San Marino Grand Prix


Analysis :
Damon Hill got back into the swing of things with a patient, strategic victory at Imola.
As David Coulthard's McLaren led polesitter Micheal Schumacher's Ferrari in the early going, Hill sat back and used a better pit strategy to put himself in front after the first round of stops.
Schumacher's Ferrari once more lasted just long enough - on Saturday the rear suspension broke jut after he took the pole, and on Sunday the front right brake seized on the final lap, he took the last few corners on the three wheels!

Completing the podium line-up was Gerhard Berger enjoying his best result for Benetton, while teammate Jean Alesi had a highly eventful run to sixth place. Jacques Villeneuve had a terrible start and things got worse - a first lap pitstop to replace a blown tyre put him at the back of the field and though his efforts brought him back as high as sixth, a broken rear suspension finished his race. Meanwhile Coutlthard's impressive run was thwarted by electrical failure and teammate Mika Hakkinen's lacklustre showing ended with a blown Mercedes.

Once more Rubens Barricello picked up points but was well off the pace, while the Tifosi cheered in Eddie Irvine to fourth in the second Ferrari. Yet more mechanical problems plagued the Saubers, while the usually reliable Tyrrells both fell victim to expiring Yamaha engines.


Even at this early stage, Williams has the championship locked up - it is simply a case of which of its drivers will win. So far Damon Hill has done nothing to make any of us say "Villeneuve".


Qualifying :
Cloudy, dry
PosDriverNat.TeamTime m:ss.sss
1Michael Schumacher GERFerrari1:26.890
2Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault1:27.105
3Jacques Villeneuve CANWilliams-Renault1:27.220
4David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes1:27.688
5Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault1:28.009
6Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari1:28.205
7Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault1:28.336
8Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha1:28.423
9Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot1:28.632
10H-H FrentzenGER Sauber-Ford1:28.785
11Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes1:29.079
12Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Puegeot1:29.099
13Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen1:29.472
14Jos VerstappenNEDTWR Arrows-Hart1:29.539
15Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford1:29.541
16Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha1:29.892
17Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen1:29.989
18Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford1:30.471
19Giancarlo FisichellaITAMinardi-Ford1:30.814
20Ricardo RossetBRATWR Arrows-Hart1:31.316
21Luca BadoerITA Forti-Ford1:32.037

107 % rule : DNQ
Andrea Montermini ITA Forti-Ford 1:33.685


Race : 63 laps
Sunny, warm
PosDriverNat.CarTime h:mm:ss.sss
1Damon HillGBRWilliams-Renault1:35:26.156
2Michael Schumacher GERFerrari1:35:42.616
3Gerhard BergerAUTBenetton-Renault1:36:13.047
4Eddie IrvineIRLFerrari1:36:27.739
5Rubens BarrichelloBRAJordan-Peugeot1:36:44.616
6Jean AlesiFRABenetton-Renault1 lap down
7Pedro DinizBRALigier-Mugen1 lap down
8Mika HakkinenFINMcLaren-Mercedes2 laps down
9Pedro LamyPORMinardi-Ford2 laps down
10Luca BadoerITAForti-Ford4 laps down
11Jacques VilleneuveCANWilliams-Renault6 laps down
12Olivier PanisFRALigier-Mugen54 laps -
13Ukyo KatayamaJAPTyrrell-Yamaha45 laps - engine
14David CoulthardGBRMcLaren-Mercedes44 laps - electrics
15Ricardo Rosset BRATWR Arrows-Hart40 laps -
16Jos VerstappenNEDTWR Arrows-Hart38 laps -
17Martin BrundleGBRJordan-Puegeot36 laps - spun off
18H-H FrentzenGER Sauber-Ford32 laps - engine
19Giancarlo FisichellaITAMinardi-Ford30 laps -
20Johnny HerbertGBRSauber-Ford25 laps - engine
21Mika SaloFINTyrrell-Yamaha23 laps - engine


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