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1997 British Grand Prix

RAC British Grand Prix

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Date:13 Jul 97
Race No:606
Weather at race start Weather conditions were Sunny Weather at race end

Villeneuve closes the gap to four points

Villeneuve beats the Benetton boys home Jacques Villeneuve's win - Williams' sixth in the last seven British Grands Prix - moved him to within four points of Michael Schumacher. "It's a great result for us. I think we needed it," said the Canadian. "But I was worried after that pit-stop because I had lost so much time. After that I just had to push, push and push all the time. I was lucky the tyres were very good for me and I could push so hard. It was great to see Schumacher stop!"

Michael Schumacher failed to break his British Grand Prix duck when he was forced to retire on lap 37. The championship leader had led for 16 laps after Jacques Villeneuve suffered a disastrous pit stop and the German ace built up a lead of about 35 seconds But smoke was seen pouring from his Ferrari and he was quickly forced out with a wheel bearing failure. Team-mate Eddie Irvine moved into second position but he also pulled out on lap 47 with a similar problem. Damon Hill claimed the best ever sixth position of his career as he won his first championship point of the season. The world champion has endured a stormy week with his Arrows team management over his performance this year. But Hill delighted the Silverstone crowd by moving up to sixth place on the penultimate lap of the race. He remained unlapped throughout the race and moved steadily up from 12th as those ahead of him suffered from misfortune.

Britain's Damon Hill said his sixth position was "like a victory". "I feel like I've won the race," said the Arrows driver. "It's only a point but it's a good result for me. I got up to seventh place but I thought sixth place was beyond me as Nakano was a long way ahead of me. But when he went off I seized my chance and held on. I got excited and started waving at the crowd. I wanted to give them something special for their support."

Finland's Mika Hakkinen came close to his first ever Grand Prix victory before retiring six laps from the end. The McLaren driver took the lead soon after Michael Schumacher's retirement - with rookie Alexander Wurz enjoying a few moments in the limelight. Hakkinen was being pushed to the limit by Jacques Villeneuve but appeared to be holding his own against the Canadian. But his Mercedes engine blew on lap 53 - as did his chances of a first ever victory in 88 attempts.

The winning car - Williams FW19

Circuit Information

59 Laps at 3.194 miles
= 188.446 miles
total race distance
Circuit Plan
Entry List Entry List,
& Lap by Lap
Pole Position Villeneuve
1m 21.598s

Qualifying Record

Fastest Lap M Schumacher
1m 24.480s
136.12 mph  on Lap 34

New Lap Record

PosNoDriverCarLapsTime - Retirement
01 3   J Villeneuve Williams FW19 59 1hr 28m 01.665s  
02 7   J Alesi Benetton B197 59 1hr 28m 11.870s  
03 8   A Wurz Benetton B197 59 1hr 28m 12.961s  
04 10   D Coulthard McLaren MP4-12 59 1hr 28m 32.894s  
05 11   R Schumacher Jordan 197 59 1hr 28m 33.545s  
06 1   D Hill Arrows A18 59 1hr 29m 15.217s  
07 12   G Fisichella Jordan 197 58 1hr 28m 05.716s  
08 14   J Trulli Prost JS45 58 1hr 28m 14.818s  
09 17   N Fontana Sauber C16 58 1hr 28m 49.184s  
10 21   T Marques Minardi M197 58 1hr 29m 28.078s  
11 15   S Nakano Prost JS45 57 1hr 26m 13.219s  
ret 9   M Hakkinen McLaren MP4-12 52 engine 
ret 23   J Magnussen Stewart SF1 50 engine 
ret 18   J Verstappen Tyrrell 025 45 engine 
ret 6   E Irvine Ferrari F310B 44 drive-shaft 
ret 19   M Salo Tyrrell 025 44 engine 
ret 16   J Herbert Sauber C16 42 electrical 
ret 5   M Schumacher Ferrari F310B 38 wheel bearing 
ret 22   R Barrichello Stewart SF1 29 engine 
ret 2   P Diniz Arrows A18 29 engine 
ret 4   H Frentzen Williams FW19 0 spun out 
ret 20   U Katayama Minardi M197 0 spun out 
All results & data unofficial    See something wrong ? Tell me

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