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.


1997 Grand Prix Of Europe Race Result
Pos.No.DriverNationalityTeamTyreLapsRace TimeGapIntervalBest LapLapSpeedPoints
19Mika HäkkinenFinlandMcLaren MercedesGoodyear691:38:57.7711:24.07228185.24010
210David CoulthardGreat BritainMcLaren MercedesGoodyear691:38:59.425+1.654+1.6541:24.00627185.1886
33Jacques VilleneuveCanadaWilliams RenaultGoodyear691:38:59.574+1.803+0.1491:23.90642185.1844
48Gerhard BergerAustriaBenetton RenaultGoodyear691:38:59.690+1.919+0.1161:23.36131185.1803
56Eddie IrvineGreat BritainFerrariGoodyear691:39:01.560+3.789+1.8701:24.26637185.1222
64Heinz-Harald FrentzenGermanyWilliams RenaultGoodyear691:39:02.308+4.537+0.7481:23.13530185.0981
714Olivier PanisFranceProst Mugen HondaBridgestone691:40:04.916+1:07.145+1:02.6081:23.94145183.169
816Johnny HerbertGreat BritainSauber PetronasGoodyear691:40:10.732+1:12.961+5.8161:25.15930182.991
923Jan MagnussenDenmarkStewart FordBridgestone691:40:15.258+1:17.487+4.5261:25.37031182.854
1015Shinji NakanoJapanProst Mugen HondaBridgestone691:40:15.986+1:18.215+0.7281:24.67945182.832
1112Giancarlo FisichellaItalyJordan PeugeotGoodyear681:39:05.7171 lap1 lap1:25.43445182.311
1219Mika SaloFinlandTyrrell FordGoodyear681:39:15.0151 lap+9.2981:25.23737182.027
137Jean AlesiFranceBenetton RenaultGoodyear681:39:15.7171 lap+0.7021:23.97527182.005
1417Norberto FontanaArgentinaSauber PetronasGoodyear681:39:45.6141 lap+29.8971:25.15432181.096
1521Tarso MarquesBrazilMinardi HartBridgestone681:39:56.7041 lap+11.0901:25.94755180.761
1618Jos VerstappenNetherlandsTyrrell FordGoodyear681:40:06.2011 lap+9.4971:26.36940180.475
1720Ukyo KatayamaJapanMinardi HartBridgestone681:40:06.8931 lap+0.6921:26.21527180.455
DNF5Michael SchumacherGermanyFerrariGoodyear471:07:10.0861:23.69242185.906
DNF1Damon HillGreat BritainArrows YamahaBridgestone471:07:51.1081:24.27440184.032
DNF11Ralf SchumacherGermanyJordan PeugeotGoodyear441:04:37.1691:25.89534180.903
DNF22Rubens BarrichelloBrazilStewart FordBridgestone3043:46.5061:26.16913182.076
DNF2Pedro DinizBrazilArrows YamahaBridgestone1116:08.0831:26.4343181.129

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.

1997 European Grand Prix