Sunday 13th April 1997
The Argentine Grand Prix held at Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez in Buenos Aires, Argentina was won by Jacques Villeneuve in a Williams-Renault FW19. Eddie Irvine finished second for the Ferrari team and Jordan driver Ralf Schumacher came in third.
As the red lights went out, Jacques Villeneuve cleanly navigated the first corner and began to pull away from the other front runners. Michael Schumacher (who was unsighted by oil from Frentzen’s car) almost collided with Panis, but the Frenchman moved off line to drop a few places rather than to collide with the Ferrari. Going into the first corner, Michael Schumacher was alongside his teammate Irvine and Rubens Barrichello. However, Michael then understeered and crashed into the back of Barrichello’s car causing the Brazilian to spin and getting himself to retire. Barrichello would eventually change his front nose and get going again. But in the melee, Coulthard crashed into the back of Ralf Schumacher’s Jordan, ripping of his front wheel and putting him out of the race. The track was unpassable with the back of the field taking to the grass to get round the incident, so the Safety Car was called out. At the restart after 4 laps, Villeneuve once again pulled away from Frentzen and Panis, but Frentzen’s race ended on lap 6 with throttle problems. The chance of victory for Prost ended on lap 18, also with throttle problems. On lap 24 the two Jordans collided with Giancarlo Fisichella retiring from the race. Hill, who was up to 4th at one point, retired with engine failure on lap 33. Although in the final few laps Irvine closed the gap to Villeneuve, the Canadian held tight and went on to win his sixth career grand prix. Irvine finished second, the highest finish of his career at that point, with Ralf Schumacher scoring his first podium in third.