Warmup; Schumacher wins
(c) 1996 ATLAS TEAM
Sunday August 25, 1996
Jacques Villeneuve continued his run of success this weekend when he again topped the timesheets by setting fastest time in the official Warmup session.
Villeneuve was setting the pace by the 27th minute, on slightly damp circuit that had a mainly dry line available.
By contrast, things did not go so well for Damon Hill, who suffered a spin at the Bus Stop chicane in the final minutes of the session, and was 5 places down on his teammate.
- The track was drying after a very wet night. A few cars first ventured out on treaded tyres, but soon changed to slicks.
- Jos Verstapphen and Pedro Diniz also suffered spins in the dying mintues of the session.
- The weather for the race is expected to remain dry.
Top Ten from Warmup.
- J.Villeneuve 1m 54.087s
- M.Hakkinen 1m 54.137s
- G.Berger 1m 54.348s
- D.Coulthard 1m 54.590s
- J.Alesi 1m 54.731s
- D.Hill 1m 54.778s
- M.Brundle 1m 54.898s
- R.Barrichello 1m 55.131s
- O.Panis 1m 55.495s
- H.Frentzen 1m 55.618s
Michael Schumacher drove a stunning race, managing to wrestle his underpowered Ferrari to victory ahead of both all-conquering Williams-Renaults. Jacques Villeneve finished 2nd after challanging Schumacher in the final few laps, but dropping back when problems made him settle for second. By contrast it was again a poor race for the World Championship points leader, Damon Hill, seeing him slip to 4th in the first lap and eventually finish in 5th place. The points gap between Villeneuve and Hill has now slip to a meagre 13 points.
- Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Johnny Herbert, Rubens Barrichello and Oliver Panis suffered a crash on the first lap at La Source. Only Barrichello continued.
- Jos Verstapphen suffered a huge crash on which left his Arrows-Hart a destroyed disfigured mess. On the previous lap he had been in the pits, with a Stuck Throttle problem.
- Verstapphen walked away from the crash, and was eventually taken to Hospital by Helicopter as a precaution.
- Verstapphen's crash brought out the saftey car between laps 13-17, when the majority of the leaders, with the exception of McLaren pitted.
- Irvine continued his run of ill luck at Ferrari, by retiring again.
Michael Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist, presented the winners trophy on the podium. Later, he swapped a pair of running shoes for one of Schumachers Helmets.
- M.Schumacher Ferrari 1hr 28m 15.125s (44 Laps)
- J.Villeneuve Williams Gap 0m 5.602s (Pole Position)
- M.Hakkinen McLaren Gap 0m 15.710s
- J.Alesi Benetton Gap 0m 19.125s
- D.Hill Williams Gap 0m 29.179s
- G.Berger Benetton Gap 0m 28.896s (Fastest Lap: 1m 53.067s)
- M.Salo Tyrrell Gap 1m 0.754s
- U.Katayama Tyrrell Gap 1m 40.227s
- R.Rosset Footwork Laps behind: 1
- P.Lamy Minardi Laps behind: 1
Villeneuve: "The championship is still wide open." On his failure to understand when to pit during the safety car on track: "We lost the race because of miscommunication."
Schumacher: "No way did I think I could win this race, I wouldn't have bet a penny on it"
A Quick Look at the Standings
- Hill 81
- Villeneuve 68
- Schumacher 39
- Alesi 38
- Hakkinen 23
- Coulthard 18
- Berger 17
- Panis 13
- Barrichello 12
- Irvine 9
- Frentzen 6
- Salo 5
- Herbert 4
- Brundle 3
- Diniz 1
- Verstappen 1
- Williams-Renault 149
- Benetton-Renault 55
- Ferrari 48
- McLaren-Mercedes 41
- Jordan-Peugeot 15
- Ligier-Mugen-Honda 14
- Sauber-Ford 10
- Tyrrell-Yamaha 5
- TWR 1
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