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The XVIII Gran Premio di San Marino was the fourth round of the 1998 Formula One Season. It was won from pole position by David Coulthard in the McLaren-Mercedes with Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine taking second and third on Ferrari's home turf.

BackgroundEdit

The following week from the Argentine Grand Prix, FIA President Max Mosley hosted a meeting with the team bosses in Formula One in order to gain a consensus among the teams to ban what was labelled as the "x-wings" on some Formula One cars. Mosley believed that these sidepod winglets that were being used in an attempt to generate more downforce by the Jordan, Sauber and Tyrrell team were damaging to the aesthetic quality of Formula One racing. Whilst most teams agreed with Mosley in banning the devices, the move did receive opposition notably from the three teams that were already running the devices. Team Principal of Jordan Eddie Jordan stated about the 'x-wings' "Gary Anderson has come up with a couple of things that work very efficiently in the wind tunnel. They may not be the nicest things on the car to look at, but they give good downforce for very little drag". As well as the devices being operated by Jordan, Sauber and Tyrrell it was believed that Ferrari would be trialling the devices in San Marino after running it in private testing.

Between Argentina and San Marino, the teams returned to Europe to begin testing for the San Marino Grand Prix. Ferrari was testing at their private circuits at Mugello and Fiorano, Williams in Jerez, Sauber and Prost in Magny-Cours, Tyrrell in Barcelona and McLaren, Jordan, Benetton, Stewart and Arrows in Silverstone.

Benetton racer Giancarlo Fisichella suffered a huge accident in a Porsche Boxter road car on the Wednesday before the race, despite the car being completely demolished Fisichella escaped the accident unhurt and would be fit to race at the San Marino Grand Prix.

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 Denmark Jan Magnussen 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 first practice session at San Marino saw what appeared to be a return to the pre-Argentina form for the McLaren team,  Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard dominated the timesheets, with Häkkinen's best time of 1:27.617 a full second faster than Michael Schumacher in third place for the Ferrari team. Schumacher notably ran the notorious "x-wing" configuration whilst teammmate Eddie Irvine who was seventh fastest did not. 

Williams had a reasonable session, the reigning champion Jacques Villeneuve felt happy with the Williams car-set up and feeling "okay compared to the other Goodyear runners". Teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen could only manage the tenth fastest time after an oil leak forced him to stop out on track during the morning session. 

After a less than competitive start to the season, Jordan would bring some major updates to their car for the San Marino GP, major changes included a longer wheelbase, revised brake ducts, rear wing endplates, revised air box and air box intakes. Despite a hydraulic problem for Ralf Schumacher in the morning session, the younger Schumacher managed to post the fifth fastest time of the session. Teammate Damon Hill was ninth but commented he was "much happier with the feel of the car" indicating progress by the Jordan team. 

Despite a major road accident two days before hand Giancarlo Fisichella commented that his Benetton was "almost perfect" en route to the sixth fastest time. The Sauber's suffered a disappointing session Jean Alesi said he suffered from heavy traffic throughout the session whilst Johnny Herbert saw numerous set-up changes to his car running with and without the "x-wing configuration". Stewart suffered another disappointing session Rubens Barrichello complained that he suffered from both oversteer and understeer in his car, only managing eighteenth whilst teammate Jan Magnussen was an even lower twenty first.

FP2Edit

The Saturday morning practice session saw McLaren once again leading the timesheets with David Coulthard ahead of Mika Häkkinen. Coulthard was a full two seconds faster than Schumacher in third place, reasserting McLaren's dominance. Jordan continued to demonstrate an improvement in their fortunes with Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher fourth and fifth. 

Williams struggled with Heinz-Harald Frentzen only seventh with Jacques Villeneuve in tenth. 

