THE MONACO GRAND PRIX LIBRARY BY ROY HULSBERGEN

Anchoring in the Med

54th GP - 1996

19th May - 75 laps  3.328 km - 249.6 km

Practice: The 30th anniversary of the existence of the McLaren team, celebrated with a special engine. In the Saturday qualifying Schumacher was at his top and got the pole. It first looked like it would be taken by Damon Hill with a lap of 1’20.866”, but it was shattered by Michaël with 1’20.372”.
There was an incident when Schumacher was doodling on the track after establishing his pole, that Berger still trying to get a fast lap nearly crashed into him and managed to avoid with a big spin. A furious Berger wanted Schumacher penalised, but the thing got hushed up by the stewards. In the end Schumi apologised. The difference between the two Ferraris or the drivers(?) was enormous with Eddie Irvine on 7th. On 14th position was an unhappy Olivier Panis, who only was able to do one qualifying lap before an engine problem. His chances of a good race result were shattered. As usual the procession was followed by the Minardis.

Starting Grid

1 Michael Schumacher - Ferrari                                        

                                                  5 Damon Hill - Williams- Renault FW18

3 Jean Alesi - Benetton-Renault                                                                                    

                                                  4 Gerhard Berger - Benetton-Renault B196

8 David Coulthard - McLaren-Mercedes                                                                 

                                                  11 Rubens Barrichello - Jordan-Peugeot 196

2 Eddie Irvine - Ferrari                                                                                                   

                                                  7 Mika Hakkinen - McLaren-Mercedes MP4/11

15 Heinz-Harald Frentzen - Sauber-Cosworth                                                     

                                                  6 Jacques Villeneuve - Williams-Renault FW18

19 Mika Salo - Tyrrell-Yamaha                                                                                    

                                                  17 Jos Verstappen - Footwork-Hart FA17

14 Johnny Herbert - Sauber-Cosworth                                                                            

                                                  9 Olivier Panis - Ligier-Mugen-Honda JS43

18 Katayama - Tyrrell-Yamaha                                                                                         

                                                  12 Martin Brundle - Jordan-Peugeot 196

10 Pedro Diniz - Ligier-Mugen-Honda                                                                        

                                                  21 Giancarlo Fisichella - Minardi-Cosworth

20 Pedro Lamy - Minardi-Cosworth                                                                         

                                                  16 Riccardo Rosset - Footwork-Hart FA17

2 Luca Badoer - Forti-Cosworth FG01-95B                                                        

Race

On Sunday morning for the warm up the skies were menacing. In the afternoon there was a wash down, which according to the rules gave a 15 minute practice session to adjust the cars for a wet track. Hakkinen used this session to wreck his car in the Tabac corner and thus had to start in the spare car. Alesi, since there was no sand pit, decided to whack the barrier in Mirabeau and Montermini destroyed his car before the chicane.
The rain stopped, the track dried and every team, except Arrows, decided to start on wet tires.
Schumacher missed the start and Damon was first through Ste-Devote. Verstappen tried to overtake Hakinnen in the Ste-Devote, it did not work and his race was over. The two Minardis all the way at the back managed to run into each other in the first curve and both were out, amazing. Damon had taken a good advance, while Schumacher drove his Ferrari in the curb after the Loews and wrecked the front wheels. Next Barichello managed to reverse crash into the barrier at the Rascasse. By the end of lap one, five cars were gone, Damon Hill had more than 4 seconds advance and by lap 21 he was way ahead by 25 seconds. A pit stop in lap 28 and still ahead and then in lap 41 the Renault engine blew up. Alesi in the lead, but not for long, he had to abandon with a broken suspension. Then Irvine in the lead, driving slowly and in the middle of the road. Until Frenzen had enough and bumped into Eddy in Ste-Devote and had to get a new nose. Next in Line was Coulthard, but a weird strategy decision made him fall back to 5th and eventually end up in 2nd.
I was with a film crew on the track and it is always difficult to follow the race that way. I have always wondered why the sound system of the commentator is so bad. We were standing in the Noghes corner, the sun peeped through the clouds and passing us was a blue Ligier with a huge French flag sticking from the cockpit. Olivier Panis had won this race, his first one, it was stunning, a French driver in a French car! The last time was in 1930 Rene Dreyfus in a Bugatti.  He had started in 14th place and by careful and precise driving passed every one and followed a strategy that paid off. Actually only three cars were running in the end, after Hakkinen and Salo piled up on Irvine.

