Austrian GP 1998

Austrian GP, 1998

Although the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13 was still superior to the Ferrari F300 Michael Schumacher's victories in France and Britain had put McLaren on the defensive. There was heavy rain in the days before the race and on Saturday a shower in qualifying meant that it turned into a scramble and Giancarlo Fisichella was able to take pole position for Benetton with Jean Alesi's Sauber alongside. Mika Hakkinen was third for McLaren with championship rival Michael Schumacher fourth. Fifth and sixth on the grid were Rubens Barrichello's Stewart-Ford and Mika Salo's Arrows while Ferrari's Eddie Irvine was eighth and David Coulthard ended up 14th.

Hakkinen and Schumacher made the best starts and passed both the front row men to lead Fisichella while Alesi found himself in fifth behind Barrichello. Pedro Diniz and Mika Salo in the Arrows collided and Coulthard lost a front wing in the melee. A Safety Car was despatched while Coulthard pitted for repairs.

The race restarted with Hakkinen battling Schumacher for the lead. On lap 5 the Ferrari driver made a rare mistake and allowed Fisichella to get ahead but Schumacher was soon back behind Hakkinen. On lap seven the two cars made contact but both stayed on the track and Hakkinen began to pull away. Barrichello disappeared with a mechanical problem while further back Coulthard charged through the field to be seventh by lap 16. On the next lap Schumacher made another mistake and the Ferrari went off bouncing wildly over a sandtrap, tearing off the front wings of the car. He had to pit.

While Coulthard found a way past Alesi to take fourth place, Fisichella came into the pits. When he rejoined he found Alesi alongside him and the two ran side-by-side up the hill to the Remus Kurve where they collided and were both out.

This left a delighted Coulthard in third place behind Hakkinen and Irvine and when the Ulsterman had to pit again he dropped behind Coulthard. The result was a McLaren 1-2. Michael Schumacher fought back from his delay and was able to catch and pass his brother Ralf, who was running fourth in the Jordan. Irvine then slowed to let Schumacher take third place.

Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes  71 1h30m44.086  1m30.517 
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes  71 5.289  1m32.399 14 
Michael Schumacher Ferrari  71 39.093  1m30.551 
Eddie Irvine Ferrari  71 43.977  1m31.651 
10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda  71 50.655  1m31.917 
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome  71 53.202  1m32.083 11 
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda  71 1m13.624  1m32.718 15 
15 Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas  70 1 Lap  1m33.205 18 
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife  70 1 Lap  1m33.185 17 
10 12 Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot  70 1 Lap  1m32.906 16 
11 23 Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford  70 1 Lap  1m34.536 21 
12 21 Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford  69 2 Laps  1m34.910 22 
19 Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford  51 Engine 1m32.099 12 
22 Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford  30 Spin 1m33.399 19 
14 Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas  21 Accident 1m30.317 
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife  21 Accident 1m29.598 
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome  16 Engine 1m31.515 
18 Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford  Brakes 1m31.005 
16 Pedro Diniz Arrows  Accident 1m32.206 13 
17 Mika Salo Arrows  Accident 1m31.028 
11 Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot  Mechanical 1m32.081 10 
20 Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford  Accident 1m34.090 20