On 25th August 1996, Michael Schumacher won the Belgian Grand Prix. It was the second of 72 wins at the wheel of a Ferrari for the German and came at the end of a very difficult summer, which featured four retirements, in Montreal, Magny-Cours, Silverstone and Hungaroring and a dull fourth place at Hockenheim. On top of that, there had been growing rumours of possible upheavals at Maranello. Third in qualifying behind the Williams duo of Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill, Michael got past the Englishman at the start and hounded the Canadian for the first part of the race.
He had a stroke of luck when the race was neutralised after Jos Verstappen had an accident, as it meant he was able to pass the son of Gilles. Once in the lead, after the two McLarens made their single stop, the German used every inch of the track to keep Villeneuve behind him and bring home a great win, at a place that had become almost as familiar as his own front room, given its proximity to Kerpen, the town of his birth, as well as the fact that it was here at Spa that he had made his debut five years earlier and where he had already won twice before.