San Marino GP 1998

San Marino GP, 1998

At the beginning of practice at the Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari it was clear that, unless the McLarens broke down, Ferrari was not going to win. David Coulthard was nearly half a second ahead of Mika Hakkinen, who had been forced to lift off on his fastest lap when Giancarlo Fisichella spun his Benetton.

The Ferraris shared the second row with Schumacher ahead of Eddie Irvine while Alexander Wurz did a good job for Benetton putting his car ahead of Jacques Villeneuve's Williams on row three.

At the start of the race the two McLarens got off the line well as usual and Coulthard duly took the lead from Hakkinen. Schumacher was third but found himself under attack from a fast-starting and aggressive-looking Villeneuve.

Wurz's promising qualifying was ruined within seconds as he suffered a gearbox problem as he accelerated away from the grid and he was then rammed from behind by Damon Hill's Jordan. This created problems behind them and the Stewart team demolished itself as Jan Magnussen ran into the back of Rubens Barrichello.

Coulthard began to build up an advantage and it was quickly clear that Hakkinen could not match him. After 17 laps the Finn retired with a gearbox problem, leaving Coulthard a very long way clear of Schumacher's Ferrari.

Coulthard, Schumacher and third-placed Villeneuve all pitted at the same time but Eddie Irvine stayed out for an extra lap and was able to get ahead of Villeneuve when he stopped. Jean Alesi also did well to move into fifth ahead of Heinz-Harald Frentzen. The order remained unchanged at the second pit stops and Coulthard was able to build up a 20 second lead over Schumacher, with Irvine half a minute behind him.

Villeneuve and Frentzen finished fourth and fifth for Williams, while Alesi finished sixth in the Sauber Petronas.

David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes  62 1h34m24.593s  
Michael Schumacher Ferrari  62 1h34m29.147s  
Eddie Irvine Ferrari  62 1h35m16.368s  
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome  62 1h35m19.183s  
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome  62 1h35m42.069s  
14 Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas  61  12 
10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda  60  
23 Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford  60  19 
17 Mika Salo Arrows  60  14 
10r Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda  57 Engine 
11r 11 Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot  56 Engine 13 
20 Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford  48 Engine 22 
21 Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford  40 Engine 15 
12 Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot  34 Throttle 16 
22 Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford  27 Engine 21 
16 Pedro Diniz Arrows  18 Engine 18 
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes  17 Gearbox 
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife  17 Accident 10 
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife  17 Engine 
15 Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas  12 Puncture 11 
19 Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford  Gearbox 20 
18 Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford  Spun Off 17