion.[1]

The two non-stopping McLaren-Mercedes had shuffled to the head of the pack when the race resumed, with Schumacher unable to get past either driver as Villeneuve dealt with Alesi.[1] Hill, meanwhile, would pick-up a handful of places on the first green flag lap, before the field began to stretch out.[1]

Schumacher and Villeneuve found themselves stuck behind the two McLarens, with a brief handling issue for Schumacher almost prompting the German ace to give up on safety grounds.[1] However, once the two McLaren's made their sole pitstops his handling improved, resulting in Schumacher and Villeneuve blasting away from Alesi in third.[1]

The second round of stops saw Villeneuve complete an extra lap compared to Schumacher, although a mistake on his in-lap ensured that the Ferrari remained ahead.[1] Alesi, meanwhile, would slip behind Häkkinen int he swap, while Hill used his second set of tyres to battle his way up into the top six, fighting with Coulthard and Berger before the Scot spun off.[1]

Once Hill vaulted past a spinning Berger the race was effectively over, with Schumacher able to keep Villeneuve at arm's length to secure his second win for Ferrari.[1] The Canadian racer was an unhappy second ahead of Häkkinen, while Hill ran out of time to catch Alesi and so had to settle for fifth.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Victory for Jacques Villeneuve ensured that the battle for Championship was still an active one with four rounds to go, the Canadian racer leaving Hungary seventeen behind his teammate. Indeed, Damon Hill would all but win the Championship in Belgium if he won with Villeneuve failing to score, with the Canadian now officially the only man who could deny him a maiden title. Behind Jean Alesi had inched away from Michael Schumacher in third, while Mika Häkkinen moved into the top five.

The fight for the Constructors Championship, meanwhile, was officially over, with Williams-Renault leaving Budapest with a 90 point lead over Benetton-Renault. With only 64 points left to fight for it was therefore impossible for the Italian registered team to get back on terms, meaning Williams had their fourth title in five seasons. Benetton were therefore in a fight to finish second, having inched further away from Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1996 Belgian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F310 Ferrari 046 3.0 V10 G
2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F310 Ferrari 046 3.0 V10 G
3 France Jean Alesi Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton B196 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 G
4 Austria Gerhard Berger Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton B196 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 G
5 United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW18 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 G
6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW18 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 G
7 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4/11B Mercedes FO 110D 3.0 V10 G
8 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4/11B Mercedes FO 110D 3.0 V10 G
9 France Olivier Panis France Equipe Ligier Gauloises Blondes Ligier JS43 Mugen-Honda MF301HA 3.0 V10 G
10 Brazil Pedro Diniz France Equipe Ligier Gauloises Blondes Ligier JS43 Mugen-Honda MF301HA 3.0 V10 G
11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ireland B&H Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan 196 Peugeot A12 3.0 V10 G
12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Ireland B&H Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan 196 Peugeot A12 3.0 V10 G
14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Ford Sauber C15 Ford Cosworth JD Zetec-R 3.0 V8 G
15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Ford Sauber C15 Ford Cosworth JD Zetec-R 3.0 V8 G
16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Footwork Hart Footwork FA17 Hart 830 3.0 V8 G
17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom Footwork Hart Footwork FA17 Hart 830 3.0 V8 G
18 Japan Ukyo Katayama United Kingdom Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 024 Yamaha OX11A 3.0 V10 G
19 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell 024 Yamaha OX11A 3.0 V10 G
20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Italy Minardi F1 Team Minardi M195B Ford Cosworth EDM 3.0 V8 G
21 Italy Giovanni Lavaggi Italy Minardi F1 Team Minardi M195B Ford Cosworth EDM 3.0 V8 G
Source:[2]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

ReportEdit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1996 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap Ave. Speed
1 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault 1:50.574 226.860 km/h
2 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault 1:50.980 +0.406s 226.030 km/h
3 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:51.778 +1.204s 224.416 km/h
4 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:51.884 +1.310s 224.204 km/h
5 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Italy Benetton-Renault 1:51.960 +1.386s 224.051 km/h
6 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:52.318 +1.744s 223.337 km/h
7 3 France Jean Alesi Italy Benetton-Renault 1:52.354 +1.780s 223.266 km/h
8 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 1:52.977 +2.403s 222.035 km/h
9 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 1:53.043 +2.469s 221.905 km/h
10 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 1:53.152 +2.578s 221.691 km/h
11 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Switzerland Sauber-Ford Cosworth 1:53.199 +2.625s 221.599 km/h
12 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Ford Cosworth 1:53.993 +3.419s 220.056 km/h
13 19 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:54.095 +3.521s 219.859 km/h
14 9 France Olivier Panis France Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:54.220 +3.646s 219.618 km/h
15 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz France Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:54.700 +4.126s 218.699 km/h
16 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom Footwork-Hart 1:55.150 +4.576s 217.845 km/h
17 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama United Kingdom Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:55.371 +4.797s 217.427 km/h
18 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Footwork-Hart 1:56.286 +5.712s 215.716 km/h
19 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 1:56.830 +6.256s 214.712 km/h
107% Time: 1:58.314[3]
NC 21 Italy Giovanni Lavaggi Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 1:58.579 +8.005s 211.545 km/h
Source:[4][3]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Jacques Villeneuve
Damon Hill ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Michael Schumacher
David Coulthard ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Gerhard Berger
Mika Häkkinen ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Jean Alesi
Martin Brundle ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Eddie Irvine
Rubens Barrichello ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Johnny Herbert ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Mika Salo
Olivier Panis ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Pedro Diniz
Jos Verstappen ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Ukyo Katayama
Ricardo Rosset ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Pedro Lamy
______________

