1997 European Grand Prix

The 1997 European Grand Prix was Round 17 of the 1997 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The event was held in Jerez, Spain on Sunday, 26 October 1997. Jacques Villeneuve started on pole position in the Williams Renault and Mika Häkkinen was the race winner in the McLaren Mercedes. Häkkinen’s maiden win was the first F1 victory achieved by a Finnish driver since Keke Rosberg won the 1985 Australian Grand Prix. The result of this Grand Prix sealed the outcome of the 1997 FIA Drivers’ Championship and Villeneuve won the world title.

1997 Grand Prix Of Europe Race Result
Pos.No.DriverNationalityTeamChassisTyreLapsRace TimeGapIntervalBest LapLapSpeedPoints
19Mika HäkkinenFinlandMcLaren MercedesMP4-12Goodyear691:38:57.7711:24.07228185.24010
210David CoulthardGreat BritainMcLaren MercedesMP4-12Goodyear691:38:59.425+1.654+1.6541:24.00627185.1886
33Jacques VilleneuveCanadaWilliams RenaultFW19Goodyear691:38:59.574+1.803+0.1491:23.90642185.1844
48Gerhard BergerAustriaBenetton RenaultB197Goodyear691:38:59.690+1.919+0.1161:23.36131185.1803
56Eddie IrvineGreat BritainFerrariF310BGoodyear691:39:01.560+3.789+1.8701:24.26637185.1222
64Heinz-Harald FrentzenGermanyWilliams RenaultFW19Goodyear691:39:02.308+4.537+0.7481:23.13530185.0981
714Olivier PanisFranceProst Mugen HondaJS45Bridgestone691:40:04.916+1:07.145+1:02.6081:23.94145183.169
816Johnny HerbertGreat BritainSauber PetronasC16Goodyear691:40:10.732+1:12.961+5.8161:25.15930182.991
923Jan MagnussenDenmarkStewart FordSF1Bridgestone691:40:15.258+1:17.487+4.5261:25.37031182.854
1015Shinji NakanoJapanProst Mugen HondaJS45Bridgestone691:40:15.986+1:18.215+0.7281:24.67945182.832
1112Giancarlo FisichellaItalyJordan Peugeot197Goodyear681:39:05.7171 lap1 lap1:25.43445182.311
1219Mika SaloFinlandTyrrell Ford025Goodyear681:39:15.0151 lap+9.2981:25.23737182.027
137Jean AlesiFranceBenetton RenaultB197Goodyear681:39:15.7171 lap+0.7021:23.97527182.005
1417Norberto FontanaArgentinaSauber PetronasC16Goodyear681:39:45.6141 lap+29.8971:25.15432181.096
1521Tarso MarquesBrazilMinardi HartM197Bridgestone681:39:56.7041 lap+11.0901:25.94755180.761
1618Jos VerstappenNetherlandsTyrrell Ford025Goodyear681:40:06.2011 lap+9.4971:26.36940180.475
1720Ukyo KatayamaJapanMinardi HartM197Bridgestone681:40:06.8931 lap+0.6921:26.21527180.455
DNF5Michael SchumacherGermanyFerrariF310BGoodyear471:07:10.0861:23.69242185.906
DNF1Damon HillGreat BritainArrows YamahaA18Bridgestone471:07:51.1081:24.27440184.032
DNF11Ralf SchumacherGermanyJordan Peugeot197Goodyear441:04:37.1691:25.89534180.903
DNF22Rubens BarrichelloBrazilStewart FordSF1Bridgestone3043:46.5061:26.16913182.076
DNF2Pedro DinizBrazilArrows YamahaA18Bridgestone1116:08.0831:26.4343181.129

Memorable Race Moments

Race Start

Murray Walker: “And it’s go! go! go! go! Villeneuve gets away and Schumacher gets away better! better! better!”

At the start of this nail biting championship finale, pole sitter Jacques Villeneuve is beaten to the first corner by Michael Schumacher and then also overtaken by Williams team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Lap 7

Dutifully playing the team game, Heinz-Harald Frentzen slows to allow his Williams team-mate Jacques Villeneuve to pass and take over 2nd place.

Lap 22

Race leader Michael Schumacher makes a pit stop which lasts for 7.6 seconds.

Lap 23

New race leader Jacques Villeneuve then makes a pit stop and rejoins in 5th, behind new race leader Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Mika Häkkinen’s McLaren, Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari and David Coulthard's McLaren.

Lap 24

Continuing to support his team-mate’s bid for the championship, Heinz-Harald Frentzen backs Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher into Jacques Villeneuve, who sets a new fastest lap on Lap 25. David Coulthard pits.

Lap 26

Jacques Villeneuve unsuccessfully tries to overtake Michael Schumacher at Curva Dry Sac.

Lap 28

When Heinz-Harald Frentzen makes a pit stop lasting 7.2 seconds, Michael Schumacher regains the lead of the race, just ahead of title rival Jacques Villeneuve.

Lap 47

Martin Brundle: “Villeneuve is all over him, look! He’s going through! Oh yes... That didn’t work Michael, you hit the wrong part of him my friend.”

Jacques Villeneuve boldly tries to overtake Michael Schumacher for the lead at Curva Dry Sac but the German turns in on the Canadian, striking the Williams with his Ferrari and bouncing off into the gravel trap.

Lap 69

Murray Walker: “He’s coming up to the last corner. Häkkinen is going to win the European Grand Prix, David Coulthard goes 2nd and Jacques Villeneuve settles for 3rd place and the World Championship of 1997. WOW!”

On the last lap Mika Häkkinen dives past Jacques Villeneuve’s ailing Williams at the chicane to seize the lead and crosses the line to seal his first Grand Prix victory, just ahead of team-mate David Coulthard, who also overtook Villeneuve into the final corner. Driving in his final F1 race, Gerhard Berger finishes 4th, just 0.116 seconds behind Villeneuve.


On the podium, Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard hoist newly crowned world champion Jacques Villeneuve up onto their shoulders in front of the cheering crowd at Jerez.