1997 Hungarian Grand Prix
|Race 11 of 17 in the 1997 Formula One season|
|Date||August 10, 1997|
|Official name||XIII Marlboro Magyar Nagydij|
|Location||Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||3.986 km (2.475 mi)|
|Distance||77 laps, 305.536 km (190.603 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny, Dry Track, 27°C|
|Time||1:18.372 on lap 25|
The 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix (formally the XIII Marlboro Magyar Nagydij) was a Formula One motor race held at Hungaroring Budapest, Hungary on 10 August 1997. It was the eleventh round of the 1997 Formula One season. The race, contested over 77 laps, was won by Jacques Villeneuve driving for the Williams team. Damon Hill finished second driving an Arrows car, with Johnny Herbert third driving for the Sauber team. Villeneuve's victory was his fifth of the season and the sixth for the Williams team.
The race is notable for the defending world champion Damon Hill leading most of the race by over 35 seconds in an uncompetitive and unreliable Arrows-Yamaha until the car suffered a hydraulic failure and was passed on the final lap by Jacques Villeneuve.
As a consequence of the race, Villeneuve reduced Schumacher's lead in the Drivers' Championship to three points, with nearest competitor Jean Alesi, driving for Benetton, a further twenty-eight behind. In the World Constructors' Championship, Williams reduced Ferrari's lead to just two points.
Heading into the eleventh round of the season, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher was leading the Drivers' Championship with 53 points; ahead of Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve on 43 points, and the two Benetton drivers, Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, on 22 and 20 points respectively. The Constructors' Championship was closer at the front, with Ferrari on 71 points leading Williams on 62 points.
Practice and qualifying
Hill, as defending world champion, until then had experienced a bad year in the back runner Arrows-Yamaha car and was 17th in overall championship standings. But arriving at Hungary he set the fifth fastest time on Friday practice after just a single flying lap, after sitting for 55 minutes in the garage while his mechanics tore the gearbox off the car, looking for an electronic sensor problem. Later Hill qualified in 3rd place behind Villeneuve with Michael Schumacher claiming pole position. Hill's teammate Pedro Diniz qualified in 19th position.
Hill made a strong start from his third position, overtaking Villeneuve, and he then caught race leader Michael Schumacher on lap 6. By then both drivers had pulled away from the rest of the field. On lap 11 Hill overtook Schumacher, and would eventually be leading the race by over 35 seconds from Villeneuve. On lap 74, with three laps left, the hydraulic pump failed on Hill's car, causing it to become stuck in third gear and have an intermittent throttle. As a result, Hill started losing time and was overtaken by Villeneuve part-way through the final lap. Villeneuve won the race with Hill finishing second, and Johnny Herbert took the third place on the podium.
The problem, which denied Arrows, Bridgestone and Yamaha their first ever victories (in the case of Arrows and Yamaha, their only ever victories), was found to have been caused by the failure of a washer valued at 50 pence.
Johnny Herbert scored his only podium of the season, while Shinji Nakano equalled his career-best finish of 6th. Gianni Morbidelli returned for Sauber in place of Norberto Fontana after missing three races through injury. Hill's second position also marked the best ever result for Yamaha engines in Formula One.
With Villeneuve's win, the Williams team achieved its milestone 100th Grand Prix victory.
- Last podium: Arrows
- 100th Grand Prix Victory: Williams
- Last podium: Yamaha as engine supplier
- Last point: Shinji Nakano
Standings after Grand Prix
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1997 German Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1997 Belgian Grand Prix
1996 Hungarian Grand Prix
|Hungarian Grand Prix||Next race:
1998 Hungarian Grand Prix