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The Gran Premio Marlboro de España was the fifth round of the 1998 Formula One Season. The race was dominated by Mika Häkkinen with teammate David Coulthard coming home second with Michael Schumacher in third place.

BackgroundEdit

The biggest news heading into the Spanish Grand Prix was the decision of the FIA to ban the infamous 'x-wing' configurations for the rest of the season. FIA President Max Mosley had previously wanted them banned on aesthetic grounds in Imola but failed to get the unanimous support of the teams. Instead Mosley pushed to have the wings banned due to them being a safety hazard. The FIA believed a head injury could occur in the occurence of one of the wing's disintegrating. The main evidence in support of this was during the Argentine Grand Prix when one of the winglets off Jean Alesi's Sauber had been ripped off by an overhanging air line whilst leaving the pits. 

Most of the team's agreed to the terms with little opposition, Eddie Jordan, whose team had believed to got the most from the 'x-wings' stated "I can understand it on the ground of safety and abide by the FIA's ruling of it". His Technical Director Gary Anderson was however less understanding stating "I do not believe these wings have any implications for safety. In my  opinion there is nothing about them that could hurt a driver". Anderson was supported in his criticism by Tyrrell Deputy Technical Director Mike Gascoyne, who was attributed the creation of the 'x-wings' during the 1997 season saying "I am not surprised by the ban, but I am disappointed in the manner in which it has been done. Clearly these wings are within the technical regulations, but they have been banned on safety grounds. If they consider them dangerous, then they should look at some other areas as well. For example, the FIA asks us to fit a two kilogram television camera to the top of our cars, which would be more dangerous in a crash. And no mention has been made of the wing mirrors which are made of the same material as the winglets".


Following the testing results at Barcelona on the previous week, McLaren appeared to continue to hold its advantage over the rest of the field. Ferrari had brought in a new exhaust system to help them close the gap to McLaren but Michael Schumacher still felt that they would be less competitive than McLaren in Barcelona, attributing the performance deficit in the Goodyear tyres in comparison to the Bridgestone's stating "We make steps forward all of the time , but this won't be enough to beat McLaren. To achieve that, Goodyear should be doing two steps at a time".

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

Practice ResultsEdit

No.       Driver       Constructor       FP1 FP2 Warm-Up
Time Pos Time Pos Time Pos
1 Canada  Jacques Villeneuve United KingdomWilliams-Mecachrome 1:24.198 8 1:23.483 14 1:26.370 16
2 Germany  Heinz-Harald Frentzen 1:23.843 6 1:23.083 10 1:25.536 8
3 Germany  Michael Schumacher ItalyFerrari 1:23.468 5 1:22.890 7 1:24.852 5
4 United Kingdom  Eddie Irvine 1:23.421 4 1:22.497 5 1:25.176 6
5 Italy  Giancarlo Fisichella ItalyBenetton-Playlife 1:24.286  11 1:22.102 3 1:24.107 3
6 Austria  Alexander Wurz 1:24.311 12 1:22.414 4 1:25.382 7
7 United Kingdom  David Coulthard United KingdomMcLaren-Mercedes 1:22.965 2 1:21.223 2 1:23.270 2
8 Finland  Mika Häkkinen 1:22.147 1 1:20.791 1 1:22.460 1
9 United Kingdom  Damon Hill IrelandJordan-Mugen-Honda 1:24.888 14 1:22.974 8 1:26.730 20
10 Germany  Ralf Schumacher 1:24.420 13 1:23.113 11 1:25.925 12
11 France  Olivier Panis FranceProst-Peugeot 1:24.272 10 1:23.317 12 1:24.677 4
12 Italy  Jarno Trulli 1:24.897 15 1:24.680 18 1:25.541 9
14 France  Jean Alesi SwitzerlandSauber-Petronas 1:24.427 9 1:23.397 13 1:26.698 19
15 United Kingdom  Johnny Herbert 1:23.237 3 1:23.058 9 1:25.630 10
16 Brazil  Pedro Diniz United KingdomArrows 1:25.770 19 1:24.793 19 1:26.087 14
17 Finland  Mika Salo 1:26.285 20 1:24.096 16 1:26.278 15
18 Brazil  Rubens Barrichello United KingdomStewart-Ford 1:24.037 7 1:22.673 6 1:25.702 11
19 Denmark  Jan Magnussen 1:26.606  22 1:24.862 20 1:26.425 17
20 Brazil  Ricardo Rosset United KingdomTyrrell-Ford 1:26.371 21 1:25.885 22 no time -
21 Japan  Toranosuke Takagi 1:25.336  17 1:23.944 15 1:26.452 18
22 Japan  Shinji Nakano ItalyMinardi-Ford 1:25.280 16 1:25.375 21 1:27.226 21
23 Argentina  Esteban Tuero 1:25.525 18 1:24.640 17 1:25.991 13