Practice ResultsEdit

No.       Driver       Constructor       FP1 FP2 Warm-Up
Time Pos Time Pos Time Pos
1 Canada  Jacques Villeneuve United KingdomWilliams-Mecachrome 1:28.664 4 1:27.876 10 1:30.492 9
2 Germany  Heinz-Harald Frentzen 1:29.470  10 1:27.694 7 1:30.492 12
3 Germany  Michael Schumacher ItalyFerrari 1:28.088  3 1:27.056 3 1:29.434 3
4 United Kingdom  Eddie Irvine 1:29.028 7 1:27.751 8 1:29.996 6
5 Italy  Giancarlo Fisichella ItalyBenetton-Playlife 1:28.963  6 1:27.653 6 1:29.891 5
6 Austria  Alexander Wurz 1:29.864  13 1:27.959 12 1:30.216 7
7 United Kingdom  David Coulthard United KingdomMcLaren-Mercedes 1:27.940 2 1:25.627 1 1:28.085 1
8 Finland  Mika Häkkinen 1:27.617 1 1:26.431 2 1:29.525 4
9 United Kingdom  Damon Hill IrelandJordan-Mugen-Honda 1:29.246  9 1:27.318 4 1:30.275 8
10 Germany  Ralf Schumacher 1:28.891 5 1:27.421 5 1:31.321 17
11 France  Olivier Panis FranceProst-Peugeot 1:29.175  8 1:27.854 9 1:30.423 10
12 Italy  Jarno Trulli 1:30.804  17 1:43.882 22 1:30.628 13
14 France  Jean Alesi SwitzerlandSauber-Petronas 1:29.516  11 1:27.931 11 1:30.449 11
15 United Kingdom  Johnny Herbert 1:30.223  15 1:28.291 14 1:30.662 14
16 Brazil  Pedro Diniz United KingdomArrows 1:30.795  16 1:29.954 17 1:32.345 20
17 FinlandMika Salo 1:29.828  12 1:28.130 13 1:29.428 2
18 BrazilRubens Barrichello United Kingdom  Stewart-Ford 1:30.849  18 1:28.712 15 1:32.092 19
19 Denmark  Jan Magnussen 1:32.196  21 1:30.243 18 1:33.956 22
20 Brazil  Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom  Tyrrell-Ford 1:32.554  22 1:32.459 21 1:33.303 21
21 Japan  Toranosuke Takagi 1:30.190 14 1:29.628 16 1:30.991 16
22 Japan  Shinji Nakano ItalyMinardi-Ford 1:32.052 20 1:30.349 19 1:30.948 15
23 Argentina  Esteban Tuero 1:31.954  19 1:31.182 20 1:32.087 18

QualifyingEdit

Esteban Tuero in the Minardi was the first car to set a lap-time setting a slow time of 1:31.297 twelve mintues into the session before quickly being beaten by Jarno Trulli's Prost with a 1:30.268. Shortly after exiting the pits Ricardo Rosset's Tyrrell suffered a major engine failure grinding to a halt shortly after leaving the pits. Following from this Mika Salo in the Arrows was forced to abandon his flying lap due to developing a gearbox problem. 

Jacques Villeneuve was the first of the front runners to a set a time with a 1:27.767, Damon Hill and Eddie Irvine setting times after him that were slightly slower. Alexander Wurz in the Benetton then went faster than all three of them with a 1:27.611. By this time David Coulthard in the McLaren had come around to complete his lap setting a blistering 1:26.342 for his laptime. 

Michael Schumacher came close but only managed a 1:26.787 at the end of his first run. Ralf Schumacher then ran quicker than his teammate Hill before Heinz-Harald Frentzen went faster than them both. Mika Häkkinen was now coming round to complete his first run, his time looked on course to easily beat teammate Coulthard's pole time however on the final corner Häkkinen was forced to back off after encontering the stricken Benetton of Giancarlo Fisichella who had spun on his first flying lap. Häkkinen was only a tenth slower than teammate Coulthard. 

Neither Williams car's of Villeneuve or Frentzen were able to better their times for their second run's, both driver's coming close to losing control of their cars during their flying laps. Michael Schumacher then abandoned his second flying lap after failing to get a strong enough momentum to challenge the McLarens. Häkkinen then came round to take provisional pole setting a blistering 1:26.075. Coulthard who was following his teammate around could not beat his first time on his second run and remained second behind Häkkinen. 

The Minardi of Shinji Nakano who was eighteenth fastest then stopped out on track with a mechanical problem. Damon Hill then improved his time to go fifth in the standings where he was then followed by Eddie Irvine who took fourth position. As this occured David Coulthard was out for his third flying lap where he went on to just beat his teammate's pole time with a 1:25.973. In the dying minutes of the session Häkkinen tried to reclaim pole position however going into the final corner he ran too far wide and onto the grass ruining his final attempt to gain pole position. Wurz went on to qualify a competitive fifth position whilst Villeneuve improved to go sixth

Damon Hill was robbed of the opportunity to improve his time on his final flying lap when his engine blew, however the weekend had demonstrated an improvement in pace for Jordan as well as Hill outqualifying teammate Ralf Schumacher who qualifed ninth for the first time in the season. 

