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1997 Formula One season

1997 FIA Formula One World Championship season
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Index: Races by country | Races by season


The 1997 Formula One season was the 48th FIA Formula One World Championship season. It commenced on March 9, 1997, and ended on October 26 after seventeen races.

Season summary

The 24 drivers line up for the pre-season photograph, at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix.

The season started in Australia, with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve taking the fourth pole position of his F1 career. The moment was short-lived, however, as Villeneuve was out at the first corner after colliding with Johnny Herbert. McLaren's David Coulthard went on to win the race, the second of his career, with Michael Schumacher finishing second and Mika Häkkinen finishing in third place.

Villeneuve once again took pole position in Brazil, and once again he was off at the first corner. The Canadian recovered from his first corner mistake to take the lead on lap 49 from Gerhard Berger. The Austrian finished second and Olivier Panis continued his impressive form from 1996 with third place.

For the third time in a row, Jacques Villeneuve was again on pole position for Argentina. However, he was spared another first corner collision, and instead it was Michael Schumacher who collided with Rubens Barrichello. With Schumacher out, Eddie Irvine went on to challenge Villeneuve for the lead, and he made several attempts to pass the Canadian's Williams but failed on all his attempts and had to settle for second. Ralf Schumacher, in his first full season, managed to get onto the podium after he finished third.

Villeneuve continued his run of consecutive pole positions in San Marino. Villeneuve's German team-mate, Frentzen, won his first and only, Grand Prix for Williams after he finished just over a second ahead of Michael Schumacher, with Eddie Irvine coming third.

Frentzen managed to end Villeneuve's run of pole positions in Monaco. For the second time in successive seasons, the Monaco Grand Prix was raced under very wet conditions. Michael Schumacher won his first race of the season with his future Ferrari team-mate, Rubens Barrichello finishing in second and earning Stewart's first podium finish; Irvine took the final step on the podium for the second time in a row.

In Spain, Williams continued to dominate the qualifying session, as Villeneuve, for the fifth time this season, took pole and Frentzen made sure Williams occupied both slots on the front row. Villeneuve went on to win the Grand Prix, with fellow French-speaking drivers, Olivier Panis and Jean Alesi, coming second and third respectively.

Williams' run of consecutive pole positions was broken in Canada where Michael Schumacher took pole; Rubens Barrichello's Stewart split the two Williams in third place. Schumacher went on to win the Grand Prix, with ex-Ferrari driver Jean Alesi finishing second and Giancarlo Fisichella coming in third. Schumacher earned his second pole of the season in France; he was accompanied by Frentzen on the front row. The two would stay in their respective positions at the end of the race, with Eddie Irvine in third.

Villeneuve earned his sixth pole of the season in Britain, with team-mate Frentzen partnering him on the front row. Villeneuve went on to win the race with Alesi and young Alexander Wurz coming third to make it an all Renault-powered podium. Michael Schumacher failed to complete the race after he retired with a wheel bearing problem.

Gerhard Berger, who hadn't competed at the previous Grand Prix because of the illness and the death of his father, managed to get pole position with Giancarlo Fisichella completing the front row. Berger went on to win the Grand Prix, which would ultimately be Benetton's final win. Michael Schumacher came second and Mika Häkkinen came third.

The next race, in Hungary, was one of the most memorable races in the 1997 season. Michael Schumacher took pole with Villeneuve partnering him on the front row. Damon Hill, in an Arrows which hadn't qualified as high as ninth before the Hungarian Grand Prix, qualified up in third place. The start of the race saw Hill overtake Villeneuve's Williams and on lap ten, the Brit overtook Schumacher to take the lead. Hill kept the lead for the final rounds of pit stops, but coming into the finale of the race, Hill reported that his Arrows was having problems, and in the end, Jacques Villeneuve took the lead on the final lap of the race and went on to win the race, achieving the milestone 100th Grand Prix victory for Williams.

After two very exciting Grands Prix, fans were hoping that Belgium would prove to be an exciting one as well. Villeneuve took pole position with Alesi's Benetton completing the front row. Villeneuve dropped down to fifth place, while his championship rival, Michael Schumacher, won the race with Fisichella coming second and Frentzen coming third.

Alesi got his first, and only, pole position of the season in Italy with Frentzen coming second. David Coulthard won the race; his second of the season, pole sitter Alesi came second and Frentzen came third.

