Australian Grand Prix

Analysis :
Damon Hill was very lucky to be handed his 14th GP win at Albert Park, after Jacques Villeneuve had dominated the race. Villeneuve was beaten not by Hill but by a sick Renault V10 that forced him to slow down and move over for Hill with 5 laps remaining. This should come as quite a wake-up call to Hill. The new Ferrari showed a lot of potential with Micheal Schumacher staying with the two Williams cars for the first half of the race. Eddie Irvine drove a good race and was not at fault in the collision with Jean Alesi early on. Gerhard Berger was unspectacular in the Benetton and was never on the pace of the Williams'. Mika Hakkinen had an uneventful run to fifth place, just ahead of the promising new Tyrrell in the hands of fellow countryman Mika Salo.

Some drivers will want to forget this race in a hurry, like David Coulthard who was lapped by his old teammate within 20 laps, Johnny Herbert, who was left car-less at the restart after Heinz-Harald Frentzen took the Sauber teams' only spare, and of course Martin Brundle who spent almost as much time upside down as he did on his wheels during the race !

Quote Of The Race :
"Martin Brundle will have time to change to his spare car, but he won't have time to change his shorts...", Eddie Cheever, ESPN2

Qualifying :
Warm, sunny

  1. Villeneuve Williams 1:32.371 (128.401mph)
  2. Hill Williams 1:32.509
  3. Irvine Ferrari 1:32.889
  4. Schumacher Ferrari 1:33.125
  5. Hakkinen McLaren 1:34.054
  6. Alesi Benetton 1:34.257
  7. Berger Benetton 1:34.344
  8. Barrichello Jordan 1:34.474
  9. Frentzen Sauber 1:34.494
  10. Salo Tyrrell 1:34.832
  11. Panis Ligier 1:35.330
  12. Verstappen Arrows 1:35.338
  13. Coulthard McLaren 1:35.351
  14. Herbert Sauber 1:35.453
  15. Katayama Tyrrell 1:35.715
  16. Fisichella Minardi 1:35.898
  17. Lamy Minardi 1:36.109
  18. Rosset Arrows 1:36.198
  19. Brundle Jordan 1:36.286
  20. Diniz Ligier 1:36.298
DNQ (107% rule) - Badoer Forti 1:39.202
DNQ (107% rule) - Montermini Forti 1:42.087

Race : 58 laps
Warm, sunny

  1. Hill Williams 1h 32m 50.491s (123.492 mph)
  2. Villeneuve Williams 1h 33m 28.511s
  3. Irvine Ferrari 1h 33m 53.062s
  4. Berger Benetton 1h 34m 07.528s
  5. Hakkinen McLaren 1h 34m 25.562s
  6. Salo Tyrrell 1 lap down
  7. Panis Ligier 1 lap down
  8. Frentzen Sauber 1 lap down
  9. Rosset Arrows 2 laps down
  10. Diniz Ligier 2 laps down
  11. Katayama Tyrrell 3 laps down
    Not classified :
  12. Lamy Minardi 42 laps unknown
  13. Schumacher Ferrari 32 laps brake failure
  14. Fisichella Minardi 32 laps unknown
  15. Barrichello Jordan 29 laps gearbox
  16. Coulthard McLaren 24 laps throttle stuck
  17. Verstappen Arrows 15 laps spun off
  18. Alesi Benetton 9 laps collision damage
  19. Brundle Jordan 1 lap spun off
  20. Herbert Sauber 0 laps - Did not take the restart

Return to the 1996 Race Info Page