On this day in 1997, the closest qualifying session ever was held at the European Grand Prix. Identical times are rare, but not unheard of. But to have a 3-way tie for pole position has never happened. The tie-up was between Williams’ Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher, and pole position was decided by who set the 1:21.072 time first which was Villeneuve followed by Schumacher and Frentzen respectively.
On this day, October 26th, in 1997, the title-deciding race of that season was held at the European Grand Prix in Jerez. The deciding moment of the race wasn’t at the finish line, but at an overtake of Jacques Villeneuve on Michael Schumacher on lap 48 ended with Schumacher intentionally turning into Villeneuve retiring Michael’s car with the intent of retiring Jacques’ car therefore securing the championship for Michael by 1 point. However, only Michael’s car suffered damage letting Villeneuve limo home to 3rd place, but clinch the championship by 3 points. Major backlash followed after the race against Schumacher, and instead of finishing as runner-up to Villeneuve that year, Michael was disqualified entirely for his actions at that race.