1996 Formula One World Championship

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1996 FIA Formula One
World Championship
Drivers' Champion: Damon Hill
Constructors' Champion: Williams-Renault
Previous: 1995 Next: 1997
Damon Hill won the Formula One World Championship with Williams.
Hill's teammate, Jacques Villeneuve (pictured in 2002), finished as runner-up in only his first year of F1 participation.
Defending double world champion Michael Schumacher finished third with Scuderia Ferrari.

The 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 50th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. The championship commenced on 10 March 1996 and ended on 13 October after sixteen races.[1][2] Two World Championship titles were awarded, one for Drivers and one for Constructors.

Damon Hill won the Drivers' Championship two years after being beaten by a point by Michael Schumacher, making him the first son of a World Champion (his father Graham having won the title in 1962 and 1968) to have won the title himself.[3][4][5] Hill, who had finished runner-up for the past two seasons, was seriously threatened only by his teammate, newcomer Jacques Villeneuve, the 1995 IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion.[6][7] Williams-Renault easily won the Constructors' title, as there was no other competitor strong enough to post a consistent challenge throughout the championship.[2][8] This was also the beginning of the end of Williams's 1990s dominance, as it was announced that Hill and designer Adrian Newey would depart at the conclusion of the season, with engine manufacturer Renault also leaving after 1997.[7][9][10]

Two-time defending world champion Michael Schumacher had moved to Ferrari and despite numerous reliability problems, they had gradually developed into a front-running team by the end of the season.[11] Defending Constructors' Champion Benetton began their decline towards the middle of the grid, having lost key personnel due to Schumacher's departure, and failed to win a race.[12][13] Olivier Panis took the only victory of his career at the Monaco Grand Prix.[14]

Teams and drivers[edit]

The numbering system used since 1974 was dropped.[15] Ferrari was given the numbers 1 and 2 after hiring the defending champion Michael Schumacher, despite finishing the previous year's Constructors' Championship in third, Benetton received numbers 3 and 4 for winning the Constructors' Championship, Williams got numbers 5 and 6 for finishing second, McLaren got 7 and 8 for finishing fourth, Ligier got 9 and 10 for finishing fifth, and so on, with the number 13 being skipped.[16][17]

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship. All teams competed with tyres supplied by Goodyear.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine No. Driver Rounds
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F310 Ferrari 046 3.0 V10 1 Germany Michael Schumacher All
2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine All
Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton-Renault B196 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 3 France Jean Alesi All
4 Austria Gerhard Berger All
United Kingdom Rothmans Williams Renault Williams-Renault FW18 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill All
6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve All
United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes MP4/11
MP4/11B
Mercedes FO 110/3 3.0 V10 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen All
8 United Kingdom David Coulthard All
France Ligier Gauloises Blondes Ligier-Mugen-Honda JS43 Mugen-Honda MF-301 HA 3.0 V10 9 France Olivier Panis All
10 Brazil Pedro Diniz All
Republic of Ireland Benson & Hedges Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan-Peugeot 196 Peugeot A12 EV5 3.0 V10 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello All
12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle All
Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Ford Sauber-Ford C15 Ford JD Zetec-R 3.0 V10 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert All
15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen All
United Kingdom Footwork Hart Footwork-Hart FA17 Hart 830 3.0 V8 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset All
17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen All
United Kingdom Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell-Yamaha 024 Yamaha OX11A 3.0 V10 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama All
19 Finland Mika Salo All
Italy Minardi Team Minardi-Ford M195B Ford ED2 3.0 V8
Ford ED3 3.0 V8
20 Portugal Pedro Lamy All
21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 1, 4–10
Brazil Tarso Marques 2–3
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi 11–16
Italy Forti Grand Prix Forti-Ford FG01B
FG03
Ford ECA Zetec-R 3.0 V8 22 Italy Luca Badoer 1–10
23 Italy Andrea Montermini 1–10
Source: [2][16][18][19]

