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The 1996 Japanese Grand Prix (officially known as the XXII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 13 October 1996 at Suzuka. It was the 16th and final race of the 1996 Formula One season.

1996 Japanese Grand Prix
Race 16 of 16 in the 1996 Formula One World Championship
Suzuka circuit map (1987-2002).svg
Race details
Date 13 October 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)
Scheduled distance 53 laps, 310.792 km (193.117 mi)
Weather Sunny, mild and Dry
Pole position
Driver Williams-Renault
Time 1:38.909
Fastest lap
Driver Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault
Time 1:44.043 on lap 34
Podium
First Williams-Renault
Second Ferrari
Third McLaren-Mercedes

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. This was also the last race for Giovanni Lavaggi, Pedro Lamy and Martin Brundle. This was also the final time that the BBC programme Grand Prix would be on broadcast for a live F1 race, as BBC commentator Murray Walker had said as soon as Damon Hill crossed the line and won the championship had said at the time "I've got to stop now, because I've got a lump in my throat." as soon as Damon Hill crossed the line as, notable for being one of the happiest moments of British motorsport, as Graham and Damon Hill became the first father and son to win the Formula One World Championship. They would be followed by Keke and Nico Rosberg in 2016.

RaceEdit

This was the first time since 1977 that Japan hosted the final round of the World Championship, a distinction which had been held by the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide for the previous 11 seasons.

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.[1] 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. Hill pitted for his second stop with a 25-second gap to Schumacher, emerging narrowly ahead of the Ferrari, before pulling away gradually once again to lead by 13 seconds with ten laps remaining. Villeneuve, meanwhile, 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. A late fightback saw Schumacher close the gap to Hill, but Hill held on to win the race by 1.8 seconds, with Häkkinen a further 1.4 seconds back, while Berger recovered to finish fourth, Martin Brundle came fifth in his final Grand Prix, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen emulated his result at the same race a year earlier when he picked up the final point for sixth.

ClassificationEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Diff.
1 6   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:38.909
2 5   Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:39.370 +0.461
3 1   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:40.071 +1.162
4 4   Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:40.364 +1.455
5 7   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.458 +1.549
6 2   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:41.005 +2.096
7 15   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 1:41.277 +2.368
8 8   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.384 +2.475
9 3   Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:41.562 +2.653
10 12   Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 1:41.600 +2.691
11 11   Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 1:41.919 +3.010
12 9   Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:42.206 +3.297
13 14   Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 1:42.658 +3.749
14 18   Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:42.711 +3.802
15 19   Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:42.840 +3.931
16 10   Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:43.196 +4.287
17 17   Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 1:43.383 +4.474
18 20   Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 1:44.874 +5.965
19 16   Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 1:45.412 +6.503
107% time: 1:45.833
DNQ 21   Giovanni Lavaggi Minardi-Ford 1:46.795 +7.886

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5   Damon Hill Williams-Renault 52 1:32:33.791 2 10
2 1   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 52 + 1.883 3 6
3 7   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 52 + 3.212 5 4
4 4   Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 52 + 26.526 4 3
5 12   Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 52 + 1:07.120 10 2
6 15   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 52 + 1:21.186 7 1
7 9   Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 52 + 1:24.510 12  
8 8   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 52 + 1:25.233 8  
9 11   Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 52 + 1:41.065 11  
10 14   Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 52 + 1:41.799 13  
11 17   Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 51 + 1 Lap 17  
12 20   Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 50 + 2 Laps 18  
13 16   Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 50 + 2 Laps 19  
Ret 2   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 39 Collision 6  
Ret 18   Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 37 Engine 14  
Ret 6   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 36 Wheel 1  
Ret 19   Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 20 Engine 15  
Ret 10   Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 13 Spun off 16  
Ret 3   Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 0 Spun off/Accident 9  
DNQ 21   Giovanni Lavaggi Minardi-Ford    
Source:[2]

Championship standings after the raceEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "F1 News - Grandprix.com > GP Encyclopedia > Races > Japanese GP, 1996". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  2. ^ "1996 Japanese Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Japan 1996 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.


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1996 Portuguese Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1996 season
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1997 Australian Grand Prix
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1995 Japanese Grand Prix
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1997 Japanese Grand Prix