Puneet Varma (Editor)

1997 French Grand Prix

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Date  29 June 1997
Course length  4.250 km (2.641 mi)
1997 French Grand Prix
Official name  LXXXIII French Grand Prix
Location  Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours, France
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  72 laps, 306.000 km (190.140 mi)

The 1997 French Grand Prix (formally the LXXXIII French Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours, France on 29 June 1997. It was the eighth round of the 1997 Formula One season. The 72-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari car after starting from pole position. Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished second driving for the Williams team, with Eddie Irvine third in the other Ferrari. Schumacher's win was his third of the season and his second consecutive win having won the preceding Canadian Grand Prix.


Race summary

At the start, Michael Schumacher led away from pole with Frentzen in the Williams behind him all the way. It was a bad start for Damon Hill, who lost his wing at the first corner after going off and didn't feature much after that.

The race was relatively uneventful until towards the end when a nearby thunderstorm caused rain around the circuit. Some drivers pitted for wet tyres whilst others stayed on their dry tyres. Several drivers spun under the conditions,including Michael Schumacher. Schumacher maintained his big lead, however

In the end, Michael crossed the line well ahead of Frentzen but on the last couple of laps a huge battle was going on between Ralf Schumacher, David Coulthard and Jean Alesi. At the same time Jacques Villeneuve was reeling in Eddie Irvine for the final podium spot.

Ralf Schumacher spun, losing sixth place, but as mentioned in the notes, Michael Schumacher (who had lapped him), allowed him back through at the final corner. At the time, commentator Murray Walker said that it was a silly move. However, on the last lap Alesi pushed Coulthard straight off, costing Coulthard fifth place, thus giving Ralf Schumacher the final point because he had unlapped himself.

Meanwhile, at the last corner, Villeneuve had caught Irvine. In a desperate lunge at the final corner he spun off, rejoined, and held off Alesi at the flag.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1997 French Grand Prix Wikipedia