1996 Spanish Grand Prix
|Race 7 of 16 in the 1996 Formula One season|
|Date||June 2, 1996|
|Location||Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
4.727 km (2.954 mi)
|Distance||65 laps, 307.255 km (192.034 mi)|
This race, Michael Schumacher's first Ferrari victory, is generally regarded as one of his finest. In the torrential rain, he produced a stunning drive, and is a prime example of why he earned the nickname "Regenmeister" ("Rainmaster"), despite his early and unforced crash at a wet Monaco Grand Prix two weeks earlier.
Mika Salo was disqualifed for the second time this season, for changing cars after the field was under starter's orders.
Damon Hill had started the race from pole position, but dropped to 8th after spinning twice in the opening laps, before another spin into the pit wall on lap 12 ended his race. Schumacher recovered from a poor start to take the lead from Villeneuve on lap 13, and from then on he dominated the race, lapping over three seconds a lap faster than the remainder of the field.
Rubens Barrichello, who led briefly at one point while Schumacher and Alesi made their first pit stops, put in a strong performance in this race and was running in third, seemingly bound for his first podium of the season, before being forced to retire with 20 laps to go after a clutch problem caused his engine to fade out. On the previous lap, Gerhard Berger had spun his Bennetton out of fourth place while trying to pass Barrichello; these two retirements handed the final podium spot to Jacques Villeneuve.
After an uneventful race on his part, Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished in fourth, while Mika Häkkinen took fifth after surviving a spin off the track in the closing stages of the race. Jos Verstappen, running sixth after the retirements of Barrichello and Berger, crashed into the tyre barrier with 12 laps left, guaranteeing Pedro Diniz his first Formula One point as by this time only six drivers were left in the race. With no further retirements, Diniz brought his car home in sixth, after driving at a more cautious pace that saw him fall two laps adrift of the front runners by the end.
|4||15||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Sauber-Ford||64||+1 Lap||11||3|
|5||7||Mika Häkkinen||McLaren-Mercedes||64||+1 Lap||10||2|
|6||10||Pedro Diniz||Ligier-Mugen-Honda||63||+2 Laps||17||1|
|Ret||17||Jos Verstappen||Footwork-Hart||47||Spun off||13|
|Ret||4||Gerhard Berger||Benetton-Renault||44||Spun off||5|
|Ret||14||Johnny Herbert||Sauber-Ford||20||Spun off||9|
|Ret||5||Damon Hill||Williams-Renault||10||Spun off||1|
|Ret||2||Eddie Irvine||Ferrari||1||Spun off||6|
|DNQ||22||Luca Badoer||Forti-Ford||107% Rule||21|
|DNQ||23||Andrea Montermini||Forti-Ford||107% Rule||22|
Standings after Grand Prix
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1996 Monaco Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1996 Canadian Grand Prix
1995 Spanish Grand Prix
|Spanish Grand Prix||Next race:
1997 Spanish Grand Prix
- "Schumacher's first win for Ferrari - Spanish Grand Prix 1996". Formula1.com. 30 April 2003. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Classic F1 - Spanish Grand Prix 1996". BBC News. May 5, 2009.