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The 1997 French Grand Prix, otherwise known as the LXXXIII Grand Prix de France, was the eighth round of the 1997 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in Magny-Cours, France, on the 29 June 1997.[1] The race would see Michael Schumacher sweep to a dominant victory, his third of the season, to extend his Championship lead over pre-season favourite Jacques Villeneuve.[1]

The weekend began with Schumacher sweeping to pole position, the Ferrari ace proving more than a match for the two Williams-Renaults which had dominated qualifying to that point.[1] The German racer duly claimed pole by two tenths from compatriot Heinz-Harald Frentzen, while Ralf Schumacher was a surprisingly strong third for Jordan-Peugeot.[1]

Raceday dawned with intermittent showers, although after a wet warm-up the circuit was completely dry in time for the start.[1] Schumacher duly aced his launch to claim an early lead, while Frentzen finally made a good start of his own to hold off the Jordan equipped Schumacher into the first corner.[1]

Elsewhere, the two McLaren-Mercedes catapulted themselves up the order, Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard ending up behind Ralf Schumacher, while Jarno Trulli made a mess of his start.[1] The Italian racer would kick-up a fair cloud of tyre smoke as he tried to launch away, with the resulting compression into the first corner, caused by the slower than average Prost-Mugen-Honda, resulting in Damon Hill getting shoved off the circuit with a broken nose.[1]

Yet, the order would quickly settle, with Michael Schumacher quickly building a lead over Frentzen.[1] Behind Ralf Schumacher would keep the two McLarens at bay, aided by the early demise of Häkkinen, with the top eight remaining unchanged barring the Finn's early exit.[1]

Indeed, the order hardly changed during either of the two scheduled stops, with Frentzen denying Schumacher a potential Grand Chelem by leading for a couple of laps.[1] After the completion of their stops the Williams was still ten seconds down on the Ferrari, although the skies around Magny-Cours had got noticeably darker.[1]

The clouds duly broke with nine laps to go, a quick but constant drizzle ensuring that the circuit quickly became greasy, but not significantly wet.[1] Several drivers would sweep into the pits for intermediates, the highest placed being Coulthard in fifth, although the top four, comprising of Schumacher, Frentzen, Eddie Irvine and Villeneuve, all stayed out.[1]

Irvine and Villeneuve would come in for inters later, with a slow stop for Villeneuve resulting in him slipping behind Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher.[1] Out front, meanwhile, Michael Schumacher and Frentzen would slither on with slicks, both having missed the chance to stop without slipping down the order.[1]

On the penultimate lap there would be some drastic changes in the fight for fourth, with Villeneuve sweeping past Ralf Schumacher, while Coulthard made a mistake and slipped behind the pair of them.[1] The Scot duly rejoined ahead of Jean Alesi, although they were both to be promoted when Schumacher spun and dropped behind them to seventh.[1]

Onto the final lap and Michael Schumacher lapped his brother Ralf towards the end of the lap, although ultimately eased off at the end of the lap to allow the Jordan to streak back onto the lead lap.[1] That proved to be vital for Ralf's race, for an aggressive move by Alesi on the final lap saw the Frenchman put Coulthard into the gravel when defending fifth, leaving the Scot stranded.[1]

Out front, meanwhile, Michael Schumacher would cruise across the line over twenty seconds clear of Frentzen, while Irvine had enough in hand over Villeneuve to complete the podium.[1] Alesi would finish a controversial fifth ahead of Ralf Schumacher, with Coulthard ultimately ending the day in seventh and hugely frustrated.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Michael Schumacher moved back to the top of the Championship with his second win of the season, establishing a seven point lead. Jacques Villeneuve had made way for him, a disappointing end to his home race, with an now injured Olivier Panis in third. Behind him sat Eddie Irvine ahead of Heinz-Harald Frentzen, with Jean Alesi level with the German in sixth.

