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FF1M 1998 Australian Grand Prix

FF1M 1998 Australian Grand Prix

The 1998 Australian Grand Prix was the opening round of the 1998 FF1M Season and was posted on August 2nd 2009. It was won by Michael Schumacher driving in his first race for Dodgem Racing. It was Dodgem Racing's first ever race victory.

Report

Michael Schumacher converted pole-position into a comfortable lead after the first corner, but it was 4th place Damon Hill who jumped into 2nd place. Mika Hakkinen, who had started 2nd had a bad start and initially dropped to 4th behind Ralf Schumacher, but re-passed him before the end of the lap. Ralf’s teammate Jean Alesi also managed to pass the German for 4th place.

At the first corner, the Jracing car of Olivier Panis touched the back of Johnny Herbert causing Johnny to halt. A traffic jam then preceded which involved other cars such as Alex Wurz, Bruno Junqueria. The action didn’t stop at the first corner, as a rejoining Marc Gene appeared to drive into the AquinoPlus of Mika Salo, with the Spaniard coming off worse.

Things went bad for Mika Hakkinen on lap 3 when he attempted a move around the outside of Hill at turn 6 but locked his rear wheels and spun out of 3rd place. He rejoined, albeit down in 19th place. The next lap saw Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher do a carbon copy of Hakkinen and Hill, with Villeneuve coming off worse.

Further back, Jan Magnussen, Junqueria and Allan McNish were embroiled in a battle for 15th place. Junqueria overtook Magnussen going into turn 3. However, when McNish tried to overtake the Danish driver, they tangled at turn 6 causing both drivers to spin. Both drivers continued, but both would finish the race out of the top ten.

Hakkinen’s fightback was cut-short on lap 8 when he spun trying to avoid the Dark Wolf of Mark Blundell. His race ended for good on lap 35 when his transmission broke. Villeneuve’s fightback was also unsuccessful when a mysterious late pit stop cost him 9th place.

Juan Pablo Montoya’s first race for Mason Motorsport was cut short on lap 16 when his transmission broke. He became the unenviable first retirement of the 1998 FF1M season. Other retirements included Jos Verstappen (lap 30) with an electrical problem, Olivier Panis (lap 32) with a blown engine and Mika Salo with a puncture.

At the front, it was relatively uneventful as Michael Schumacher had a comfortable lead from Damon Hill when the two drivers made their one and only pit stops from 1st and 2nd. Jean Alesi ran 3rd for the first stint but he was the main loser in the pit stop sequence as he dropped behind Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Irvine provided some entertainment in the second half of the race as he fought his way past his teammate before making his second scheduled stop. Then with 9 laps to go, the Ulsterman overtook Mark Blundell for the final point. Blundell was on course for that final point in Dark Wolf’s first race, but he had a disastrous end to the race where he slipped down to 12th place at the finish.

At the front it was Michael Schumacher who took the chequered flag to take Dodgem’s maiden victory in their 11th season of FF1M Michael had controlled the race from start to finish, only losing the lead to Damon Hill for one lap during the pit stops. Hill took 2nd place for Willow Images ahead of Ralf Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi.

After being bullied at the start of the race, Johnny Herbert took a creditable 6th place for VTR ahead of Rubens Barrichello, with Irvine taking the final point. Completing the top ten were Alex Wurz and David Coulthard.

