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The 1998 Belgian Grand Prix was the thirteenth round of the 1998 FF1M Season. It was won by Dodgem's Michael Schumacher after he inherited the win 4 laps from the end from FJR's Jos Verstappen, who led every lap until that point.

Qualifying

Results

                                Race Starting Grid                              
                                                                                
                            Belgium - Spa Francorchamps                         
                                     (44 Laps)                                  
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                     1              Pole        
                                               Allan McNish                     
                            2                   1m 45.599s                      
                      Mika Hakkinen                                             
                       1m 45.757s                    3             Row 2        
                                            Michael Schumacher                  
                            4                   1m 45.860s                      
                   Rubens Barrichello                                           
                       1m 45.898s                    5             Row 3        
                                              Jos Verstappen                    
                            6                   1m 46.038s                      
                      Eddie Irvine                                              
                       1m 46.101s                    7             Row 4        
                                            Jacques Villeneuve                  
                            8                   1m 46.372s                      
                     Alexander Wurz                                             
                       1m 46.395s                    9             Row 5        
                                            Juan-Pablo Montoya                  
                           10                   1m 46.481s                      
                       Jean Alesi                                               
                       1m 46.532s                   11             Row 6        
                                              Ralf Schumacher                   
                           12                   1m 46.701s                      
                        Mika Salo                                               
                       1m 46.776s                   13             Row 7        
                                           Giancarlo Fisichella                 
                           14                   1m 47.077s                      
                     Johnny Herbert                                             
                       1m 47.155s                   15             Row 8        
                                                Damon Hill                      
                           16                   1m 47.405s                      
                     Bruno Junqueira                                            
                       1m 47.563s                   17             Row 9        
                                                Kenny Brack                     
                           18                   1m 48.002s                      
                     David Coulthard                                            
                       1m 48.028s                   19            Row 10        
                                               Mark Blundell                    
                           20                   1m 48.153s                      
                      Olivier Panis                                             
                       1m 48.375s                   21            Row 11        
                                                 Marc Gene                      
                           22                   1m 48.743s                      
                      Jan Magnussen                                             
                       1m 49.932s

Race

Report

thumb|300px|rightAllan McNish’s second pole of the year couldn’t be converted into the lead by the first corner as Michael Schumacher had a flying start from 3rd. McNish fought back and was side by side with Michael at the Kemmel straight. But it was McNish’s teammate Verstappen that took both drivers at Les Combes with a brilliant outbraking move to lead the race. Ralf Schumacher qualified down in 11th and needed to make up the positions. He was up to 7th at the end of the first lap.

McNish was beginning to struggle to stay with his teammate and on lap 2 was overtaken by Michael at the first corner. McNish got him back at Les Combes before being overtaken for good at Rivage.

Further down the field, Jean Alesi and Damon Hill collided at the worst possible place on the circuit, Eau Rouge. Alesi continued but Hill retired.

McNish continued to drop back as Michael Schumacher’s teammate Mika Hakkinen took the Scot into the bus stop at the end of lap 2. The FJR driver then lost another place at the beginning of the next lap to Rubens Barrichello. McNish’s saving grace was that his engine was giving him a lot of top speed and he was able to regain 4th place.

Giancarlo Fisichella was running in 12th place until he ran wide at the exit of the first bus stop chicane. With Alexander Wurz coming alongside him, Fisichella got his line completely wrong at the second bus stop chicane and smashed into outside and then the inside wall causing panic for the following drivers. Marc Gene would be the driver to pile into the back of the carnage and retire himself. Fisichella would also retire and Wurz would pit for repairs before he retired later with transmission problems.

Barrichello repeated the move Michael made on McNish the previous lap to move back into 4th place before Allan lost another two places to Irvine and Ralf Schumacher. He regained 6th place back from Ralf into Les Combes before losing it again at Rivage.

Barrichello had made his first pit stop very early and overtook his teammate who had yet to stop. Another driver recovering was Alesi who overtook the Maestro of Bruno Junqueira for 14th.

Mika Hakkinen was having problems having made two pit stops in 3 laps and losing a place to Montoya. In fact, a three stop strategy was Hakkinen’s plan for the race.

McNish may well have been at sea at the beginning of the race but by lap 21 he was running 4th. But then he threw that away with a spin at the Fagnes chicane. Moments later, Irvine spun off at the same point. Both would not rejoin.

