1998 Formula One season

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1998 FIA Formula One
World Championship season
Drivers' Champion: Mika Häkkinen
Constructors' Champion: McLaren-Mercedes
Previous: 1997 Next: 1999
Mika Häkkinen won his first title with McLaren.
Michael Schumacher finished as runner-up with Ferrari.
Häkkinen's team-mate, David Coulthard (pictured in 2007), finished the season ranked third.

The 1998 Formula One season was the 49th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1998 FIA Formula One World Championship which commenced on 8 March and ended on 1 November after sixteen races. The Drivers' Championship was won by Mika Häkkinen and the Constructors' Championship was awarded to McLaren-Mercedes.[1]

Off-season changes[edit]

At the end of 1997, Renault withdrew as a direct engine supplier from Formula One. As a result, the two teams running Renault engines were forced to source alternative suppliers. Williams opted to run engines supplied by Mecachrome, who were working with Renault to develop the most recent iteration of their RS9 engine rebadged with the Mecachrome name. Benetton sourced a similar rebadged Renault engine from Playlife. Neither Williams nor Benetton were competitive to the same level as in previous seasons. Renault themselves would invest in Benetton for 2000, before buying the team outright in 2002. They would not supply engines to other competing teams again until 2007. The Prost and Jordan teams swapped their engine suppliers from 1997: Prost now used Peugeot, whilst Jordan used Mugen-Honda.

The 1998 season brought about two significant technical changes to reduce cornering speeds and aid overtaking.[2] The first was the reduction of the cars' track, making them much narrower than in 1997. The second was the introduction of grooved tyres to replace slicks. The front tyres had three grooves, with four on the rear tyres; for 1999, each tyre would have four grooves. Grooved tyres were a mainstay in Formula One until the reintroduction of slicks in 2009.[3] For 1998, both McLaren and Benetton switched from Goodyear to Bridgestone tyres, as the Japanese manufacturer expanded to work with six of the eleven teams in their second year competing in the sport. This would result in the two teams who became principal championship protagonists working with different tyre manufacturers. The two top teams from 1997, Williams and Ferrari, opted to retained Goodyear tyres.

Season summary[edit]

When the season commenced, it was immediately clear that McLaren had adapted to the new rule changes best, with their drivers locking out the front row of the grid at the opening race of the season in Australia, both more than half a second clear of 199495 world champion Michael Schumacher's Ferrari. Mika Häkkinen went on to take victory in controversial circumstances after team-mate David Coulthard moved over to allow him to pass in the closing laps, honouring a gentlemen's agreement that the driver leading at the first corner would win the race. Coulthard went on to finish second. This result was repeated in Brazil, although once again controversy was not far away, this time off the track: a protest was raised about a controversial braking system on the McLaren which was suggested to allow the drivers to brake front and rear wheels independently, contravening the rules. McLaren agreed not to run the system, but remained dominant in the race. With Goodyear making steps forward before Argentina, Schumacher was able to take his first win of the season, with team-mate Eddie Irvine in third. Häkkinen finished a distant second, but Coulthard only managed sixth after he was tipped into a spin early in the race by Schumacher.

Coulthard bounced back in Imola by gaining pole position and winning the race (which would be his lone win of the season), ahead of Schumacher and Irvine. Häkkinen suffered his first retirement of the season due to a gearbox failure. The progress made by Goodyear enabled Ferrari to excel on these twisty circuits. In Spain, however, the fast corners favoured McLaren and again they raced away to another 1–2 finish led by Häkkinen. A further win for Häkkinen in Monaco gave him a seventeen-point lead over Coulthard with Schumacher a further five points behind.

Schumacher fought back to win the next three races, while mistakes and mechanical failures cost both Häkkinen and Coulthard points. After the British Grand Prix, Schumacher had closed the gap to Häkkinen to just two points, while Coulthard was 26 points behind his team mate and looking unlikely to be able to fight for the championship. Consecutive wins in Austria and Germany for Häkkinen proved that McLaren still had the strongest car, but a strategic master stroke in Hungary allowed Schumacher to take the win and close the gap to Häkkinen to just seven points.

