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.DriverNationalityTeamTyreLapsRace TimeGapIntervalBest LapLapSpeedPoints
110David CoulthardGreat BritainMcLaren MercedesGoodyear581:30:28.7181:31.41229203.92610
25Michael SchumacherGermanyFerrariGoodyear581:30:48.764+20.046+20.0461:31.06754203.1756
39Mika HäkkinenFinlandMcLaren MercedesGoodyear581:30:50.895+22.177+2.1311:31.50933203.0964
48Gerhard BergerAustriaBenetton RenaultGoodyear581:30:51.559+22.841+0.6641:31.62454203.0713
514Olivier PanisFranceProst Mugen HondaBridgestone581:31:29.026+1:00.308+37.4671:31.76240201.6852
617Nicola LariniItalySauber PetronasGoodyear581:32:04.758+1:36.040+35.7321:32.78427200.3811
715Shinji NakanoJapanProst Mugen HondaBridgestone561:31:11.5472 laps2 laps1:34.17152195.353
84Heinz-Harald FrentzenGermanyWilliams RenaultGoodyear551:25:48.4793 laps1 lap1:30.58536203.904
921Jarno TrulliItalyMinardi HartBridgestone551:30:33.4323 laps+4:44.9531:35.95921193.210
102Pedro DinizBrazilArrows YamahaBridgestone541:31:11.0724 laps1 lap1:34.46523188.392
DNF22Rubens BarrichelloBrazilStewart FordBridgestone491:18:30.3731:33.38624198.555
DNF19Mika SaloFinlandTyrrell FordGoodyear421:13:10.4581:34.19422182.591
DNF23Jan MagnussenDenmarkStewart FordBridgestone3658:58.9551:35.25726194.164
DNF7Jean AlesiFranceBenetton RenaultGoodyear3453:18.1431:31.97633202.919
DNF20Ukyo KatayamaJapanMinardi HartBridgestone3252:01.3181:34.91814195.683
DNF12Giancarlo FisichellaItalyJordan PeugeotGoodyear1422:27.5601:34.14714198.299
DNF18Jos VerstappenNetherlandsTyrrell FordGoodyear23:28.9631:37.0382182.684
DNF11Ralf SchumacherGermanyJordan PeugeotGoodyear11:48.3231:48.3231176.206
DNF3Jacques VilleneuveCanadaFerrariGoodyear
DNF6Eddie IrvineGreat BritainWilliams RenaultGoodyear
DNF16Johnny HerbertGreat BritainSauber PetronasGoodyear
DNS1Damon HillGreat BritainArrows YamahaBridgestone
DNQ24Vincenzo SospiriItalyLola FordBridgestone
DNQ25Ricardo RossetBrazilLola FordBridgestone

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.

1997 Australian Grand Prix