1998 French Grand Prix
|Race 8 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One season|
|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)|
|Time||1:17.523 on lap 59|
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.
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.
Standings after Grand Prix
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1998 Canadian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1998 British Grand Prix
1997 French Grand Prix
|French Grand Prix||Next race:
1999 French Grand Prix