The start of a typically rain-filled Belgian Grand Prix saw one of the worst accidents in Formula One history, with over half the cars on the grid crashing into each other after the first corner; four of those drivers were unable to take the restart almost an hour later due to lack of spare cars. An action-packed race saw Häkkinen spin out into retirement at the restart after colliding with the Sauber of Johnny Herbert. This allowed Schumacher to lead comfortably before crashing into Coulthard when trying to lap his McLaren. The path was then clear for 1996 world champion Damon Hill to take Jordan's first ever win, followed by team-mate Ralf Schumacher in second.

Michael Schumacher bounced back to take a surprise victory in Italy, having initially outraced Häkkinen, who ended up finishing only fourth after brake problems sent him into two spins. The championship was now level with two races to go, with the result also bringing Ferrari back into contention for the constructors' world championship, being just ten points behind. For the next race in Luxembourg, Häkkinen managed to beat Schumacher in a straight fight. The season concluded in Japan, where Häkkinen won easily without any challenge from Schumacher, who stalled on the grid and retired from a blown tyre later in the race. This gave Häkkinen his first world championship and McLaren their eighth constructors' championship. 1997 constructors' champions Williams had a disappointing season overall, with only two podium finishes for reigning drivers' champion Jacques Villeneuve and one for Heinz-Harald Frentzen. However, in Japan they managed to secure third in the constructors' championship, ahead of Jordan and Benetton.


Teams and drivers[edit]

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1998 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre No. Driver Rounds
United Kingdom Winfield Williams Williams-Mecachrome FW20 Mecachrome GC37-01 G 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve All
2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen All
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F300 Ferrari 047 G 3 Germany Michael Schumacher All
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine All
Italy Mild Seven Benetton Playlife Benetton-Playlife B198 Playlife GC37-01 B 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella All
6 Austria Alexander Wurz All
United Kingdom West McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13 Mercedes FO110G B 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard All
8 Finland Mika Häkkinen All
Republic of Ireland Benson and Hedges Jordan Jordan-Mugen-Honda 198 Mugen-Honda MF-301 HC G 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill All
10 Germany Ralf Schumacher All
France Gauloises Prost Peugeot Prost-Peugeot AP01 Peugeot A16 B 11 France Olivier Panis All
12 Italy Jarno Trulli All
Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber-Petronas C17 Petronas SPE-01D G 14 France Jean Alesi All
15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert All
United Kingdom Danka Zepter Arrows Arrows A19 Arrows T2-F1 B 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz All
17 Finland Mika Salo All
United Kingdom HSBC Stewart Ford Stewart-Ford SF02 Ford VJ Zetec-R B 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello All
19 Denmark Jan Magnussen 1–7
Netherlands Jos Verstappen 8–16
United Kingdom PIAA Tyrrell Ford Tyrrell-Ford 026 Ford JD Zetec-R G 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset All
21 Japan Tora Takagi All
Italy Fondmetal Minardi Team Minardi-Ford M198 Ford JD Zetec-R B 22 Japan Shinji Nakano All
23 Argentina Esteban Tuero All

All engines were 3.0 litre, V10 configuration.

Formula One World Championship race schedule[edit]

Rnd Race Date Location
1 Australian Grand Prix 8 March Australia Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne
2 Brazilian Grand Prix 29 March Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo
3 Argentine Grand Prix 12 April Argentina Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, Buenos Aires
4 San Marino Grand Prix 26 April Italy Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola
5 Spanish Grand Prix 10 May Spain Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
6 Monaco Grand Prix 24 May Monaco Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo
7 Canadian Grand Prix 7 June Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
8 French Grand Prix 28 June France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours
9 British Grand Prix 12 July United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone
10 Austrian Grand Prix 26 July Austria A1-Ring, Spielberg, Styria
11 German Grand Prix 2 August Germany Hockenheimring, Hockenheim
12 Hungarian Grand Prix 16 August Hungary Hungaroring, Budapest
13 Belgian Grand Prix 30 August Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot
14 Italian Grand Prix 13 September Italy Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza
15 Luxembourg Grand Prix 27 September Germany Nürburgring, Nürburg
16 Japanese Grand Prix 1 November Japan Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka

