1996 Monaco Grand Prix

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Template:Infobox Grand Prix race report thumb of the type driven by Olivier Panis at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, on display.]] thumb The 1996 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Monaco on May 19, 1996. The race was run in wet weather, causing significant attrition and setting a record for the fewest number of cars (3) to be running at the end of a Grand Prix race. Olivier Panis scored his sole career Formula One victory, earning the last ever Formula One victory for the Ligier team (and the first ever for engine manufacturer Mugen Motorsports) after switching to slick tyres in a well-timed pitstop.

Report

Practice and qualifying

Michael Schumacher had taken pole position but had caused minor controversy on his slowing down lap when he impeded Gerhard Berger right at the end of the session. Coming out of the tunnel Schumacher was cruising slowly, acknowledging the crowd, while Berger was on a hot lap. Schumacher tried to get out of Berger's way but the Austrian was going too fast and had to spin at high speed to avoid the Ferrari, entering the chicane backwards.

The Ligiers were 14th and 17th in qualifying, both below their expectations after the team had mis-firing issues, preventing a top six position.<ref name=acclimatisation-9>Template:Cite video</ref>

Race day

Olivier Panis was fastest in the warm-up.<ref name=acclimatisation-8>Template:Cite video</ref> Jacques Villeneuve was 18th after running a wet-setup in preparation for the expected rain.<ref name=acclimatisation-4>Template:Cite video</ref>

Between the warm-up session and the race, heavy rain fell at the circuit. An additional 15-minute session was added to allow the drivers to get use to the changed conditions as it was the first time rain had fallen over the race weekend.<ref name=acclimatisation-1>Template:Cite video</ref><ref name=acclimatisation-3>Template:Cite video</ref><ref name=acclimatisation-5>Template:Cite video</ref> The session took place at 13:15 CEST (GMT +2).<ref name=acclimatisation-12>Template:Cite video</ref> Several drivers went off during the session, including Pedro Lamy, Pedro Diniz and Giancarlo Fisichella, but all continued.<ref name=acclimatisation-6>Template:Cite video</ref><ref name=acclimatisation-7>Template:Cite video</ref><ref name=acclimatisation-10>Template:Cite video</ref> The only two drivers to escape with damage were Mika Häkkinen and Andrea Montermini, who suffered damage to their car.<ref name=acclimatisation-11>Template:Cite video</ref><ref name=acclimatisation-13>Template:Cite video</ref> Jean Alesi suffered a puncture at the end of the session, but was able to return to the pitlane.<ref name=acclimatisation-14>Template:Cite video</ref> Several drivers opted to skip the session. The Footwork team chose not to participate as they did not have any spare parts, and any crash would have marked the end of their weekend.<ref name=acclimatisation-15>Template:Cite video</ref> Häkkinen was fastest, setting his time before his crash, with Alesi, Rubens Barrichello and Johnny Herbert behind. The two Williams cars were 7th and 8th, Villeneuve ahead of Damon Hill with Schumacher behind them in 9th.<ref name=acclimatisation-16>Template:Cite video</ref>

The race started at 14:30 CEST.<ref name=acclimatisation-2>Template:Cite video</ref>

In the warm-up Montermini crashed his Forti coming out of the tunnel, and the team's lack of a spare car meant the Italian was unable to start the wet race, therefore 21 cars would take the start. Hill got the jump on Schumacher into Ste Devote while further back there was trouble already. Jos Verstappen, who had opted to start the race on slicks, slid straight into the wall. The two Minardis were then eliminated when they tangled coming out of the first corner. And so 18 cars climbed the hill on the first lap. Hill began to pull away while polesitter Schumacher lost control coming out of Lower Mirabeau and hit the wall, leaving 17 cars running. Coming into the Rascasse, Barrichello's race was over as he spun. After five laps, there were only 13 cars remaining as Ukyo Katayama (accident), Ricardo Rosset (accident) and Diniz (transmission) joined the list of retirements. A significant gap began to open between the leaders and Eddie Irvine in fourth. Indeed there was a queue of eight cars behind the slow Ferrari. Berger retired from third place on the 10th lap with gearbox trouble leaving 12 cars while Heinz-Harald Frentzen damaged his front wing trying to pass Irvine, dropping to second last, ahead of Luca Badoer.

On lap 31, Martin Brundle spun off, which left only 11 cars in the race. Three laps later, Irvine was eventually passed when Panis forced his way through at the Loews hairpin in an electrifying move. Irvine lost control, became stuck and had even undone his seatbelts before he restarted his car with the assistance of the marshals. Hill, meanwhile, had briefly lost the lead to Alesi when he made a pit stop on lap 30 to change to slicks as the track began to dry, but regained the lead a lap later when he overtook the Frenchman (who was still on wet tyres) on the track. Alesi made his pit stop shortly afterwards, allowing Hill to extend his lead to nearly 30 seconds and continue untroubled at the front until the 40th lap, when a gearbox mistake led to engine failure coming out of the tunnel, his first retirement of the season. Alesi took over the lead after otherwise having a quiet race in second. He lasted 20 laps in the lead when his suspension failed, handing the lead to Panis. Luca Badoer was running six laps down in the Forti when he collided with Villeneuve at Mirabeau, retiring both drivers.

