1997 Australian Grand Prix

The 1997 Australian Grand Prix was Round 1 of the 1997 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The event was held in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday, 9 March 1997. Jacques Villeneuve started on pole position in the Williams Renault and David Coulthard was the race winner in the McLaren Mercedes.


1997 Qantas Australian Grand Prix Race Result
Pos.No.DriverNationalityTeamChassisTyreLapsRace TimeGapIntervalBest LapLapSpeedPoints
110David CoulthardGreat BritainMcLaren MercedesMP4-12Goodyear581:30:28.7181:31.41229203.92610
25Michael SchumacherGermanyFerrariF310BGoodyear581:30:48.764+20.046+20.0461:31.06754203.1756
39Mika HäkkinenFinlandMcLaren MercedesMP4-12Goodyear581:30:50.895+22.177+2.1311:31.50933203.0964
48Gerhard BergerAustriaBenetton RenaultB197Goodyear581:30:51.559+22.841+0.6641:31.62454203.0713
514Olivier PanisFranceProst Mugen HondaJS45Bridgestone581:31:29.026+1:00.308+37.4671:31.76240201.6852
617Nicola LariniItalySauber PetronasC16Goodyear581:32:04.758+1:36.040+35.7321:32.78427200.3811
715Shinji NakanoJapanProst Mugen HondaJS45Bridgestone561:31:11.5472 laps2 laps1:34.17152195.353
84Heinz-Harald FrentzenGermanyWilliams RenaultFW19Goodyear551:25:48.4793 laps1 lap1:30.58536203.904
921Jarno TrulliItalyMinardi HartM197Bridgestone551:30:33.4323 laps+4:44.9531:35.95921193.210
102Pedro DinizBrazilArrows YamahaA18Bridgestone541:31:11.0724 laps1 lap1:34.46523188.392
DNF22Rubens BarrichelloBrazilStewart FordSF1Bridgestone491:18:30.3731:33.38624198.555
DNF19Mika SaloFinlandTyrrell Ford025Goodyear421:13:10.4581:34.19422182.591
DNF23Jan MagnussenDenmarkStewart FordSF1Bridgestone3658:58.9551:35.25726194.164
DNF7Jean AlesiFranceBenetton RenaultB197Goodyear3453:18.1431:31.97633202.919
DNF20Ukyo KatayamaJapanMinardi HartM197Bridgestone3252:01.3181:34.91814195.683
DNF12Giancarlo FisichellaItalyJordan Peugeot197Goodyear1422:27.5601:34.14714198.299
DNF18Jos VerstappenNetherlandsTyrrell Ford025Goodyear23:28.9631:37.0382182.684
DNF11Ralf SchumacherGermanyJordan Peugeot197Goodyear11:48.3231:48.3231176.206
DNF3Jacques VilleneuveCanadaFerrariF310BGoodyear
DNF6Eddie IrvineGreat BritainWilliams RenaultFW19Goodyear
DNF16Johnny HerbertGreat BritainSauber PetronasC16Goodyear
DNS1Damon HillGreat BritainArrows YamahaA18Bridgestone
DNQ24Vincenzo SospiriItalyLola FordT97/30Bridgestone
DNQ25Ricardo RossetBrazilLola FordT97/30Bridgestone

Memorable Race Moments

Warm-Up Lap

Reigning champion Damon Hill pulls over and retires his Arrows Yamaha with a mechanical failure on the parade lap.

Race Start

Murray Walker: “And Villeneuve! Villeneuve! Out of the race at the beginning!”

Pole sitter Jacques Villeneuve is beaten away by his new team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen and then eliminated at the first corner by Eddie Irvine, along with Johnny Herbert’s fast-starting Sauber who was moving up into 2nd.

Lap 2

As with his brother at Spa in 1991, Ralf Schumacher's F1 debut ends early as he retires his Jordan with a gearbox failure.

Lap 3

Murray Walker: "And off! There’s a major off there… it’s Verstappen!"

Jos Verstappen flies out of the race in spectacular style in the Tyrrell Ford.

Lap 14

Giancarlo Fisichella spins out of the race trying to overtake Rubens Barrichello’s Stewart Ford.

Lap 34

Murray Walker: "Oh Jean, you may well look a bit worried… you’ve got a major problem sunshine when you get back to the pits."

Jean Alesi runs out of fuel after failing to hear repeated radio messages from his Benetton team instructing him to pit.

Lap 55

Martin Brundle: "Oh he’s lost it! He has lost it! Unbelievable. He’s lost it!"

Chasing down race leader David Coulthard after being delayed in the pits, Heinz-Harald Frentzen spins out of the race at the first corner.

Lap 58

David Coulthard wins the race, recording his first victory for McLaren and the team's first since the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.