In Austria, Villeneuve managed to get his seventh pole position of the 1997 season; the Canadian was partnered on the front row by Finnish driver, Mika Häkkinen. Villeneuve went onto win the Grand Prix with Coulthard and Frentzen joining him on the podium in second and third respectively.

The next race was the so-called "Luxembourg Grand Prix", actually staged at the Nürburgring in Germany. Mika Häkkinen, who had qualified second at the previous Grand Prix, managed to earn pole. Villeneuve, Alesi and Frentzen finished on the podium, making it, for the second time in the 1997 season, an all Renault-powered podium.

Japan saw Villeneuve, for the eighth time that season, take pole position. Villeneuve was disqualified from the race, after failing to slow down under yellow flags during qualifying. He raced under appeal, but finished only fifth. Michael Schumacher won the race, while Frentzen came second and Irvine came third. Villeneuve's Williams team dropped his appeal after the race, leaving Schumacher one point ahead of Villeneuve in the Drivers' championship, meaning that the title would be decided at the season finale in Jerez.

Some commentators recalled the 1994 finale, which saw a title deciding collision between Schumacher and Damon Hill. At Jerez, the qualifying session was noteworthy, as three drivers, Villeneuve, Schumacher, and Frentzen, all registered the same fastest qualifying time; Villeneuve was awarded pole position since he had set the time first; this would be the final pole of his F1 career. At the start of the race, Schumacher had a good start, overtaking Villeneuve to take the lead. By lap 48 Villeneuve was catching up to Schumacher and attempted to overtake. Braking later than the German at the Dry Sac corner, Villeneuve had the inside line and was slightly ahead when Schumacher turned into him, his front right wheel connecting with the sidepod of the Williams car. Schumacher retired on the spot and Villeneuve went to take third place and earn four points, enough to take the 1997 title. Schumacher was later punished by the FIA for causing an avoidable accident and was disqualified from the Championship, although his race results (grid position, finishing position, points) still counted towards his official statistics.

Drivers and constructors

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1997 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre No Driver Test driver(s)
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Danka Arrows Yamaha Arrows A18 Yamaha OX11A 3.0 V10 B 1 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Damon Hill 22px-Flag of Germany.png Jörg Müller
2 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Pedro Diniz
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW19 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 G 3 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of France.png Jean-Christophe Boullion
22px-Flag of Colombia.png Juan Pablo Montoya
4 22px-Flag of Germany.png Heinz-Harald Frentzen
3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F310B Ferrari 046/2 3.0 V10 G 5 22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Gianni Morbidelli
6 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Eddie Irvine
3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton B197 Renault RS9 3.0 V10 G 7 22px-Flag of France.png Jean Alesi 22px-Flag of Austria.png Alexander Wurz
8 22px-Flag of Austria.png Gerhard Berger
22px-Flag of Austria.png Alexander Wurz
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4/12 Mercedes FO110E 3.0 V10
Mercedes FO110F 3.0 V10
G 9 22px-Flag of Finland.png Mika Häkkinen n/a
10 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png David Coulthard
22px-Flag of Ireland.png B&H Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan 197 Peugeot A14 3.0 V10 G 11 22px-Flag of Germany.png Ralf Schumacher n/a
12 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Giancarlo Fisichella
22px-Flag of France.png Prost Gauloises Blondes Prost JS45 Mugen-Honda MF-301HB 3.0 V10 B 14 22px-Flag of France.png Olivier Panis 22px-Flag of France.png Emmanuel Collard
3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Jarno Trulli
15 22px-Flag of Japan.png Shinji Nakano
20px-Flag of Switzerland.png Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C16 Petronas SPE-01 3.0 V10 G 16 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Johnny Herbert 22px-Flag of Argentina.png Norberto Fontana
17 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Nicola Larini
3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Gianni Morbidelli
22px-Flag of Argentina.png Norberto Fontana
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Tyrrell Tyrrell 025 Ford ED4 3.0 V8
Ford ED5 3.0 V8
G 18 22px-Flag of the Netherlands.png Jos Verstappen n/a
19 22px-Flag of Finland.png Mika Salo
3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Minardi Team Minardi M197 Hart 830 AV7 3.0 V8 B 20 22px-Flag of Japan.png Ukyo Katayama 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Tarso Marques
21 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Jarno Trulli
22px-Flag of Brazil.png Tarso Marques
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Stewart Ford Stewart SF01 Ford VJ Zetec-R 3.0 V10 B 22 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Rubens Barrichello n/a
23 22px-Flag of Denmark.png Jan Magnussen
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png MasterCard Lola F1 Team Lola T97/30 Ford ECA Zetec-R 3.0 V8 B 24 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Ricardo Rosset n/a
25 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Vincenzo Sospiri

