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1998 British Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1998 British Grand Prix
Race 9 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One World Championship
Silverstone Circuit in its 1998 configuration
Silverstone Circuit in its 1998 configuration
Race details
Date 12 July 1998
Official name LI RAC British Grand Prix
Location Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, England
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.140 km (3.194 mi)
Distance 60 laps, 308.400 km (191.631 mi)
Weather Rain, Wet Track
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:23.271
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:35.704 on lap 12
First Ferrari
Second McLaren-Mercedes
Third Ferrari

The 1998 British Grand Prix (formally the LI RAC British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at the Silverstone Circuit, England on 12 July 1998. It was the ninth race of the 1998 FIA Formula One World Championship. The 60-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari car after starting from second position. Mika Häkkinen, who started from pole position, finished second with Eddie Irvine third in the other Ferrari. Schumacher's victory was his fourth of the season, and his third consecutive victory having won both the preceding Canadian and French Grand Prix, but was under controversial circumstances: there was dispute whether he had avoided a stop-and-go penalty by entering the pit lane to serve it on the final lap, crossing the finish line in the pit lane to win the race before reaching his pit box, although the penalty, which was actually merely a time penalty, was later rescinded. This race was held the same day as the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final in Saint-Denis, France, but that event took place later in the day from this Grand Prix.



Mika Häkkinen took pole position by nearly half a second from championship rival Michael Schumacher. Jacques Villeneuve took third position whilst Häkkinen's team-mate David Coulthard qualified in fourth. Ralf Schumacher and Olivier Panis had their qualifying times deleted as they were not able to get out of their cars quick enough during an FIA safety drill, to practice evacuating the cockpit in case of fire. Ralf Schumacher had spun and stalled his engine early in qualifying and qualified in the spare car, which was set up for his team-mate Damon Hill.


Heavy rain fell during the morning prior to the race. Although the rain stopped before the start, there was a mixture of wet and dry parts on the circuit and as a result all but two cars started on intermediate compound tyres. The two Stewart-Fords decided to start on dry weather tyres.[1] The first retirement came after 13 laps, when Damon Hill lost control on the damp track whilst battling with Villeneuve for 7th place. After 16 laps, it began to rain again, and many drivers switched to a full wet weather tyre. Johnny Herbert spun and regained the track, but had damaged his car and retired on reaching the pits.

David Coulthard retires from the race
David Coulthard retires from the race

David Coulthard, driving on intermediates, spun out on lap 38 whilst passing a backmarker. Jarno Trulli spun out on the same lap as Coulthard as Barrichello spun out and hit the wall at Club on lap 40. His McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Mika Häkkinen had built up a lead of 49 seconds over second place driver Michael Schumacher when four laps later he went off the track, did a complete 360 degrees turn before continuing. The incident damaged the front wing of his car and cost him 10 seconds of his lead but following numerous other spins caused by the worsening conditions the safety car was deployed which slowed the cars down, and removed Häkkinen's advantage over Schumacher altogether.[2]

The race restarted on lap 50 and it took only two laps for Häkkinen to make another mistake, which put Schumacher in the lead. The German quickly pulled away from his rival, who was now nursing his McLaren home.

However, two laps from the finish, Schumacher was issued with a 10-second penalty for passing Alexander Wurz under the safety car on lap 43.[3] Unsure whether the handwritten notification declared that Schumacher would see 10 seconds being added to his race time or had to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, his team decided to call in him into the pits out of precaution to serve a stop-and-go penalty at the end of the last lap of the race.[3] However, in doing so Schumacher crossed the finish line in the pit lane before reaching the Ferrari garage resulting in a dispute on whether he had actually served a stop and go penalty.[4]


Following the race a dispute arose surrounding the circumstances of Michael Schumacher being issued with and serving his penalty. [3] His team argued that the penalty should have been issued within 25 minutes of the incident but instead they were informed after 31 minutes. They also argued that the hand-written notification was unclear as to which penalty was actually being issued: a stop-and-go, or a 10-second addition to Schumacher's race time, though the FIA's International Court of Appeal later clarified that it was the latter.[3] The stewards then decided to nevertheless apply the 10-second addition, post-race.[4] However, the added time penalty can only be used to punish an infraction in the last 12 laps of a Grand Prix, and so did not apply here.[3] The stewards eventually rescinded the penalty altogether.[4]

A protest was lodged by McLaren-Mercedes who felt Ferrari cheated by not having Schumacher serve the penalty, but this was rejected by the FIA.[3] At the hearing for the protest the International Court of Appeal confirmed that the stewards have made several mistakes in issuing a 10-second time penalty for an incident that happened outside of the last 12 laps of a race while exceeding the allowed time limit for the notification of a penalty having been issued.[3] As a result of their mistakes, the three stewards involved handed in their licenses at an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Council.[5]



Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.271
2 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:23.720 +0.449
3 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 1:24.102 +0.831
4 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.310 +1.039
5 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:24.436 +1.165
6 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 1:24.442 +1.171
7 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:24.542 +1.271
8 14 France Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 1:25.081 +1.810
9 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 1:25.084 +1.813
10 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 1:25.654 +2.383
11 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 1:25.760 +2.489
12 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows 1:26.376 +3.105
13 17 Finland Mika Salo Arrows 1:26.487 +3.216
14 12 Italy Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 1:26.808 +3.537
15 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford 1:26.948 +3.677
16 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 1:26.990 +3.719
17 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 1:27.061 +3.790
18 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 1:28.051 +4.780
19 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 1:28.123 +4.852
20 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 1:28.608 +5.337
107% time: 1:29.100
21 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda No Time1
22 11 France Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot No Time1


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 60 1:47:02.450 2 10
2 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 60 +22.465 1 6
3 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 60 +29.199 5 4
4 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 59 +1 Lap 11 3
5 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 59 +1 Lap 10 2
6 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda 59 +1 Lap 21 1
7 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 59 +1 Lap 3  
8 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 58 +2 Laps 19  
9 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 56 +4 Laps 17  
Ret 14 France Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 53 Electrical 8  
Ret 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows 45 Spun off 12  
Ret 11 France Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot 40 Spun off 22  
Ret 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 39 Accident 16  
Ret 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford 38 Engine 15  
Ret 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 37 Spun off 4  
Ret 12 Italy Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 37 Spun off 14  
Ret 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 29 Spun off 20  
Ret 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 29 Spun off 18  
Ret 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 27 Spun off 9  
Ret 17 Finland Mika Salo Arrows 27 Spun off 13  
Ret 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 15 Spun off 6  
Ret 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 13 Spun off 7  

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ British Grand Prix Review
  2. ^ BBC News:Schumacher wins British GP
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "International Court of Appeal – Hearing of Monday, 27 July 1998" (PDF). International Court of Appeal of the FIA. 27 July 1998. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Scandal at Silverstone". Inside F1. 13 July 1998. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
  5. ^ "...but the stewards got the axe". Inside F1. 3 August 1999. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009.
  6. ^ F1, STATS. "Britain 1998 - Qualifications • STATS F1". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ "1998 British Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Britain 1998 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 14 March 2019.

Previous race:
1998 French Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1998 season
Next race:
1998 Austrian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1997 British Grand Prix
British Grand Prix Next race:
1999 British Grand Prix
This page was last edited on 21 February 2020, at 17:54
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