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520racer's Alternate F1 Universe 1997 season preview 
Posted on May 4, 2019 at 12:53 AM.
As promised, here's the entry list and team previews for the 1997 Alternate F1 season. It's presented in the order of the 1996 teams championship, and there are going to be two new teams joining the paddock. Read on to find out who they are!

Ferrari

Jacques Villeneuve will return to Ferrari to defend his WDC crown but he will have a new teammate in Mika Hakkinen after Michael Schumacher got pissed off that he got beaten by a Rookie last season.

McLaren

Damon Hill is still looking for that elusive WDC title and Rubens Barrichello is still hanging around for a breakthrough. At least the Mercedes engine is looking much better than in years past.

Ligier

The biggest headline during the off-season was that Michael Schumacher decides to leave Ferrari and join Jean Alesi at Ligier. Obviously they are looking to go all in this season but will Peugeot step it up?

Williams

HH Frentzen stays put, but he will be joined by maybe the next big time rookie in Ralf Schumacher. They will still be using the Mercedes Benz engine.

Piquet

With BMW deciding to take a break from F1, Piquet had to scramble to secure a new engine deal, ultimately deciding to go with Renault engines. The driver lineup remains David Coulthard and Ricardo Rosset.

TWR

TWR lost their engine supplier from last year and they are also breaking in a new driver to partner Johnny Herbert. Alexander Wurz, who critics say he's unsuited to F1 due to his height, is given a shot.

Larousse

They carry over mostly everything from 1996 and are hoping to move further up with the same lineup of Eddie Irvine and Emmanuel Collard. The hope is that Ford can live up to their end of the deal.

Minardi

Gerhard Berger is approaching the twilight of his career, luckily for this small Italian team, Jarno Trulli was bought into the other race seat. There's still some hope with the Honda Engine powering this car.

DAMS

Pedro Lamy stays put but he will have a new teammate in ex-CART driver Greg Moore, who is attempting to make a successful switch into the European racing scene.

Jordan

They kept everything from 1996 intact but with one big change, Tarso Marques is promoted to the #1 seat and Gianni Morbidelli is demoted to the #2 seat.

Benetton

A couple big changes of note to Benetton. They are now using Ferrari engines and they bought in Luca Badoer to help develop this underachieving car. GC Fisichella remains with the team.

Tyrrell

Mika Salo stays put yet again but he has a new teammate in Tora Takagi to help pay for the new Ferrari engines, they will be using since Yamaha finally left F1 after a disappointing stint.

Sauber

Olivier Panis has a new team again. This time, he joins the Swiss-based Sauber outfit alongside Norberto Fontana. The Renault engine is much improved and the hope is that they can finally move back up.

Forti

They lost Ferrari engines and had to settle for Customer Renault engines. At least, they kept Nicola Larini for his final F1 season before retirement and Vincenzo Sospiri was bought in from Benetton.

Lotus

Team Lotus has been spared yet again. This time, they had to find not only a new engine supplier (Mercedes) but two drivers as well (Nakano and Katayama). Will they have enough guts to survive into 1998?

Durango

Same engine supplier in Hart, but two new rookie drivers in Jorg Muller, the 1996 F2 champion and Ricardo Zonta, who bypasses F2 completely. They are hoping for some better luck this year.

Volvo

Some minor improvements regarding head staff at the second-year Volvo F1 operation should be enough to get them off the basement but how much more can they improve past rock bottom?

Prost

Alain Prost has formed his own F1 team using the Reynard-built chassis as his foundation and has secured Ferrari engines. His drivers for his first ever attempt as owner are Jos Verstappen and Pedro Diniz.

Stefan GP

The Serbian based team has bought the latest Lola chassis and customer Ford Engines and is led by Businessman Zoran Stefanovic. He came up with two underrated Rookies in Tom Kristensen and Pedro De La Rosa.

So, that's the season preview for 1997.
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