Season review[edit]

Grands Prix[edit]

Round Grand Prix Pole Position Fastest Lap Winning Driver Winning Constructor Report
1 Australia Australian Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
2 Brazil Brazilian Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
3 Argentina Argentine Grand Prix United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Alexander Wurz Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
4 San Marino San Marino Grand Prix United Kingdom David Coulthard Germany Michael Schumacher United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
5 Spain Spanish Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
6 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
7 Canada Canadian Grand Prix United Kingdom David Coulthard Germany Michael Schumacher Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
8 France French Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom David Coulthard Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
9 United Kingdom British Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen Germany Michael Schumacher Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
10 Austria Austrian Grand Prix Italy Giancarlo Fisichella United Kingdom David Coulthard Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
11 Germany German Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom David Coulthard Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
12 Hungary Hungarian Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen Germany Michael Schumacher Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
13 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix Finland Mika Häkkinen Germany Michael Schumacher United Kingdom Damon Hill Republic of Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda Report
14 Italy Italian Grand Prix Germany Michael Schumacher Finland Mika Häkkinen Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari Report
15 Luxembourg Luxembourg Grand Prix Germany Michael Schumacher Finland Mika Häkkinen Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
16 Japan Japanese Grand Prix Germany Michael Schumacher Germany Michael Schumacher Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report

Drivers Championship standings[edit]

Pos Driver AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
SMR
San Marino
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
AUT
Austria
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
LUX
Luxembourg
JPN
Japan
Points
1 Finland Mika Häkkinen 1 1 2 Ret 1 1 Ret 3 2 1 1 6 Ret 4 1 1 100
2 Germany Michael Schumacher Ret 3 1 2 3 10 1 1 1 3 5 1 Ret 1 2 Ret 86
3 United Kingdom David Coulthard 2 2 6 1 2 Ret Ret 6 Ret 2 2 2 7 Ret 3 3 56
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 4 8 3 3 Ret 3 3 2 3 4 8 Ret Ret 2 4 2 47
5 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 5 7 Ret 4 6 5 10 4 7 6 3 3 Ret Ret 8 6 21
6 United Kingdom Damon Hill 8 DSQ 8 10 Ret 8 Ret Ret Ret 7 4 4 1 6 9 4 20
7 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 3 5 9 5 8 Ret Ret 15 Ret Ret 9 5 4 7 5 5 17
8 Austria Alexander Wurz 7 4 4 Ret 4 Ret 4 5 4 9 11 16 Ret Ret 7 9 17
9 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ret 6 7 Ret Ret 2 2 9 5 Ret 7 8 Ret 8 6 8 16
10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ret Ret Ret 7 11 Ret Ret 16 6 5 6 9 2 3 Ret Ret 14
11 France Jean Alesi Ret 9 5 6 10 12 Ret 7 Ret Ret 10 7 3 5 10 7 9
12 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ret Ret 10 Ret 5 Ret 5 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret DNS 10 11 Ret 4
13 Finland Mika Salo Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 4 Ret 13 Ret Ret 14 Ret DNS Ret 14 Ret 3
14 Brazil Pedro Diniz Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 9 14 Ret Ret Ret 11 5 Ret Ret Ret 3
15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 6 11 Ret Ret 7 7 Ret 8 Ret 8 Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 10 1
16 Italy Jarno Trulli Ret Ret 11 Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 12 Ret 6 13 Ret 12 1
17 Denmark Jan Magnussen Ret 10 Ret Ret 12 Ret 6 1
18 Japan Shinji Nakano Ret Ret 13 Ret 14 9 7 17 8 11 Ret 15 8 Ret 15 Ret 0
19 Argentina Esteban Tuero Ret Ret Ret 8 15 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 16 Ret Ret 11 NC Ret 0
20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Ret Ret 14 Ret DNQ DNQ 8 Ret Ret 12 DNQ DNQ DNS 12 Ret DNQ 0
21 Japan Tora Takagi Ret Ret 12 Ret 13 11 Ret Ret 9 Ret 13 14 Ret 9 16 Ret 0
22 France Olivier Panis 9 Ret 15 11 16 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret 15 12 DNS Ret 12 11 0
23 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 12 Ret Ret Ret 13 Ret Ret 13 Ret 0
Pos Driver AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
SMR
San Marino
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
AUT
Austria
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
LUX
Luxembourg
JPN
Japan
Points
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Light blue Practiced only (PO)
Friday test driver (TD)
(from 2003 onwards)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)

Bold – Pole
Italics – Fastest lap

Drivers did not finish the Grand Prix, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.

