Michael Schumacher won his first F1 race in Monza on this day in 1996 and the second consecutive win for Ferrari after his triumph at Spa Francorchamps two weeks earlier.
Williams once again locket out the front row, in the season in which Hill started all 16 races from the front row – on the pole position was Hill, 0.317 seconds ahead of Villeneuve and 0.577 seconds ahead of Schumacher.
The FIA set tyre stacks in the apexes of the chicanes to prevent drivers from cutting the track, but this move caused numerous controversial moments during the race, especially in the first laps.
Alesi started from the sixth place and took the lead in front of Hill, but he went wide and hit the tyre barrier between the two Lesmos, after which he lost the lead from Hill. Although Alesi did not damage the car, the tyres that he hit broke Hakkinen’s front wing so Finn had to pit and returned in 17th place.
Villeneuve hit the tyre barriers in the Ascari chicane in the first lap and sent it to Coulthard, who retired with a broken suspension while the Canadian had to box for new tyres, new nose and new steering wheel.
Hill had a four-second advantage ahead of Alesi, but hit the tyre barriers in the lap six and retired with a broken suspension. Irvine had similar accident which means total of eight drivers hit the controversial tyre barriers.
Schumacher managed to stay on the track longer than Alesi and take the lead after pitting. Hakkinen finished third in McLaren, Brundle and Barrichello in Jordan Peugeot finished fourth and fifth, and sixth was Diniz in Ligier Mugen Honda.
“Never in my life I hae experienced anything as incredible as this, with all the people who went crazy beneath me, it was fantastic to witness the red sea!,” said Schumacher.
“I have to say it is right to let the public come and ecelebrate with Ferrari on this unforgettable day.”
“Our strategy was simple, to pit after Alesi. We have put a lot of fuel so we can be more flexible in choosing the moment of stopping, although our package was better than Benetton, but my maximum speed was not enough to overtake him so I just waited and hoped he have less fuel than me. ”
“This is what happened and the rest was down to the boys during the pitstop. From that moment on, I saved tyres and brakes without loss of concentration. I was lucky I had not damaged the car when I hit the rubber barrier. ”
It was the first of a total of five Schumacher wins in Monza, all of them form Ferrari. After 1996, he celebrated again in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
RACE – Part 1
RACE – Part 2