Argentine GP 1998

Argentine GP, 1998

After two dominant performances from the McLaren-Mercedes team there was little hope of a different result as the Formula 1 circus gathered in Buenos Aires for the third round of the World Championship. Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard had both taken 10 days holiday between the races while desperate rivals Ferrari, Williams and Jordan rushed back to Europe for a few days of tyre testing in Barcelona. The Goodyear tyres were an improvement but Coulthard was still on pole with Bridgestone tyres. Michael Schumacher was four-tenths behind in his Ferrari, while Hakkinen made a mess of qualifying and ended up third. Eddie Irvine in the second Ferrari was fourth, ahead of the Jordan of Ralf Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Williams.

Coulthard led, with Hakkinen beating Schumacher into the first corner. Schumacher had chosen a two-stop strategy and his light fuel load enabled him to keep up with and force his way past Hakkinen. He then went after Coulthard. The Scot had a slight problem downchanging and this meant that he was drifting slightly wide at one corner; Schumacher saw this and on the fifth lap went for the gap, barging Coulthard out of the way. Coulthard was spun back into sixth place.

Once in the lead Schumacher was able to build a distance thanks to his light fuel load while Hakkinen had to struggle with a heavy fuel tank. When Schumacher pitted Hakkinen took the lead but, when he himself stopped at mid-distance, Michael was back at the front. The next few laps were vital as the lightweight Ferrari had to build enough of a distance to have his second stop and remain ahead: Schumacher did it and Hakkinen settled for second place. Coulthard's comeback was disrupted when he collided with Jacques Villeneuve's Williams which meant that Irvine was able to finish third, despite a collision with Alexander Wurz's Benetton.

Rain began to fall in the closing laps and there were various adventures up and down the field. Schumacher went off and bounced across a sandtrap but since Hakkinen had not bothered to give chase he was not close enough to take advantage and the Ferrari stayed ahead to win.

Wurz had to settle for fourth while Jean Alesi was a delighted fifth, having started 11th on the grid in his Sauber. Coulthard came home in sixth, having survived a second spin.

Michael Schumacher Ferrari  72 1h48m36.175s  
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes  72 1h48m59.073s  
Eddie Irvine Ferrari  72 1h49m33.920s  
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife  72 1h49m44.309s  
14 Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas  72 1h49m54.461s  11 
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes  72 1h49m55.926s  
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife  72 1h50m04.612s  10 
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda  71  
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome  71  
10 18 Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford  70  14 
11 12 Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot  70  16 
12 21 Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford  70  13 
13 22 Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford  69  19 
14 20 Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford  68  21 
15r 11 Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot  65 Engine 15 
23 Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford  63 Accident 20 
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome  52 Collision With Coultard 
15 Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas  46 Collision With Hill/puncture 12 
10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda  22 Spun Off 
17 Mika Salo Arrows  18 Gearbox 17 
19 Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford  17 Transmission 22 
16 Pedro Diniz Arrows  13 Gearbox 18