1998 Austrian Grand Prix
|Race 10 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One season|
|Date||26 July 1998|
|Official name||XXII Grosser Preis von Österreich|
|Location||A1-Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.326 km (2.684 mi)|
|Distance||71 laps, 307.146 km (190.564 mi)|
|Time||1:12.878 on lap 30|
The 1998 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the A1-Ring on 26 July 1998. A mixed-up grid resulted from a wet/dry qualifying session, with Giancarlo Fisichella taking his first pole position. Mika Häkkinen won the race. Coulthard was nineteenth on lap 2 having been involved in two collisions but finished 2nd just behind his team mate.
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It was an unusual grid due to a wet qualifying which dried out towards the end, with Fisichella taking his first ever pole with Alesi alongside him in the Sauber.
At the start Häkkinen got a brilliant getaway to lead into the first corner but behind them was carnage when several cars collided at the first corner, with Takagi's car ending up stranded; Olivier Panis in the Prost did not even get off the line with clutch failure.
At the second corner another accident happened with both Arrows drivers colliding, swiping David Coulthard in the progress, knocking off his wing after the Scot had qualified a lowly 14th.
Coulthard pitted for a new nose but luckily for him a safety car was deployed due to clean up all the debris from the collisions, and Coulthard was able to catch up to the back of the field.
At the restart Häkkinen led away again with Schumacher right up behind him, Schumacher attempted to pass Häkkinen but ran wide, allowing Fisichella in the Benetton through and almost Rubens Barrichello in the Stewart.
Unfortunately for Barrichello, he was to drop out soon after with brake problems, while Schumacher got back past Fisichella and set off after Häkkinen again.
Schumacher's race was already hurt with him on a two-stop strategy, and Häkkinen was on just one, but worse was to follow when Schumacher ran very wide, bouncing violently through the gravel trap and ripping off his front wing. He was able to get back to the pits and fit a new wing, but when he re-joined he was almost a lap behind.
Around the same time Frentzen in the Williams had a huge engine failure where it caught fire; luckily he was able to hop out.
The amateur hour continued when Fisichella and Alesi clashed and both retired at the second corner; that left Coulthard's task of climbing through the field a lot easier.
Michael Schumacher was storming back through the field also, but he had a lot of trouble passing his brother Ralf in the Jordan; for lap after lap his brother refused to yield before Michael nailed him.
Michael Schumacher then started to reel in Eddie Irvine, his team-mate, but Irvine was slowing; he said after it was due to marginal brakes, but many people in the paddock suspected he was asked to move over for his team leader.
Häkkinen cruised to an easy victory, with his team-mate Coulthard a superb second after being last at the start; Michael Schumacher took third aided by his team-mate Eddie Irvine
Championship standings after the race
- Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1998 British Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1998 German Grand Prix
1997 Austrian Grand Prix
|Austrian Grand Prix||Next race:
1999 Austrian Grand Prix