The 1998 European Grand Prix was the eighth round of the 1998 FF1M Season and it was held at the Nurburgring in Germany. It was a closely fought battle between Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill with the German driver eventually winning.
Race Starting Grid Luxembourg - Nürburgring 1998 (67 Laps) Pole 1 Mika Hakkinen 1m 15.439s 2 Damon Hill Row 2 3 1m 15.821s Juan-Pablo Montoya 1m 15.932s 4 Rubens Barrichello Row 3 5 1m 15.975s Michael Schumacher 1m 16.060s 6 Jos Verstappen Row 4 7 1m 16.088s Ralf Schumacher 1m 16.123s 8 Jean Alesi Row 5 9 1m 16.132s David Coulthard 1m 16.274s 10 Allan McNish Row 6 11 1m 16.304s Jacques Villeneuve 1m 16.322s 12 Eddie Irvine Row 7 13 1m 16.360s Mika Salo 1m 16.673s 14 Alexander Wurz Row 8 15 1m 16.843s Giancarlo Fisichella 1m 16.857s 16 Johnny Herbert Row 9 17 1m 16.986s Marc Gene 1m 17.008s 18 Bruno Junqueira Row 10 19 1m 17.525s Olivier Panis 1m 17.801s 20 Mark Blundell Row 11 21 1m 18.151s Jan Magnussen 1m 18.218s 22 Kenny Brack 1m 18.343s
thumb|300px|rightMika Hakkinen’s getaway from pole position was lightning as he instantly pulled away. Hill’s start wasn’t as good as he was overtaken by Barrichello only just managed to stay ahead of Verstappen. Further back, Ralf Schumacher forced his way up the inside of Montoya, who had a poor start, at the Dunlop Kehre. His brother was also making similar inroads, passing Verstappen for 4th. The first lap action wasn’t over as Gene tagged the back of Panis on the run up to the Veedol chicane and promptly spun.
Hill wanted to make amends for his tardy start and powered round Barrichello at the Castrol S on the start of lap 2. Michael Schumacher also found his way past Barrichello, whilst his brother challenged Verstappen for 5th place. Ralf couldn’t make it past the FJR driver and on the next lap, the German got into a scrap with Jacques Villeneuve, both drivers swapping positions. Further down the field, Marc Gene managed to get himself out of the unenviable position of being last as he overtook Magnussen.
Battles were going on all the way through the field; on lap 6, Ralf Schumacher managed to muscle past Verstappen with a daring move around the outside of turn 9. Rumours circulated that Verstappen was on a heavier fuel load than much of the field as on lap 8; Villeneuve outbraked the Dutchman into turn 8. Two laps later, Villeneuve pulled the same move on his teammate to take 5th. It didn’t get much better for Barrichello as he came in for an unscheduled pitstop to investigate a problem with his throttle. He rejoined well down the order.
Hakkinen’s controlled run at the front was broken down by yet another reliability issue. His engine blew up and as he pull of the track, Olivier Panis misjudged which way he was meant to go and collided with the cruising Dodgem driver, ripping a wheel off and taking himself out of the race.
The pit-stops were underway as Hill and Ralf Schumacher both pitted, handing the lead temporarily to Verstappen, who would later retire due to engine problems. Ralf rejoined just ahead of his brother, but it wouldn’t last as the Dodgem driver outbraked Ralf into turn 8.
Further back, Blundell and Brack collided at the Veedol chicane which sent the Willow Images driver across the grass, losing the place to the Dark Wolf driver. Then both VTR’s went into combat on lap 37 as the two drivers ran side-by-side through the fast turn 6 & 7 S bends. Johnny Herbert won the battle of the Brits.
As Montoya exited his pit box after his second stop, he tagged the back of a Dark Wolf driver. Then he had another two collisions within the space of two corners. First he successfully tried to push Irvine off after the Ulsterman overtook him at the Veedol chicane, and then at the next corner he got a taste of his own medicine as Allan McNish punted the Columbian wide. The Scot was up to 8th, but that only lasted until the next straight when Alesi outbraked him into turn 1.
Hill and Michael Schumacher then battled for the lead, but it was their 2nd stops that would ultimate decide the race. Hill pitted first giving Schumacher the lead, and then Michael pitted two laps later and rejoined only just ahead of the Brit.
Michael pulled away from Hill and took the chequered flag by three and a half seconds. Michael’s brother Ralf took third place ahead of Villeneuve. The top four were separated by less then eight seconds. Irvine, Alesi, Coulthard and Barrichello completed the top eight.
Race Results Luxembourg - Nürburgring 1998 (67 Laps) Pos Driver Time/Speed 1st Michael Schumacher 1h 27m 44.865s Dodgem-Ferrari 2nd Damon Hill +3.570s Willow Image-Ferrari 3rd Ralf Schumacher +5.154s Gui Racing-Ford 4th Jacques Villeneuve +7.469s Pedersen-Mercedes 5th Eddie Irvine +37.829s VTR-Mecachrome 6th Jean Alesi +41.782s Gui Racing-Ford 7th David Coulthard +43.633s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 8th Rubens Barrichello +49.284s Pedersen-Mercedes 9th Alexander Wurz +59.600s J Racing-Ford 10th Johnny Herbert +1m 01.871s VTR-Mecachrome 11th Mika Salo +1m 12.012s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 12th Allan McNish +1m 14.107s FJR-Mecachrome 13th Juan-Pablo Montoya +1m 15.233s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 14th Marc Gene -1 Lap Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 15th Bruno Junqueira -1 Lap Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 16th Jan Magnussen -1 Lap Dark Wolf-Mugen 17th Kenny Brack -1 Lap Willow Image-Ferrari 18th Mark Blundell -1 Lap Dark Wolf-Mugen 19th Jos Verstappen Engine FJR-Mecachrome 20th Giancarlo Fisichella Puncture AquinoPlus-Peugeot 21st Mika Hakkinen Water Leak Dodgem-Ferrari 22nd Olivier Panis Didn't Finish J Racing-Ford
Driver Best Laps Luxembourg - Nürburgring 1998 (67 Laps) Pos Driver Best Lap 1st Michael Schumacher 1m 16.497s Dodgem-Ferrari 2nd Ralf Schumacher +0.001s Gui Racing-Ford 3rd Damon Hill +0.194s Willow Image-Ferrari 4th Juan-Pablo Montoya +0.196s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 5th Jacques Villeneuve +0.232s Pedersen-Mercedes 6th Mika Hakkinen +0.402s Dodgem-Ferrari 7th Jean Alesi +0.523s Gui Racing-Ford 8th Jos Verstappen +0.551s FJR-Mecachrome 9th Alexander Wurz +0.605s J Racing-Ford 10th Rubens Barrichello +0.742s Pedersen-Mercedes 11th David Coulthard +0.834s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 12th Eddie Irvine +0.884s VTR-Mecachrome 13th Mika Salo +0.970s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 14th Johnny Herbert +1.006s VTR-Mecachrome 15th Allan McNish +1.014s FJR-Mecachrome 16th Marc Gene +1.284s Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 17th Giancarlo Fisichella +1.525s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 18th Olivier Panis +1.653s J Racing-Ford 19th Bruno Junqueira +1.668s Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 20th Jan Magnussen +1.755s Dark Wolf-Mugen 21st Kenny Brack +2.002s Willow Image-Ferrari 22nd Mark Blundell +2.090s Dark Wolf-Mugen