1998 Austrian
Grand Prix
A-1 Ring
2.686 miles

July 26th 1998

Qualifying - Race - Analysis

Qualifying : Very Wet

Fisichella splashes his way to the pole

1997 Pole: Jacques Villeneuve (Williams) 1m 10.304s

The Starting Grid

Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife BS 1m 29.598s
Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas BS 1m 30.317s
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes BS 1m 30.517s
Michael Schumacher Ferrari GY 1m 30.551s
Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford BS 1m 31.005s
Mika Salo TWR Arrows BS 1m 31.028s
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome GY 1m 31.515s
Eddie Irvine Ferrari GY 1m 31.651s
Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1m 31.917s
Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot BS 1m 32.081s
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome GY 1m 32.083s
Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford BS 1m 32.099s
Pedro Diniz TWR Arrows BS 1m 32.206s
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes BS 1m 32.399s
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1m 32.718s
Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot BS 1m 32.906s
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife BS 1m 33.185s
Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas GY 1m 33.205s
Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford BS 1m 33.399s
Tora Takagi Tyrrell-Ford GY 1m 34.090s
Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford BS 1m 34.536s
Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford GY 1m 34.910s
107 % rule time: 1m 35.869s  

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Race : 71 laps - bright and sunny

The start

1997 Winner: Jacques Villeneuve (Williams) 1h 27m 35.999s

The Result

Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes BS 1h 30m 44.086s
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes BS 1h 30m 49.375s
Michael Schumacher Ferrari GY 1h 31m 23.179s
Eddie Irvine Ferrari GY 1h 31m 28.063s
Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1h 31m 34.741s
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome GY 1h 31m 37.288s
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1h 31m 57.710s
Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas GY 1 lap down
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife BS 1 lap down
Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot BS 1 lap down
Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford BS 1 lap down
Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford GY 2 laps down
Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford BS 51 laps - engine
Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford BS 30 laps - spun off
Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas GY 21 laps - collision w/Fisicella
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife BS 21 laps - collision w/Alesi
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome GY 16 laps - engine
Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford BS 8 laps - brake fluid leak
Pedro Diniz TWR Arrows BS 3 laps - spun off
Mika Salo TWR Arrows BS 1 laps - spun off
Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot BS 0 laps - engine
Tora Takagi Tyrrell-Ford GY 0 laps - spun off

Fastest Lap :
David Coulthard (McLaren) 1m 12.878s
Lap Record : 1997: Jacques Villeneuve (Williams) 1m 11.814s

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Coulthard goes from last to second

Analysis :
McLaren bounced back in convincing style with Mika Hakinnen leading home team-mate David Coulthard after the Scot had sliced through the field from last place. Michael Schumacher made an uncharacteristic mistake and was lucky to get away with it, with Ferrari number two Eddie Irvine letting the German through into third because of supposed "brake trouble" (not team orders!).
Because of heavy rain in qualifying, Giancarlo Fisichella sat on pole next to Sauber's Jean Alesi but after falling behind both Hakinnen and Schumacher Sr, Fisichella made a stupid attempt at passing Alesi and ended both their races.
Jordan's Ralf Schumacher ran a composed race to collect a couple of points, while Jacques Villeneuve was again left to pick up the crumbs for all his hard efforts.

Coulthard and Hakinnen celebrate

Although Hakinnen won, a better demonstration of the strength of the McLaren package was given by David Coulthard as he went through the field from last to second. Ferrari were simply second best here and with more high speed races ahead they may have to settle for that.

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Photo credits : AP/McLaren International