1997 Brazilian Grand Prix
The Lola team arrived in Brazil still not having received any money from major sponsor MasterCard. Already several million dollars in debt, the team returned to base without even completing a lap of the circuit. A few days later, the team officially withdrew from the championship.
Jacques Villeneuve took his third consecutive, and his career fifth, pole position after a 1:16.004, over half a second faster than Michael Schumacher in second. Gerhard Berger and Mika Häkkinen completed the second row.
The race was red-flagged after several incidents at the original start. As in Australia, Jacques Villeneuve went off the track at the first corner. Behind this, an incident involved several drivers including Damon Hill, Eddie Irvine, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jan Magnussen. Irvine took some blame for the incident. Additionally, Rubens Barrichello's car failed on the line, and the track blockage was what ultimately caused the red flag. Barrichello took the restart in the spare Stewart, causing Magnussen to miss the race.
The race was restarted with all 72 laps still remaining. Villeneuve had a clean start, as did the rest of the field. At the end of the first lap Villeneuve passed Michael Schumacher to retake the lead. Later before the first pit stops Berger would also pass Schumacher down the pit straight into the first corner. Irvine came into the pits mid-race, having been suffering from enormous pain due to his belts tightening up in the cockpit.
Damon Hill was once again affected by reliability issues, his engine failing with four laps remaining. He was running in fourth place at one point, but had slipped down the field before retiring in the pits with an engine bay fire caused by an oil leak. The winner of the previous race, David Coulthard, was off the pace and finished in 10th place.
- Race stopped after first lap accident and restarted for total original distance.
- Jan Magnussen did not take the race restart.
- Both Lola cars withdrew for financial reasons and took no further part in the season
Standings after Grand Prix
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
"1997 Brazilian GP". Chicane F1. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
"1997 Brazilian GP Qualifying". Chicane F1. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
"1997 Brazilian GP Race". Official Formula One Website. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
1997 Australian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1997 Argentine Grand Prix
1996 Brazilian Grand Prix
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1998 Brazilian Grand Prix