SEPTEMBER 2, 1996
...but could win the title at Monza
DAMON HILL goes to Monza this weekend with the chance to win his first FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Hill enjoys a 13 point advantage over team mate Jacques Villeneuve, and that means that he will be champion if he wins and Villeneuve finishes lower than third place. Hill would increase his total to 91 points and Villeneuve would have Villeneuve 72 - with only 20 still available. If Villeneuve finishes fourth he will have 71 with 20 available, but would lose the title because Hill would end the year with eight wins to Jacques's five.
Hill cannot win the title if he finishes second - even if Villeneuve fails to score, while if Villeneuve wins and Hill is second the gap closes to nine points with two races to go, which would mean that Hill could follow Villeneuve home in both the remaining races and still win the title.
It is worth noting that Hill has had more mechanical failures as well this season. Damon has failed to score only three times this year: he made a mistake and crashed in Spain, but suffered an engine failure at Monaco and a suspension problem at Silverstone.
Villeneuve has also failed to score on only three occasions. He was punted off by Luca Badoer at Monaco but slid off of his own accord in Brazil. He suffered a rear suspension failure at Imola but only after some wheel-banging with Jean Alesi.
In other words Villeneuve has had no mechanical failures this year, while Hill has had two - and that could be a significant factor in the final three races.