Open main menu

The 1996 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 31 March 1996 at Interlagos in heavy rain. Six different teams scored points, with Damon Hill following up his win at the first round of the season.

1996 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race 2 of 16 in the 1996 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Interlagos.svg
Race details
Date 31 March 1996
Official name XXV Grande Prêmio do Brasil
Location Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Brazil
Course Permanent race circuit
Course length 4.325 km (2.687 mi)
Distance 71 laps, 307.075 km (190.808 mi)
Weather Wet, then drying with temperatures reaching up to 24 °C (75 °F)[1]
Pole position
Driver Williams-Renault
Time 1:18.111
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault
Time 1:21.547 on lap 65
First Williams-Renault
Second Benetton-Renault
Third Ferrari

Two local drivers, Marques (in his début race) and Diniz, had their qualifying times disallowed for, respectively, a push-start and missing the signal to go to the weighbridge. They had to start at the back of the grid.

Johnny Herbert started from the pit lane after switching to the backup-car due to electrical problems.

Damon Hill, who loved driving in the rain, took the lead and won the race under these difficult conditions with a comfortable winning margin of 17 seconds. São Paulo saw the 15th GP victory of Damon Hill, who thereby outperformed a record established by his father Graham Hill, who had won 14 races.

Major battles in the race were going on between Barrichello and Alesi, Alesi and Villeneuve, Schumacher and Frentzen and Schumacher and Barrichello.

Barrichello, who had qualified as second, lost ground to Villeneuve and Alesi on the first lap, but he kept sticking to the back of the Benetton and attempted to overtake Alesi three times in the early stages of the race, outbreaking him into the first corner only to slide wide on the exit allowing Alesi back through.

After a while, Alesi picked up pace and began to harry Villeneuve for 2nd place. After a battle Villeneuve eventually succumbed to the pressure and spun off. Approaching half-distance, Alesi had a brief off track excursion which finally allowed Barrichello through into 2nd place. However, Barrichello was forced to make what was supposed to be his only fuel stop on lap 35, when the track was still too wet for slick tyres. Alesi, on the other hand, did not have to pit until lap 42, by which time the track was dry enough to switch to slick tyres. This forced Barrichello to make unscheduled pit stop to make the switch to slicks, dropping him back behind Alesi.

To compound his misfortune, Barrichello made the switch too late, three laps later than Schumacher, meaning that he also dropped behind the German when he finally made his stop. With a clearly faster car, Barrichello began to harry Schumacher for the final podium spot. However, the German would not give in and eventually he braked too late and spun of into the gravel at the end of the back straight.

With little time between Melbourne and São Paulo, the Ferrari was still underdeveloped and Schumacher did not show the performance he later would deliver in Barcelona, for example. In his early days at Ferrari, Schumacher had to use the races as testing sessions.

Gerhard Berger had to park his Benetton in the pits after 27 laps. The Austrian had difficulties during qualifying which he could not explain. When the race then started under wet conditions, Berger had to drive carefully because he had never before piloted the Benetton in the rain. Not too unsatisfied with his performance, Berger experienced cut-offs due to hydraulic problems which became worse and worse and finally forced the car back to the garage.

Both Martin Brundle and David Coulthard did not see the finish line in the first two races of this season.

This was also the first ever broadcast for Formula One racing on Speedvision in the United States.




Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 5   Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:18.111
2 11   Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 1:19.092 +0.981
3 6   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:19.254 +1.143
4 1   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:19.474 +1.363
5 3   Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:19.484 +1.373
6 12   Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 1:19.519 +1.408
7 7   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.607 +1.496
8 4   Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:19.762 +1.651
9 15   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 1:19.799 +1.688
10 2   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:19.951 +1.840
11 19   Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:20.000 +1.889
12 14   Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 1:20.144 +2.033
13 17   Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 1:20.157 +2.046
14 8   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.167 +2.056
15 9   Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:20.426 +2.315
16 18   Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:20.427 +2.316
17 16   Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 1:20.440 +2.329
18 20   Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 1:21.491 +3.380
19 22   Luca Badoer Forti-Ford 1:23.174 +5.063
20 23   Andrea Montermini Forti-Ford 1:23.454 +5.343
107% time: 1:23.579
21 21   Tarso Marques Minardi-Ford No Time
22 10   Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda No Time


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5   Damon Hill Williams-Renault 71 1:49:52.976 1 10
2 3   Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 71 +17.982 5 6
3 1   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 4 4
4 7   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 70 +1 Lap 7 3
5 19   Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 70 +1 Lap 11 2
6 9   Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 70 +1 Lap 15 1
7 2   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 70 +1 Lap 10  
8 10   Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 69 +2 Laps 22  
9 18   Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 69 +2 Laps 16  
10 20   Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 68 +3 Laps 18  
11 22   Luca Badoer Forti-Ford 67 +4 Laps 19  
12 12   Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 64 Spun off 6  
Ret 11   Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 59 Spun off 2  
Ret 15   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 36 Engine 9  
Ret 8   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 29 Spun off 14  
Ret 14   Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 28 Engine 12  
Ret 6   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 26 Spun off 3  
Ret 4   Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 26 Hydraulics 8  
Ret 23   Andrea Montermini Forti-Ford 26 Spun off 20  
Ret 16   Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 24 Spun off 17  
Ret 17   Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 19 Engine 13  
Ret 21   Tarso Marques Minardi-Ford 0 Spun off 21  

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ Weather info for the 1996 Brazilian Grand Prix at Weather Underground
  2. ^ "1996 Brazilian Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Brazil 1996 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 13 March 2019.

Previous race:
1996 Australian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1996 season
Next race:
1996 Argentine Grand Prix
Previous race:
1995 Brazilian Grand Prix
Brazilian Grand Prix Next race:
1997 Brazilian Grand Prix