FANDOM


The 1998 French Grand Prix was the eighth round of the 1998 Formula One Season. The race was won by Ferrari with Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine taking a one-two finish for the team, the team's first since the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix.


BackgroundEdit

The biggest news heading into the French Grand Prix was that Jan Magnussen would be replaced for the rest of the season at Stewart by Benetton test driver Jos Verstappen. Verstappen who had failed to attain a drive at the beginning of 1998, had been linked as a replacement by the underperforming Magnussen since as early as San Marino. Despite gaining his first F1 points in Canada, it would not be enough to convince Stewart to retain Magnussen for the remainder of the season. 

There was also news at Tyrrell, it was annouced that its Deputy Technical Director Mike Gascoyne had left the team to join Jordan from the British Grand Prix onwards. Furthermore, its driver Ricardo Rosset was looking to be replaced within the team. Rosset had made a poor impression in Formula One, many questioning his ability to compete after failing to qualify in Spain and Monaco. Rosset was also behind on many of his payments to the Tyrrell team, with team boss Craig Pollock announcing following Canada that it was evaluating Tom Kristensen to race for the team. Rosset, however came good on his payments and therefore was contractually obliged to continue racing for the team despite his unwelcome nature within the Tyrrell camp. 

To further confound Tyrrell's misery, it had been announced that Harvey Postlethwaite, the man who had been left in charge of the day to day running of the team following Ken Tyrrell's retirement, had decided to leave the team and join the Honda F1 Project. However good news for the team would occur when Craig Pollock announced that the team would be using Supertec engines for the 1999 season upon its renewal as BAR

Prior to France, Benetton became the first team to confirm its 1999 line-up with Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz impressing substantially to be retained into the coming year. 

Entry listEdit

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Winfield Williams Williams FW20 Mecachrome GC37-01 V10 3.0 G
2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Winfield Williams Williams FW20 Mecachrome GC37-01 V10 3.0 G
3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F300 Ferrari 047 V10 3.0 G
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F300 Ferrari 047 V10 3.0 G
5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Mild Seven Benetton Playlife Benetton B198 Playlife GC37-01 V10 3.0 B
6 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Mild Seven Benetton Playlife Benetton B198 Playlife GC37-01 V10 3.0 B
7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4/13 Mercedes FO 110G V10 3.0 B
8 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4/13 Mercedes FO 110G V10 3.0 B
9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Benson and Hedges Jordan Jordan 198 Mugen-Honda MF-301 HC V10 3.0 G
10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Benson and Hedges Jordan Jordan 198 Mugen-Honda MF-301 HC V10 3.0 G
11 France Olivier Panis France Gauloises Prost Peugeot Prost AP01 Peugeot A16 V10 3.0 B
12 Italy Jarno Trulli France Gauloises Prost Peugeot Prost AP01 Peugeot A16 V10 3.0 B
14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C17 Petronas SPE-01D V10 3.0 G
15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C17 Petronas SPE-01D V10 3.0 G
16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Danka Zepter Arrows Arrows A19 Arrows T2-F1 V10 3.0 B
17 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Danka Zepter Arrows Arrows A19 Arrows T2-F1 V10 3.0 B
18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom HSBC Stewart Ford Stewart SF02 Ford Cosworth VJ Zetec-R V10 3.0 B
19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom HSBC Stewart Ford Stewart SF02 Ford Cosworth VJ Zetec-R V10 3.0 B
20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom PIAA Tyrrell Ford Tyrrell 026 Ford Cosworth JD Zetec-R V10 3.0 G
21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi United Kingdom PIAA Tyrrell Ford Tyrrell 026 Ford Cosworth JD Zetec-R V10 3.0 G
22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Fondmetal Minardi Team Minardi M198 Ford Cosworth JD Zetec-R V10 3.0 B
23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Italy Fondmetal Minardi Team Minardi M198 Ford Cosworth JD Zetec-R V10 3.0 B

Practice OverviewEdit

FP1Edit

The Friday practice sessions saw an increased competition between the Ferrari annd McLaren teams. In fact it was Eddie Irvine who was consistently topping the timesheets, holding his advantage unexpectedly over teammate Michael Schumacher. However in the dying minutes of the session Mika Häkkinen went fastest with a 1:16.515, only half a tenth faster than Irvine. Coulthard was third followed by Frentzen and the two Schumacher brothers of Michael and Ralf.

