Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1997 Austrian Grand Prix

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Date  21 September 1997
Course length  4.323 km (2.697 mi)
1997 Austrian Grand Prix
Official name  XXI Großer Preis von Österreich
Location  A1-Ring, Spielberg, Austria
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  71 laps, 306.933 km (191.474 mi)

The 1997 Austrian Grand Prix (formally the XXI Großer Preis von Österreich) was a Formula One motor race held at the A1-Ring on 21 September 1997. The race, contested over 71 laps, was the fourteenth race of the 1997 Formula One season, and the first Austrian Grand Prix since 1987.


Jacques Villeneuve, driving a Williams-Renault, won from pole position, with David Coulthard second in a McLaren-Mercedes, and Villeneuve's team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen third. Villeneuve's rival for the Drivers' Championship, Michael Schumacher, could only manage sixth in his Ferrari.


Qualifying threw up a few surprises, as the Bridgestone tyres used by several smaller teams proved strong, but it was ultimately Jacques Villeneuve who won. Mika Häkkinen had been leading Villeneuve after the start but his engine failed yet again, before he even managed to complete the first lap. Jarno Trulli lead the early laps as a result, and was running 2nd (though still needing to make another pitstop) when his engine also failed.

A spectacular collision occurred between Eddie Irvine and Jean Alesi. As they battled for 4th place on lap 37, Alesi tried to outbrake Irvine into the chicane from approximately eight car-lengths behind, and as Irvine took evasive action, the Frenchman drove into the Irishman's car at such speed that Alesi's car went over the top of Irvine's while the latter was pitched into a spin. Alesi was placed under investigation by the stewards for dangerous driving after the race, although no charges were formally brought against either driver.

Michael Schumacher ran as high as 3rd, but received a stop-go penalty for overtaking Heinz-Harald Frentzen under yellow flags. Schumacher claimed he had not seen them, and that they were not visible on the inside of the corner.

Austrian Formula One veteran Gerhard Berger announced he was to retire at the end of the season, shortly after he qualified 18th on the grid.


  • Tarso Marques was excluded from taking part in the race after his car was found to be underweight after qualifying.
  • Championship standings after the race

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1997 Austrian Grand Prix Wikipedia

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