Results

Qualifying

Race Starting Grid                              
                                                                                
                            Australia - Melbourne 1996                          
                                     (58 Laps)                                  
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                
        Pole                1                                                   
                   Michael Schumacher                                           
                       1m 29.707s                    2                          
                                               Mika Hakkinen                    
        Row 2               3                   1m 29.757s                      
                     Ralf Schumacher                                            
                       1m 29.788s                    4                          
                                                Damon Hill                      
        Row 3               5                   1m 30.424s                      
                       Jean Alesi                                               
                       1m 30.564s                    6                          
                                            Jacques Villeneuve                  
        Row 4               7                   1m 30.765s                      
                     Jos Verstappen                                             
                       1m 30.780s                    8                          
                                           Giancarlo Fisichella                 
        Row 5               9                   1m 30.858s                      
                     Johnny Herbert                                             
                       1m 31.023s                   10                          
                                            Rubens Barrichello                  
        Row 6              11                   1m 31.062s                      
                      Allan McNish                                              
                       1m 31.193s                   12                          
                                               Olivier Panis                    
        Row 7              13                   1m 31.245s                      
                        Mika Salo                                               
                       1m 31.246s                   14                          
                                              David Coulthard                   
        Row 8              15                   1m 31.274s                      
                   Juan-Pablo Montoya                                           
                       1m 31.287s                   16                          
                                               Eddie Irvine                     
        Row 9              17                   1m 31.305s                      
                     Alexander Wurz                                             
                       1m 31.391s                   18                          
                                               Mark Blundell                    
        Row 10             19                   1m 31.482s                      
                      Jan Magnussen                                             
                       1m 31.536s                   20                          
                                                 Marc Gene                      
        Row 11             21                   1m 31.779s                      
                       Kenny Brack                                              
                       1m 32.121s                   22                          
                                              Bruno Junqueira                   
                                                1m 32.185s

Race

Race Results                                 
                                                                                
                            Australia - Melbourne 1998                          
                                     (58 Laps)                                  
                                                                                
                Pos   Driver                       Time/Speed                   
                                                                                
                1st   Michael Schumacher       1h 30m 41.844s                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
                2nd   Damon Hill                     +18.995s                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      
                3rd   Ralf Schumacher                +20.652s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
                4th   Giancarlo Fisichella        +1m 00.291s                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
                5th   Jean Alesi                  +1m 02.464s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
                6th   Johnny Herbert              +1m 11.062s                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
                7th   Rubens Barrichello          +1m 14.768s                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
                8th   Eddie Irvine                +1m 28.709s                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
                9th   Alexander Wurz                   -1 Lap                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
               10th   David Coulthard                  -1 Lap                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes                                       
               11th   Allan McNish                     -1 Lap                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
               12th   Mark Blundell                    -1 Lap                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen                                           
               13th   Jacques Villeneuve               -1 Lap                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
               14th   Bruno Junqueira                  -1 Lap                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      
               15th   Kenny Brack                      -1 Lap                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      
               16th   Jan Magnussen                    -1 Lap                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen                                           
               17th   Marc Gene                        -1 Lap                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      
               18th   Mika Salo                      Puncture                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
               19th   Mika Hakkinen              Transmission                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
               20th   Olivier Panis                    Engine                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
               21st   Jos Verstappen               Electrical                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
               22nd   Juan-Pablo Montoya         Transmission                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes

Fastest Laps

Driver Best Laps                               
                                                                                
                            Australia - Melbourne 1998                          
                                     (58 Laps)                                  
                                                                                
                Pos   Driver                         Best Lap                   
                                                                                
                1st   Mika Hakkinen                1m 31.182s                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
                2nd   Jacques Villeneuve              +0.381s                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
                3rd   Michael Schumacher              +0.517s                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
                4th   Ralf Schumacher                 +0.903s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
                5th   Eddie Irvine                    +0.939s                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
                6th   Jos Verstappen                  +1.008s                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
                7th   Damon Hill                      +1.061s                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      
                8th   Alexander Wurz                  +1.214s                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
                9th   Allan McNish                    +1.328s                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
               10th   David Coulthard                 +1.387s                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes                                       
               11th   Johnny Herbert                  +1.513s                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
               12th   Rubens Barrichello              +1.514s                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
               13th   Giancarlo Fisichella            +1.622s                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
               14th   Jean Alesi                      +1.732s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
               15th   Mika Salo                       +1.894s                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
               16th   Olivier Panis                   +1.908s                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
               17th   Juan-Pablo Montoya              +2.095s                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes                                       
               18th   Marc Gene                       +2.151s                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      
               19th   Mark Blundell                   +2.371s                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen                                           
               20th   Bruno Junqueira                 +2.606s                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      
               21st   Kenny Brack                     +2.791s                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      
               22nd   Jan Magnussen                   +2.799s                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen
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