Race Result

1 Olivier Panis

Ligier-Mugen-Honda

75

2h00m45.629s

2 David Coulthard

McLaren-Mercedes

75

2h00m50.457s

3 Johnny Herbert

Sauber-Cosworth

75

2h01m23.132s

4 HH Frentzen

Sauber-Cosworth

74

Pits

5r Mika Salo

Tyrrell-Yamaha

70

Accident

6r Mika Hakkinen

McLaren-Mercedes

70

Accident

7r Eddie Irvine

Ferrari

68

Accident

Fastest lap: Jean Alesi - Benetton - 1'25''205-140,611 km/h -lap 59

Retired:

Villeneuve

Williams-Renault

66

Accident

Jean Alesi

Benetton-Renault

60

Rear Suspension

Luca Badoer

Forti-Cosworth

60

Accident

Damon Hill

Williams-Renault

40

Oil Pump/engine

Martin Brundle

Jordan-Peugeot

30

Accident

Gerhard Berger

Benetton-Renault

9

Gearbox Sensor

Pedro Diniz

Ligier-Mugen-Honda

5

Transmission/spin

Riccardo Rosset

Footwork-Hart

3

Accident

Katayama

Tyrrell-Yamaha

2

Throttle Jammed/accident

Schumacher

Ferrari

0

Accident

Barrichello

Jordan-Peugeot

0

Accident

Jos Verstappen

Footwork-Hart

0

Spin

Pedro Lamy

Minardi

0

Accident

Fisichella

Minardi

0

Accident

Montermini

Forti

0

Accident

World Drivers Championship

1996

AU

BR

RA

EU

SM

MC

ES

CA

FR

GB

DE

HU

BE

IT

PT

JP

Total

Damon Hill

10

10

10

3

10

 

 

10

10

 

10

6

2

 

6

10

97

J.Villeneuve

6

 

6

10

 

 

4

6

6

10

4

10

6

 

10

 

78

MSchumacher

 

4

 

6

6

 

10

 

 

 

3

 

10

10

4

6

59

J.Alesi

 

6

4

 

1

 

6

4

4

 

6

4

3

6

3

 

47

M.Häkkinen

2

3

 

 

 

1

2

2

2

4

 

3

4

4

 

4

31

G.Berger

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

3

6

 

 

1

 

1

3

21

D.Coulthard

 

 

 

4

 

6

 

3

1

2

2

 

 

 

 

 

18

R.Barrichello

 

 

3

2

2

 

 

 

 

3

1

1

 

2

 

 

14

O.Panis

 

1

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

13

E.Irvine

4

 

2

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

11


World Constructor Championship

1996

AU

BR

RA

EU

SM

MC

ES

CA

FR

GB

DE

HU

BE

IT

PT

JP

total

Williams

16

10

16

13

10

 

4

16

16

10

14

16

8

 

16

10

175

Ferrari

4

4

2

6

9

 

10

 

 

 

3

 

10

10

6

6

70

Benetton

3

6

4

 

5

 

6

4

7

6

6

4

4

6

4

3

68

McLaren

2

3

 

4

 

7

2

5

3

6

2

3

4

4

 

4

49

Jordan

 

 

3

3

2

 

 

1

 

4

1

1

 

5

 

2

22

Ligier

 

1

 

 

 

10

1

 

 

 

 

2

 

1

 

 

15

Sauber

 

 

 

 

 

7

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

11

Tyrrell

1

2

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Footwork

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Minardi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Forti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0