Italian Grand Prix


Analysis :
Despite his superb drives in Spain and Belgium, there were still a few members of the Tifosi that doubted Micheal Schumacher's ability to revitalize Ferrari. At Imola he changed their minds.
Easily outrunning Jean Alesi in the remaining Benetton and McLarens' Mika Hakkinen, the Italian crowd was whipped into a frenzy. In a very un-Williams-like display Jacques Villeneuve trailed home 7th after several visits to the pits and the gravel.
The piles of tyres put (in our opinion, stupidly) at the chicanes to deter the drivers from cutting the apex of the corners, claimed many victims. Most notable of which was Damon Hill, who threw away a chance to wrap up the Championship after 5 laps when leading comfortably. The tyres also claimed Hill's replacement with Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Ligier's Olivier Panis and Eddie Irvine in the second Ferrari. Other drivers clipped the tyres but continued, including Schumacher (late in the race) and Hakkinen (who needed a new nose cone).
Gerhard Berger disappearred early on with gearbox problems, while David Coulthard spun out on just the second lap. The two Jordans had a gebnerally quiet race with Martin Brundle just beating Rubens Barrichello, though neither were ever in the hunt for victory despite the Jordan-Peugeot's incredible top speed (Barrichello was clocked at 348 kph ! [209mph] )

Michael Schumacher elevated his status at Ferrari to just below that of Enzo and the Pope with a superb display. Villeneuve and Hill take their fight for the Driver's Championship to Portugal, while the announcement of Damon Hill's departure from Williams brings a sour note at the close of a very successful year, and brings up the question, will Williams let Hill take the #1 with him?


Qualifying :
Windy and hot
PosDriverNat.TeamTime m:ss.sss
1Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault1:24.204
2Jacques Villeneuve CANWilliams-Renault1:24.521
3Michael SchumacherGERFerrari1:24.781
4Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes1:24.939
5David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes1:24.976
6Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault1:25.201
7Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari1:25.226
8Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault1:25.470
9Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Peugeot1:26.037
10Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot1:26.194
11Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen1:26.206
12Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford1:26.345
13H-H FrentzenGER Sauber-Ford1:26.505
14Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen1:26.726
15Jos VerstappenNEDTWR-Hart1:27.270
16Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha1:28.234
17Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha1:28.472
18Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford1:28.933
19Ricardo RossetBRATWR-Hart1:29.181
20 Gianni LavaggiITAMinardi-Ford1:29.833

107 % rule : 1:30.098s
Did Not Qualify :

Andrea Montermini - ITA - Forti-Ford did not enter
Luca Badoer - ITA - Forti-Ford did not enter


Race : 53 laps
Dry and sunny
PosDriverNat.CarTime h:mm:ss.sss
1Michael SchumacherGERFerrari1:17:43.632
2Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault1:18:01.897
3Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes1:18:50.267
4Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Puegeot1:19:08.849
5Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot1:19:09.107
6Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen1 lap down
7Jacques VilleneuveCANWilliams-Renault1 lap down
8Jos VerstappenNEDTWR-Hart1 lap down
9Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford2 laps down
10Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha2 laps down
11Ricardo Rosset BRATWR-Hart37 laps - spun off
12Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari24 laps - suspension
13Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford13 laps - clutch
14Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha10 laps - spun off
15H-H FrentzenGERSauber-Ford8 laps - spun off
16Gianni LavaggiITAMinardi-Ford6 laps - spun off
17Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault6 laps - spun off
18Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault5 laps - gearbox
19Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen3 lap - spun off
20David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes2 laps - spun off


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