Argentine Grand Prix Preview

Thursday April 4, 1996

Formula One returned to Argentina last year after an absence of 14 years. David Coulthard snatched the first pole position of his career. His team-mate at Williams, Damon Hill, won the dry race (although it was an overall wet weekend) with a six second lead over Ferrari driver Jean Alesi.

It remains to be seem if Hill can continue his domination this weekend at a much more tight and twisted circuit than Interlagos (Brazil).

Benetton technical Director, Ross Brown, said about the circuit: "The track has been resurfaced this year, so it may not be as bumpy as it has been in the past when the bumps were the outstanding feature... The main memory of 1995 is the dirtiness of the surface."

The Autodromo Oscar Galvez circuit may give the Ferrari team an advantage because they don't really need the power their engine lacks with the Renault.

Schumacher said about the Ferrari: "We have to work hard to try and raise the standards of the car." Jean Todt was very glad with last week's results in both Ferrari's ending the race, but was very disappointed with the gab between Ferrari and the leading Williams team. Schumacher is already thinking of retirement after the next five years.

Jordan driver Rubens Barrichello has got his act together after his bad performance last year when he was trying to be someone who he was not - a replacement for Ayrton Senna - he said. He gave away a brilliant show last week, battling Schumacher for third place.

A most promising team is Arrows-Hart. They have obtained more sponsorship funds after Tom Walkinshaw bought the team a week ago. Walkinshaw is determined to get Arrows on the front of the grid and he wants the team to finish in the top six of the championship. But Walkinshaw said: "It won't be easy as we are coming from a long way back at the moment. Competing with teams like Williams is going to be difficult and requires a lot of work." With their number one driver as Jos Verstappen, it can be done: He even held six place and the fastest lap of the race for a while. But their main concern is the reliability of the Hart-V8 engine.

Jean Alesi can follow the pace of the Williams cars but Benetton is still having trouble getting both cars on the same level. Berger is having problems with the airflow to the engine because of his height.

Details:


length: 4.259 km
top-spead: 285 km/h
max G-force: 2.6
distance: 72 laps 306.482 km

1995 Pole-Position:
1:53.241 Coulthard (Williams)

1995 Fastest Lap:
1:30.522 Schumacher (Benetton)

1995 podium:
Hill (Williams)
Alesi (Ferrari)
Schumacher (Benetton)


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