Team Changes

Three new teams came into Formula One in 1997: Prost, who replaced Ligier; Stewart and Lola, the latter of which only entered the 1997 Australian Grand Prix after the team's dismal performance in the Grand Prix which saw a lack of sponsorship for the next Grand Prix in Brazil. Footwork changed their name to "Arrows" and switched from the Hart engines used the previous year to Yamaha engines. Tyrrell changed their engines as well, swapping the Yamaha engines in preference to the Ford engines. Jordan-Peugeot signed up highly-rated British engineer, Dr. John Davis. He helped the team with its new windtunnel facility at Brackley, the tunnel itself was funded by Ferrari inexchange for Eddie Irvine who moved to Ferrari the previous year.

Driver Changes

Notable changes
Keep

Season review

Grands Prix

Rnd Race Date Location Winning Driver Constructor Report
1 22px-Flag of Australia.png Australian Grand Prix March 9 Melbourne 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png David Coulthard 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png McLaren-Mercedes Report
2 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Brazilian Grand Prix March 30 Interlagos 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
3 22px-Flag of Argentina.png Argentine Grand Prix April 13 Oscar Gálvez 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
4 22px-Flag of San Marino.png San Marino Grand Prix April 27 Imola 22px-Flag of Germany.png Heinz-Harald Frentzen 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
5 22px-Flag of Monaco.png Monaco Grand Prix May 11 Monaco 22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Ferrari Report
6 22px-Flag of Spain.png Spanish Grand Prix May 25 Catalunya 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
7 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Canadian Grand Prix June 15 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Ferrari Report
8 22px-Flag of France.png French Grand Prix June 29 Magny-Cours 22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Ferrari Report
9 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png British Grand Prix July 13 Silverstone 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
10 22px-Flag of Germany.png German Grand Prix July 27 Hockenheimring 22px-Flag of Austria.png Gerhard Berger 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Benetton-Renault Report
11 22px-Flag of Hungary.png Hungarian Grand Prix August 10 Hungaroring 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
12 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil).png Belgian Grand Prix August 24 Spa-Francorchamps 22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Ferrari Report
13 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Italian Grand Prix September 7 Monza 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png David Coulthard 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png McLaren-Mercedes Report
14 22px-Flag of Austria.png Austrian Grand Prix September 21 A1-Ring 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
15 22px-Flag of Luxembourg.png Luxembourg Grand Prix September 28 Nürburgring 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Jacques Villeneuve 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Williams-Renault Report
16 22px-Flag of Japan.png Japanese Grand Prix October 12 Suzuka 22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Ferrari Report
17 22px-Flag of Europe.png European Grand Prix October 26 Jerez 22px-Flag of Finland.png Mika Häkkinen 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png McLaren-Mercedes Report

1997 Constructors Championship final standings

Pos Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Points Wins Podiums Poles
1 Williams-Renault FW19 Renault G 123 8 15 11
2 Ferrari F310B Ferrari G 102 5 13 3
3 Benetton-Renault B197 Renault G 67 1 8 2
4 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-12 Mercedes G 63 3 7 1
5 Jordan-Peugeot 197 Peugeot G 33 3
6 Prost-Mugen-Honda JS45 Mugen-Honda B 21 2
7 Sauber-Petronas C16 Petronas G 16 1
8 Arrows-Yamaha A18 Yamaha B 9 1
9 Stewart-Ford SF01 Ford Zetec-R B 6 1
10 Tyrrell-Ford 025 Ford G 2
11 Minardi-Hart M197 Hart/Ford B
12 MasterCard Lola-Ford T97/30 Ford EC4 B

All engines are V10 apart from Minardi's and Tyrrell's V8 engines.

