On this day in 1996, Jacques Villeneuve secured his third win of the season, reducing his gap to teammate Hill, while Williams sealed their fifth one-two of the season.
Williams dominated the season in which Hill and debutant Villeneuve did not have the real opponents, and Michael Schumacher, the double world champion from 1994 and 1995 who moved to Ferrari in 1996, could not achieve anything more than three victories in very special circumstances. The only one who managed to beat Williams and Ferrari was Olivier Panis, who celebrated in the chaotic race in Monaco.
Schumacher took pole position in Hungary, 0.053 seconds ahead of Hill and 0.130 seconds ahead of Villeneuve while fourth Irvine was already 1.488 seconds behind.
At start Schumacher retains the lead, but he was the first to enter the pits in lap 19, two laps earlier than Villeneuve and six laps earlier than Hill. Villeneuve dominated and controlled the race while Hill settled behind his team mate and finished second. The German were on his way to the podium, but retired due to throttle problems in the lap 70.
“It was difficult for half a race and after that Damon started to push so I had to do it myself too. I pressed Michael at first but there was not enough room to try to attack,” Villeneuve said.
“He was close and he was a lot of fun because he pushed so much and because he slid around. I do not know what happened to my long stoppage in the pits, but it was frustrating because we lost ten seconds which made last 16 laps more challenging.”
“But I am thrilled that we have won and this will surely make the championship exciting.”
Villeneuve had reduced the gap behind Hill to 17 points, four races before the end, while Williams led with 90 points more than Benetton.