1997 Monaco Grand Prix

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The 1997 Monaco Grand Prix (formally the LV Grand Prix de Monaco) was a Formula One race held on May 11, 1997 at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco. It was the fifth round of the 1997 Formula One season. The race, contested over 62 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher for the Scuderia Ferrari team after starting from second position. Rubens Barrichello, who started the Grand Prix from tenth position, finished second in a Stewart car, with Eddie Irvine third in the other Ferrari. Schumacher's win saw him take over the lead of the World Driver's championship from Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve. Ferrari also took over the lead of the Constructors' Championship from Williams.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, driving for Williams, started from pole position ahead of Schumacher. However, Frentzen and team-mate Villeneuve both made poor starts down to a case of tyre strategy made by Williams and both drivers later retired from the race from separate accidents. Schumacher won the race comfortably, with a gap of 53 seconds from Barrichello who scored the first podium slot for the Stewart team in only their 5th Grand Prix. The race had been scheduled for 78 laps, but was only run for 62 laps due to the race taking longer than 2 hours to complete. This was largely down to rainy conditions that the drivers encountered during the Grand Prix.

Report

Background

Heading into the 5th race of the season, Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve was leading the Drivers' Championship with 20 points, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher was second on 14 points, 6 points behind Villeneuve. Behind Villeneuve and Schumacher in the Driver's Championship, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, driving for Williams, David Coulthard, driving for McLaren and Eddie Irvine, driving for Ferrari, were all on 10 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Williams were leading on 30 points and Ferrari were on 24 points.

Qualifying

Qualifying saw Heinz-Harald Frentzen in his Williams-Renault in front of Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari; third was Jacques Villeneuve in the other Williams. Fourth was Giancarlo Fisichella in the Jordan-Peugeot, while the fifth place was taken by David Coulthard in the McLaren-Mercedes and the sixth by Ralf Schumacher in the second Jordan, showing the good setup the team had found on the circuit.

Race

The warm-up session was dry, with Williams taking first and second places. But about 30 minutes to go before the start, 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, which both had the car set for rain, took second and third spots, until they were both passed by Rubens Barrichello in the 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, slid straight into the wall on the opening lap, while Diniz' team-mate Damon Hill was involved in a collision with Mika Häkkinen's McLaren on the second lap, eliminating both cars on the spot.

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, in which he went down the escape road and lost 10 seconds, but did not lose his lead. The race was stopped on lap 62 instead of the 78 scheduled because of the time limit of 2 hours, and Schumacher won with a 53 second margin over Barrichello. Eddie 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 Mika Häkkinen's accident early on, and also despite not making a single pit stop during the race. Giancarlo 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.

Post-race

Classification

Qualifying

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 4 Template:Flagicon Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault 1:18.216
2 5 Template:Flagicon Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:18.235 +0.019
3 3 Template:Flagicon Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:18.583 +0.367
4 12 Template:Flagicon Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Peugeot 1:18.665 +0.449
5 10 Template:Flagicon David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.779 +0.563
6 11 Template:Flagicon Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Peugeot 1:18.943 +0.727
7 16 Template:Flagicon Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 1:19.105 +0.889
8 9 Template:Flagicon Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.119 +0.903
9 7 Template:Flagicon Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:19.263 +1.047
10 22 Template:Flagicon Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 1:19.295 +1.079
11 17 Template:Flagicon Nicola Larini Sauber-Petronas 1:19.468 +1.252
12 14 Template:Flagicon Olivier Panis Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:19.626 +1.410
13 1 Template:Flagicon Damon Hill Arrows-Yamaha 1:19.674 +1.458
14 19 Template:Flagicon Mika Salo Tyrrell-Ford 1:19.694 +1.478
15 6 Template:Flagicon Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:19.723 +1.507
16 2 Template:Flagicon Pedro Diniz Arrows-Yamaha 1:19.860 +1.644
17 8 Template:Flagicon Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:20.199 +1.983
18 21 Template:Flagicon Jarno Trulli Minardi-Hart 1:20.349 +2.133
19 23 Template:Flagicon Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford 1:20.516 +2.300
20 20 Template:Flagicon Ukyo Katayama Minardi-Hart 1:20.606 +2.390
21 15 Template:Flagicon Shinji Nakano Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:20.961 +2.745
22 18 Template:Flagicon Jos Verstappen Tyrrell-Ford 1:21.290 +3.074

Race

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 Template:Flagicon Michael Schumacher Ferrari 62 2:00:05.654 2 10
2 22 Template:Flagicon Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 62 +53.306 10 6
3 6 Template:Flagicon Eddie Irvine Ferrari 62 +1:22.108 15 4
4 14 Template:Flagicon Olivier Panis Prost-Mugen-Honda 62 +1:44.402 12 3
5 19 Template:Flagicon Mika Salo Tyrrell-Ford 61 +1 Lap 14 2
6 12 Template:Flagicon Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Peugeot 61 +1 Lap 4 1
7 23 Template:Flagicon Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford 61 +1 Lap 19  
8 18 Template:Flagicon Jos Verstappen Tyrrell-Ford 60 +2 Laps 22  
9 8 Template:Flagicon Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 60 +2 Laps 17  
10 20 Template:Flagicon Ukyo Katayama Minardi-Hart 60 +2 Laps 20  
Ret 4 Template:Flagicon Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault 39 Accident 1  
Ret 15 Template:Flagicon Shinji Nakano Prost-Mugen-Honda 36 Accident 21  
Ret 17 Template:Flagicon Nicola Larini Sauber-Petronas 24 Accident 11  
Ret 7 Template:Flagicon Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 16 Spun off 9  
Ret 3 Template:Flagicon Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 16 Accident damage 3  
Ret 11 Template:Flagicon Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Peugeot 10 Accident 6  
Ret 16 Template:Flagicon Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 9 Accident 7  
Ret 21 Template:Flagicon Jarno Trulli Minardi-Hart 7 Accident 18  
Ret 10 Template:Flagicon David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1 Accident 5  
Ret 9 Template:Flagicon Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1 Collision 8  
Ret 1 Template:Flagicon Damon Hill Arrows-Yamaha 1 Collision 13  
Ret 2 Template:Flagicon Pedro Diniz Arrows-Yamaha 0 Spun off 16  

Notes

  • Scheduled for 78 laps but stopped after two-hour mark.
  • Mika Salo did not make a pit-stop.
  • First pole position for Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
  • First point finish and first podium for Stewart.
  • Last points finish for Tyrrell.
  • Last Formula One race for Nicola Larini.
  • Only time in 1997 where both Stewarts finished the race.

Standings after Grand Prix

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Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Template:Flagicon Michael Schumacher 24
2 Template:Flagicon Jacques Villeneuve 20
3 Template:Flagicon Eddie Irvine 14
4 Template:Flagicon Heinz-Harald Frentzen 10
5 Template:Flagicon David Coulthard 10

Template:Col-2

Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 Template:Flagicon Ferrari 38
2 Template:Flagicon Williams-Renault 30
3 Template:Flagicon McLaren-Mercedes 20
4 Template:Flagicon Benetton-Renault 13
5 Template:Flagicon Prost-Mugen-Honda 9

Template:Col-end

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

References

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Template:F1 race report

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