|Circuit de Catalunya
May 10th 1998
Qualifying - Race - Analysis
Qualifying : Sunny and humid
1997 Pole: Jacques Villeneuve (Williams) 1m 16.525s
The Starting Grid
|Mika Hakkinen||McLaren-Mercedes BS||1m 20.262s|
|David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes BS||1m 20.996s|
|Michael Schumacher||Ferrari GY||1m 21.785s|
|Giancarlo Fisichella||Benetton-Playlife BS||1m 21.894s|
|Alexander Wurz||Benetton-Playlife BS||1m 21.965s|
|Eddie Irvine||Ferrari GY||1m 22.350s|
|Johnny Herbert||Sauber-Petronas GY||1m 22.794s|
|Damon Hill||Jordan-Mugen Honda GY||1m 22.835s|
|Rubens Barrichello||Stewart-Ford BS||1m 22.860s|
|Jacques Villeneuve||Williams-Mecachrome GY||1m 22.885s|
|Ralf Schumacher||Jordan-Mugen Honda GY||1m 22.927s|
|Olivier Panis||Prost-Peugeot BS||1m 22.963s|
|Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Williams-Mecachrome GY||1m 23.197s|
|Jean Alesi||Sauber-Petronas BS||1m 23.327s|
|Pedro Diniz||TWR Arrows BS||1m 23.704s|
|Jarno Trulli||Prost-Peugeot BS||1m 23.748s|
|Mika Salo||TWR Arrows BS||1m 23.887s|
|Jan Magnussen||Stewart-Ford BS||1m 24.112s|
|Esteban Tuero||Minardi-Ford BS||1m 24.265s|
|Shinji Nakano||Minardi-Ford BS||1m 24.538s|
|Tora Takagi||Tyrrell-Ford GY||1m 24.722s|
|107 % rule time:||1m 25.880s|
|Ricardo Rosset||Tyrrell-Ford GY||1m 25.946s (DNQ)|
To The Top!
Race : 65 laps - sunny, windy
1997 Winner: Jacques Villeneuve (Williams) 1h 30m 35.890s
|Mika Hakkinen||McLaren-Mercedes BS||1h 33m 37.621s|
|David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes BS||1h 33m 47.060s|
|Michael Schumacher||Ferrari GY||1h 34m 24.715s|
|Alexander Wurz||Benetton-Playlife BS||1h 34m 40.159s|
|Rubens Barrichello||Stewart-Ford BS||1 lap down|
|Jacques Villeneuve||Williams-Mecachrome GY||1 lap down|
|Johnny Herbert||Sauber-Petronas GY||1 lap down|
|Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Williams-Mecachrome GY||2 laps down|
|Jarno Trulli||Prost-Peugeot BS||2 laps down|
|Jean Alesi||Sauber-Petronas GY||2 laps down|
|Ralf Schumacher||Jordan-Mugen Honda GY||2 laps down|
|Jan Magnussen||Stewart-Ford BS||2 laps down|
|Tora Takagi||Tyrrell-Ford GY||2 laps down|
|Shinji Nakano||Minardi-Ford BS||2 laps down|
|Esteban Tuero||Minardi-Ford BS||60 laps -|
|Olivier Panis||Prost-Peugeot BS||58 laps -|
|Damon Hill||Jordan-Mugen Honda GY||46 laps - engine|
|Giancarlo Fisichella||Benetton-Playlife BS||28 laps - collision (w/Irvine)|
|Eddie Irvine||Ferrari GY||28 laps - collision (w/Fisichella)|
|Mika Salo||TWR Arrows BS||21 laps - engine|
|Pedro Diniz||TWR Arrows BS||20 laps - engine|
Fastest Lap :
Mika Hakkinen (McLaren) 1m 24.275s
Lap Record : 1997: Giancarlo Fisichella (Jordan) 1m 22.242s
To The Top!
In a very processional race, Mika Hakinnen ran comfortably ahead of McLaren teammate David Coulthard for all but his pitstops. The Mercedes powered cars lapping all the way up to fourth place.
Michael Schumacher managed to overcome a horrendous start and a 10 second stop and go penalty for exceeding the pitlane speed limit and still take third. Once again Alexander Wurz ran well in the Benetton though he may have been topped by teammate Giancarlo Fisichella had he not fallen foul of Eddie Irvine, who once again blotted his Ferrari copybook, while trying to stop the Italian from taking third.
Despite the changes made to the rear end of the car, the Williams-Mecachromes struggled, noticably down on straight line speed, with Jacques Villeneuve barely taking sixth. Heinz-Harald Frentzen had an awful start, spinning and damaging his nose and then having to claw his way through the field to eigth.
Johnny Herbert was back on form, easily out pacing Jean Alesi, but the most pleasant surprise was Rubens Barrichello in the much maligned Stewart-Ford. With the help of new suspension parts and a new version of the Zetec engine, he kept the current World Champion behind all day. Teammate Jan Magnussen, also ran strongly despite not having the newer engine fitted to his car.
Overall there were very few mechanical failures, the notable exception being the Arrows cars which suffered the embarrassment of having their engines expire simultaneously as they came down the front straight!
Hakkinen now takes the upper hand in the championship, though the next race (in Monaco) has a history of strange results. All we need is a little bit of rain and things could be wide open once again.
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Photo credits : AP