QualifyingEdit

The first car out on track was the Stewart of Jan Magnussen setting a time of 1:25.031. This time was easily beaten by Mika Häkkinen in the McLaren setting a blistering time of 1:21.123. Johnny Herbert was the next to set a lap-time of 1:23.365. Following Häkkinen's time, teammate David Coulthard exited the pits to complete a relatively slow lap in comparison to his teammate of a 1:21.960. 

Giancarlo Fisichella and Rubens Barrichello set strong times to go third and fourth fastest, bumping Herbert's Sauber down to fifth. Williams continued to struggle throughout the Spanish weekend, Heinz-Harald Frentzen only setting a 1:23.729 on his first flying lap to go sixth fastest.

Michael Schumacher also set a slow lap only managing a 1:23.026 to go fourth fastest on his first run. Schumacher who had appeared to be struggling all weekend was then bumped down to fifth as Alexander Wurz went third fastest. Schumacher now stuck behind both the Benetton cars of Wurz and Fisichella. Teammate Eddie Irvine also was struggling only setting a laptime good enough for eighth behind Olivier Panis.

Häkkinen had then exited the pits to begin his second run of the circuit, he immediately began to stamp his authority and despite being slightly held up by the struggling Tyrrell of Ricardo Rosset on his flying lap, Häkkinen set a blistering time of 1:20.664. Meanwhile Jacques Villeneuve set his first lap, setting a dismal 1:23.700 for twelfth fastest. Rosset then began to cause more trouble when he held up Fisichella's second flying lap, Fisichella gesturing angrily to the Brazilian as he drove past. Rosset still having not set a fast time to get outside the 107% qualifying cut with a 1:27.577.

Whilst Fisichella suffered a wasted lap, teammate Wurz set a strong 1:22.267 further consolidating his third fastest time. Damon Hill then set a competitive time in his Jordan with a 1:22.835 pushing teammate Ralf Schumacher down to sixth. Toranosuke Takagi then suffered a large spin going into turn 3, luckily keeping out of the barriers and making his way out of the gravel trap. Fisichella then managed to bump teammate Wurz down to fourth after losing his previous lap to Rosset.

Rubens Barrichello then set another strong lap for Stewart going seventh fastest with a 1:22.860 demonstrating the improvements in the Stewart team's pace. Wurz then moved back into third ahead of his teammate Fisichella with a 1:21.965. 

Frentzen continued to struggle for pace, managing only a thirteenth fastest time moving up from provisional fourteenth, three places behind teammate Villeneuve. Häkkinen then managed to set another dominating lap time of a 1:20.262. 

Michael Schumacher had spent much of the session in the pits, adjusting his set-up on a seemingly uncompetitive Ferrari. At the end of the session Schumacher man-handled his car around the track to put his car in third position with 1:21.785. Coulthard whilst faster than all the field bar his teammate remained under pressure unable to beat teammate Häkkinen. The pressure showed as he had a major lock-up trying to beat Häkkinen's time before setting a 1:21.384. 

On Damon Hill's final lap, he complained that he was being blocked by Frentzen. Frentzen visibly unhappy with Hill after brake testing him earlier when coming into the pits. Coulthard whilst improving his time to a 1:20.996 still struggled to get close to Häkkinen.

The dying minutes of the session saw very little track action with Esteban Tuero, Toranosuke Takagi and Ricardo Rosset on track. Rosset still desperately trying to make it within the 107% qualifying time. His final time of 1:25.946 failed to be good enough and for the first time in 1998, a driver failed to qualify for the grand prix. 

Both Häkkinen and Schumacher attempted to set final flying laps, however they were both forced to abort due to Jacques Villeneuve crashing off the circuit. Coulthard's final flying lap saw him unable to improve on his time to beat Häkkinen. The final bit of action saw Fisichella displacing teammate Wurz from fourth on the grid.