Forti Grand Prix were declared bankrupt after the British Grand Prix and took no further part in the championship.[20]

Team changes[edit]

  • By receiving an Italian licence the defending Constructors' Champion Benetton officially became an Italian constructor, though continued to be based in Britain.[21]
  • Jordan gained a new title sponsor in British cigarette brand Benson & Hedges, who joined oil supplier Total and engine company Peugeot in the team's official name.[22]
  • Meanwhile, Tyrrell lost their title sponsor, Finnish communications company Nokia, becoming officially known simply as Tyrrell Yamaha.[23]
  • Forti also lost the sponsorship of Italian dairy corporation Parmalat, as well as any official connection to Ford, although they continued to use Ford engines.[citation needed]
  • Scuderia Italia decided to end their two-year working relationship with Minardi, so the team once again became known simply as Minardi Team.[citation needed]
  • Two teams disappeared from the entry list entirely. Larrousse had missed the early races of 1995 before finally announcing their withdrawal before the San Marino Grand Prix. Gérard Larrousse claimed several times the team would reappear in 1996, but a combination of legal and financial difficulties meant this never materialised. Pacific withdrew from the sport at the end of 1995.[24][25]

Driver changes[edit]

Mid-season changes[edit]

Season calendar[edit]

The 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship comprised the following races:

Rnd Title Race Date Location
1 Transurban Australian Grand Prix Australian Grand Prix 10 March Australia Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne
2 Grande Premio do Brasil Brazilian Grand Prix 31 March Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo
3 Gran Premio de Argentina Argentine Grand Prix 7 April Argentina Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, Buenos Aires
4 Grand Prix of Europe European Grand Prix 28 April Germany Nürburgring, Nürburg
5 Gran Premio di San Marino San Marino Grand Prix 5 May Italy Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola
6 Grand Prix de Monaco Monaco Grand Prix 19 May Monaco Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo
7 Gran Premio Marlboro de Espana Spanish Grand Prix 2 June Spain Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
8 Grand Prix Molson du Canada Canadian Grand Prix 16 June Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
9 Grand Prix de France French Grand Prix 30 June France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours
10 RAC British Grand Prix British Grand Prix 14 July United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone
11 Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland German Grand Prix 28 July Germany Hockenheimring, Hockenheim
12 Marlboro Magyar Nagydij Hungarian Grand Prix 11 August Hungary Hungaroring, Budapest
13 Belgian Grand Prix Belgian Grand Prix 25 August Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot
14 Pioneer Gran Premio d'Italia Italian Grand Prix 8 September Italy Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza
15 Grande Premio de Portugal Portuguese Grand Prix 22 September Portugal Autodromo do Estoril, Cascais
16 Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix Japanese Grand Prix 13 October Japan Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka
Source: [1][2]

Rule changes[edit]

The race weekend schedule was changed for the 1996 season compared to 1995. The number of free practice sessions was increased from the two to three with the number of laps allocated for each day increased from 23 to 30. Also, to increase the spectacle, the Friday qualifying session was dropped, with the FIA World Motor Sport Council opting to have only one qualifying session, held on Saturday afternoon.[54]

The previous system of having a red and green light to start the race was replaced by the current system of five red lights turning on sequentially, then all going out simultaneously after an indeterminate period of time to start the race.[55]

This year saw the introduction of the "107% rule", which meant all cars had to be within 107% of the pole position time in order to qualify for the race.[55]

A new numbering system for cars was adopted for 1996 and remained in place until the end of 2013, when a new system was introduced. Previously, the reigning Drivers' Champion's team had simply swapped car numbers with the previous Drivers' Champion's team to carry numbers 1 and 2, with all other teams retaining their existing numbers. For 1996 the reigning Drivers' Champion was given number 1 and his teammate number 2 with the rest of the teams numbered in the order of their finishing position in the previous year's Constructors' Championship. Any new teams were allocated the following numbers.

