1997 Monaco Grand Prix
The 1997 Monaco Grand Prix (formally the LV Grand Prix de Monaco) was a Formula One race held on 11 May 1997 at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo. It was the fifth race of the 1997 Formula One World Championship. The 62-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari, after starting from second position. Rubens Barrichello finished second in a Stewart-Ford, with Eddie Irvine third in the other Ferrari.
|1997 Monaco Grand Prix|
|Race 5 of 17 in the 1997 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||11 May 1997|
|Official name||LV Grand Prix de Monaco|
Circuit de Monaco|
Monte Carlo, Monaco
|Course||Temporary street circuit|
|Course length||3.36 km (2.08 mi)|
|Distance||62 laps, 207.08 km (128.96 mi)|
|Scheduled distance||78 laps, 260.52 km (162.24 mi)|
|Weather||Overcast, cold and rain, air temperature 11 °C (52 °F)|
|Time||1:53.315 on lap 26|
Heinz-Harald Frentzen, driving a Williams-Renault, started from pole position ahead of Schumacher. Frentzen and teammate Jacques Villeneuve made poor starts, and both retired from the race in separate accidents. Schumacher won by some 53 seconds from Barrichello, who scored the first podium for the Stewart team in only their fifth Grand Prix. The race had been scheduled for 78 laps, but rainy conditions meant that only 62 laps were run before the two-hour time limit was reached.
The win enabled Schumacher to take over the lead of the Drivers' Championship from Villeneuve, and Ferrari to move ahead of Williams in the Constructors' Championship.
Heading into this race, the fifth of the 1997 season, Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve led the Drivers' Championship with 20 points, followed by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher on 14. Behind them were five drivers on 10 points each: Villeneuve's teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen, McLaren driver David Coulthard, Schumacher's teammate Eddie Irvine, Benetton driver Gerhard Berger, and Coulthard's teammate Mika Häkkinen. In the Constructors' Championship, Williams led with 30 points, followed by Ferrari on 24 and McLaren on 20.
Qualifying saw Frentzen take pole position in his Williams by just 0.019 seconds from Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, with Villeneuve third in the other Williams, a further 0.3 seconds back. It was Frentzen's first pole position in Formula One. The Jordans of Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher were fourth and sixth respectively, with Coulthard's McLaren between them. Completing the top ten were Johnny Herbert in the Sauber, Häkkinen in the other McLaren, Jean Alesi in the Benetton and Rubens Barrichello in the Stewart. Further down the grid, Irvine could only manage 15th in the other Ferrari.
The warm-up session was dry, with Williams taking first and second places. About 30 minutes before the start, however, rain began to fall; Williams decided to run both cars with dry tyres, thinking the weather would improve, while Michael Schumacher set the car for intermediate weather conditions. During the warm up lap, the weather worsened, and at the start, Schumacher was quickest. He led by 22 seconds on lap 5. Behind him the Jordans of Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher, which both had the car set for rain, took second and third spots, until they were both passed by Barrichello's Stewart, who benefited from the Bridgestone wet tyres, which were better than Goodyear's under those conditions.
The start of the race was catastrophic for the Arrows team, as Pedro Diniz, who had opted to start the race on slick tyres, spun out after the hairpin on the opening lap, while his teammate Damon Hill was involved in a collision with Irvine's Ferrari on the second lap, breaking his suspension. Both McLarens also retired on lap two as Coulthard hit the wall exiting the tunnel, and Häkkinen ran into the back of Alesi's Benetton as they passed Coulthard's car.
Both Willams drivers went out of the race after they had to pit to change their tyres. Frentzen hit a barrier at the chicane on lap 39, while Villeneuve hit a wall and had to retire on lap 17. Schumacher continued to build his lead until he had about 30 seconds advantage over Barrichello; then he backed off and began to maintain the gap. He made an error on lap 53 at the Sainte Devote corner, going down the escape road and losing 10 seconds, but did not lose his lead. Only 62 of the scheduled 78 laps were run as the two-hour time limit was reached, and Schumacher won with a 53-second margin over Barrichello. Irvine finished third after overtaking Olivier Panis, exacting some measure of revenge for Panis' overtaking manoeuvre that had seen him get past Irvine a year earlier. After losing third place to Irvine, Panis backed off in the closing stages and settled for fourth place. Mika Salo finished fifth despite denting his front wing on debris left from Häkkinen's accident early on, and also despite not making a single pit stop during the race. Fisichella, who at one point was running as high as second place, finished in sixth. The race was the first win for a Ferrari driver since the 1981 running of the Monaco Grand Prix.
On the podium, the flag displayed for Eddie Irvine was that of the Republic of Ireland, instead of the Union Jack of the United Kingdom (Irvine being from Northern Ireland, a country within the UK). This was due to a complication regarding the Superlicence that a driver is required to have in order to race in Formula One (Irvine's licence having been issued by an office in Dublin, thus resulting in the Irish tricolour being flown).
|2||22||Rubens Barrichello||Stewart-Ford||62||+ 53.306||10||6|
|3||6||Eddie Irvine||Ferrari||62||+ 1:22.108||15||4|
|4||14||Olivier Panis||Prost-Mugen-Honda||62||+ 1:44.402||12||3|
|5||19||Mika Salo||Tyrrell-Ford||61||+ 1 Lap||14||2|
|6||12||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Peugeot||61||+ 1 Lap||4||1|
|7||23||Jan Magnussen||Stewart-Ford||61||+ 1 Lap||19|
|8||18||Jos Verstappen||Tyrrell-Ford||60||+ 2 Laps||22|
|9||8||Gerhard Berger||Benetton-Renault||60||+ 2 Laps||17|
|10||20||Ukyo Katayama||Minardi-Hart||60||+ 2 Laps||20|
|Ret||7||Jean Alesi||Benetton-Renault||16||Spun off||9|
|Ret||3||Jacques Villeneuve||Williams-Renault||16||Accident damage||3|
|Ret||2||Pedro Diniz||Arrows-Yamaha||0||Spun off||16|
Championship standings after the raceEdit
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "Schumacher is simply stunning". New Straits Times. 12 May 1997. p. 39.
- "Monaco 1997 - Qualifications • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
- "Grand Prix Results: Monaco GP, 1997". grandprix.com. 11 May 1997. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Richardson, Chris (11 May 1997). "Monaco Grand Prix 1997 - Race Report". Speed Motorsport. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Schumacher wins Monaco Grand Prix". Boca Raton News. 12 May 1997. p. 2C.
- "1997 Monaco Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- "Monaco 1997 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.