The 1998 Austrian Grand Prix was the fifth race of the 1998 FF1M Season and it was held at the A1 Ring. It was won by Dodgem's Michael Schumacher, but it was inherited ten laps from the end as Mason Motorsports lost a maiden win due to engine problems for their driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
Race Starting Grid Austria - A1-Ring 1999 (71 Laps) Pole 1 Juan-Pablo Montoya 1m 12.292s 2 Michael Schumacher Row 2 3 1m 12.315s Damon Hill 1m 12.406s 4 Alexander Wurz Row 3 5 1m 12.485s Mika Salo 1m 12.549s 6 Rubens Barrichello Row 4 7 1m 12.599s Mika Hakkinen 1m 12.620s 8 Ralf Schumacher Row 5 9 1m 12.713s Giancarlo Fisichella 1m 12.822s 10 Jos Verstappen Row 6 11 1m 12.839s Jacques Villeneuve 1m 12.842s 12 Johnny Herbert Row 7 13 1m 12.889s Eddie Irvine 1m 12.915s 14 Jean Alesi Row 8 15 1m 12.961s Allan McNish 1m 13.212s 16 Mark Blundell Row 9 17 1m 13.225s Olivier Panis 1m 13.333s 18 Bruno Junqueira Row 10 19 1m 13.335s David Coulthard 1m 13.366s 20 Kenny Brack Row 11 21 1m 13.434s Marc Gene 1m 13.800s 22 Jan Magnussen 1m 14.087s
thumb|300px|rightAs the camera’s caught Jean Alesi’s shocking getaway, Montoya converted Mason’s first pole position into the lead as J Racing’s Alex Wurz outbraked Michael Schumacher into the first corner. Hill’s start was rotten dropping down to 9th and receiving a tap from Ralf Schumacher.
Montoya rocketed away from Wurz, pulling away by more than a second per lap, whilst Barrichello overtook Michael Schumacher for 3rd place on lap 3. It was obvious that Montoya was on a lighter fuel load and had to pull away from the entire field to build a gap before his first stop.
Hill was desperate to make amends for his wretched start and overtook Hakkinen for 8th place. Hakkinen’s compromised exit meant that Ralf Schumacher followed Hill’s lead and took 9th place. Meanwhile, Panis had retired with a water leak.
Verstappen had a lightning start from 10th to end up 6th by the end of the first lap, then on lap 5 he breezed past Mika Salo for 5th. On the next lap, Ralf Schumacher was also making progress, neatly slotting in between Hill and Herbert on the run up to turn 2.
Verstappen was at it again, this time slipstreaming past Michael Schumacher for 4th place on lap 9. He then caught up to the battling Wurz and Barrichello. Wurz was defending very well against the Pedersen driver. But if Barrichello was having it tricky, then that was nothing compared to his teammate, suffering an engine failure.
Barrichello’s struggle to get past Wurz resulted in him losing 3rd place to Verstappen in a tricky outbraking manoeuvre on lap 17. A lap later, the Dutchman took 2nd place off of Wurz, who shortly lost 3rd place when Barrichello finally overtook him two laps later.
Ralf Schumacher’s race came to a premature end whilst running 8th with his rear wing engulfed in flames. Wurz’s exit was less spectacular, but perhaps more painful as he retired from 4th.
Verstappen and Montoya made their first stops within two laps of each other. Verstappen dropped down to 12th, but Montoya had built out such a lead, he managed to stay there. Barrichello was up to 2nd and with a much lighter car, then he eased past the Mason driver on lap 30.
Gui Racing’s difficult weekend got worse as Alesi’s engine suffered the same fate as his teammate’s and retired from 7th place. Team Boss Guilherme Cramer was very sad about his double retirement. Meanwhile, Montoya and Verstappen made their second stops with the former maintaining the lead and the latter rejoining 7th.