In 1995, the cars' cockpit opening was made larger and the sides were raised in order to provide better head protection for the driver; these sides were raised even higher (to mid-helmet height) for 1996, along with a wraparound head restraint made of foam to prevent head injuries such as those suffered by Mika Häkkinen during qualifying for the 1995 Australian Grand Prix. Needle-like nosecone designs with a sharp point, such as the 1995 McLaren MP4/10, were also banned in favour of more blunt nose sections.[55]

Season report[edit]

Damon Hill won the season opener from Williams' teammate Jacques Villeneuve with Ferrari's Eddie Irvine finishing third.[56] Villeneuve was leading but late on in the race the team found out that Villeneuve had an oil leak and order him to swap places with teammate Hill.[57]

Results and standings[edit]

Grands Prix[edit]

Round Grand Prix Pole Position Fastest Lap Winning Driver Winning Constructor Report
1 Australia Australian Grand Prix Canada Jacques Villeneuve Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
2 Brazil Brazilian Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
3 Argentina Argentine Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill France Jean Alesi United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
4 Germany European Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Damon Hill Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
5 Italy San Marino Grand Prix Germany Michael Schumacher United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
6 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix Germany Michael Schumacher France Jean Alesi France Olivier Panis France Ligier-Mugen-Honda Report
7 Spain Spanish Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill Germany Michael Schumacher Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
8 Canada Canadian Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
9 France French Grand Prix Germany Michael Schumacher Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
10 United Kingdom British Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill Canada Jacques Villeneuve Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
11 Germany German Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
12 Hungary Hungarian Grand Prix Germany Michael Schumacher United Kingdom Damon Hill Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
13 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix Canada Jacques Villeneuve Austria Gerhard Berger Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
14 Italy Italian Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill Germany Michael Schumacher Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
15 Portugal Portuguese Grand Prix United Kingdom Damon Hill Canada Jacques Villeneuve Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
16 Japan Japanese Grand Prix Canada Jacques Villeneuve Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Damon Hill United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report

Points scoring system[edit]

Points are awarded to the top six classified finishers in each race for the drivers and constructors championships.

Position  1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th 
Points 10 6 4 3 2 1

World Drivers' Championship standings[edit]

Pos.[3] Driver[3] AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
EUR
Germany
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
ESP
Spain
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
JPN
Japan
Points[3]
1 United Kingdom Damon Hill 1 1 1 4 1 Ret Ret 1 1 Ret 1 2 5 Ret 2 1 97
2 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 2 Ret 2 1 11 Ret 3 2 2 1 3 1 2 7 1 Ret 78
3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ret 3 Ret 2 2 Ret 1 Ret DNS Ret 4 9 1 1 3 2 59
4 France Jean Alesi Ret 2 3 Ret 6 Ret 2 3 3 Ret 2 3 4 2 4 Ret 47
5 Finland Mika Häkkinen 5 4 Ret 8 8 6 5 5 5 3 Ret 4 3 3 Ret 3 31
6 Austria Gerhard Berger 4 Ret Ret 9 3 Ret Ret Ret 4 2 13 Ret 6 Ret 6 4 21
7 United Kingdom David Coulthard Ret Ret 7 3 Ret 2 Ret 4 6 5 5 Ret Ret Ret 13 8 18
8 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ret Ret 4 5 5 Ret Ret Ret 9 4 6 6 Ret 5 Ret 9 14
9 France Olivier Panis 7 6 8 Ret Ret 1 Ret Ret 7 Ret 7 5 Ret Ret 10 7 13
10 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 3 7 5 Ret 4 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret 11
11 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Ret 12 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret 6 8 6 10 Ret Ret 4 9 5 8
12 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 4 Ret Ret 8 8 Ret Ret Ret 7 6 7
13 Finland Mika Salo 6 5 Ret DSQ Ret 5 DSQ Ret 10 7 9 Ret 7 Ret 11 Ret 5
14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Ret Ret 9 7 Ret 3 Ret 7 DSQ 9 Ret Ret Ret 9 8 10 4
15 Brazil Pedro Diniz 10 8 Ret 10 7 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret 2
16 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 11 1
Japan Ukyo Katayama 11 9 Ret DSQ Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 7 8 10 12 Ret 0
Brazil Ricardo Rosset 9 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret 11 8 9 Ret 14 13 0
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ret 13 Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 11 0
Portugal Pedro Lamy Ret 10 Ret 12 9 Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret 12 Ret 10 Ret 16 12 0
Italy Luca Badoer DNQ 11 Ret DNQ 10 Ret DNQ Ret Ret DNQ DNP 0
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi DNQ 10 DNQ Ret 15 DNQ 0
Italy Andrea Montermini DNQ Ret 10 DNQ DNQ DNS DNQ Ret Ret DNQ DNP 0
Brazil Tarso Marques Ret Ret 0
Pos Driver AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
EUR
Germany
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
ESP
Spain
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
JPN
Japan
Points
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Other points position
Blue Other classified position
Not classified, finished (NC)
Purple Not classified, retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Withdrawn (WD)

