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F1 Classic Races: Belgian GP 1998

30th August 2019
Posted by Radio Club

The 1998 Belgian GP was held on the infamous Spa Francorchamps and this circuit is a difficult track on the tyres, especially through the forest as the downhill middle sector has lots of technical corners which can really hurt the fronts, as some of them have adverse camber changes.

Mika Hakkinen got a good start from pole in his McLaren, as the rest of the field made their way through La Source however… David Coulthard (McLaren) made a huge mistake as he aquaplaned off the circuit in very wet conditions down the old pit straight and caused a 13 car pile up which eliminated many drivers. Four Drivers couldn’t take the restart as their teams had a shortage on spare cars which included: Olivier Panis (Prost), Ricardo Rosset (Tyrrell), Rubens Barrichello (Stewart) and Mika Salo (Arrows).

The second start saw Mika Hakkinen and Johnny Herbert both collide at La Source which gave Michael Schumacher the lead and he sailed off into the distance. However though on Lap 24 the Ferrari driver ran into the back of David Coulthard’s McLaren whilst coming up to lap him. Michael was fuming and went into the McLaren pit garage to have a row with David Coulthard. This left the two Jordan’s of Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher in P1 and P2.

The race was very wet and the two Jordan’s held on to P1 and P2 until the chequered flag fell on lap 44. Tensions grew in the Jordan garage however with Ralf catching Damon very quickly, but Ralf was acknowledged by Eddie Jordan to hold station behind his teammate after Damon Hill expressed his concern about the circuits very wet conditions.

The win was the first for Jordan and their only one two finish and the last for 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill.

Top Three Drivers at the chequered flag:

  • 1st: Damon Hill (Jordan)
  • 2nd: Ralf Schumacher (Jordan)
  • 3rd: Jean Alesi (Sauber)