The race did not run its full distance as the 2 hour time limit came into effect. Panis was leading David Coulthard by a small margin with only five other cars behind them. Irvine capped an eventful afternoon by spinning at the same point that teammate Schumacher crashed. As he tried to rejoin, he was hit by Mika Salo, who was in turn hit by Häkkinen. All three cars retired and the marshals had their work cut out to clear the track. Fortunately there were only four cars circulating, with Frentzen running last. The German, who so easily could have been leading the race, decided to pull into the pits on the penultimate lap as he was running last anyway, and everyone else had already seen the checkered flag. Therefore only Panis, Coulthard and Herbert were counted as finishing the race (even though Frentzen was the last car still racing), with the Frenchman winning his one and only Grand Prix and Ligier's first win in 15 seasons. Frentzen, Salo and Häkkinen were classified in the final points positions with Irvine credited with seventh place.

Classification

Qualifying

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Diff.
1 1 Template:Flagicon Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:20.356
2 5 Template:Flagicon Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:20.866 +0.510
3 3 Template:Flagicon Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:20.918 +0.562
4 4 Template:Flagicon Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:21.067 +0.711
5 8 Template:Flagicon David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.460 +1.104
6 11 Template:Flagicon Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 1:21.504 +1.148
7 2 Template:Flagicon Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:21.542 +1.186
8 7 Template:Flagicon Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.688 +1.332
9 15 Template:Flagicon Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 1:21.929 +1.573
10 6 Template:Flagicon Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:21.963 +1.607
11 19 Template:Flagicon Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:22.235 +1.879
12 17 Template:Flagicon Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 1:22.327 +1.971
13 14 Template:Flagicon Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 1:22.346 +1.990
14 9 Template:Flagicon Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:22.358 +2.002
15 18 Template:Flagicon Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:22.460 +2.104
16 12 Template:Flagicon Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 1:22.519 +2.163
17 10 Template:Flagicon Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:22.682 +2.326
18 21 Template:Flagicon Giancarlo Fisichella Minardi-Ford 1:22.684 +2.328
19 20 Template:Flagicon Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 1:23.350 +2.994
20 16 Template:Flagicon Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 1:24.976 +4.620
21 22 Template:Flagicon Luca Badoer Forti-Ford 1:25.059 +4.703
22 23 Template:Flagicon Andrea Montermini Forti-Ford 1:25.393 +5.037
107% time: 1:25.981

Race

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 9 Template:Flagicon Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 75 2:00:45.629 14 10
2 8 Template:Flagicon David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 75 +4.828 5 6
3 14 Template:Flagicon Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 75 +37.503 13 4
4 15 Template:Flagicon Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 74 +1 lap 9 3
5 19 Template:Flagicon Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 70 Collision 11 2
6 7 Template:Flagicon Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 70 Collision 8 1
7 2 Template:Flagicon Eddie Irvine Ferrari 68 Collision 7  
Ret 6 Template:Flagicon Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 66 Collision 10  
Ret 3 Template:Flagicon Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 60 Suspension 3  
Ret 22 Template:Flagicon Luca Badoer Forti-Ford 60 Collision + Electrical 21  
Ret 5 Template:Flagicon Damon Hill Williams-Renault 40 Engine 2  
Ret 12 Template:Flagicon Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 30 Spun off 16  
Ret 4 Template:Flagicon Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 9 Gearbox 4  
Ret 10 Template:Flagicon Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 5 Transmission 17  
Ret 16 Template:Flagicon Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 3 Spun off 20  
Ret 18 Template:Flagicon Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 2 Spun off 15  
Ret 1 Template:Flagicon Michael Schumacher Ferrari 0 Accident 1  
Ret 11 Template:Flagicon Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 0 Spun off 6  
Ret 20 Template:Flagicon Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 0 Collision 19  
Ret 21 Template:Flagicon Giancarlo Fisichella Minardi-Ford 0 Collision 18  
Ret 17 Template:Flagicon Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 0 Accident 12  
DNS 23 Template:Flagicon Andrea Montermini Forti-Ford   No Car 22  

Standings after the race

Template:Col-start Template:Col-2

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Template:Flagicon Damon Hill 43
2 Template:Flagicon Jacques Villeneuve 22
3 Template:Flagicon Michael Schumacher 16
4 Template:Flagicon Olivier Panis 11
5 Template:Flagicon Jean Alesi 11

Template:Col-2

Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 Template:Flagicon Williams-Renault 65
2 Template:Flagicon Ferrari 25
3 Template:Flagicon Benetton-Renault 18
4 Template:Flagicon McLaren-Mercedes 16
5 Template:Flagicon Ligier-Mugen-Honda 11

Template:Col-end

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

Trivia

David Coulthard took second place wearing one of Schumacher's helmets, having borrowed it before the race because his was steaming up.

References

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External links

Template:F1 race report

Template:F1GP 90-99

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