GRAND PRIX RESULTS: BRITISH GP, 1998
July 12, 1998
60 Laps, 5.138 km
Having been beaten at Magny-Cours McLaren needed a win at Silverstone and Mika Hakkinen took pole position by nearly half a second. But Michael Schumacher's Ferrari was there in second place and David Coulthard was in no position to help out Hakkinen as he was down in fourth on the grid behind World Champion Jacques Villeneuve - sporting purple hair for the first time. With Heinz-Harald Frentzen only three-tenths slower Williams looked quite competitive. Damon Hill showed well in front of his home crowd and qualified seventh, and then came the two Saubers looking better than normal, with Jean Alesi ahead of Johnny Herbert.
The weather was bad on Sunday and the track was damp when the race started. Hakkinen got away well with Schumacher and Coulthard on his tail while Alesi made a sensational start to be fourth at the first corner. Irvine, on the other hand, ended up down in 10th, having qualified in fifth position. After five laps Coulthard was able to show McLaren's supremacy once again as he passed Schumacher to take second place. Further back Irvine carved his way through the field to get up to fifth place by lap 12.
The rain intensified and several drivers spun out. Most of them stopped for wet tyres and during the pits stops Irvine was able to get ahead of Alesi. The conditions continued to deteriorate but the two McLarens stayed ahead of the two Ferraris while Ralf Schumacher moved into sixth after a remarkable drive through the field in his Jordan.
The rain became worse and worse and just before the second pit stops Coulthard spun out. A few laps later Hakkinen went off at high-speed at Bridge Corner, damaging the front wings of the car. He could still drive the damaged car, but it was slower than it had been. He had a 40secs advantage so there was still hope.
Schumacher pulled away and then received a signal to indicate that he had been given a penalty for overtaking under yellow flags (which prohibit such manoeuvres) during the Safety Car period. The issuing of the penalty, coming so late in the day, was bungled by the stewards and the Ferrari tacticians took advantage of this by ignoring the order and bringing Michael in on the last lap. He therefore won the race in the pit lane when he was coming in for the penalty, which could not now be carried out since the race was over. It was thus impossible for the stewards to take away the win. The stewards had to withdraw the penalty and they later handed in their licences.
|6||10||Ralf Schumacher||Jordan-Mugen Honda||59||10|
|r||16||Pedro Diniz||Arrows||45||Spun Off||13|
|r||11||Olivier Panis||Prost-Peugeot||40||Spun Off||16|
|r||18||Rubens Barrichello||Stewart-Ford||39||Spun Off||18|
|r||7||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||37||Spun Off||4|
|r||12||Jarno Trulli||Prost-Peugeot||37||Spun Off||15|
|r||20||Toranosuke Takagi||Tyrrell-Ford||29||Spun Off||22|
|r||23||Shinji Nakano||Minardi-Ford||29||Spun Off||20|
|r||15||Johnny Herbert||Sauber-Petronas||27||Spun Off||9|
|r||17||Mika Salo||Arrows||27||Spun Off||14|
|r||2||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Williams-Mecachrome||15||Spun Off||6|
|r||9||Damon Hill||Jordan-Mugen Honda||13||Spun Off||7|
British GP, Silverstone, July 12, 1998, Round: 9, Race Number: 623
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