French Grand Prix

Analysis :
Damon Hill started the second half of the season the way he started the first half - with a convincing win. His main threat disappeared before the start as pole-sitter Micheal Schumacher's engine detonated on the parade lap. Hill was followed home once more by Williams team-mate Jacques Villeneuve, but was never in danger of losing the win.
For once the Benetton's had an incident free race with Jean Alesi toying with Gerhard Berger on their way to third and fourth. Everything moved in pairs as the McLaren's of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard rounded out the points positions.

The second Ferrari of Eddie Irvine also succumbed early on - in his case to gearbox failure - making for a miserable race for the Tifosi. Other notables who didn't make it to the finish were Heinz-Harald Frentzen who went rallying when the throttle stuck on his Sauber and Jos Verstappen who did nothing to help justify the $5 million he is asking for next season by spinning off from 10th place.

It now looks assured that Damon Hill will win the Championship - it is just a matter of how quickly.
At his current rate it will be sooner rather than later.

Qualifying :
Bright, dry
PosDriverNat.TeamTime m:ss.sss
1Michael Schumacher GERFerrari1:15.989
2Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault1:16.058
3Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault1:16.310
4Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault1:16.592
5Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes1:16.634
6Jacques Villeneuve CANWilliams-Renault1:16.905
7David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes1:17.007
8Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Puegeot1:17.187
9Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen1:17.390
10Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari1:17.443
11Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot1:17.665
12Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen1:17.676
13H-H FrentzenGER Sauber-Ford1:17.739
14Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha1:18.021
15Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha1:18.242
16Jos VerstappenNEDTWR-Hart1:18.324
17Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford1:18.556
18Giancarlo FisichellaITAMinardi-Ford1:18.604
19Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford1:19.210
20Ricardo RossetBRATWR-Hart1:19.242
21Luca BadoerITAForti-Ford1:20.562
21Andrea MonterminiITAForti-Ford1:20.647

107 % rule : 1:21.310
All cars qualified

Race : 72 laps
PosDriverNat.CarTime h:mm:ss.sss
1Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault1:36:28.795
2Jacques VilleneuveCANWilliams-Renault1:36:36.922
3Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault1:37:15.237
4Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault1:37:15.654
5Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes1:37:31.569
6David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes1 lap down
7Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen1 lap down
8Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Puegeot1 lap down
9Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot1 lap down
10Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha2 laps down
11Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford2 laps down
12Ricardo Rosset BRATWR-Hart3 laps down
13Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford3 laps down
14H-H FrentzenGER Sauber-Ford57 laps -stuck throttle
15Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha34 laps -
16Luca BadoerITAForti-Ford30 laps -
17Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen29 laps -
18Jos VerstappenNEDTWR-Hart11 laps - spun off
19Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari6 laps - gearbox
20Andrea MonterminiITAForti-Ford3 laps -
21Giancarlo FisichellaITAMinardi-Ford3 laps -
22Michael Schumacher GERFerrari0 laps - engine

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