1997 Austrian Grand Prix

The 1997 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at A1-Ring on September 21, 1997. It was the first Austrian Grand Prix since 1987, held at the same location but the circuit was entirely changed and made shorter from the original high-speed √Ėsterreichring. The 1987 event was won by Briton Nigel Mansell driving a Williams-Honda.

Qualifying threw up a few surprises, as the Bridgestone tyres used by several smaller teams proved strong, but it was ultimately Jacques Villeneuve who won. Mika Häkkinen had been leading Villeneuve after the start but his engine failed yet again, before he even managed to complete the first lap. Jarno Trulli lead the early laps as a result, and was running 2nd (though still needing to make another pitstop) when his engine also failed.

A spectacular collision occurred between Eddie Irvine and Jean Alesi. As they battled for 4th place on lap 37, Alesi tried to outbrake Irvine into the chicane from approximately eight car-lengths behind, and as Irvine took evasive action, the Frenchman drove into the Irishman's car at such speed that Alesi's car went over the top of Irvine's while the latter was pitched into a spin. Alesi was placed under investigation by the stewards for dangerous driving after the race, although no charges were formally brought against either driver.

Michael Schumacher ran as high as 3rd, but received a stop-go penalty for overtaking Heinz-Harald Frentzen under yellow flags. Schumacher claimed he had not seen them, and TV footage suggested that they were not visible on the inside of the corner, where Michael would have been looking as he made the move.

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