1997 Drivers Championship final standings

Pos Driver AUS 22px-Flag of Australia.png BRA 22px-Flag of Brazil.png ARG 22px-Flag of Argentina.png SMR 22px-Flag of San Marino.png MON 22px-Flag of Monaco.png ESP 22px-Flag of Spain.png CAN 22px-Flag of the Canada.png FRA 22px-Flag of France.png GBR 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png GER 22px-Flag of Germany.png HUN 22px-Flag of Hungary.png BEL 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil).png ITA 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif AUT 22px-Flag of Austria.png LUX 22px-Flag of Luxembourg.png JPN 22px-Flag of Japan.png EUR 22px-Flag of Europe.png Points
1 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Villeneuve Ret 1 1 Ret Ret 1 Ret 4 1 Ret 1 5 5 1 1 DSQ 3 81
DSQ 22px-Flag of Germany.png M.Schumacher 2 5 Ret 2 1 4 1 1 Ret 2 4 1 6 6 Ret 1 Ret 78
2 22px-Flag of Germany.png Frentzen 8 9 Ret 1 Ret 8 4 2 Ret Ret Ret 3 3 3 3 2 6 42
3 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Coulthard 1 10 Ret Ret Ret 6 7 7 4 Ret Ret Ret 1 2 Ret 10 2 36
4 22px-Flag of France.png Alesi Ret 6 7 5 Ret 3 2 5 2 6 11 8 2 Ret 2 5 13 36
5 22px-Flag of Austria.png Berger 4 2 6 Ret 9 10 1 8 6 7 10 4 8 4 27
6 22px-Flag of Finland.png Häkkinen 3 4 5 6 Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret DSQ 9 Ret Ret 4 1 27
7 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Irvine Ret 16 2 3 3 12 Ret 3 Ret Ret 9 10 8 Ret Ret 3 5 24
8 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Fisichella Ret 8 Ret 4 6 9 3 9 7 11 Ret 2 4 4 Ret 7 11 20
9 22px-Flag of France.png Panis 5 3 Ret 8 4 2 11 6 Ret 7 16
10 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Herbert Ret 7 4 Ret Ret 5 5 8 Ret Ret 3 4 Ret 8 7 6 8 15
11 22px-Flag of Germany.png R.Schumacher Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 5 5 5 Ret Ret 5 Ret 9 Ret 13
12 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Hill DNS 17 Ret Ret Ret Ret 9 12 6 8 2 13 Ret 7 8 11 Ret 7
13 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Barrichello Ret Ret Ret Ret 2 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 14 Ret Ret Ret 6
14 22px-Flag of Austria.png Wurz Ret Ret 3 4
15 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Trulli 9 12 9 Ret Ret 15 Ret 10 8 4 7 15 10 Ret 3
16 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Diniz 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret 13 5 12 Ret 2
17 22px-Flag of Finland.png Salo Ret 13 8 9 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 11 Ret Ret 10 Ret 12 2
18 22px-Flag of Japan.png Nakano 7 14 Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 11 7 6 Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret 10 2
19 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Larini 6 11 Ret 7 Ret 1
20 22px-Flag of Denmark.png Magnussen Ret Ret 10 Ret 7 13 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret 9 0
21 22px-Flag of the Netherlands.png Verstappen Ret 15 Ret 10 8 11 Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret 13 16 0
22 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Morbidelli 14 10 Ret 9 12 9 9 Ret 0
23 22px-Flag of Argentina.png Fontana Ret 9 9 14 0
24 22px-Flag of Japan.png Katayama Ret 18 Ret 11 10 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret 10 14 Ret 11 Ret Ret 17 0
25 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Marques Ret 10 Ret 12 Ret 14 EXC Ret Ret 15 0
3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Sospiri DNQ DNP 0
22px-Flag of Brazil.png Rosset DNQ DNP 0
Pos Driver AUS 22px-Flag of Australia.png BRA 22px-Flag of Brazil.png ARG 22px-Flag of Argentina.png SMR 22px-Flag of San Marino.png MON 22px-Flag of Monaco.png ESP 22px-Flag of Spain.png CAN 22px-Flag of the Canada.png FRA 22px-Flag of France.png GBR 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png GER 22px-Flag of Germany.png HUN 22px-Flag of Hungary.png BEL 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil).png ITA 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif AUT 22px-Flag of Austria.png LUX 22px-Flag of Luxembourg.png JPN 22px-Flag of Japan.png EUR 22px-Flag of Europe.png Points
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Finished, in points
Blue Finished, no points
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Blank Did not participate
Blank Injured (INJ)
Blank Excluded (EX)
  • Michael Schumacher was disqualified due to dangerous driving in the European GP, where he caused an avoidable collision with Villeneuve. Thus, he was excluded from the championship standings


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