In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had managed to build up their lead, leaving Canada with an eight point advantage. Williams-Renault were still their closest challengers, sat on 43 points, with a twenty point gap back to the similarly engined Benetton-Renault effort. Benetton themselves had moved into third as a result of the Canadian weekend, moving ahead of McLaren-Mercedes, with Prost-Mugen-Honda completing the top five.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1997 French Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Danka Arrows Yamaha Arrows A18 Yamaha OX11A 3.0 V10 B
2 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Danka Arrows Yamaha Arrows A18 Yamaha OX11A 3.0 V10 B
3 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW19 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 G
4 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW19 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 G
5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F310B Ferrari 046/2 3.0 V10 G
6 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F310B Ferrari 046/2 3.0 V10 G
7 France Jean Alesi Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton B197 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 G
8 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton B197 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 G
9 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4/12 Mercedes FO 110E 3.0 V10 G
10 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4/12 Mercedes FO 110E 3.0 V10 G
11 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland B&H Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan 197 Peugeot A14 3.0 V10 G
12 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ireland B&H Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan 197 Peugeot A14 3.0 V10 G
14 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost Gauloises Blondes Prost JS45 Mugen-Honda MF-301HB 3.0 V10 B
15 Japan Shinji Nakano France Prost Gauloises Blondes Prost JS45 Mugen-Honda MF-301HB 3.0 V10 B
16 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C16 Petronas SPE-01 3.0 V10 G
17 Argentina Norberto Fontana Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C16 Petronas SPE-01 3.0 V10 G
18 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom PIAA Tyrrell Tyrrell 025 Ford Cosworth ED4 3.0 V10 G
19 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom PIAA Tyrrell Tyrrell 025 Ford Cosworth ED4 3.0 V10 G
20 Japan Ukyo Katayama Italy Minardi Team Minardi M197 Hart 830 AV7 3.0 V10 B
21 Brazil Tarso Marques Italy Minardi Team Minardi M197 Hart 830 AV7 3.0 V10 B
22 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom HSBC Malaysia Stewart Ford Stewart SF01 Ford Cosworth VJ Zetec-R 3.0 V10 B
23 Denmark Jan Magnussen United Kingdom HSBC Malaysia Stewart Ford Stewart SF01 Ford Cosworth VJ Zetec-R 3.0 V10 B
Source:[2]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

ReportEdit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1997 French Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap Ave. Speed
1 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:14.548 205.237 km/h
2 4 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Renault 1:14.749 +0.201s 204.685 km/h
3 11 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 1:14.755 +0.207s 204.669 km/h
4 3 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault 1:14.800 +0.252s 204.545 km/h
5 6 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 1:14.860 +0.312s 204.382 km/h
6 14 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:14.957 +0.409s 204.117 km/h
7 8 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Renault 1:14.986 +0.438s 204.038 km/h
8 7 France Jean Alesi Italy Benetton-Renault 1:15.228 +0.680s 203.382 km/h
9 10 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.270 +0.722s 203.268 km/h
10 9 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.339 +0.791s 203.082 km/h
11 12 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 1:15.453 +0.905s 202.775 km/h
12 15 Japan Shinji Nakano France Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:15.857 +1.309s 201.695 km/h
13 22 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford Cosworth 1:15.876 +1.328s 201.645 km/h
14 16 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:16.018 +1.470s 201.268 km/h
15 23 Denmark Jan Magnussen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford Cosworth 1:16.149 +1.601s 200.922 km/h
16 2 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows-Yamaha 1:16.536 +1.988s 199.906 km/h
17 1 United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Arrows-Yamaha 1:16.729 +2.181s 199.403 km/h
18 18 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:16.941 +2.393s 198.854 km/h
19 19 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:17.256 +2.708s 198.043 km/h
20 17 Argentina Norberto Fontana Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:17.538 +2.990s 197.323 km/h
21 20 Japan Ukyo Katayama Italy Minardi-Hart 1:17.563 +3.015s 197.259 km/h
22 21 Brazil Tarso Marques Italy Minardi-Hart 1:18.280 +3.732s 195.452 km/h
107% Time: 1:19.766[3]
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 Michael Schumacher
Heinz-Harald Frentzen ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Ralf Schumacher
Jacques Villeneuve ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Eddie Irvine
Jarno Trulli ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Alexander Wurz
Jean Alesi ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 David Coulthard
Mika Häkkinen ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Giancarlo Fisichella
Shinji Nakano ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Rubens Barrichello
Johnny Herbert ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Jan Magnussen
Pedro Diniz ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Damon Hill
Jos Verstappen ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Mika Salo
Norberto Fontana ______________
Row 11 ______________ 21
22 Ukyo Katayama
Tarso Marques ______________

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1997 French Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 72 1:38:50.492 1 10
2 4 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Renault 72 +23.537s 2 6
3 6 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 72 +1:14.801 5 4
4 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault 72 +1:21.784 4 3
5 7 France Jean Alesi Italy Benetton-Renault 72 +1:22.735 8 2
6 11 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 72 +1:29.871 3 1
7* 10 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 71 Collision 9
8 16 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 71 +1 Lap 14
9 12 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 71 +1 Lap 11
10 14 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Mugen-Honda 70 +2 Laps 6
11 20 Japan Ukyo Katayama Italy Minardi-Hart 70 +2 Laps 21
12 1 United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Arrows-Yamaha 69 +3 Laps 17
Ret 19 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 61 Electrical 19
Ret 8 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Renault 60 Spin 7
Ret 2 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows-Yamaha 58 Spin 16
Ret 17 Argentina Norberto Fontana Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 40 Spin 20
Ret 22 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford Cosworth 36 Engine 13
Ret 23 Denmark Jan Magnussen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford Cosworth 33 Brakes 15
Ret 9 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 18 Engine 10
Ret 18 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 15 Spin 18
Ret 15 Japan Shinji Nakano France Prost-Mugen-Honda 7 Spin 12
Ret 21 Brazil Tarso Marques Italy Minardi-Hart 5 Engine 22
Source:[5]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Michael Schumacher moved fourteen points clear atop the Championship after his third win of the campaign, leaving France with 47 points to his name. Jacques Villeneuve remained his closest challenger, ending the day on 33 points, with both drivers having scored three wins. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, meanwhile, had climbed to third ahead of Eddie Irvine, while Olivier Panis slipped to fifth.

