Welcome to another week of TheJudge13 #F1 Bar Exam.
Last week’s question(s): Can you name the driver, team and race at which the photo was taken. Who won the race and what was the significance of this race?
The answer(s) I was looking for were: The driver in the photo is Olivier Panis driving for the Ligier Gauloises Blondes team during the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. The race was won by Panis and this race set the record for the fewest number of cars ever to finish a race… only three were running at the end although 4 were classified to have finished.
It was also the only F1 win for Oliver Panis, last win for the Ligier team and the first win for engine manufacturer Mugen Motorsports. (Mugen and Honda are independent organisations and while Honda did not supply any financial support to Mugen it did supply significant technical assistance.)
Mugen first entered F1 in 1992 with the Footwork F1 team. Their first win was with Panis at Monaco in 1996. They pulled out of F1 when Honda announced it would be returning with its own engines in 2000. Although he had only qualified 14th on the grid Panis was fastest in the morning warm-up on Sunday. It had been a dry practice and qualifying but heavy rain started to fall after the warm-up session and drivers were allowed 15 minutes of wet practice.
Mika Hakkinen set the fastest time and then promptly crashed! He would be driving the spare in the race. Montermini demolished his Forti coming out of the tunnel. He would not start – the grid had dropped to 21 even before the race began. The rain had stopped by the time the race started. The attrition during the race started early when Verstappen who had daringly started on slicks, despite spray still pouring off the track, went straight into the wall. The two Minardi’s then proceeded to take each other out on the first corner.
Schumacher who had been controversially on pole (due to him slowing down out of the tunnel and getting in the way of Berger on a hot lap causing him to spin while trying not to crash into Schumacher) put his car into the wall, and lastly Barrichello spun coming into Rascasse – 5 cars were out of the race by the end of the first lap and Hill was already more than 4 seconds in front of Alesi.
By the end of five laps the number of cars still running was down to 13, some of the retirements due to accidents and others to mechanical failures. Panis wasn’t only moving up the grid because of cars dropping out in front of him. In the early part of the race he passed Brundle on lap 7, Hakkinen on lap 17 and Herbert on lap 25. Then, as the track was continuing to dry, he pitted early for slick tyres and was now the fastest man on the track.
There was now ten seconds difference between the two tyres so he had a huge advantage and caught Irvine quickly. After being stuck behind Irvine for a couple of laps he did a daring move to get past him at the Loews hairpin on Lap 33.
Hill had an engine failure, Alesi a suspension failure and Panis ended up in the lead. There were still 7 cars running with 7 laps to go when it started to rain again and Irvine spun. He was hit by Salo who was then hit by Hakkinen resulting in all of them retiring.
Now there were only 4 cars running. Frentzen was bringing up the rear and he pulled into the pits on the penultimate lap as he was last and everyone else had already seen the chequered flag. Therefore only Panis, Coulthard and Herbert were counted as finishing the race. Panis is the last French driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix and he did it in a French car at Monaco.
Well done to Taflach, AV2290, Reinis, Milestone11, Cassius42, Thomas888, Emil, Chris, Jim, Johnny, Tim, Tony and Henrik.
This week’s question(s): Can you name the driver in the photo, the race and where he finished in the race? Who won the race?
Please provide your answers in the field below: