Spanish Grand Prix

Analysis :
Seven races into the season, on an uncharacteristically soggy Cataluna Sunday, Jean Todt and Ferrari finally got what they'd paid for as Micheal Schumacher put on a car control masterclass and totally dominated the field on his way to his first win since leaving Benetton.
Far, far behind him came just five other cars as for the second race in a row, the wet conditions decimated the line-up. As is usual in the rain, Jean Alesi shone, bringing the Benetton home just ahead of the third placed Williams of Jacques Villeneuve. After a poor start by pole-sitter Damon Hill, Villeneuve grabbed the lead but it would not last long as Schumacher, who had dropped to sixth at the start, carved his way to the front by lap 12. Then Michael simply motored away as the rest fought the rain more than each other.
Damon Hill proved that "3 strikes and you're out" as he took to the grass twice before doing a replay of Heinz-Harald Frentzen's crash in the warm-up. Frentzen's luck improved for the race as he stayed out of trouble and for once his car stayed in one piece enroute to fourth place. McLaren had a truly obismal weekend with David Coulthard taking himself and the entire Minardi team out before the first corner, while Mika Hakkinen came fifth by default - he was never in touch with the leaders.
Picking up the last point was Ligier's Pedro Diniz who in my opinion should have got a point for surviving the fireball earlier in the year!. Once more mechanical woes put paid to the Jordans, putting even more pressure on the team to perform well in the second half of the season.

Damon Hill still has a commanding lead in the standings but will need to bounce back quickly after scoring no points in the last two races, while if Schumacher can run like this in the dry.....things maybe more interesting come September than we had first thought.

Qualifying :
Cloudy, dry
PosDriverNat.TeamTime m:ss.sss
1Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault1:20.650
2Jacques Villeneuve CANWilliams-Renault1:21.084
3Michael Schumacher GERFerrari1:21.587
4Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault1:22.061
5Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault1:22.125
6Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari1:22.333
7Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot1:22.379
8Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen1:22.685
9Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford1:23.027
10Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes1:23.070
11H-H FrentzenGER Sauber-Ford1:23.195
12Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha1:23.224
13Jos VerstappenNEDTWR Arrows-Hart1:23.371
14David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes1:23.416
15Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Puegeot1:23.438
16Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha1:24.401
17Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen1:24.468
18Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford1:25.274
19Giancarlo FisichellaITAMinardi-Ford1:25.531
20Ricardo RossetBRATWR Arrows-Hart1:25.621

107 % rule : 1:26.295
Did not qualify
Luca Badoer ITA - Forti-Ford 1:26.615
Andrea Montermini ITA - Forti-Ford 1:27.358

Race : 65 laps
Rain, rain and more rain
PosDriverNat.CarTime h:mm:ss.sss
1Michael Schumacher GERFerrari1:59:49.307
2Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault2:00:34.609
3Jacques VilleneuveCANWilliams-Renault2:00:37.695
4H-H FrentzenGER Sauber-Ford1 lap down
5Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes1 lap down
6Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen2 laps down
7Jos VerstappenNEDTWR Arrows-Hart48 laps - spun off
8Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot46 laps - gearbox
9Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault45 laps - suspension damage
10Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford21 laps - spun off
11Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Puegeot18 laps - engine failure
12Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha17 laps - black flagged
13Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault11 laps - crash
14Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha9 laps - spun off
15Giancarlo FisichellaITAMinardi-Ford2 lap - collision damage
16Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen2 laps - spun off
17Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari2 laps - spun off
18Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford0 laps - collision
19Ricardo Rosset BRATWR Arrows-Hart0 laps - collision
20David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes0 laps - collision

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