Michael Schumacher was not at ease in the session complaining of oversteer on his car. The new arrival on the grid, Jos Verstappen struggled on his return to F1 following an oil leak in the morning, he was only able to better the Minardi cars in the session. The only notable incidents in the session was of Jacques Villeneuve and Esteban Tuero spinning off the circuit into the gravel, ending their days. 

Ricardo Rosset who recorded a solid fourteenth fastest time saw his car catch alight into flames whilst in the pit-lane. 

FP2Edit

Mika Häkkinen once again went fastest in Saturday practice, however the two Ferrari's were heavy on his heels. Michael Schumacher went second despite a spin mid-way through the session. David Coulthard who went fourth fastest, also spun into the gravel before he was beached. Ralf Schumacher once again demonstrated a strong time to go fifth for Jordan

Sauber suffered a torrid session with Johnny Herbert having an engine failure whilst Jean Alesi only managed to complete four laps. Esteban Tuero also had a nasty shunt into the tyre barrier. 

Practice ResultsEdit

No.         Driver         Constructor         FP1 FP2 Warm-Up
Time Pos Time Pos Time Pos
1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1:19.008 17 1:16.782 7 1:18.442 5
2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 1:17.026 4 1:16.745 6 1:18.466 6
3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:17.429  5 1:15.738 2 1:16.189 3
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 1:16.597  2 1:15.870 3 1:17.628 4
5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Playlife 1:17.664 7 1:17.106 8 1:18.545 7
6 Austria Alexander Wurz 1:17.706 8 1:17.205 9 1:18.607 8
7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.707 3 1:15.909 4 1:16.483 1
8 Finland Mika Häkkinen 1:16.515 1 1:15.613 1 1:16.718 2
9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:17.895 9 1:17.426 10 1:18.819 12
10 Germany Ralf Schumacher 1:17.505 6 1:16.678 5 1:18.790 11
11 France Olivier Panis France Prost-Peugeot 1:18.367 13 1:18.706 19 1:18.729 10
12 Italy Jarno Trulli 1:18.036 11 1:17.711 11 1:19.442 15
14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:18.172 12 1:18.893 20 1:18.611 9
15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 1:17.977 10 1:17.873 13 1:19.092 13
16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows 1:19.023 18 1:18.389 16 1:20.240 20
17 Finland Mika Salo 1:18.656 15 1:18.075 14 1:19.733 17
18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 1:18.656 16 1:18.170 15 1:19.097 14
19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1:20.286  20 1:18.451 18 1:19.641 16
20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 1:18.649  14 1:18.405 17 1:22.160 22
21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi 1:19.338 19 1:17.847 12 1:19.788 18
22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Minardi-Ford 1:20.445 21 1:19.324 21 1:19.835 19
23 Argentina Esteban Tuero 1:20.871 22 1:19.475 22 1:21.160 21

QualifyingEdit

Ralf Schumacher in the Jordan was the first person out on track setting a lap time to take provisional pole. Jean Alesi then came round but was unable to better the Jordan's time, setting a relatively slow time. 

Michael Schumacher then came round to take provisional pole despite going wide through the chicanes and being held up by a Minardi. Giancarlo Fisichella then set a time to go second, ahead of Ralf Schumacher. Eddie Irvine then came round to set the provisional pole time. Olivier Panis then suffered a mechanical failure forcing him to return to the pits to compete in the spare car. 

Damon Hill set his first competitive lap, going fifth just behind teammate Ralf Schumacher. David Coulthard then went fastest to take the provisional pole time. Immediately afterwards Mika Häkkinen responded to take the pole time. Ralf Schumacher then improved to go fifth ahead of Fisichella, immediately afterwards Jacques Villeneuve went ahead of Fisichella as well.

Michael Schumacher, meanwhile came round to complete his first true flying lap to go second fastest one tenth slower than Häkkinen. Irvine then improved his time to take third ahead of Coulthard. 

Toranosuke Takagi then suffered a major engine blow out down the second straight. Villeneuve then improved to go fifth fastest whilst Hill then went sixth fastest. Häkkinen then went round to go 0.2 seconds faster with a 1:15.253 despite running wide onto the grass during his lap. Coulthard then came round for his next lap but whilst he went faster than Irvine, he was unable to top Häkkinen or Schumacher. 

