1998 German
Grand Prix
4.24 miles

Aug 2nd 1998

Qualifying - Race - Analysis

Qualifying : Sunny, warm

Villeneuve gives it all in qualifying

1997 Pole: Gerhard Berger (Benetton) 1m 41.873s

The Starting Grid

Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes BS 1m 41.838s
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes BS 1m 42.347s
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome GY 1m 42.365s
Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1m 42.944s
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1m 43.183s
Eddie Irvine Ferrari GY 1m 43.270s
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife BS 1m 43.341s
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife BS 1m 43.369s
Michael Schumacher Ferrari GY 1m 43.459s
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome GY 1m 43.467s
Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas GY 1m 43.663s
Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas GY 1m 44.599s
Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford BS 1m 44.776s
Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot BS 1m 44.844s
Tora Takagi Tyrrell-Ford GY 1m 44.961s
Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot BS 1m 45.197s
Mika Salo TWR Arrows BS 1m 45.276s
Pedro Diniz TWR Arrows BS 1m 45.588s
Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford BS 1m 45.623s
Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford BS 1m 46.713s
Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford BS 1m 47.265s
107 % rule time: 1m 48.966s  
Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford GY Did not participate

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Race : 45 laps - overcast

The start

1997 Winner: Gerhard Berger (Benetton) 1h 20m 59.046s

The Result

Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes BS 1h 20m 47.984s
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes BS 1h 20m 48.411s
Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome GY 1h 20m 50.562s
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1h 20m 55.169s
Michael Schumacher Ferrari GY 1h 21m 00.597s
Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen Honda GY 1h 21m 17.723s
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife BS 1h 21m 19.011s
Eddie Irvine Ferrari GY 1h 21m 19.634s
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome GY 1h 21m 20.769s
Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas GY 1h 21m 36.356s
Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife BS 1h 21m 45.979s
Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot BS 1 lap down
Tora Takagi Tyrrell-Ford GY 1 lap down
Mika Salo TWR Arrows BS 1 lap down
Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot BS 1 lap down
Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford BS 2 laps down
Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas GY 37 laps - oil leak
Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford BS 36 laps - engine
Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford BS 27 laps - gearbox
Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford BS 24 laps - gearbox
Pedro Diniz TWR Arrows BS 2 laps - throttle

Fastest Lap :
David Coulthard (McLaren) 1m 46.116s
Lap Record : 1997: Gerhard Berger (Benetton) 1m 45.747s

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Damon Hill finally breaks through

Analysis :
The McLaren team brought Mercedes their first German GP win since the 30's in masterful style, with David Coulthard obediently following championship leader Mika Hakinnen across the line.

The Ferrari's had a dismal weekend, though Michael Schumacher managed to salvage a couple of points, the performance gap to the McLarens on the high speed circuits was widely evident.
The drive of the race belonged to Jacques Villeneuve, who qualified well and then hounded the Silver Arrows throughout the race. Had he not been slowed in the closing stages by a transmission problem, hemay have challenged for the win.
Also on the rise are the fortunes of Jordan, with Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher running consistently near the top all weekend.

There were suprisingly few mechanical retirements, though both Stewarts fell foul of similar gearbox troubles and Tyrrell's Ricardo Rosset did not even attempt to qualify after a huge crash in practice.

Jacques Villeneuve gets to spray champagne again

It now seems that McLaren has answered the Ferrari challenge and go into the final third of the season with renewed confidence.
With Coulthard playing the perfect team-mate, it seems it is only a matter of when and not if, Hakinnen takes the title.

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Photo credits : AP/Allsport