In the Constructors Championship it was a positive day for Ferrari, who moved thirteen points clear at the head of the hunt. Williams-Renault were their biggest threat, widely believed to have a superior car but poorer luck, with those two the favourites for the title heading into the second half of the season. Behind, Benetton-Renault had lost ground in third ahead of McLaren-Mercedes, with Prost-Mugen-Honda hanging onto their top-five status.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 Germany Michael Schumacher 47
2 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 33
3 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 19 ▲2
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 18
5 France Olivier Panis 15 ▼2
6 France Jean Alesi 15
7 United Kingdom David Coulthard 11
8 Austria Gerhard Berger 10
9 Finland Mika Häkkinen 10
10 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 8
11 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 7
12 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 6
13 Germany Ralf Schumacher 5
14 Finland Mika Salo 2
15 Italy Nicola Larini 1
16 Japan Shinji Nakano 1
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 65
2 United Kingdom Williams-Renault 52
3 Italy Benetton-Renault 25
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 21
5 France Prost-Mugen-Honda 16
6 Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 13
7 Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 8
8 United Kingdom Stewart-Ford Cosworth 6
9 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 2

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 'French GP, 1997', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr605.html, (Accessed 21/08/2019)
  2. 'France 1997: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1997/france/engages.aspx, (Accessed 21/08/2019)
  3. 3.0 3.1 'France 1997: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1997/france/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 21/08/2019)
  4. 'Grand Prix de France 1997 - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1997/races/661/france/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 21/08/2019)
  5. 'France 1997: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1997/france/classement.aspx, (Accessed 21/08/2019)
  6. '1997 French GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1997&gp=French%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 21/08/2019)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 '8. France 1997', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1997/france.aspx, (Accessed 21/08/2019)
V T E France French Grand Prix
Circuits Reims (1950–1951, 1953–1954, 1956, 1958–1961, 1963, 1966)
Rouen-Les-Essarts (1952, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1968)
Charade Circuit (1965, 1969–1970, 1972)
Bugatti Circuit (1967)
Circuit Paul Ricard (1971, 1973, 1975–1976, 1978, 1980, 1982–1983, 1985–1990, 2018-present)
Dijon-Prenois (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984)
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991–2008)
PR Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 12.15.31 AM
F1 Races 195019511952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964196519661967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009-201720182019
European Championship Races 1931193219381939
Non-Championship Races 190619071908191219131914192119221923192419251926192719281929193019331934193519361937194719481949
V T E 1997 Formula One Season
Teams Arrows • Williams • Ferrari • Benetton • McLaren • Jordan • Prost • Sauber • Tyrrell • Minardi • Stewart • Lola
Engines Ferrari • Ford • Hart • Mercedes • Mugen-Honda • Petronas • Peugeot • Renault • Yamaha
Drivers Hill • 2 Diniz • 3 Villeneuve • 4 Frentzen • 5 M. Schumacher • 6 Irvine • 7 Alesi • 8 Berger • 8 Wurz • 9 Häkkinen • 10 Coulthard • 11 R. Schumacher • 12 Fisichella • 14 Panis • 14 Trulli • 15 Nakano • 16 Herbert • 17 Larini • 17 Morbidelli • 17 Fontana • 18 Verstappen • 19 Salo • 20 Katayama • 21 Trulli • 21 Marques • 22 Barrichello • 23 Magnussen • 24 Sospiri • 25 Rosset
Other Drivers Badoer • Brundle • Montermini • Montoya • Takagi • Tuero
Cars Williams FW19 • Ferrari F310B • Benetton B197 • McLaren MP4/12 • Jordan 197 • Prost JS45 • Sauber C16 • Arrows A18 • Stewart SF01 • Tyrrell 025 • Minardi M197 • Lola T97/30
Tyres Goodyear • Bridgestone
Races Australia • Brazil • Argentina • San Marino • Monaco • Spain • Canada • France • Britain • Germany • Hungary • Belgium • Italy • Austria • Luxembourg • Japan • Europe
See also 1996 Formula One Season • 1998 Formula One Season • Category
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