German GP 1998

German GP, 1998

A week after the McLaren 1-2 in Austria Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard lined up 1-2 on the grid at Hockenheim, the pair having lapped half a second faster than the Williams of Jacques Villeneuve. The Ferrari team was in trouble, however, with Eddie Irvine sixth on the grid and Michael Schumacher ninth, having wasted a lot of time with a long-wheelbase Ferrari. The wheelbase is the distance between the centres of the front and rear wheels and this can be varied from the standard dimensions to improve the handling qualities of the car. On this occasion the changes didn't and Schumacher decided to go back to his normal car only to go off in practice on Saturday morning. In the second part of the session he blew the engine and so had made almost no laps before qualifying.

In the race Hakkinen and Coulthard got away well and led from start to finish. In the closing stages Hakkinen's car began throwing out large amounts of oil and slowed with a loss of horsepower but Coulthard slowed as well.

Villeneuve did not make a good start and dropped behind the Jordans of Ralf Schumacher and Damon Hill. During the first lap Jacques was able to repass Hill, leaving Damon to fight off the two Ferraris. Irvine made life easier for Schumacher when he made a mistake and went off.

In the early laps Ralf Schumacher was able to keep pace with the McLarens but he was running with a light fuel load and pitted early. Villeneuve moved up to third as a result and proved to be able to keep pace with the McLarens. With all the other major runners on one-stop strategies the order remained unchanged at the front although Coulthard was much closer to Hakkinen after his stop. Villeneuve finished third with Hill fourth, scoring his first points of the season. Michael Schumacher survived to finish fifth and his brother Ralf ended the day sixth.

The result increased Hakkinen's lead in the World Championship to 16 points and Michael Schumacher's task looked harder than ever with only five races to run.

Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes  45 1h30.44.086  1m41.838 
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes  45 0.427  1m42.347 
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome  45 2.578  1m42.365 
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda  45 7.185  1m43.183 
Michael Schumacher Ferrari  45 12.613  1m43.459 
10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda  45 29.739  1m42.994 
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife  45 31.027  1m43.369 
Eddie Irvine Ferrari  45 31.650  1m43.270 
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome  45 32.785  1m43.467 10 
10 14 Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas  45 48.372  1m43.663 11 
11 Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife  45 57.995  1m43.341 
12 12 Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot  44 1 Lap  1m44.844 14 
13 20 Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford  44 1 Lap  1m44.961 15 
14 17 Mika Salo Arrows  44 1 Lap  1m45.276 17 
15 11 Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot  44 1 Lap  1m45.197 16 
16 22 Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford  43 2 Laps  1m47.265 21 
15 Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas  37 Gearbox 1m44.599 12 
23 Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford  36 Gearbox 1m46.713 20 
19 Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford  27 Transmission 1m45.623 19 
18 Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford  24 Gearbox 1m44.776 13 
16 Pedro Diniz Arrows  Throttle 1m45.588 18 
nq 21 Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford    No Time