1996 Japanese Grand Prix
|Race 16 of 16 in the 1996 Formula One season|
|Date||October 13, 1996|
|Official name||XXII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix|
|Location||Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, Japan|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.864 km (3.608 mi)|
|Distance||52 laps, 304.928 km (189.473 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny, mild and Dry|
|Time||1:44.043 on lap 34|
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.
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. 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.
Standings after Grand Prix
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "F1 News - Grandprix.com > GP Encyclopedia > Races > Japanese GP, 1996". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
1996 Portuguese Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1997 Australian Grand Prix
1995 Japanese Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix||Next race:
1997 Japanese Grand Prix