1998 Spanish Grand Prix
|Race 5 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One season|
Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona
|Date||10 May 1998|
|Official name||XL Gran Premio Marlboro de España|
|Location||Circuit de Catalunya
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.728 km (2.938 mi)|
|Distance||65 laps, 307.196 km (190.883 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny and warm|
|Time||1:24.275 on lap 25|
The 1998 Spanish Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 10 May 1998 at the Circuit de Catalunya. It was the fifth race of the 1998 Formula One season. The 65-lap race was won by McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen after he started from pole position. His teammate David Coulthard finished second and Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher took third.
Mika Häkkinen qualified in pole position, 0.7 seconds ahead of his McLaren team-mate David Coulthard in second place, with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher a further 0.8 seconds behind in third. The race proved to be a formality for Häkkinen, winning the race ahead of Coulthard in second, and Schumacher in third.
Arrows driver Pedro Diniz started from the pit lane due to stalling on the warm up lap. At the start the McLarens got away well, but Schumacher made a poor start and fell back to fifth behind his team-mate Eddie Irvine and Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella. They ran in these positions until the first round of pit stops, when Irvine delayed Fisichella sufficiently for his team-mate Schumacher to emerge ahead of them both and regain third. Fisichella and Irvine continued to battle until lap 28, when Fisichella attempted a passing manoeuvre around the outside of Irvine, resulting in a collision spearing them both off into the gravel trap. This led to Fisichella's Benetton team-mate, Alexander Wurz, inheriting fourth place which he held until the finish. Mika Häkkinen was consistently faster than his team mate David Coulthard throughout the race weekend, unable to match his pace, even though they were in the same car. Respected ex driver and pundit Martin Brundle made the comment that Häkkinen was "in a class of his own".
The Stewart of Rubens Barrichello earned two points by finishing in fifth place, which were team's first of the season, this was made possible by the new engine and chassis the team used (however teammate Jan Magnussen ran with the old chassis). Reigning World Champion Jacques Villeneuve finished in sixth place, after Williams had their worst qualifying result since the 1989 United States Grand Prix.
On the final lap, Williams driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen passed Prost's Jarno Trulli for eight place when Trulli was incorrectly shown the blue flags as the marshalls had mistaken the Williams for a Ferrari.
"I am truly angry because I had to give up a great battle, and it isn't fair to lose a position because they are blind and can't recognise one car from another. Of course it doesn't matter much to finish eighth or ninth, but for a racer it matters. In a case of a blue flag I didn't have an alternative". Jarno Trulli
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Fastest Lap: Mika Häkkinen 1m 24.275s
- This was the first race of the 1998 season in which a driver failed to qualify due to not completing a time inside 107% of the pole position time. The unfortunate driver was Ricardo Rosset, who failed to qualify by 7/100ths of a second.
- AtlasF1 (10 May 1998). "Hakkinen increases Championship lead (Spanish GP)". Retrieved 17 November 2011.
- "1998 Spanish Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
1998 San Marino Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1998 Monaco Grand Prix
1997 Spanish Grand Prix
|Spanish Grand Prix||Next race:
1999 Spanish Grand Prix