With 4 laps left Verstappen had a very comfortable lead over Michael Schumacher and looked to be heading for FJR’s first win of the season. But then coming up to lap Junqueira, the Brazilian went straight on into the wall and ricocheted into Verstappen’s path leaving the Dutchman with a broken front wing.

The drama wasn’t over yet as coming round fast was Michael Schumacher but then he hit one of Junqueira’s errant wheels which came back to hit him again. The second impact from the tyre sent Michael spinning round and into the front wing of Verstappen. Jos went airbourne, landed with a bang and lost all his wheels. Amazingly, even though he slapped the pit wall trying to get his car back round, Michael was able to continue undamaged but FJR were gutted with the outcome and were also furious with Junqueira’s driving.

Michael’s lucky escape also resulted in a win that moves him back ahead of Ralf in the championship, although the younger Schumacher did a perfect damage limitation race with 2nd. Hakkinen’s shrewd strategy paid off with 3rd place, passing Barrichello in the dying moments. Herbert was 5th ahead of Montoya, Villeneuve and Salo, who scored his first points for AquinoPlus since Austria.

Results


                                                                              
                                   Race Results                                 
                                                                               
                            Belgium - Spa Francorchamps                         
                                     (44 Laps)                                  
                                                                                
                Pos   Driver                       Time/Speed                   
                                                                                
                1st   Michael Schumacher       1h 20m 24.132s                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
                2nd   Ralf Schumacher                 +3.293s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
                3rd   Mika Hakkinen                   +8.049s                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
                4th   Rubens Barrichello             +12.851s                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
                5th   Johnny Herbert                 +36.495s                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
                6th   Juan-Pablo Montoya             +37.950s                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes                                       
                7th   Jacques Villeneuve             +48.431s                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
                8th   Mika Salo                      +53.207s                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
                9th   Jean Alesi                     +55.036s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
               10th   Olivier Panis               +1m 03.035s                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
               11th   David Coulthard             +1m 05.077s                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes                                       
               12th   Jan Magnussen                    -1 Lap                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen                                           
               13th   Kenny Brack                      -1 Lap                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      
               14th   Jos Verstappen                  -3 Laps                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
               15th   Bruno Junqueira                 -5 Laps                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      
               16th   Allan McNish              Didn't Finish                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
               17th   Eddie Irvine              Didn't Finish                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
               18th   Mark Blundell                Suspension                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen                                           
               19th   Alexander Wurz             Transmission                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
               20th   Giancarlo Fisichella      Didn't Finish                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
               21st   Marc Gene                 Didn't Finish                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      
               22nd   Damon Hill                Didn't Finish                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      

Fastest Laps


                                                                              
                                 Driver Best Laps                               
                                                                                
                            Belgium - Spa Francorchamps                         
                                     (44 Laps)                                  
                                                                                
                Pos   Driver                         Best Lap                   
                                                                                
                1st   Jos Verstappen               1m 47.137s                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
                2nd   Michael Schumacher              +0.116s                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
                3rd   Mika Hakkinen                   +0.117s                   
                      Dodgem-Ferrari                                            
                4th   Eddie Irvine                    +0.281s                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
                5th   Jacques Villeneuve              +0.444s                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
                6th   Ralf Schumacher                 +0.583s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
                7th   Rubens Barrichello              +0.690s                   
                      Pedersen-Mercedes                                         
                8th   Johnny Herbert                  +0.770s                   
                      VTR-Mecachrome                                            
                9th   Allan McNish                    +0.791s                   
                      FJR-Mecachrome                                            
               10th   Jean Alesi                      +0.989s                   
                      Gui Racing-Ford                                           
               11th   Juan-Pablo Montoya              +1.246s                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes                                       
               12th   David Coulthard                 +1.622s                   
                      Mason Mspt-Mercedes                                       
               13th   Olivier Panis                   +1.826s                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
               14th   Mika Salo                       +1.834s                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
               15th   Alexander Wurz                  +1.872s                   
                      J Racing-Ford                                             
               16th   Mark Blundell                   +2.305s                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen                                           
               17th   Kenny Brack                     +2.348s                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      
               18th   Bruno Junqueira                 +2.417s                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      
               19th   Jan Magnussen                   +2.531s                   
                      Dark Wolf-Mugen                                           
               20th   Damon Hill                      +6.305s                   
                      Willow Image-Ferrari                                      
               21st   Giancarlo Fisichella            +7.280s                   
                      AquinoPlus-Peugeot                                        
               22nd   Marc Gene                      +10.877s                   
                      Maestro Mspt-Peugeot                                      

Notes

  • Final Pole Position for Allan McNish
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