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time
8 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.262
2 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.996
3 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:21.785
4 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Playlife 1:21.894
5 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Playlife 1:21.965
6 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 1:22.350
7 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:22.794
8 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:22.835
9 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 1:22.860
10 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1:22.885
11 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:22.927
12 11 France Olivier Panis France Prost-Peugeot 1:22.963
13 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 1:23.197
14 14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:23.327
15 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows 1:23.704
16 12 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Peugeot 1:23.748
17 17 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Arrows 1:23.887
18 19 Denmark Jan Magnussen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 1:24.112
19 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Italy Minardi-Ford 1:24.265
20 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Minardi-Ford 1:24.538
21 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 1:24.722
DNQ 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 1:25.946

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

Pedro Diniz in the Arrows would start from the pit-lane due to an engine problem and would exit an entire lap after the rest of the field. 

The start saw the two McLaren cars making a clean getaway, Mika Häkkinen immediately began to pull away into the distance. Behind the two McLaren's, the start was much more lively. Michael Schumacher made a dreadful start dropping down to fifth behind teammate Eddie Irvine and Giancarlo Fisichella. Irvine muscling his way ahead of Fisichella forcing the Benetton driver wide whilst going into turn 1. Rubens Barrichello made a strong start to climb to seventh, with Jacques Villeneuve directly behind him in eighth. 

Villeneuve's teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen suffered a dreadul start when he spun off into turn 3 dropping down to twentieth. Ralf Schumacher's Jordan also struggled as he dropped down to eighteenth after a terrible start to the race. Jean Alesi had also dropped down to nineteenth. After the second lap Frentzen entered the pits for a new front wing after sustaining damage following his spin. 

After five laps Häkkinen had already been able to consolidate his lead with a six second lead over David Coulthard in second. Ralf Schumacher and Alesi began their climb through the field before getting stuck behind the Tyrrell of Toranosuke Takagi. Further up the field Olivier Panis duelled the other Jordan of Damon Hill for tenth.  

Lap 18 saw the first cars arrive into the pits with Panis being the first car to make a move. The same lap Häkkinen began to overtake the first of the backmarkers, now extending his race lead to over 11 seconds ahead of teammate Coulthard. Lap 20 saw Johnny Herbert suffer an enormous lock-up whilst chasing down Jacques Villeneuve, the Briton then peeled into the pits after flatspotting his tyres.

The following lap, both Arrows cars of Pedro Diniz and Mika Salo suffered a bizarre simultaneous engine failure both driver's pulling off the circuit with their cars smoking along the start finish straight. Lap 23 saw Alexander Wurz pit from sixth becoming the first of the front runners to make a stop. Two laps later Irvine and Fisichella, who had been battling for third out on track made their pit-stops. As the two cars left the pits, Irvine's Ferrari maintained position ahead of Fisichella.

Lap 26 saw Häkkinen make his stop, briefly relinquishing the lead to teammate Coulthard who had yet to stop. Coulthard would enter the pits one lap later along with Michael Schumacher who was running third. Exiting the pits he had notably held the upper hand over the squabbling pair of Irvine and Fisichella and maintained third position. Fisichella by this time was desperately trying to get past Irvine but to no avail. On lap 28 Fisichella attempted to overtake Irvine around the outside of turn 1, however Irvine would not yield the position and the two collided spinning into the gravel trap and ending both  their races. Fisichella was then seen angrily shouting out Irvine after the two exited their cars.

The accident promoted Rubens Barrichello up to fifth and for the first time that season, Stewart were within the points. Barrichello had been keeping the faster Williams of Jacques Villeneuve at bay throughout the day with Johnny Herbert's Sauber right behind the pair. 

Frentzen who was labouring in fifteenth became another driver to get stuck behind the notorious Takagi in the Tyrrell, lap 33 saw him nearly run into the back of the Tyrrell driver locking his tyres enormously in an effort not to hit the Japanese driver. 

On lap 39 both Michael Schumacher and Esteban Tuero would receive a ten second stop and go penalty for speeding in the pitlane during their first pitstops. The following lap Schumacher came into the pits for his penalty losing third place to Alexander Wurz in the Benetton. 

Lap 43 saw Damon Hill spin into the gravel trap at turn 3 whilst chasing down Frentzen's Williams. A lap later race leader Häkkinen came into the pits where a lap later he was followed in by teammate Coulthard. The same lap saw Wurz come into the pits relinquishing third back to Schumacher. 

