1996 Japanese Grand Prix

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Japan  1996 Japanese Grand Prix
Race details
Race 16 of 16 in the 1996 Formula One season
Suzuka 1992.jpg
Date October 13, 1996
Official name XXII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix
Location Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, Japan
Course Permanent racing facility
5.864 km (3.608 mi)
Distance 52 laps, 304.928 km (189.473 mi)
Weather Sunny, mild and Dry
Pole position
Driver Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault
Time 1:38.909
Fastest lap
Driver Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault
Time 1:44.043 on lap 34
Podium
First United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault
Second Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Third Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes

The 1996 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on October 13, 1996 at Suzuka. It was the 16th and final race of the 1996 Formula One season.

Williams' Damon Hill took his eighth win of the season, and with it the Drivers' Championship, after team-mate and pole-sitter Jacques Villeneuve made a poor start and then retired when a wheel fell off. Villeneuve had needed to win the race, without Hill scoring, in order to win the Championship himself. Michael Schumacher finished second, enabling Ferrari to steal second place in the Constructors' Championship from Benetton, while McLaren's Mika Häkkinen was third.

Race[edit]

This was the first time since 1977 that Japan hosted the final round of the World Championship, a distinction which had been held by the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide for the previous 11 seasons.

In qualifying, Villeneuve beat Hill to pole position by nearly half a second, with a further 0.7 seconds back to Schumacher in third. On race day, the first start was aborted when David Coulthard stalled his McLaren.[1] At the second start, Villeneuve made a poor getaway and fell to sixth behind Hill, Gerhard Berger, Häkkinen, Schumacher and Eddie Irvine. Meanwhile, Jean Alesi, attempting to make up several places after qualifying ninth, spun off at the second corner and destroyed his Benetton. On the third lap, Berger attempted to overtake Hill at the final chicane, only to damage his front wing. Thereafter, Hill gradually pulled away, with Schumacher overtaking Häkkinen for second during the first round of pit stops. Villeneuve passed Irvine, set the fastest lap of the race and ran fourth before his right rear wheel came off on lap 37, putting him out of the race and handing the Drivers' Championship to Hill, already dropped by Williams for the following season. Schumacher finished 1.8 seconds behind Hill with Häkkinen a further 1.4 seconds back, while Berger recovered to finished fourth, Martin Brundle came fifth in his final Grand Prix, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen picked up the final point for sixth.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Diff.
1 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:38.909
2 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:39.370 +0.461
3 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:40.071 +1.162
4 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:40.364 +1.455
5 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.458 +1.549
6 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:41.005 +2.096
7 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 1:41.277 +2.368
8 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.384 +2.475
9 3 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:41.562 +2.653
10 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 1:41.600 +2.691
11 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 1:41.919 +3.010
12 9 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:42.206 +3.297
13 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 1:42.658 +3.749
14 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:42.711 +3.802
15 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:42.840 +3.931
16 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:43.196 +4.287
17 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 1:43.383 +4.474
18 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 1:44.874 +5.965
19 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 1:45.412 +6.503
DNQ 21 Italy Giovanni Lavaggi Minardi-Ford 1:46.795 +7.886

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 52 1:32:33.791 2 10
2 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 52 + 1.883 3 6
3 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 52 + 3.212 5 4
4 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 52 + 26.526 4 3
5 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 52 + 1:07.120 10 2
6 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 52 + 1:21.186 7 1
7 9 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 52 + 1:24.510 12  
8 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 52 + 1:25.233 8  
9 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 52 + 1:41.065 11  
10 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 52 + 1:41.799 13  
11 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 51 + 1 Lap 17  
12 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 50 + 2 Laps 18  
13 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 50 + 2 Laps 19  
Ret 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 39 Collision 6  
Ret 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 37 Engine 14  
Ret 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 36 Wheel 1  
Ret 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 20 Engine 15  
Ret 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 13 Spun off 16  
Ret 3 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 0 Spun off 9  
DNQ 21 Italy Giovanni Lavaggi Minardi-Ford    

Standings after Grand Prix[edit]

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

References[edit]


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