Formula One Legends: World Championship 1997

The 1997 Formula One season was the 48th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1997 FIA Formula One World Championship, which commenced on 9 March and ended on 26 October after seventeen races.

Three new teams came into Formula One in 1997: Prost, who replaced Ligier; Stewart and Lola, the latter of which only entered the 1997 Australian Grand Prix after the team’s dismal performance in the Grand Prix which saw a lack of sponsorship for the next Grand Prix in Brazil. Footwork changed their name to “Arrows” and switched from the Hart engines used the previous year to Yamaha engines. Tyrrell changed their engines as well, swapping the Yamaha engines in preference to the Ford engines. Jordan-Peugeot signed up highly-rated British engineer, Dr. John Davis. He helped the team with its new windtunnel facility at Brackley, the tunnel itself was funded by Ferrari in exchange for Eddie Irvine who moved to Ferrari the previous year.

Williams: The Champion team dismissed the 1996 World Champion Damon Hill and employed Heinz-Harald Frentzen, the German whom the team had wanted to sign for several years.

Minardi ran Italian rising star Jarno Trulli alongside Ukyo Katayama for the 1997 season. The announcement filled the final seat in the 1997 Formula 1 World Championship. The decision was made after Minardi released promising Italian Giancarlo Fisichella from his contract so that he could join Jordan. Having signed Ukyo Katayama, and his Mild Seven sponsorship, for one seat, owner Giancarlo Minardi felt that his team needed a young Italian and Trulli was the obvious choice for Minardi.

Bridgestone entered into F1 and supplied tyres to five teams: Arrows, Prost, Minardi, Stewart and Lola.

The 1997 season began with betting. The current world champion Damon Hill swapped Williams for Arrows, while all anxiously waiting for the performance of the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher in the new season.

And until he was well. Totaled 78 points in the championship and secured second place. However, the FIA punished him for “reckless driving” due to an accident caused by it in the European Grand Prix. So Schumacher dropped to the last position.  While Canadian Jacques Villeneuve’s Williams, saw his way clear to winning the first world title of his career.

Grand Prix Date Winning Driver Team Laps Time
Australia 09/03/1997 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 58 1:30’28.718
Brazil 30/03/1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 72 1:36’06.990
Argentina 13/04/1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 72 1:52’01.715
San Marino 27/04/1997 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault 62 1:31’00.673
Monaco 11/05/1997 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 62 2:00’05.654
Spain 25/05/1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 64 1:30’35.896
Canada 15/06/1997 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 54 1:17’40.646
France 29/06/1997 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 72 1:38’50.492
Great Britain 13/07/1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 59 1:28’01.665
Germany 27/07/1997 Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 45 1:20’59.046
Hungary 10/08/1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 77 1:45’47.149
Belgium 24/08/1997 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 44 1:33’46.717
Italy 07/09/1997 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 53 1:17’04.609
Austria 21/09/1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 71 1:27’35.999
Luxembourg 28/09/1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 67 1:31’27.843
Japan 12/10/1997 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 53 1:29’48.446
Europe 26/10/1997 Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes 69 1:38’57.771

Drivers Championship Standing

Pos Driver Points
1 Jacques Villeneuve 81
SQ Michael Schumacher 78 *
2 Heinz-Harald Frentzen 42
3 David Coulthard 36
4 Jean Alesi 36
5 Gerhard Berger 27
6 Mika Häkkinen 27
7 Eddie Irvine 24
8 Giancarlo Fisichella 20
9 Olivier Panis 16
10 Johnny Herbert 15

* = disqualified

Constructor Championship Standing

Pos. Team Points
1 Williams-Renault 123
2 Ferrari 102
3 Benetton-Renault 67
4 McLaren-Mercedes 63
5 Jordan-Peugeot 33
6 Prost-Mugen-Honda 21
7 Sauber-Petronas 16
8 Arrows-Yamaha 9
9 Stewart-Ford 6
10 Tyrrell-Ford 2


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