1996 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Brazil  1996 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 2 of 16 in the 1996 Formula One season
Interlagos 1990.jpg
Date March 31, 1996
Official name XXV Grande Prêmio do Brasil
Location Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Brazil
Course Permanent race circuit
4.325 km (2.687 mi)
Distance 71 laps, 307.075 km (190.808 mi)
Weather Wet, then drying
Pole position
Driver United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault
Time 1:18.111
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault
Time 1:21.547 on lap 65
Podium
First United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault
Second France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault
Third Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari

The 1996 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on March 31, 1996 at Interlagos in heavy rain. Six different teams scored points, with Damon Hill following up his win at the first round of the season.

Two local drivers, Marques and Diniz, had their qualifying times disallowed for, respectively, a push-start and missing the signal to go to the weighbridge. They had to start at the back of the grid.

Johnny Herbert started from the pit lane after switching to the backup-car due to electrical problems.

Damon Hill, who loved driving in the rain, took the lead and won the race under these difficult conditions with a comfortable winning margin of 17 seconds. São Paulo saw the 15th GP victory of Damon Hill, who thereby outperformed a record established by his father Graham Hill, who had won 14 races.

Major battles in the race were going on between Barrichello and Alesi, Alesi and Villeneuve, Schumacher and Frentzen and Schumacher and Barrichello.

Barrichello, who had qualified as second, lost ground to Villeneuve and Alesi on the first lap, but he kept sticking to the back of the Benetton and attempted to overtake Alesi three times in the early stages of the race, outbreaking him into the first corner only to slide wide on the exit allowing Alesi back through.

After a while, Alesi picked up pace and began to harry Villeneuve for 2nd place. After a battle Villeneuve eventually succumbed to the pressure and spun off. Approaching half-distance, Alesi had a brief off track excursion which finally allowed Barrichello through into 2nd place. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he was forced to make what was supposed to be his only fuel stop on lap 35, when the track was still too wet for slick tyres. Alesi, on the other hand, did not have to pit until lap 42, by which time the track was dry enough to switch to slick tyres. This forced Barrichello to make unscheduled pit stop to make the switch to slicks, dropping him back behind Alesi.

To compound his misfortune, Barrichello made the switch too late, three laps later than Schumacher, meaning that he also dropped behind the German when he finally made his stop. With a clearly faster car, Barrichello began to harry Schumacher for the final podium spot. However, the German would not give in and eventually he braked too late and spun of into the gravel at the end of the back straight.

With little time between Melbourne and São Paulo, the Ferrari was still underdeveloped and Schumacher did not show the performance he later would deliver in Barcelona, for example. In his early days at Ferrari, Schumacher had to use the races as testing sessions.

Gerhard Berger had to park his Benetton in the pits after 27 laps. The Austrian had difficulties during qualifying which he could not explain. When the race then started under wet conditions, Berger had to drive carefully because he had never before piloted the Benetton in the rain. Not too unsatisfied with his performance, Berger experienced cut-offs due to hydraulic problems which became worse and worse and finally forced the car back to the garage.

Both Martin Brundle and David Coulthard did not see the finish line in the first two races of this season.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:18.111
2 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 1:19.092 +0.981
3 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:19.254 +1.143
4 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:19.474 +1.363
5 3 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:19.484 +1.373
6 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 1:19.519 +1.408
7 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.607 +1.496
8 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:19.762 +1.651
9 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 1:19.799 +1.688
10 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:19.951 +1.840
11 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:20.000 +1.889
12 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 1:20.144 +2.033
13 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 1:20.157 +2.046
14 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.167 +2.056
15 9 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:20.426 +2.315
16 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:20.427 +2.316
17 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 1:20.440 +2.329
18 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 1:21.491 +3.380
19 22 Italy Luca Badoer Forti-Ford 1:23.174 +5.063
20 23 Italy Andrea Montermini Forti-Ford 1:23.454 +5.343
107% time: 1:23.579
21 21 Brazil Tarso Marques Minardi-Ford No Time
22 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda No Time

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 71 1:49:52.976 1 10
2 3 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 71 +17.982 5 6
3 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 4 4
4 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 70 +1 Lap 7 3
5 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 70 +1 Lap 11 2
6 9 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 70 +1 Lap 15 1
7 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 10  
8 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 69 +2 Laps 22  
9 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 69 +2 Laps 16  
10 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 68 +3 Laps 18  
11 22 Italy Luca Badoer Forti-Ford 67 +4 Laps 19  
12 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 64 Spun off 6  
Ret 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 59 Spun off 2  
Ret 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 36 Engine 9  
Ret 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 29 Spun off 14  
Ret 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 28 Engine 12  
Ret 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 26 Spun off 3  
Ret 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 26 Hydraulics 8  
Ret 23 Italy Andrea Montermini Forti-Ford 26 Spun off 20  
Ret 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 24 Spun off 17  
Ret 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 19 Engine 13  
Ret 21 Brazil Tarso Marques Minardi-Ford 0 Spun off 21  

Notes[edit]

Standings after Grand Prix[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


Previous race:
1996 Australian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1996 season
Next race:
1996 Argentine Grand Prix
Previous race:
1995 Brazilian Grand Prix
Brazilian Grand Prix Next race:
1997 Brazilian Grand Prix