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F1 Throwback: Rarest of Rare Feat in Qualifying as Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve Engage in a Controversial Battle

F1 Throwback: Rarest of Rare Feat in Qualifying as Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve Engage in a Controversial Battle


F1 has just brought classics like the 1986 Australian Grand Prix and the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. This time, It’s the fans who have picked the race and it’s an epic title decider.

A great many votes were cast when F1 requested to pick an exemplary race to stream. Over 44% of them went to the 1997 European Grand Prix, the finale of a spellbinding, interesting duel for the title between Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve.

The finale of the 1997 F1 season was one to recall for a very long time. The standings were in support of Villeneuve in front of the penultimate round in Japan. However, Villeneuve was excluded from that race for disregarding yellow flags during training. Schumacher won it to keep the title race going last possible minute.

Villeneuve was on 77 points and Schumacher on 78 for the last and the seventeenth round of the season. The Canadian would need to complete 6th or better and in front of Schumacher to win the title.

Strains among Williams and Ferrari ran high, as Villeneuve had stood up to Schumacher’s partner Eddie Irvine for blocking him during practice.

Villeneuve, Schumacher, and Frentzen pulled off a staggering accomplishment during the qualifying.

Pushing their vehicles as far as possible, they figured out how to set the very same time of 1m 21.072s in qualifying and having crossed the line in a specific order, would line-up so.

Toward the finish of the session, the three quickest drivers had all set a similar lap time. The first run through this had occurred throughout the entire existence of the World Championship.

Williams F1 vs Ferrari F1

Jacques Villeneuve was first to set the time of 1:21.072. A further fourteen minutes after this, Schumacher posted an indistinguishable time. With nine minutes remaining, Frentzen crossed the line again with the time of 1:21.072.

Under the guidelines, in case of drivers setting equivalent time in qualifying, the order wherein the occasions were set is thought of, with the primary driver to set the time given priority. Villeneuve was granted pole position, with Schumacher second and Frentzen third.

The fourth spot to the prevailing World Champion, Damon Hill, in his Arrows, with a time of 1:21.130, 0.058 seconds behind the time of the main three. He had been on course to get pole position yet needed to slow towards the finish of the lap as a result of yellow flags because of an incident including Ukyo Katayama’s Minardi.

In the event that the race completed this way, Villeneuve would have his first F1 title.

Michael Schumacher made a tremendous beginning to the race, going past Villeneuve who fell back to P3. The title was in the Ferrari F1 driver’s grasp.

On Lap 48, Villeneuve challenged Schumacher. Schumacher shut the door too late, made contact and ended up in the gravel. It finished the race for the German.

Mika Hakkinen proceeded to win his first F1 race, with Coulhart securing 2nd position. Villeneuve was able to secure 3rd position and went on to win the 1997 F1 world championship.


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