Luxembourg GP 1998

Luxembourg GP, 1998

Having made a real mess of qualifying and the race at Monza, the McLaren team was hoping to have a rather better time at the Luxembourg Grand Prix but the cars did not perform well in qualifying and Mika Hakkinen found himself behind both Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine in the two Ferraris. Hakkinen tried to disguise his disappointment but there was no doubting that he was around a second a lap slower than he should have been and six-tenths behind Schumacher.

David Coulthard was in even worse trouble, lining up fifth on the grid behind Giancarlo Fisichella's Benetton, which was behaving very well on its Bridgestone tyres. Behind Fisichella was Ralf Schumacher's Jordan and Heinz-Harald Frentzen in his Williams.

When the race began Schumacher made his customary bad start and so it was Irvine who led into the first corner with the two McLarens giving chase and Fisichella under threat from Alexander Wurz, up from eighth on the grid. Irvine's moment of glory was short-lived. At the end of the first lap he made a mistake at the chicane, bounced wide and in a flash Schumacher was through and into the lead. With Irvine holding up Hakkinen Michael was then able to build up a lead of five seconds.

After 14 laps running behind Irvine Hakkinen made his move at the chicane and eased ahead of the Ulsterman. Mika then set off after Schumacher and closed rapidly. When Schumacher pitted Hakkinen put on a burst of speed until his stop four laps later. He emerged just ahead of the Ferrari. Further back Coulthard was able to get ahead of Irvine, leaving the second Ferrari to fight for fourth place with Frentzen's Williams.

For 10 laps Hakkinen and Schumacher duelled but gradually the Finn began to edge away from the Ferrari. The order was unchanged at the second pits stops and Hakkinen maintained a comfortable five second lead until the closing laps when he let Schumacher close. Hakkinen was back as the favorite to win the title. By finishing third Coulthard moved McLaren to within one point of the Constructors' title.

Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes  67 1h17m09.672  1m18.940 
Michael Schumacher Ferrari  67 2.212  1m18.561 
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes  67 34.164  1m19.169 
Eddie Irvine Ferrari  67 58.183  1m18.907 
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome  67 1m00.248  1m19.522 
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife  67 1m01.360  1m19.048 
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife  67 1m04.790  1m19.569 
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome  66 1 Lap  1m19.631 
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda  66 1 Lap  1m19.807 10 
10 14 Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas  66 1 Lap  1m20.493 11 
11 18 Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford  65 2 Laps  1m20.530 12 
12 11 Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot  65 2 Laps  1m21.048 15 
13 19 Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford  65 2 Laps  1m21.501 18 
14 17 Mika Salo Arrows  65 2 Laps  1m21.120 16 
15 23 Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford  65 2 Laps  1m22.078 20 
16 20 Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford  65 2 Laps  1m21.525 19 
22 Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford  56 11 Laps  1m22.146 21 
10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda  53 Brakes 1m19.455 
15 Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas  37 Engine 1m20.650 13 
21 Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford  36 Engine 1m22.822 22 
16 Pedro Diniz Arrows  Hydraulics 1m21.258 17 
12 Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot  Gearbox 1m20.709 14