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1996 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 44 1:28:15.125 3 10
2 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault 44 +5.602s 1 6
3 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 44 +15.710s 6 4
4 3 France Jean Alesi Italy Benetton-Renault 44 +19.125s 7 3
5 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault 44 +29.179s 2 2
6 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Italy Benetton-Renault 44 +29.896s 5 1
7 19 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Tyrrell-Yamaha 44 +1:00.754 13
8 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama United Kingdom Tyrrell-Yamaha 44 +1:40.227 17
9 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Footwork-Hart 43 +1 Lap 18
10 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 43 +1 Lap 19
Ret 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 37 Spin 4
Ret 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 34 Engine 8
Ret 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 29 Gearbox 9
Ret 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 29 Suspension 10
Ret 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz France Ligier-Mugen-Honda 22 Electrical 15
Ret 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom Footwork-Hart 11 Accident 16
Ret 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Switzerland Sauber-Ford Cosworth 0 Collision 11
Ret 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Ford Cosworth 0 Collision 12
Ret 9 France Olivier Panis France Ligier-Mugen-Honda 0 Collision 14
DNQ 21 Italy Giovanni Lavaggi Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth
Source:[5]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Damon Hill had seen his Championship lead cut to thirteen points after his pit issues, although teammate Jacques Villeneuve believed he should have taken more out of the Brit's lead. Indeed, Villeneuve was genuinely expecting to challenge for the title in his maiden F1 season, although he knew he would have to take more than four points a race out of Hill's advantage. Behind Michael Schumacher had moved back into third, a point ahead of Jean Alesi, with Mika Häkkinen completing the top five.

In the Constructors Championship Williams-Renault had ended the weekend on 149 points, moving them 94 points clear of second placed Benetton-Renault. Indeed, the now Italian registered team had also lost ground to Ferrari in third, with just seven point separating the two with three rounds to go. McLaren-Mercedes were seven further back in fourth, meaning they were still in the hunt, while Jordan-Peugeot were a distant fifth.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 United Kingdom Damon Hill 81
2 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 68
3 Germany Michael Schumacher 39 ▲1
4 France Jean Alesi 38 ▼1
5 Finland Mika Häkkinen 23
6 United Kingdom David Coulthard 18
7 Austria Gerhard Berger 17
8 France Olivier Panis 13
9 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 12
10 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 9
11 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 6
12 Finland Mika Salo 5
13 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 4
14 United Kingdom Martin Brundle 3
15 Brazil Pedro Diniz 1
16 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 United Kingdom Williams-Renault 149
2 Italy Benetton-Renault 55
3 Italy Ferrari 48
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 41
5 Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 15
6 France Ligier-Mugen-Honda 14
7 Switzerland Sauber-Ford Cosworth 10
8 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Yamaha 5
9 United Kingdom Footwork-Hart 1

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 'Belgian GP, 1996', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr594.html, (Accessed 16/08/2019)
  2. 'Belgium 1996: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1996/belgique/engages.aspx, (Accessed 16/08/2019)
  3. 3.0 3.1 'Belgium 1996: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1996/belgique/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 16/08/2019)
  4. 'Belgian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1996/races/650/belgium/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 16/08/2019)
  5. 'Belgium 1996: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1996/belgique/classement.aspx, (Accessed 16/08/2019)
  6. '1996 Belgian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1996&gp=Belgian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 16/08/2019)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 '13. Belgium 1996', statsf1.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1996/belgique.aspx, (Accessed 16/08/2019)
V T E Belgium Belgian Grand Prix
Circuits Spa-Francorchamps (1950 - 1970, 1983, 1985 - Present), Nivelles (1972, 1974), Zolder (1973, 1975 - 1982, 1984)
Track map of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium
Races 1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019
Pre-1950 races 1925 • 1930 • 1931 • 1933 • 1934 • 1935 • 1937 • 1939 • 1946 • 1947 • 1949
V T E 1996 Formula One Season
Teams Ferrari • Benetton • Williams • McLaren • Ligier • Jordan • Sauber • Footwork • Tyrrell • Minardi • Forti
Engines Ferrari • Ford • Hart • Mercedes • Mugen-Honda • Peugeot • Renault • Yamaha
Drivers M. Schumacher • 2 Irvine • 3 Alesi • 4 Berger • 5 Hill • 6 Villeneuve • 7 Häkkinen • 8 Coulthard • 9 Panis • 10 Diniz • 11 Barrichello • 12 Brundle • 14 Herbert • 15 Frentzen • 16 Rosset • 17 Verstappen • 18 Katayama • 19 Salo • 20 Lamy • 21 Fisichella • 21 Marques • 21 Lavaggi • 22 Badoer • 23 Montermini
Other Drivers Magnussen • Mansell • McNish • Prost • R. Schumacher • Tuero
Cars Ferrari F310 • Benetton B196 • Williams FW18 • McLaren MP4/11 • Ligier JS43 • Jordan 196 • Sauber C15 • Footwork FA17 • Tyrrell 024 • Minardi 195B • Forti FG01B • Forti FG03
Tyres Goodyear
Races Australia • Brazil • Argentina • Europe • San Marino • Monaco • Spain • Canada • France • Britain • Germany • Hungary • Belgium • Italy • Portugal • Japan
See also 1995 Formula One Season • 1997 Formula One Season • Category
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