Australian Grand Prix
March 8th, 1997 - Albert Park - Melbourne, Australia
Last Year's Winner
McLaren returns to winners' circle
Briton David Coulthard won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday to end a four-year drought for the McLaren team.
The 25-year-old driver finished 20 seconds ahead of the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher, with Finland's Mika Hakkinen third in the second McLaren a further two seconds back.
While it was a memorable day for McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, constructors' championship favourites Williams endured a dismal race, with both Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen failing to finish at Albert Park.
World champion Damon Hill did not even start in what proved to be a deflating opening to his title defense when his Arrows broke down during the warm-up lap after losing power.
Drivers' championship favourite Villeneuve, who started from pole position after dominating qualifying, lasted until the first corner before his car left the track.
Frentzen challenged for the lead for much of the race before his Williams span off the track in the final few laps when he was in second place.
McLaren last won a grand prix when the late Ayrton Senna of Brazil triumphed in the 1993 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, a gap of 50 races.
Coulthard recorded his second grand prix win in his 42nd start, adding to his success in Portugal in 1995 with the Williams team.
|5||Olivier Panis||(France)||Prost-Mugen Honda||1:31.29.026|
|7||Shinji Nakano||(Japan)||Prost-Mugen Honda||56 laps|
|8||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||(Germany)||Williams-Renault||did not finish|
|9||Jarno Trulli||(Italy)||Minardi-Hart||55 laps|
|10||Pedro Diniz||Brazil||Arrows-Yamaha||54 laps|
Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Stewart Ford, 49 Laps
Mika Salo (Finland) Tyrrell-Ford, 42 Laps
Jan Magnussen (Denmark), Stewart Ford, 36 laps
Jean Alesi (France), Benetton-Renault, 34 laps
Ukyo Katayama (Japan), Minardi-Hart, 32 laps
Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy), Jordan-Peugeot, 14 laps
Jos Verstappen (Netherlands), Tyrrell-Ford, 2 laps
Ralf Schumacher (Germany), Jordan-Peugeot, 1 lap
Eddie Irvine (Britain), Ferrari, 0 laps
Jacques Villeneuve (Canada), Williams-Renault, 0 laps
Johnny Herbert (Britain), Sauber, 0 laps
Damon Hill (Britain), Arrows-Yamaha, DNS.