1998 British Grand Prix

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United Kingdom  1998 British Grand Prix
Race details
Race 9 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One season
Silverstone Circuit in its 1998 configuration
Silverstone Circuit in its 1998 configuration
Date 12 July 1998
Official name LI RAC British Grand Prix
Location Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, England
Course Permanent racing facility
5.140 km (3.194 mi)
Distance 60 laps, 308.400 km (191.631 mi)
Weather Rain, Wet Track
Pole position
Driver Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:23.271
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:35.704 on lap 12
Podium
First Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Second Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
Third United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari

The 1998 British Grand Prix (formally the LI RAC British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at the Silverstone Circuit, England on 12 July 1998. It was the ninth race of the 1998 Formula One season. The race, contested over 60 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari car after starting from second position. Mika Häkkinen, who started from pole position, finished second with Eddie Irvine third in the other Ferrari. Schumacher's victory was his fourth of the season, and his third consecutive victory having won both the preceding Canadian and French Grand Prix, but was under controversial circumstances: he avoided a stop-and-go penalty by entering the pit lane to serve it on the final lap, crossing the finish line in the pit lane to win the race before reaching his pit box, although the controversial penalty was later rescinded.

Report[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Mika Häkkinen took pole position by nearly half a second from championship rival Michael Schumacher. Jacques Villeneuve took third position whilst Häkkinen's team-mate David Coulthard qualified in fourth. Ralf Schumacher and Olivier Panis had their qualifying times deleted as they were not able to get out of their cars quick enough during an FIA safety drill, to practice evacuating the cockpit in case of fire. Ralf Schumacher had spun and stalled his engine early in qualifying and qualified in the spare car, which was set up for team-mate Damon Hill.

Race[edit]

Heavy rain fell during the morning prior to the race. Although the rain stopped before the start, there was a mixture of wet and dry parts on the circuit and as a result all but two cars started on intermediate compound tyres. The two Stewart-Fords decided to start on dry weather tyres.[1] The first retirement came after 13 laps, when Damon Hill lost control on the damp track whilst battling with Villeneuve for 7th place. After 16 laps, it began to rain again, and many drivers switched to a full wet weather tyre.

David Coulthard retires from the race

David Coulthard driving on intermediates spun out on lap 38 whilst passing a backmarker. His McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Mika Häkkinen had built up a lead of 49 seconds over second place driver Michael Schumacher when four laps later he went off the track, did a complete 360 degrees turn before continuing. The incident damaged the front wing of his car and cost him 10 seconds of his lead but following numerous other spins caused by the worsening conditions the safety car was deployed which slowed the cars down, and removed Häkkinen's advantage over Schumacher altogether.[2]

The race restarted on lap 50 and it took only two laps for Häkkinen to make another mistake, which put Schumacher in the lead. The German quickly pulled away from his rival, who was now nursing his McLaren home.

However, two laps from the finish, it turned out that Schumacher was issued with a stop-and-go penalty for passing Alexander Wurz under the safety car on lap 43. He had to come in to the pits in three laps to serve his penalty, which he did by entering pit road on the final lap of the race, but in doing so crossed the finish line (which extends across the pit lane) before reaching his pit box and won the race. Controversy followed as the German driver clearly did not serve his penalty in full before the race ended. Ferrari argued that the penalty should have been issued within 25 minutes of the incident and they were informed 6 minutes after the limit had expired and that the hand-written notification was also unclear as to which penalty was actually being issued, a stop-and-go, or 10 seconds added to Schumacher's race time. The stewards then decided to apply the latter post-race, but as it was a penalty which could only be used to punish an infraction in the last 12 laps of a grand prix - not the case here - they eventually rescinded the penalty altogether.[3] A protest was lodged by McLaren-Mercedes who felt Ferrari cheated by not having Schumacher serve the penalty, but this was rejected by the FIA. As a result the three stewards involved handed in their licences at an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Council.[4]

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.271
2 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:23.720 +0.449
3 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 1:24.102 +0.831
4 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.310 +1.039
5 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:24.436 +1.165
6 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 1:24.442 +1.171
7 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:24.542 +1.271
8 14 France Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 1:25.081 +1.810
9 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 1:25.084 +1.813
10 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 1:25.654 +2.383
11 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 1:25.760 +2.489
12 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows 1:26.376 +3.105
13 17 Finland Mika Salo Arrows 1:26.487 +3.216
14 12 Italy Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 1:26.808 +3.537
15 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford 1:26.948 +3.677
16 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 1:26.990 +3.719
17 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 1:27.061 +3.790
18 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 1:28.051 +4.780
19 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 1:28.123 +4.852
20 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 1:28.608 +5.337
21 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda No Time 1
22 11 France Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot No Time 1
1.^ -Qualification times of Ralf Schumacher and Olivier Panis were disallowed because they failed an FIA safety drill.

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 60 1:47:02.450 2 10
2 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 60 +22.465 1 6
3 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 60 +29.199 5 4
4 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 59 +1 Lap 11 3
5 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 59 +1 Lap 10 2
6 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda 59 +1 Lap 21 1
7 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 59 +1 Lap 3  
8 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 58 +2 Laps 19  
9 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 56 +4 Laps 17  
Ret 14 France Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 53 Electrical 8  
Ret 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows 45 Spun off 12  
Ret 11 France Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot 40 Spun off 22  
Ret 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 39 Accident 16  
Ret 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford 38 Engine 15  
Ret 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 37 Spun off 4  
Ret 12 Italy Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 37 Spun off 14  
Ret 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 29 Spun off 20  
Ret 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 29 Spun off 18  
Ret 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 27 Spun off 9  
Ret 17 Finland Mika Salo Arrows 27 Throttle 13  
Ret 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 15 Spun off 6  
Ret 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 13 Spun off 7  

Standings after Grand Prix[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Footnotes[edit]


Previous race:
1998 French Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1998 season
Next race:
1998 Austrian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1997 British Grand Prix
British Grand Prix Next race:
1999 British Grand Prix