On lap 46 Hill retired with an engine failure, linked to his spin three laps earlier. Meanwhile on the same lap Schumacher came into the pits, he had extended his lead over Wurz to 20 seconds when he came into the pits meaning when he exited the pit-lane he comfortably held third position. 

As the race entered the final stages Johnny Herbert began to apply heavy pressure to Villeneuve's Williams but was seemingly unable to find a way past the Canadian. Further down the track, a four way battle for eighth had begun with Jarno Trulli leading Jean Alesi, Ralf Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. 

Lap 60 saw Panis pull off the circuit with engine failure. With two laps to go Frentzen pulled a hugely daring move up the inside of Ralf Schumacher and Alesi, barely keeping control of his car but managing to take both positions. The same lap Frentzen was able to overtake Trulli when the marshalls mistakenly showed Trulli the blue flags, believing Frentzen's Williams to be a Ferrari. Trulli slowed and incorrectly allowed Frentzen into eighth position. 

The race concluded with Häkkinen taking a dominant race win nine seconds ahead of teammate Coulthard. Michael Schumacher finished third 47 seconds adrift of his McLaren championship rivals. Wurz was the last car to finish who had yet to be lapped by Häkkinen. Rubens Barrichello got Stewart's first points of the season with Villeneuve taking the final points position. 

Post-RaceEdit

The biggest controversy following the race was the accident between Eddie Irvine and Giancarlo Fisichella on lap 28. Fisichella was deemed to be at fault for the collision and was fined  £5000 by the FIA. Fisichella however continued to blame Irvine for the incident saying "Eddie was in the same position as me in the previous lap and at the start, but I respect him and did not push him out. I felt I was completely in front. His left front-wheel touched my right rear-wheel, I think it was my corner". Irvine was more philosophical on the matter stating "I think it is right that the FIA take action, to recognise who is at fault, but I feel sorry for Giancarlo as the fine is so steep".

Ferrari were also accused by Benetton Team principal David Richards of intentionally asking Irvine to hold Fisichella up to allow Michael Schumacher to regain third position during the pit-stop phase.

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8 Finland Mika Häkkinen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 65 1:33.38.3 1 10
2 7 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 65 +9.439 2 6
3 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 65 +47.095 3 4
4 6 Austria Alexander Wurz Italy Benetton-Playlife 65 +1:02.538 5 3
5 18 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 64 +1 lap 9 2
6 1 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 64 +1 lap 10 1
7 15 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 64 +1 lap 7
8 2 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 63 +2 laps 13
9 12 Italy Jarno Trulli France Prost-Peugeot 63 +2 laps 16
10 14 France Jean Alesi Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 63 +2 laps 14
11 10 Germany Ralf Schumacher Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 63 +2 laps 11
12 19 Denmark Jan Magnussen United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 63 +2 laps 18
13 21 Japan Toranosuke Takagi United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 63 +2 laps 21
14 22 Japan Shinji Nakano Italy Minardi-Ford 63 +2 laps 20
15 23 Argentina Esteban Tuero Italy Minardi-Ford 63 +2 laps 19
16 11 France Olivier Panis France Prost-Peugeot 60 Engine 12
Ret 9 United Kingdom Damon Hill Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 46 Engine 8
Ret 4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Italy Ferrari 28 Collision 6
Ret 5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Playlife 28 Collision 4
Ret 17 Finland Mika Salo United Kingdom Arrows 21 Engine 17
Ret 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz United Kingdom Arrows 20 Engine 15
DNQ 20 Brazil Ricardo Rosset United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford

MilestonesEdit

Standings after raceEdit

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Finland Mika Häkkinen 36
2 United Kingdom David Coulthard 29
3 Germany Michael Schumacher 24
4 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 11
5 Austria Alexander Wurz 9
6 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 8
7 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 6
8 France Jean Alesi 3
9 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 2
10 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 1
11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 1
12 Germany Ralf Schumacher 0
13 United Kingdom Damon Hill 0
14 Argentina Esteban Tuero 0
15 Italy Jarno Trulli 0
16 Finland Mika Salo 0
17 Denmark Jan Magnussen 0
18 France Olivier Panis 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 65
2 Italy Ferrari 35
3 United Kingdom Williams-Mecachrome 14
4 Italy Benetton-Playlife 10
5 Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 4
6 United Kingdom Stewart-Ford 2
7 Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 0
8 Italy Minardi-Ford 0
9 France Prost-Peugeot 0
10 United Kingdom Arrows 0
11 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford 0
Spain Spanish Grand Prix
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