Michael Schumacher then went on to set the fastest provisional time with a 1:15.159. Pedro Diniz then spun off the circuit coming out of the first corner and ending into the barriers. Diniz ran back to the pits for the spare car however was unable to resume the session as teammate Mika Salo had already occupied it. 

Irvine then experienced problems when exitting the pits, his car lost power and had to be wheeled back into the garage by his mechanics. Häkkinen meanwhile came round to reclaim pole position with a 1:14.929. Coulthard also appeared to be on a quick lap, however ran wide whilst entering the final sector ruining his lap.

Tuero then suffered a mechanical failure just after the start-finish line. Irvine's final time was not enough to improve on the cars ahead of him. Salo then pulled off the circuit with mechanical failure. 

The dying minutes saw the two McLaren's of Häkkinen and Coulthard as well as Schumacher's Ferrari enter the track in a final bid to improve their time. None of the three would improve their times meaning Häkkinen would take his fifth pole position of the season.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time
1 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:14.929
2 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:15.159
3 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.333
4 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 1:15.527
5 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1:15.630
6 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:15.925
7 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:16.245
8 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1:16.319
9 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Playlife 1:16.375
10 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Playlife 1:16.460
11 14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:16.627
12 12 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Peugeot 1:16.892
13 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:16.977
14 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 1:17.024
15 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 1:17.604
16 11 France Olivier Panis France Prost-Peugeot 1:17.671
17 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows 1:17.880
18 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 1:17.908
19 17 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Arrows 1:17.970
20 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 1:18.221
21 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Minardi-Ford 1:18.273
22 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Italy Minardi-Ford 1:19.146

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

It was a good start for the McLaren's, Häkkinen maintaining his lead into the first corner ahead of Michael Schumacher, whilst David Coulthard climbed to second ahead of Eddie Irvine. However, the start was aborted due to Jos Verstappen on his return to racing stalled on the grid, being forced to start from the back of the grid on the second re-start.

The second start was disaster for McLaren, Schumacher took the lead as Häkkinen dropped to third behind Eddie Irvine. Coulthard started poorly dropping behind Jacques Villeneuve, however he managed to reclaim the position going into turn 3. Alexander Wurz had made a strong start to climb to eighth position. 

Schumacher immediately began to disappear into the lead of the race leaving teammate Irvine to fend off the McLaren attack from behind. Jacques Villeneuve's fifth position also came under threat as the two Jordan cars of Ralf Schumacher and Damon Hill began to apply the pressure. However Hill would encounter problems on lap 15 with his hydraulics which caused him to drop behind Wurz and Jean Alesi

Ricardo Rosset became the first retirement on lap 16 when he pulled into the pits with hydraulics failure. On lap 17, Ralf Schumacher became the first of the frontrunners to pit. A lap later teammate Hill came in, however a troublesome pit-stop saw him drop to 13th. He then retired a lap later with hydraulics failure. To make things even worse for Jordan, Wurz and Ralf Schumacher collided, damaging Schumacher's track rod forcing him into the pits. The damage took a number of laps to fix and whilst Schumacher rejoined the race he was several laps down on the leaders. 

Meanwhile at the front, Häkkinen continued to apply pressure on Irvine, he attempted to overtake through the inside of the last corner but only succeeded in spinning the car, losing third to Coulthard. Coulthard was then able to overtake Irvine into turn 3 for second, before the Ferrari driver came into the pits for his first stop. A lap later, race leader Schumacher came into the pits allowing Coulthard a brief moment in the lead.

However as Coulthard entered the pits, he suffered a dismal 17 second stop as the mechanics struggled to attach the fuel nossle. He exited back in fourth behind Irvine and Häkkinen. 

Whilst chasing down Jean Alesi, Giancarlo Fisichella collided with the back of the Sauber damaging his front wing, causing a replacement to be fitted before his second pit-stop.

The order at the front then stabilised, Schumacher continued to further consolidate his lead as Irvine held the McLaren's at bay from second position. Battles at the back saw Wurz take sixth position away from Jean Alesi, Wurz then began to put pressure on Villeneuve's Williams for fifth yet was unable to find a way past.

In the second round of pit-stops there was trouble yet again for Coulthard. His refuelling rig would once again not attach properly to his car, Coulthard remained stationary in the pits for 37 seconds exiting in fifth behind Villeneuve without receiving any fuel. The following lap Coulthard returned to the pits, after another lengthy pit-stop, the mechanics finally began refuelling Coulthard. The McLaren driver then exited in eighth position. He quickly disposed of Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Williams on his out-lap.

