1998 Canadian
Grand Prix
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
2.75 miles

June 7th 1998

Qualifying - Race - Analysis

Qualifying : Cloudy

Fisichella impressed again

1997 Pole: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1m 18.095s

The Starting Grid

David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes BS 1m 18.213s
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes BS 1m 18.282s
Michael Schumacher Ferrari GY 1m 18.497s
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife BS 1m 18.826s
Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1m 19.242s
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome GY 1m 19.588s
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome GY 1m 19.614s
Eddie Irvine Ferrari GY 1m 19.616s
Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas BS 1m 19.693s
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1m 19.717s
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife BS 1m 19.765s
Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas GY 1m 19.845s
Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford BS 1m 19.953s
Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot BS 1m 20.188s
Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot BS 1m 20.303s
Tora Takagi Tyrrell-Ford GY 1m 20.328s
Mika Salo TWR Arrows BS 1m 20.536s
Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford BS 1m 21.230s
Pedro Diniz TWR Arrows BS 1m 21.301s
Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford BS 1m 21.629s
Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford BS 1m 21.822s
Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford GY 1m 21.824s
107 % rule time: 1m 23.687s  

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Race : 69 laps - cloudy

The 3rd Start

1997 Winner: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1h 17m 40.616s race stopped after 56 laps

The Result

Michael Schumacher Ferrari GY 1h 40m 57.355s
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife BS 1h 41m 14.017s
Eddie Irvine Ferrari GY 1h 41m 57.413s
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife BS 1h 42m 00.587s
Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford BS 1h 42m 18.867s
Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford BS 1 lap down
Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford BS 1 lap down
Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford GY 1 lap down
Pedro Diniz TWR Arrows BS 1 lap down
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome GY 6 laps down
Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford BS 53 laps - electrics
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 42 laps - electrics
Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot BS 39 laps - throttle/spun off
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome GY 20 laps - collision w/Schumacher
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes BS 18 laps - throttle linkage
Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas GY 18 laps - spun off
Mika Salo TWR Arrows BS 18 laps - hit barriers
Tora Takagi Tyrrell-Ford GY 0 laps - clutch
Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 0 laps - clutch
Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas GY 0 laps - crash with Trulli
Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot BS 0 laps - crash with Alesi
Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes BS 0 laps - gearbox

Fastest Lap :
Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1m 19.379s
Previous Lap Record : 1997: David Coulthard (McLaren) 1m 19.635s

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Wurz goes in for some aerobatics

Analysis :
By the time the Grand Prix got underway, at the third attempt, we had already lost 20 percent of the field! Most notable among them being Mika Hakinnen who managed only a few yards after the second start.
David Coulthard took off from pole into the lead followed by Michael Schumacher but the McLaren fell foul of a broken throttle linkage after 18 laps. From then on, the only person Schumacher had to beat was himself, something he almost managed when he exited the pits and shoved Heinz-Harald Frentzen into the gravel. The 10 second stop and go penalty brought Giancarlo Fisichella closer but a baulky gearbox kept the Italian from mounting a serious charge.
The award for sticking to it must go to Alexander Wurz, who somersaulted his Benetton several times at the first start, was in the middle of the incident after the second start and still managed to come in a gallant fourth!
Eddie Irvine picked up a podium finish to boost Ferrari's Constructors Championship hopes, while both Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen earned crucial points for Stewart. At his home race, Jacques Villeneuve seemed under intense pressure to perform well and it showed when he tried a desperate outbraking manoeuvre on Fisichella on the third restart (caused by a bizarre incident - Pedro Diniz spun and a collected a large portion of fresh turf, which he proceeded to drop around the circuit...). Villeneuve locked up all his wheels, spun off then pulled back on in front of Esteban Tuero, who had no way to avoid hitting the Williams. The Minardi continued, but the Canadian lost many laps while his crew replaced his rear wing.

You think he is happy?

Are there cracks beginning to show in the McLaren-Mercedes armour? It may be a little premature but the Tifosi have at least a glimmer of hope for one championship...maybe two...

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Photo credits : AP