On this day in 1997, Heinz Harald Frentzen won his first race in Formula 1 after beating his former sportscar team mate Michael Schumacher in Ferrari.

Heinz-Harald-Frentzen-Williams-Renault-FW19-San-Marino-GP-Imola-F1-1997-Foto-Williams
Frentzen je u svom 52. nastupu došao do prve pobjede (27.4.1997.) Foto: Williams

In the first three races in Australia, Brazil and Argentina, Williams had twice locked out the front row with Jacques Villeneuve on pole  three times. On two races (Brazil and Argentina) he managed to turn them into victories while in Australia celebrated David Coulthard in McLaren Mercedes.

In the fourth race of the season in Imola, Williams once again swept the front row and Villeneuve won another pole position, fourth time in first four races.

Villeneuve retained the lead but Schumacher passed Frentzen. From the top three, Schumacher started with the least fuel and entered the pits in lap 24, Villeneuve in lap 26 and Frentzen in lap 27.

After the first pitstops Jacques Villeneuve fell to third place while Heinz Harald took the lead in front of Michael Schumacher. By the end of the race, Villeneuve retired due to gearbox failure after his Williams stuck in third gear. Frentzen avoids the problems that hit him in the first three races and secures his first career win.

By the end of his career, Frentzen celebrated two more victories in Jordan in 1999 when due to numerous Hakkinen’s mistakes, McLaren’s unreliability and Schumacher breaking leg in Silverstone, as he suddenly found himself in the fight for the title.

Frentzen won the 1999 French GP in the rain and in Italy in the same year after Hakkinen spun off from the leading position and crashed, just like in Imola.

STARTING GRID

1 3 J.Villeneuve Williams/Renault 1:23.303
2 4 H-H.Frentzen Williams/Renault 1:23.646 0.343
3 5 M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:23.955 0.652
4 14 Olivier Panis Prost/Mugen-Honda 1:24.075 0.772
5 11 Ralf Schumacher Jordan/Peugeot 1:24.081 0.778
6 12 G.Fisichella Jordan/Peugeot 1:24.596 1.293
7 16 Johnny Herbert Sauber/Petronas 1:24.723 1.420
8 9 Mika Häkkinen McLaren/Mercedes 1:24.812 1.509
9 6 Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:24.861 1.558
10 10 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 1:25.077 1.774
11 8 Gerhard Berger Benetton/Renault 1:25.371 2.068
12 17 Nicola Larini Sauber/Petronas 1:25.544 2.241
13 22 R.Barrichello Stewart/Ford 1:25.579 2.276
14 7 Jean Alesi Benetton/Renault 1:25.729 2.426
15 1 Damon Hill Arrows/Yamaha 1:25.743 2.440
16 23 Jan Magnussen Stewart/Ford 1:26.192 2.889
17 2 Pedro Diniz Arrows/Yamaha 1:26.253 2.950
18 15 Shinji Nakano Prost/Mugen-Honda 1:26.712 3.409
19 19 Mika Salo Tyrrell/Ford 1:26.852 3.549
20 21 Jarno Trulli Minardi/Hart 1:26.960 3.657
21 18 Jos Verstappen Tyrrell/Ford 1:27.428 4.125
22 20 Ukyo Katayama Minardi/Hart 1:28.727 5.424

RACE RESULTS

1 4 H-H.Frentzen Williams/Renault 62 1:31:00.673
2 5 M.Schumacher Ferrari 62 1:31:01.910 1.237
3 6 Eddie Irvine Ferrari 62 1:32:19.016 1:18.343
4 12 G.Fisichella Jordan/Peugeot 62 1:32:24.061 1:23.388
5 7 Jean Alesi Benetton/Renault 61 1:31:18.063 1 Lap
6 9 Mika Häkkinen McLaren/Mercedes 61 1:31:18.536 1 Lap
7 17 Nicola Larini Sauber/Petronas 61 1:31:39.396 1 Lap
8 14 Olivier Panis Prost/Mugen-Honda 61 1:31:56.734 1 Lap
9 19 Mika Salo Tyrrell/Ford 60 1:31:05.134 2 Laps
10 18 Jos Verstappen Tyrrell/Ford 60 1:31:11.741 2 Laps
11 20 Ukyo Katayama Minardi/Hart 59 1:31:53.912 3 Laps
(11) 2 Pedro Diniz Arrows/Yamaha 53 1:20:46.601 Gearbox
(3) 3 J.Villeneuve Williams/Renault 40 59:26.559 Gearbox
(4) 10 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 38 56:51.618 Engine
(9) 22 R.Barrichello Stewart/Ford 32 48:13.728 Engine
(4) 16 Johnny Herbert Sauber/Petronas 18 27:01.098 Electrical
(4) 11 Ralf Schumacher Jordan/Peugeot 17 25:31.006 Transmission
(17) 15 Shinji Nakano Prost/Mugen-Honda 11 17:20.684 Collision
(18) 1 Damon Hill Arrows/Yamaha 11 17:21.013 Collision
(18) 8 Gerhard Berger Benetton/Renault 4 6:39.425 Spun off
(15) 23 Jan Magnussen Stewart/Ford 2 3:27.629 Spun off
21 Jarno Trulli Minardi/Hart 0 Not started

Fastest lap: Heinz-Harald Frentzen: 1:25.531 (lap 42)

Heinz-Harald-Frentzen-Michael-Schumacher-and-Eddie-Irvine-San-Marino-GP-Imola-F1-1997-podium-ceremony-Foto-WIlliams

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 Jacques Villeneuve 20   10 10
2 Michael Schumacher 14   6 2 6
3 David Coulthard 10   10
3 Heinz-Harald Frentzen 10   10
5 Eddie Irvine 10   6 4
6 Gerhard Berger 10   3 6 1
7 Mika Häkkinen 10   4 3 2 1
8 Olivier Panis 6   2 4
9 Ralf Schumacher 4   4
10 Johnny Herbert 3   3
10 Giancarlo Fisichella 3   3
12 Jean Alesi 3   1 2
13 Nicola Larini 1   1

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 Williams/Renault 30   10 10 10
2 Ferrari 24   6 2 6 10
3 McLaren/Mercedes 20   14 3 2 1
4 Benetton/Renault 13   3 7 1 2
5 Jordan/Peugeot 7   4 3
6 Prost/Mugen-Honda 6   2 4
7 Sauber/Petronas 4   1 3

1997 SAN MARINO GP HIGHLIGHTS

Jacques-Villeneuve-Heinz-Harald-Frentzen-Williams-Renault-FW19-and-Michael-Schumacher-Ferrari-F310B-San-Marino-GP-Imola-F1-1997-Foto-Williams

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