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time
7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.973
2 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.075
3 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:26.437
4 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 1:26.705
5 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Playlife 1:27.273
6 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1:27.390
7 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:27.592
8 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1:27.645
9 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:27.866
10 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Playlife 1:27.937
11 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:28.111
12 14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:28.191
13 11 France Olivier Panis France Prost-Peugeot 1:28.270
14 17 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Arrows 1:28.798
15 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 1:29.073
16 12 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Peugeot 1:29.584
17 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 1:29.641
18 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows 1:29.932
19 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Italy Minardi-Ford 1:30.649
20 19 Denmark Jan Magnussen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 1:31.017
21 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Minardi-Ford 1:31.255
22 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 1:31.482

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

The start saw the two McLaren cars of David Coulthard and Mika Häkkinen maintain their lead whilst the two Ferrari cars of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine made slow getaways. Schumacher was weaving violently to maintain third at the start whilst Irvine lost a position to the Williams of Jacques Villeneuve. There was carnage in the midfield, Alexander Wurz suffered gear selection issues at the start and going into the second corner Damon Hill collided with the back of the Benetton losing his front wing forcing him into the pits and dropping him down to nineteenth. At the back there was also issues for Stewart, Jan Magnussen got his braking point all wrong and collided with the back of teammate Rubens Barrichello sending the latter out of the race.

Wurz's gearbox issues caused him to drop to last place by the end of the first lap yet he continued to push on despite now being a lap behind the leaders . Entering the second lap the top three of Coulthard, Häkkinen and Schumacher began to pull away from the rest of the field. By the fifth lap the two McLaren cars had begun to pull away from Schumacher's Ferrari. 

On lap 8 Jan Magnussen pulled out of the race with transmission failure, whilst this occured Giancarlo Fisichella had began applying heavy pressure to the rear of Heinz-Harald Frentzen for sixth place. Johnny Herbert in the Sauber then suffered a major puncture on lap 12 after going wide at the chicane forcing him to retire from the race. By lap 17 Fisichella remained stuck behind the Williams of Frentzen and out of frustration the Italian spun off the circuit and into the barriers at turn 10 ending his race. Worse was to follow for Benetton when teammate Wurz retired on the same lap albeit a lap down from the leaders with an engine failure.

Most significantly on lap 17 saw Häkkinen drastically slow losing position to Michael Schumacher due to a terminal gearbox issue. Häkkinen then pulled into the pits to retire, the championship leader suffering his first retirement of the season. This left Coulthard unchallenged at the front with a sixteen second advantage over Schumacher. 

By lap 18 Eddie Irvine had began to reapply pressure to the back of the Williams of Jacques Villeneuve for third who had taken the position from him at the start of the race. The same lap saw Pedro Diniz retire, his Arrows suffering yet another engine failure. 

At the front Coulthard held dominance over the field, despite nearly hitting the back of Jarno Trulli's Prost whilst attempting to lap him, Coulthard experienced no problems. On lap 23 he became the first of the front runners to enter the pits. He retained his lead of the race. The same lap saw Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve enter the pits. The following lap saw Irvine enter the pits, free from Villeneuve's dirty air Irvine's in-lap was quick enough to mean that he exited ahead of the Williams driver and moved up into third position. 

Lap 24 also Frentzen pit from fifth position, losing only a single place to that of Jean Alesi's Sauber. Alesi running a strong race after starting from twelfth on the grid.  Lap 27 saw Shinji Nakano suffer a large engine failure from fifteenth position. 

After losing fifth in the pit-stops Frentzen had began to catch up to the Sauber of Alesi ahead of him, seeking to reclaim the ground he had lost. On lap 34 Jarno Trulli's throttle stuck open forcing him to go wide into the gravel trap at turn 14, luckily avoiding the barriers. This however was unable to prevent the Prost driver from retiring from the race.

On lap 40 Alesi came in for his second pitstop, the following lap saw Frentzen go into the pits, the quicker Williams driver was able to exit ahead of Alesi following his pitstop. The same lap saw Toranosuke Takagi retire with engine failure.

On lap 42, Coulthard entered the pits for his second stop the McLaren driver had a 26 second lead over Schumacher in second. The following lap saw Schumacher enter the pits from second, himself having a 21 second lead over teammate Irvine. 

One lap later the duelling pair of Irvine and Villeneuve pitted. Villeneuve suffered a slow pitstop allowing Irvine to increase his gap over the Williams driver. 

