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1996 Belgian Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1996 Belgian Grand Prix
Race 13 of 16 in the 1996 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Spa.png
Race details
Date 25 August 1996
Official name LIV Grand Prix de Belgique
Location Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 6.968 km (4.330 mi)
Distance 44 laps, 306.592 km (190.507 mi)
Weather Overcast and dry with temperatures reaching up to 17 °C (63 °F)[1]
Pole position
Driver Williams-Renault
Time 1:50.574
Fastest lap
Driver Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault
Time 1:53.067 on lap 36
First Ferrari
Second Williams-Renault
Third McLaren-Mercedes

The 1996 Belgian Grand Prix (formally the LIV Grand Prix de Belgique) was a Formula One motor race held on 25 August 1996 at Spa-Francorchamps. It was the thirteenth race of the 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The 44-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari. Schumacher had crashed heavily in Friday practice,[2] but recovered to qualify third before taking his second win of the season. Jacques Villeneuve, who had started from pole position, finished second in his Williams-Renault, with Mika Häkkinen third in a McLaren-Mercedes. Villeneuve's teammate and Drivers' Championship leader, Damon Hill, finished fifth.



Pos No Driver Constructor Time Diff.
1 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:50.574
2 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1:50.980 +0.406
3 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:51.778 +1.204
4 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:51.884 +1.310
5 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:51.960 +1.386
6 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:52.318 +1.744
7 3 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:52.354 +1.780
8 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 1:52.977 +2.403
9 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:53.043 +2.469
10 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 1:53.152 +2.578
11 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 1:53.199 +2.625
12 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 1:53.993 +3.419
13 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:54.095 +3.521
14 9 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:54.220 +3.646
15 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 1:54.700 +4.126
16 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 1:55.150 +4.576
17 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 1:55.371 +4.797
18 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 1:56.286 +5.712
19 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 1:56.830 +6.256
107% time: 1:58.314
DNQ 21 Italy Giovanni Lavaggi Minardi-Ford 1:58.579 +8.005


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 44 1:28:15.125 3 10
2 6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 44 + 5.602 1 6
3 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 44 + 15.710 6 4
4 3 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 44 + 19.125 7 3
5 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault 44 + 29.179 2 2
6 4 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 44 + 29.896 5 1
7 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Yamaha 44 + 1:00.754 13  
8 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 44 + 1:40.227 17  
9 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Footwork-Hart 43 + 1 Lap 18  
10 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy Minardi-Ford 43 + 1 Lap 19  
Ret 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 37 Spun Off 4  
Ret 12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle Jordan-Peugeot 34 Engine 8  
Ret 2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 29 Gearbox 9  
Ret 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 29 Suspension 10  
Ret 10 Brazil Pedro Diniz Ligier-Mugen-Honda 22 Electrical 15  
Ret 17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Footwork-Hart 11 Accident 16  
Ret 15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Ford 0 Collision 11  
Ret 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Ford 0 Collision 12  
Ret 9 France Olivier Panis Ligier-Mugen-Honda 0 Collision 14  


  • The start of the race saw the two Saubers of Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Johnny Herbert eliminated immediately when they collided at the La Source hairpin, following an incident that also involved Olivier Panis' Ligier and Rubens Barrichello's Jordan. Panis also retired on the spot; Barrichello was able to continue, pitting to repair his suspension, although it eventually failed altogether on lap 30.
  • On lap 10, Jos Verstappen pitted with a sticking throttle. The Footwork Arrows pit crew found no damage and sent Verstappen back out, only for the Dutchman to crash almost immediately. Team boss Tom Walkinshaw confirmed after the race that the throttle problem had not recurred, and that the crash was caused by a faulty wheel. The incident brought out the safety car for seven laps, during which time all the drivers besides the McLarens of Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard (both running a one-stop strategy) made pit stops.
  • Jacques Villeneuve, leading the race when the safety car came out, missed his pit stop on lap 13. As a result, he lost the lead to Michael Schumacher, who eventually won the race by 5.6 seconds from Villeneuve. The Canadian driver later explained that he had misunderstood the radio instruction to come in, due to the confusion brought about by the deployment of the safety car.
  • As a further consequence of Villeneuve's error, teammate Damon Hill was instructed to pit by the Williams engineers, only to then be told to stay out just as he was heading into the pit lane. Hill was driving the spare Williams following a misfire in the Sunday morning warm-up session. By the time he finally got to make his pit stop, he had fallen to 13th, but he recovered to finish fifth.
  • Running in fourth place at half distance, Gerhard Berger spun off in his Benetton while trying to pass Eddie Irvine's Ferrari, an error which dropped him to 12th. After setting a string of fastest laps he recovered to sixth by the end of the race, thanks in part to Irvine's retirement with gearbox problems. Berger's Benetton teammate Jean Alesi finished fourth after Coulthard had spun off into retirement and crashed on lap 38.

Championship standings after the race

  • Bold text indicates the World Champions.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ Weather info for the 1996 Belgian Grand Prix at Weather Underground
  2. ^ "Grand Prix Results: Belgian GP, 1996". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  3. ^ "1996 Belgian Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Belgium 1996 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 13 March 2019.

Previous race:
1996 Hungarian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1996 season
Next race:
1996 Italian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1995 Belgian Grand Prix
Belgian Grand Prix Next race:
1997 Belgian Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 30 August 2020, at 11:46
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