There is more to this story as just before the Jerez Finale, the 2nd last race of the season was Japanese GP and a big controversy was created in the race when Villenueve unsuccessfully tries to push Schumacher off the track, and then his teammate tries to slow down Schumacher when Michal was about to lap him near the end of the race costing Michal nearly the victory as the gap between Michal and Frentzen which was over 4 secs cuts down to 1 sec in one lap. Michal was furious when he lapped that driver.
FIA also take notice of Villenueve action and Villenueve and Williams team comes in the Finale with FIA's order that no such repeat of action will happens at all. But the controversy was growing as now Sauber which was using Ferrari engines were asked by Ferrari to make it difficult for Williams and especially Villenueve's life when they tries to lapped them at any point in the race. Sauber's driver Fontana did the same thing as was ordered, but the luck was not with Ferrari as after Michal's retirement Williams have made an agreement with McLaren's Ron Dennis that if there drivers does not attack Villenueve's damaged car aggressively they could hand them the race lead, McLaren did the same thing and thats how Mika Hakkinen wins his first ever race in F1, while Villenueve wins his only title in F
Most of that stuff is factually incorrect.
There was never any controversy , never mind a big controversy, regarding the start. Some sections of the media probably tried unsuccessfully to create something out of nothing. There was never an attempt to take Schumacher out of the race at any stage. The start was very hard but fair. To make a comparison, it was much like Vettel's start at Suzuka, without pushing the other driver on the grass etc because Villeneuve had made a better start and moved over to block Schumacher right away. Will post a video at the end, watch around the 33 seconds mark and again at 2 minutes 31 seconds. Schumacher could easily have been taken out on both occasions but he was not.
The controversy if any was about Villeneuve
s disqualification before the start of the race even. In free practice three a car had gone off coming out of spoon corner, Villeneuve following that car did not slow down enough ` according to FIA:D So the FIA decided to not fine him, not give him a time penalty or something but instead on the morning of the race disqualified the pole sitter and world championship leader before the race even started. Sounds familiar? Ah yes, Indianapolis 2003:-# Michelin tires being banned before Italian GP same year with testing ban in effect, Mass dampers outlawed after something like two or three years? Or that farcical grid penalty for blocking Massa:-#
Two, Villeneuve`s team mate was Frentzen that year, not Damon Hill, who was the driver in Arrows Yamaha being lapped and kept Schumacher behind for almost a lap. Damon had his own axe to grind with Schumacher.
Three, Villeneuve or Williams never went to Jerez, the last race of the season, with any warning. It's absurd to even suggest that because Villeneuve was one point behind Schumacher in the championship and any contact that put both drivers out of the race would have made Schumacher world champion. Granted Max Mosely was crazy but he was not so crazy to actually warn a driver who was behind in the points.
There was clear talk before the race, and there was talk about serious consequences should there be a ' racing accident ' between the two drivers fighting for the title. The warning was aimed at one driver-with a history of taking out his rivals in title battles like Adelaide, Macau, and before that in Mercedes Benz Junior team as Frentzen and Wedlinger would testify.
Four, The arrangement between Williams and Mclaren was made at Suzuka, not Jerez. Villeneuve had no problem finishing in the points at Jerez, and one point is all he needed. Mclaren only caught him on the last lap . Had he wished, he could have kept them behind in the last three-four corners but a deal is a deal:D And the deal was something else which had to do with Suzuka, part of strategy, and at Jerez towards the end it became a deal about keeping Irvine behind.
//youtu.be/ Gp Japão 1997 - YouTube