1998 French Grand Prix

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France  1998 French Grand Prix
Race details
Race 8 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One season
Magny Cours 1992new.jpg
Date June 28, 1998
Official name Mobil 1 Grand Prix de France
Location Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, France
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.250 km (2.641 mi)
Distance 71 laps, 301.750 km (187.499 mi)
Scheduled Distance 72 laps, 306.000 km (190.140 mi)
Weather Sunny, warm
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:14.929
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:17.523 on lap 59
First Ferrari
Second Ferrari
Third McLaren-Mercedes

The 1998 French Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Magny-Cours on June 28, 1998. The race, contested over 72 laps, was won by German Michael Schumacher driving for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. His teammate from the United Kingdom, Eddie Irvine finished second. Mika Häkkinen, driving a McLaren-Mercedes finished in third.



The grand prix was originally dropped due to a dispute over television broadcasting rights in France for the race. French broadcasters TF1 had the broadcasting rights while rival channel FR3 obtained a judgement from a French court to allow all channels to operate on the grounds of the racetrack.[1][2]

Jos Verstappen replaced Jan Magnussen at Stewart GP through the rest of the season.


Mika Häkkinen of McLaren-Mercedes took pole position, beating Michael Schumacher by 0.2 seconds. David Coulthard qualified third, and Eddie Irvine took fourth place. Throughout the qualifying session, Schumacher and Häkkinen exchanged first place, until Häkkinen finally took the pole.


At the beginning of the race, Jos Verstappen stalled his Stewart, meaning that a restart had to be called for. At the second start, Mika Häkkinen was overtaken by both Scuderia Ferrari drivers Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher. This meant that Häkkinen dropped down from first to third, and Schumacher led Irvine in a Ferrari 1-2. After the start, Schumacher began to pull away; sometimes at one second a lap. While Schumacher was pulling away, Irvine was holding both the McLarens behind him. On lap 20, Häkkinen tried an ambitious move on Irvine. His attempt failed, and he spun into the gravel trap. However, he managed to keep his car going, went into the pits for more tyres, and rejoined in fourth place. However, he regained third place when David Coulthard had problems with his pitstop. Coulthard went into the pits, but due to a fuel filling problem, had to do another lap, and then go into the pits again. After this second set of pits, Häkkinen was back behind Irvine, and Schumacher was some way in front. On the final lap, on the final corner, Häkkinen made an attempt to overtake Irvine, after Irvine was very slow through the chicane before the final corner. Irvine just held off Häkkinen to take second, by only a tenth of a second. However, both drivers were 19 seconds behind Schumacher. After Coulthard's misfortune in the pitlane, he finished sixth, scoring one world championship point. It was Ferrari's first one-two for 8 years, the previous being at the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix, Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell scoring the one-two.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 71 1:34:45.026 2 10
2 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 71 +19.575 4 6
3 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 71 +19.747 1 4
4 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 71 +1:06.965 5 3
5 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 70 +1 Lap 10 2
6 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 70 +1 Lap 3 1
7 14 France Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 70 +1 Lap 11  
8 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 70 +1 Lap 13  
9 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 70 +1 Lap 9  
10 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 69 +2 Laps 14  
11 11 France Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot 69 +2 Laps 16  
12 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford 69 +2 Laps 15  
13 17 Finland Mika Salo Arrows 69 +2 Laps 19  
14 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows 69 +2 Laps 17  
15 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 68 Suspension 8  
16 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda 68 +3 Laps 6  
17 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 65 Engine 21  
Ret 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 60 Engine 20  
Ret 12 Italy Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 55 Spun off 12  
Ret 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 41 Gearbox 22  
Ret 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 19 Hydraulics 7  
Ret 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 16 Hydraulics 18  

Standings after Grand Prix[edit]

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

Lap leaders[edit]


  1. ^ "Motor Racing: Doubts over Belgian Grand Prix". The Independent. 13 December 1997. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "France dropped from F1 season". BBC Sport (BBC). 13 December 1997. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 

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1998 Canadian Grand Prix
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1998 season
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1998 British Grand Prix
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1999 French Grand Prix