Esteban Tuero then retired from the race with gearbox issues. Coulthard, meanwhile was the fastest car on circuit, quickly catching up to Alesi's Sauber before overtaking him to get back into the points.

Johnny Herbert had a wild moment going into the first chicane, he went off the circuit and into the gravel then bounced back into the track, nearly causing an accident with Jarno Trulli. Despite just missing out on accident, Trulli would spin out of the race on lap 55.

At the front Schumacher consolidated his lead whilst Irvine came under serious pressure from Häkkinen. Coulthard, who set the fastest lap on lap 59 had just managed to overtake Wurz and set on hunting down Villeneuve, when he was called to the pits yet again for more fuel. This dropped Coulthard back down to eighth. 

Häkkinen came close many times to overtaking Irvine but to no avail, he was held up in one of his attempts by the backmarker Stewart car of Jos Verstappen. In the dying laps, Toranosuke Takagi and Shinji Nakano both retired with engine failures. 

Lap 68 saw Heinz-Harald Frentzen climb to the rear of Jean Alesi, attempting an overtake the two cars collided. Alesi continued, however Frentzen pulled into the pits, his crippled car retiring with suspension damage. The collision allowed Coulthard to close on the rear of Alesi, before going for the overtake and taking sixth position, salvaging some points. 

Schumacher, however would take a dominant race win. Häkkinen attempted one final overtake manoeveure on the last corner of the last lap, but Irvine maintained second. Villeneuve was fourth with Wurz right behind while Coulthard could only manage a single point in sixth. 

The Ferrari 1-2 was the first for the team since the  1990 Spanish Grand Prix 

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 71 1:34.45.026 2 10
2 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 71 +19.575 4 6
3 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 71 +19.747 1 4
4 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 71 +1:06.965 5 3
5 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Playlife 70 +1 lap 10 2
6 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 70 +1 lap 3 1
7 14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 70 +1 lap 11
8 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 70 +1 lap 13
9 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Playlife 70 +1 lap 9
10 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 69 +2 laps 14
11 11 France Olivier Panis France Prost-Peugeot 69 +2 laps 16
12 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 69 +2 laps 15
13 17 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Arrows 69 +2 laps 19
14 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows 69 +2 laps 17
15 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 68 Suspension 8
16 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 68 Spun off 6
17 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Minardi-Ford 65 Engine 21
Ret 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 60 Engine 20
Ret 12 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Peugeot 55 Spun off 12
Ret 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Italy Minardi-Ford 41 Gearbox 22
Ret 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 19 Hydraulics 7
Ret 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 16 Hydraulics 18

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Finland Mika Häkkinen 50
2 Germany Michael Schumacher 44
3 United Kingdom David Coulthard 30
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 25
5 Austria Alexander Wurz 14
6 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 13
7 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 11
8 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 8
9 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 4
10 Finland Mika Salo 3
11 France Jean Alesi 3
12 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 1
13 Denmark Jan Magnussen 1
14 Brazil Pedro Diniz 1
15 Germany Ralf Schumacher 0
16 Japan Shinji Nakano 0
17 United Kingdom Damon Hill 0
18 Brazil Ricardo Rosset 0
19 Argentina Esteban Tuero 0
20 Italy Jarno Trulli 0
21 France Olivier Panis 0
22 Japan Toranosuke Takagi 0
23 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 0
Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 80
2 Italy Ferrari 69
3 Italy Benetton-Playlife 27
4 United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 19
5 United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 5
6 Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 4
7 United Kingdom Arrows 4
8 Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 0
9 Italy Minardi-Ford 0
10 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 0
11 France Prost-Peugeot 0
France French Grand Prix
Circuits Reims (1950–1951, 1953–1954, 1956, 1958–1961, 1963, 1966)
Rouen-Les-Essarts (1952, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1968)
Charade Circuit (1965, 1969–1970, 1972)
Bugatti Circuit (1967)
Circuit Paul Ricard (1971, 1973, 1975–1976, 1978, 1980, 1982–1983, 1985–1990)
Dijon-Prenois (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984)
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991–2008)
PR Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 12.15.31 AM
Races 19501951195219531954195519561957195819591960196119621963196419651966196719681969197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008
v·d·e Nominate this page for Featured Article

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.