As the race entered its final stages Michael Schumacher began to reduce David Coulthard's gap in the lead. Coulthard who had such a sizeable advantage had began to cruise, the Scotsman had developed a suspected brake issue and entered into a conservative pace allowing the Ferrari to gradually gain on the McLaren. On lap 48 Schumacher set the fastest lap time of 1:29.345. The same lap saw Ricardo Rosset retire with an engine failure. 

On lap 56, Olivier Panis retired from eighth place with engine failure. The following lap saw Damon Hill retire with hydraulics failure, a disappointing result for the Briton who had clawed his way from the back of the field and had begun to challenge teammate Ralf Schumacher for seventh. Ralf Schumacher himself had begun to pile on the pressure to Jean Alesi's Sauber at the end of the race for the final championship point in sixth position, the young German however was unable to find a way past before the end of the race. 

At race end Coulthard claimed the race victory in his McLaren, however Schumacher had closed the gap to within 4.5 seconds at the end of the race. Nearly 47 seconds adrift of Schumacher came Irvine in the second Ferrari to take third, allowing for a Ferrari 2-3 on Tifosi home turf. Villeneuve who had hounded Irvine all the way came fourth with Frentzen and Alesi rounding up the final points placings. 

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 62 1:34.25.4 1 10
2 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 62 +4.554 3 6
3 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 62 +51.775 4 4
4 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 62 +54.59 6 3
5 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 62 +1.17.476 8 2
6 14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 61 +1 lap 12 1
7 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 60 +2 laps 9
8 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Italy Minardi-Ford 60 +2 laps 19
9 17 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Arrows 60 +2 laps 14
10 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 57 Hydraulics 7
11 11 France Olivier Panis France Prost-Peugeot 56 Engine 13
Ret 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 48 Engine 22
Ret 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 40 Engine 15
Ret 12 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Peugeot 34 Throttle 16
Ret 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Minardi-Ford 27 Engine 21
Ret 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows 18 Engine 18
Ret 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 17 Gearbox 2
Ret 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Playlife 17 Spun off 10
Ret 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Playlife 17 Engine 5
Ret 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 12 Puncture 11
Ret 19 Denmark Jan Magnussen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 8 Transmission 20
Ret 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 0 Spun off 17

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Finland Mika Häkkinen 26
2 United Kingdom David Coulthard 23
3 Germany Michael Schumacher 20
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 11
5 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 8
6 Austria Alexander Wurz 6
7 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 5
8 France Jean Alesi 3
9 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 1
10 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 1
11 Germany Ralf Schumacher 0
12 United Kingdom Damon Hill 0
13 Argentina Esteban Tuero 0
14 Finland Mika Salo 0
15 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 0
16 Denmark Jan Magnussen 0
17 France Olivier Panis 0
18 Italy Jarno Trulli 0
19 Japan Toranosuke Takagi 0
20 Japan Shinji Nakano 0
21 Brazil Ricardo Rosset 0
Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 49
2 Italy Ferrari 31
3 United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 13
4 Italy Benetton-Playlife 7
5 Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 4
6 Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 0
7 Italy Minardi-Ford 0
8 United Kingdom Arrows 0
9 United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 0
10 France Prost-Peugeot 0
11 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 0
V T E 1998 Formula One Season
Teams Williams • Ferrari • Benetton • McLaren • Jordan • Prost • Sauber • Arrows • Stewart • Tyrrell • Minardi
Engines Arrows • Ferrari • Ford • Mecachrome • Mercedes • Mugen-Honda • Petronas • Peugeot • Playlife
Drivers Villeneuve • 2 Frentzen • 3 M. Schumacher • 4 Irvine • 5 Fisichella • 6 Wurz • 7 Coulthard • 8 Häkkinen • 9 Hill • 10 R. Schumacher • 11 Panis • 12 Trulli • 14 Alesi • 15 Herbert • 16 Diniz • 17 Salo • 18 Barrichello • 19 Magnussen • 19 Verstappen • 20 Rosset • 21 Takagi • 22 Nakano • 23 Tuero
Other Drivers Badoer • De la Rosa • Heidfeld • Kristensen • Montoya • Zonta
Cars McLaren MP4/13 • Ferrari F300 • Williams FW20 • Jordan 198 • Benetton B198 • Sauber C17 • Arrows A19 • Stewart SF02 • Prost AP01 • Minardi M198 • Tyrrell 026
Tyres Goodyear • Bridgestone
Races Australia • Brazil • Argentina • San Marino • Spain • Monaco • Canada • France • Britain • Austria • Germany • Hungary • Belgium • Italy • Luxembourg • Japan
See also 1997 Formula One Season • 1999 Formula One Season • Category

Template:San Marino Grand Prix

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