Both Dark Wolf drivers went into combat on lap 46, with Blundell taking 14th from his teammate. More importantly, Hakkinen squeezed past Barrichello nine laps later with a difficult outbraking move on the Brazilian. Hakkinen was the last of the one-stoppers and stormed away to chase his teammate down for 2nd.
Verstappen on his fresher tyres began clawing his was back up the order, passing Salo for 6th place. This became 5th place when heartbreakingly; Montoya’s splendid drive came to an end ten laps from the end amidst smoke from the Mercedes engine. Two laps later, Verstappen gained another place when 4th placed Johnny Herbert’s transmission broke. Fisichella became the final retiree with electrical problems handing 8th place to Bruno Junqueira, giving Maestro Motorsport their first points of the season.
Dodgem took the chequered flag with Michael Schumacher ahead of Hakkinen, who set the fastest lap on the last lap. Barrichello took 3rd, not far ahead of Verstappen. Salo took his first points of the season ahead of McNish and Irvine. Both Maestro’s and both Dark Wolf’s rounded out the finishers.
Race Results Austria - A1-Ring 1999 (71 Laps) Pos Driver Time/Speed 1st Michael Schumacher 1h 28m 54.575s Dodgem-Ferrari 2nd Mika Hakkinen +11.295s Dodgem-Ferrari 3rd Rubens Barrichello +18.943s Pedersen-Mercedes 4th Jos Verstappen +22.352s FJR-Mecachrome 5th Mika Salo +31.034s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 6th Allan McNish +33.703s FJR-Mecachrome 7th Eddie Irvine +36.238s VTR-Mecachrome 8th Bruno Junqueira +1m 02.404s Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 9th Marc Gene -1 Lap Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 10th Jan Magnussen -1 Lap Dark Wolf-Mugen 11th Mark Blundell -1 Lap Dark Wolf-Mugen 12th Giancarlo Fisichella -5 Laps AquinoPlus-Peugeot 13th Johnny Herbert -8 Laps VTR-Mecachrome 14th Kenny Brack Engine Willow Image-Ferrari 15th Juan-Pablo Montoya Engine Mason Mspt-Mercedes 16th Jean Alesi Engine Gui Racing-Ford 17th Damon Hill Water Leak Willow Image-Ferrari 18th Alexander Wurz Engine J Racing-Ford 19th David Coulthard Oil Leak Mason Mspt-Mercedes 20th Ralf Schumacher Oil Leak Gui Racing-Ford 21st Jacques Villeneuve Engine Pedersen-Mercedes 22nd Olivier Panis Water Leak J Racing-Ford
Driver Best Laps Austria - A1-Ring 1999 (71 Laps) Pos Driver Best Lap 1st Mika Hakkinen 1m 13.051s Dodgem-Ferrari 2nd Michael Schumacher +0.016s Dodgem-Ferrari 3rd Juan-Pablo Montoya +0.178s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 4th Jos Verstappen +0.309s FJR-Mecachrome 5th Rubens Barrichello +0.361s Pedersen-Mercedes 6th Allan McNish +0.417s FJR-Mecachrome 7th Eddie Irvine +0.455s VTR-Mecachrome 8th Mika Salo +0.518s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 9th Jean Alesi +0.534s Gui Racing-Ford 10th Johnny Herbert +0.577s VTR-Mecachrome 11th Marc Gene +1.013s Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 12th Giancarlo Fisichella +1.082s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 13th Bruno Junqueira +1.086s Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 14th Mark Blundell +1.146s Dark Wolf-Mugen 15th Damon Hill +1.381s Willow Image-Ferrari 16th Ralf Schumacher +1.555s Gui Racing-Ford 17th Jan Magnussen +1.673s Dark Wolf-Mugen 18th Alexander Wurz +1.828s J Racing-Ford 19th Kenny Brack +1.846s Willow Image-Ferrari 20th David Coulthard +2.025s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 21st Jacques Villeneuve +2.227s Pedersen-Mercedes 22nd Olivier Panis +5.282s J Racing-Ford
- First pole position for Mason Motorsports