Bold – Pole
Italics – Fastest lap

Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance.

World Constructors' Championship standings[edit]

Pos.[8] Constructor[8] Car
no.
AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
EUR
Germany
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
ESP
Spain
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
JPN
Japan
Points[8]
1 United Kingdom Williams-Renault 5 1 1 1 4 1 Ret Ret 1 1 Ret 1 2 5 Ret 2 1 175
6 2 Ret 2 1 11 Ret 3 2 2 1 3 1 2 7 1 Ret
2 Italy Ferrari 1 Ret 3 Ret 2 2 Ret 1 Ret DNS Ret 4 9 1 1 3 2 70
2 3 7 5 Ret 4 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret
3 Italy Benetton-Renault 3 Ret 2 3 Ret 6 Ret 2 3 3 Ret 2 3 4 2 4 Ret 68
4 4 Ret Ret 9 3 Ret Ret Ret 4 2 13 Ret 6 Ret 6 4
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 7 5 4 Ret 8 8 6 5 5 5 3 Ret 4 3 3 Ret 3 49
8 Ret Ret 7 3 Ret 2 Ret 4 6 5 5 Ret Ret Ret 13 8
5 Republic of Ireland Jordan-Peugeot 11 Ret Ret 4 5 5 Ret Ret Ret 9 4 6 6 Ret 5 Ret 9 22
12 Ret 12 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret 6 8 6 10 Ret Ret 4 9 5
6 France Ligier-Mugen-Honda 9 7 6 8 Ret Ret 1 Ret Ret 7 Ret 7 5 Ret Ret 10 7 15
10 10 8 Ret 10 7 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret
7 Switzerland Sauber-Ford 14 Ret Ret 9 7 Ret 3 Ret 7 DSQ 9 Ret Ret Ret 9 8 10 11
15 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 4 Ret Ret 8 8 Ret Ret Ret 7 6
8 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Yamaha 18 11 9 Ret DSQ Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 7 8 10 12 Ret 5
19 6 5 Ret DSQ Ret 5 DSQ Ret 10 7 9 Ret 7 Ret 11 Ret
9 United Kingdom Footwork-Hart 16 9 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret 11 8 9 Ret 14 13 1
17 Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 11
10 Italy Minardi-Ford 20 Ret 10 Ret 12 9 Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret 12 Ret 10 Ret 16 12 0
21 Ret Ret Ret 13 Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 11 DNQ 10 DNQ Ret 15 DNQ
11 Italy Forti-Ford 22 DNQ 11 Ret DNQ 10 Ret DNQ Ret Ret DNQ DNP 0
23 DNQ Ret 10 DNQ DNQ DNS DNQ Ret Ret DNQ DNP
Pos Constructor Car
no.
AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
EUR
Germany
SMR
Italy
MON
Monaco
ESP
Spain
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
POR
Portugal
JPN
Japan
Points
Williams-Renault won the Constructors' Championship with the FW18


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External links[edit]