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Hungarian GP 1998

AUGUST 16, 1998

Hungarian GP, 1998

Michael Schumacher, Hungarian GP 1998
© The Cahier Archive

Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard qualified the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13s on the front row as usual but Michael Schumacher did a remarkable job to put his Ferrari (on hard Goodyear tyres) third ahead of Damon Hill's Jordan and Eddie Irvine's Ferrari. They were both using soft Goodyear rubber.

At the start of the race Hakkinen built up a lead of around three seconds, while Coulthard found himself under attack from Schumacher's Ferrari. Irvine disappeared early in the race with gearbox trouble, which left Damon Hill in fourth place. When the pit stops began it was still unclear which cars were running which strategies but soon afterwards Schumacher's remarkable pace indicated that he might be stopping three times. The McLaren strategists spotted this and prepared to bring Hakkinen and Coulthard in as soon as Schumacher made a move: in this way the German would be bottled up in the vital laps when he needed to be lapping quickly. Schumacher's second stop came on lap 43 and immediately the McLarens were called in. Schumacher's pace in those vital laps was so fast, however, that he was ahead of both McLarens when he re-emerged.

The Ferrari star then had to push incredibly hard to build up a sufficient advantage to stay ahead of the McLarens during his third pit stop. As Schumacher charged away Hakkinen began to struggle with a shock absorber problem. Coulthard radioed that he was being held up by the Finn but he was trapped until the team gave him the go-ahead to overtake.

This did not happen for four laps during which time David lost vital seconds to Schumacher.

The German was pushing so hard up front that at one point he went off the road. Although Coulthard pushed hard, his tyres would not allow him to lap any faster and when Schumacher pitted the Ferrari stayed ahead and won.

Hakkinen's misfortune was compounded when he fell behind Jacques Villeneuve's Williams, Hill's Jordan and Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the second Williams. After the race Heinz-Harald was barely able to walk and spent the next few days in a Vienna Hospital recovering from salmonella poisoning.

Michael Schumacher Ferrari  77 1h45m25.550  1m17.366 
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes  77 9.433  1m17.131 
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome  77 44.444  1m18.337 
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda  77 55.075  1m18.214 
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome  77 56.510  1m19.029 
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes  76 1 Lap  1m16.973 
14 Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas  76 1 Lap  1m19.210 11 
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife  76 1 Lap  1m19.050 
10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda  76 1 Lap  1m19.171 10 
10 15 Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas  76 1 Lap  1m19.878 15 
11 16 Pedro Diniz Arrows  74 3 Laps  1m19.706 12 
12 11 Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot  74 3 Laps  1m20.663 20 
13 19 Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford  74 3 Laps  1m20.198 17 
14 20 Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford  74 3 Laps  1m20.354 18 
15 23 Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford  74 3 Laps  1m20.635 19 
16 Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife  69 8 Laps  1m19.063 
18 Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford  54 Gearbox 1m19.876 14 
12 Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot  28 Engine 1m20.042 16 
17 Mika Salo Arrows  18 Gearbox 1m19.712 13 
22 Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford  13 Engine 1m21.725 21 
Eddie Irvine Ferrari  13 Gearbox 1m18.325 
nq 21 Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford    1m23.140 22