1996 Argentine Grand Prix
- Sunday, April 7, 1996
- Gran Premio Marlboro de Argentina
- F1 World Championship
Michael Schumacher left South America with a dog, wife Corinna having taken pity on a stray she found in the Interlagos paddock. The World Champion merely gave a smile of exasperation when asked about the new addition to the family. In truth, he’d probably had enough of dogs by then. After all, he’d been driving one for the past two weeks.
The German had another unexpected companion in Brazil, Ferrari having resurrected the rear-end of the car it ditched at the end of the ’95 season. It was an attempt to ensure some reliability, while the F310’s complex new gearbox was tested extensively back at Maranello. It did its job, for he finished third around Interlagos, but Schumacher had to drive his heart out to extract any performance from his hybrid machine over bumps so vicious that one driver described them as “sleeping policemen”.
Back in 1989, the Scuderia’s 640 underwent a similarly troubled gestation period, only to win its maiden race in the hands of Nigel Mansell. If Schumacher had hoped for a similar miracle, he never let on. And he never got one.
Circuit - Buenos Aires
Permanent road course
Gerhard Berger (Benetton B197-Renault), 1m27.981, 108.286 mph, F1, 1997
First Race1953 Argentine Grand Prix