1996 Formula One World Championship

1996 FIA Formula One
World Championship
Drivers' Champion: Damon Hill
Constructors' Champion: Williams-Renault
Damon Hill won the Formula One World Championship with Williams.
Hill's teammate, Jacques Villeneuve (pictured in 2002), finished as runner-up in only his first year of F1 participation.
Defending double world champion Michael Schumacher finished third with Scuderia Ferrari.

The 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 50th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. The championship commenced on 10 March 1996 and ended on 13 October after sixteen races. Two World Championship titles were awarded, one for Drivers and one for Constructors.

Damon Hill won the Drivers' Championship two years after being beaten by a point by Michael Schumacher, making him the first son of a World Champion (his father Graham having won the title in 1962 and 1968) to have won the title himself. Hill, who had finished runner-up for the past two seasons, was seriously threatened only by his teammate, newcomer Jacques Villeneuve, the 1995 IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion. Williams-Renault easily won the Constructors' title, as there was no other competitor strong enough to post a consistent challenge throughout the championship. This was also the beginning of the end of Williams's 1990s dominance, as it was announced that Hill and designer Adrian Newey would depart at the conclusion of the season, with engine manufacturer Renault also leaving after 1997.

Two-time defending world champion Michael Schumacher had moved to Ferrari and despite numerous reliability problems, they had gradually developed into a front-running team by the end of the season. Defending Constructors' Champion Benetton began their decline towards the middle of the grid, having lost key personnel due to Schumacher's departure, and failed to win a race. Olivier Panis took the only victory of his career at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Teams and drivers

The numbering system used since 1974 was dropped. Ferrari was given the numbers 1 and 2 after hiring the defending champion Michael Schumacher, despite finishing the previous year's Constructors' Championship in third. Benetton received numbers 3 and 4 for winning the Constructors' Championship. Williams got numbers 5 and 6 for finishing second, McLaren got 7 and 8 for finishing fourth, Ligier and 9 and 10 for finishing fifth, and so on.

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship.[1]

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre No. Driver Rounds
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F310 Ferrari 046 3.0 V10 G 1 Germany Michael Schumacher All
2 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine All
Italy Mild Seven Benetton Renault Benetton-Renault B196 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 G 3 France Jean Alesi All
4 Austria Gerhard Berger All
United Kingdom Rothmans Williams Renault Williams-Renault FW18 Renault RS8 3.0 V10 G 5 United Kingdom Damon Hill All
6 Canada Jacques Villeneuve All
United Kingdom Marlboro McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes MP4/11
Mercedes FO 110/3 3.0 V10 G 7 Finland Mika Häkkinen All
8 United Kingdom David Coulthard All
France Ligier Gauloises Blondes Ligier-Mugen-Honda JS43 Mugen-Honda MF-301 HA 3.0 V10 G 9 France Olivier Panis All
10 Brazil Pedro Diniz All
Republic of Ireland Benson & Hedges Total Jordan Peugeot Jordan-Peugeot 196 Peugeot A12 EV5 3.0 V10 G 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello All
12 United Kingdom Martin Brundle All
Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Ford Sauber-Ford C15 Ford JD Zetec-R 3.0 V10 G 14 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert All
15 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen All
United Kingdom Footwork Hart Footwork-Hart FA17 Hart 830 3.0 V8 G 16 Brazil Ricardo Rosset All
17 Netherlands Jos Verstappen All
United Kingdom Tyrrell Yamaha Tyrrell-Yamaha 024 Yamaha OX11A 3.0 V10 G 18 Japan Ukyo Katayama All
19 Finland Mika Salo All
Italy Minardi Team Minardi-Ford M195B Ford ED2 3.0 V8
Ford ED3 3.0 V8
G 20 Portugal Pedro Lamy All
21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 1, 4–10
Brazil Tarso Marques 2–3
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi 11–16
Italy Forti Grand Prix Forti-Ford FG01B
Ford ECA Zetec-R 3.0 V8 G 22 Italy Luca Badoer 1–10
23 Italy Andrea Montermini 1–10

Forti Grand Prix were declared bankrupt after the British Grand Prix and took no further part in the championship.

Team changes

  • Defending Constructors' Champion Benetton officially became an Italian constructor, though continued to be based in Britain.
  • Jordan gained a new title sponsor in British cigarette brand Benson & Hedges, who joined oil supplier Total and engine company Peugeot in the team's official name.
  • Meanwhile, Tyrrell lost their title sponsor, Finnish communications company Nokia, becoming officially known simply as Tyrrell Yamaha.
  • Forti also lost the sponsorship of Italian dairy corporation Parmalat, as well as any official connection to Ford, although they continued to use Ford engines.
  • Scuderia Italia decided to end their two-year working relationship with Minardi, so the team once again became known simply as Minardi Team.
  • Three teams disappeared from the entry list entirely. Larrousse had missed the early races of 1995 before finally announcing their withdrawal before the San Marino Grand Prix. Gérard Larrousse claimed several times the team would reappear in 1996, but a combination of legal and financial difficulties meant this never materialised. Meanwhile, Simtek competed in the first five races of 1995, but missed the Canadian Grand Prix and went into liquidation shortly afterwards. Pacific withdrew from the sport at the end of 1995.

Driver changes

Mid-season changes

Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: Formula Satu musim 1996
Nederlands: Formule 1 in 1996
Simple English: 1996 Formula One season
slovenščina: Formula 1 sezona 1996
српски / srpski: Формула 1 (1996)