Championship points were awarded on a 10-6-4-3-2-1 basis for the first six places at each event.[4]

Constructors Championship standings[edit]

McLaren-Mercedes won the Constructors' Championship (their most recent to date) with the MP4/13.
Ferrari placed second in the Constructors' Championship
Williams-Mecachrome placed third in the Constructors' Championship
Pos Constructor Car
no.
AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
SMR
San Marino
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
AUT
Austria
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
LUX
Luxembourg
JPN
Japan
Points
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 7 2 2 6 1 2 Ret Ret 6 Ret 2 2 2 7 Ret 3 3 156
8 1 1 2 Ret 1 1 Ret 3 2 1 1 6 Ret 4 1 1
2 Italy Ferrari 3 Ret 3 1 2 3 10 1 1 1 3 5 1 Ret 1 2 Ret 133
4 4 8 3 3 Ret 3 3 2 3 4 8 Ret Ret 2 4 2
3 United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1 5 7 Ret 4 6 5 10 4 7 6 3 3 Ret Ret 8 6 38
2 3 5 9 5 8 Ret Ret 15 Ret Ret 9 5 4 7 5 5
4 Republic of Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 9 8 DSQ 8 10 Ret 8 Ret Ret Ret 7 4 4 1 6 9 4 34
10 Ret Ret Ret 7 11 Ret Ret 16 6 5 6 9 2 3 Ret Ret
5 Italy Benetton-Playlife 5 Ret 6 7 Ret Ret 2 2 9 5 Ret 7 8 Ret 8 6 8 33
6 7 4 4 Ret 4 Ret 4 5 4 9 11 16 Ret Ret 7 9
6 Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 14 Ret 9 5 6 10 12 Ret 7 Ret Ret 10 7 3 5 10 7 10
15 6 11 Ret Ret 7 7 Ret 8 Ret 8 Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 10
7 United Kingdom Arrows 16 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 9 14 Ret Ret Ret 11 5 Ret Ret Ret 6
17 Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 4 Ret 13 Ret Ret 14 Ret DNS Ret 14 Ret
8 United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 18 Ret Ret 10 Ret 5 Ret 5 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret DNS 10 11 Ret 5
19 Ret 10 Ret Ret 12 Ret 6 12 Ret Ret Ret 13 Ret Ret 13 Ret
9 France Prost-Peugeot 11 9 Ret 15 11 16 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret 15 12 DNS Ret 12 11 1
12 Ret Ret 11 Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 12 Ret 6 13 Ret 12
10 Italy Minardi-Ford 22 Ret Ret 13 Ret 14 9 7 17 8 11 Ret 15 8 Ret 15 Ret 0
23 Ret Ret Ret 8 15 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 16 Ret Ret 11 NC Ret
11 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 20 Ret Ret 14 Ret DNQ DNQ 8 Ret Ret 12 DNQ DNQ DNS 12 Ret DNQ 0
21 Ret Ret 12 Ret 13 11 Ret Ret 9 Ret 13 14 Ret 9 16 Ret
Pos Constructor Car
no.
AUS
Australia
BRA
Brazil
ARG
Argentina
SMR
San Marino
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
GBR
United Kingdom
AUT
Austria
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
LUX
Luxembourg
JPN
Japan
Points

Championship points were awarded on a 10-6-4-3-2-1 basis for the first six places at each event.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FIA Formula One World Championship 1998/Championship standings, en.espnf1.com Retrieved on 3 June 2014
  2. ^ "Formula 1 Technical Regulation changes for 1998". grandprix.com. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  3. ^ Inside F1, Understanding the Sport: Tyres. formula1.com. Retrieved 28 July 2013
  4. ^ a b 1998 Formula One World Championship Sporting Regulations, www.fia.com via web.archive.org Retrieved on 3 June 2014

External links[edit]