1997 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Race 2 of 17 in the 1997 Formula One season|
|Date||30 March 1997|
|Official name||XXVI Grande Prêmio do Brasil|
|Location||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil|
|Course||Permanent Racing Facility|
|Course length||4.292 km (2.667 mi)|
|Distance||72 laps, 309.024 km (192.019 mi)|
|Weather||Overcast and dry with temperatures reaching up to 23 °C (73 °F)|
|Time||1:18.397 on lap 28|
The 1997 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Autódromo José Carlos Pace near Interlagos, Brazil on 30 March 1997. It was the second race of the 1997 Formula One season. The 71-lap race was won by Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve after he started from pole position. Gerhard Berger finished second for the Benetton team and Prost driver Olivier Panis was third.
The Lola team arrived in Brazil still not having received any money from major sponsor MasterCard. Already several million dollars in debt, the team returned to base without even completing a lap of the circuit. A few days later, the team officially withdrew from the championship.
Jacques Villeneuve took his third consecutive, and his career fifth, pole position after a 1:16.004, over half a second faster than Michael Schumacher in second. Gerhard Berger and Mika Häkkinen completed the second row.
The race was red-flagged after several incidents at the original start. As in Australia, Jacques Villeneuve went off the track at the first corner. Behind this, an incident involved several drivers including Damon Hill, Eddie Irvine, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jan Magnussen. Irvine took some blame for the incident. Additionally, Rubens Barrichello's car failed on the line, and the track blockage was what ultimately caused the red flag. Barrichello took the restart in the spare Stewart, causing Magnussen to miss the race.
The race was restarted with all 72 laps still remaining. Villeneuve had a clean start, as did the rest of the field. At the end of the first lap Villeneuve passed Michael Schumacher to retake the lead. Later before the first pit stops Berger would also pass Schumacher down the pit straight into the first corner. Irvine came into the pits mid-race, having been suffering from enormous pain due to his belts tightening up in the cockpit.
Damon Hill was once again affected by reliability issues, his engine failing with four laps remaining. He was running in fourth place at one point, but had slipped down the field before retiring in the pits with an engine bay fire caused by an oil leak. The winner of the previous race, David Coulthard, was off the pace and finished in 10th place.
- Race stopped after first lap accident and restarted for total original distance.
- Jan Magnussen did not take the race restart.
- Both Lola cars withdrew for financial reasons and took no further part in the season
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Weather info for the 1997 Brazilian Grand Prix at Weather Underground
- Matthew Teaters (2009). Formula One Famous Failures. Trafford Publishing. p. 78.
- Henry, Alan, ed. (1997). Autocourse 1997–98. Richmond, Surrey: Hazleton Publishing. ISBN 1-874557-47-0.
- "1997 Brazilian GP Qualifying". Chicane F1. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
- "1997 Brazilian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
Race Details: "1997 Brazilian GP". Chicane F1. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
1997 Australian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1997 Argentine Grand Prix
1996 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Brazilian Grand Prix||Next race:
1998 Brazilian Grand Prix