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1996 FIA Formula 1 Season

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1996 FIA Formula 1 Season
Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
Champion Constructor: Williams Renault (GB,8,8)
Putative Constructor: Williams Renault (GB)
Champion Driver: Damon Hill (GB,1,1)
Putative Driver: Damon Hill (GB)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model FW18, 3.00-liter, ten-cylinder vee, aluminum alloy engine, DOHC, fuel injection, six-speed transverse semi-automatic, ventilated carbon ceramic disc brakes, carbon fibre monocoque, double wishbone independent suspension, power assisted steering, 755 horsepower (Patrick Head, Adrian Newey).

The FIA in 1996 introduces the five-globe set of grid starting lights, as well as mandates cockpit safety enhancements and bans needle nose cones for all entries. The Formula 1 offseason features the transfer of two-time drivers' champion Michael Schumacher from Benetton to Scuderia Ferrari. The Williams FW18 dominates the 1996 season with twelve of sixteen victories and lifts the team to its eighth constructors' title, matching Scuderia Ferrari for the most championships in the modern era. Williams driver Damon Hill takes eight crosses and fends off a late season challenge from teammate Jacques Villeneuve to collect his maiden drivers' crown and becomes the only father-son champion tandem in series history. F1 makes its inaugural visit to Melbourne in March. Future F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve makes his debut at Melbourne in March and earns his maiden series victory at the Nürburgring in April. French Ligier snares its first series victory since the 1981 season behind Olivier Panis at Monaco in May.

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

Williams Renault215     Hill D126
Scuderia Ferrari85     Villeneuve J II101
Benetton Renault83     Schumacher M77
McLaren Mercedes56     Alesi59
Jordan Peugeot22     Hakkinen35
Ligier Mugen17     Berger24

Noteworthy 1996 Races

1996 Australian Grand Prix South Melbourne, Victoria1996 1996 Australian Grand Prix At Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix (307.5 kilometers) in March, the race comes to a British Williams FW18 Renault under Damon Hill (GB) in 1:32:50.5 (average 123.49 mph), under thirty-nine seconds ahead of a companion Williams entry. Hill moves out front after race leading teammate and series newcomer Jacques Villeneuve in his Williams slows with power unit problems and spewing fluid with only five laps remaining. Hill wins down in Australia for the second consecutive season and matches his father Graham with fourteen F1 career victories. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.
1996 LIV Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo1996 1996 LIV Grand Prix de Monaco At Monaco for the Grand Prix (259.5 kilometers) in May, a French Ligier JS43 Mugen Honda under Olivier Panis (FR) unexpectedly takes race honors in rainy conditions in 2:00:45.6 (average 77.06 mph), under five seconds ahead of a McLaren driven by David Coulthard. Panis moves out front after ace leader Jean Alesi in his Benetton stops for service with sixteen laps remaining. Panis snares his maiden F1 victory, Ligier captures its first Grand Prix triumph since the 1981 season, and a French make prevails in the principality for the first time since Bugatti in 1933. Photo Credit: Attribution Unascertained.
1996 Grand Prix of Germany Hockenheim, Germany1996 1996 Grand Prix of Germany At Hockenheim for the Grand Prix of Germany (307 kilometers) in July, a British Williams FW18 Renault under Damon Hill (GB) takes the flag in 1:21:43.4 (average 140.07 mph), under twelve seconds ahead of a Benetton entry. Hill moves out front after race leader Gerhard Berger in his Ferrari loses drive with only three laps remaining. Photo Credit: LAT Photographic Archive.