The 1998 Spanish Grand Prix was the fourth round of the 1998 FF1M Season and was held at the Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona. It was a Schumacher 1-2 with Ralf taking the top step of the podium.
Race Starting Grid Spain - Barcelona (65 Laps) Pole 1 Allan McNish 1m 20.442s 2 Jos Verstappen Row 2 3 1m 20.487s Rubens Barrichello 1m 20.497s 4 Johnny Herbert Row 3 5 1m 20.520s Ralf Schumacher 1m 20.553s 6 Jacques Villeneuve Row 4 7 1m 20.619s Juan-Pablo Montoya 1m 20.671s 8 Michael Schumacher Row 5 9 1m 20.721s Jean Alesi 1m 20.800s 10 Mika Hakkinen Row 6 11 1m 20.808s Alexander Wurz 1m 20.851s 12 Giancarlo Fisichella Row 7 13 1m 20.912s Damon Hill 1m 20.931s 14 Eddie Irvine Row 8 15 1m 21.150s Mika Salo 1m 21.346s 16 Olivier Panis Row 9 17 1m 21.402s David Coulthard 1m 21.818s 18 Bruno Junqueira Row 10 19 1m 22.138s Kenny Brack 1m 22.253s 20 Marc Gene Row 11 21 1m 22.368s Jan Magnussen 1m 22.840s 22 Mark Blundell 1m 22.864s
Jos Verstappen managed to get the jump on his teammate at the start, while the Scot managed to hold on to 2nd from a fast-starting Ralf Schumacher after the first corner. But the Gui Racing driver changed that, making a move into turn 4. McNish also dropped another place to Rubens Barrichello, then another to the other Schumacher at the start of lap 2 and Johnny Herbert also fancied his chances.
But then it was Johnny’s turn to drop back as first Hakkinen passed him, and then Jacques Villeneuve took the Englishman going into turn 4, but Johnny fought back one lap later and overtook the Pedersen driver going into turn one. The other battle on the same lap included an ‘on-the-march’ Hakkinen who overtook McNish for 5th place.
Salo and Alesi enjoyed a scrap for 14th, running side-by-side through turn 4 and 5, but it ended in tears as Salo punted Alesi into a spin at the La Caixa hairpin. The Frenchman would continue.
The two Dodgem’s went into combat with each other on lap 14, running side-by-side from turn 4 to turn 9. The battle was settled in favour of Hakkinen but the Finn came into the pits shortly after for his first stop.
The leader Verstappen also came in for an early pitstop handing the lead to Ralf. He rejoined in the thick of traffic, which involved Mika Hakkinen. The two then battled on lap 18, with the Finn emerging in front. Hakkinen was on a three-stop strategy and it was important for him to have a clear track to set some fast lap times.
3 laps later, Ralf Schumacher pitted and rejoined in 3rd place behind his brother and the VTR of Eddie Irvine. He rejoined ahead of Mika Hakkinen, which was crucial, as speculation mounted that Ralf was on just a two-stop race.
Having made a second pit stop, Mika Hakkinen became stuck behind Johnny Herbert. He was later up to 2nd place on lap 45, only 2 seconds behind Ralf, but Mika still needed to make one more stop.
Damon Hill was on the move, squeezing past McNish for 6th place. Despite fighting back, Allan couldn’t hold on and became under pressure from Montoya, who slipped by on the next lap for 7th.
It was all over for Hakkinen on lap 46 as his engine blew up, amazingly becoming the first retirement of the race. That seemed to be the trigger for four more retirements. Blundell and Coulthard both had transmission failures, whilst Kenny Brack and Johnny Herbert both spun out.
There was still some racing going on as Hill overtook the AquinoPlus driver of Salo on lap 51. Two laps later, Panis tapped the back of Bruno Junqueira at turn 1, sending the Brazilian skating across the gravel. McNish took a small detour at the La Caixa hairpin and lost a position to Irvine.
Ralf Schumacher secured Gui Racing’s second win of the season ahead of his brother. Verstappen finally finished a race this season, and with it a 3rd place. Filling the minor placings were Villeneuve, Montoya, Irvine, McNish and Wurz, who took J Racing’s first point of the season.
Race Results Spain - Barcelona (65 Laps) Pos Driver Time/Speed 1st Ralf Schumacher 1h 30m 29.835s Gui Racing-Ford 2nd Michael Schumacher +10.008s Dodgem-Ferrari 3rd Jos Verstappen +40.491s FJR-Mecachrome 4th Damon Hill +44.449s Willow Image-Ferrari 5th Jacques Villeneuve +49.581s Pedersen-Mercedes 6th Allan McNish +1m 04.322s FJR-Mecachrome 7th Rubens Barrichello +1m 05.592s Pedersen-Mercedes 8th Alexander Wurz +1m 10.112s J Racing-Ford 9th Juan-Pablo Montoya -1 Lap Mason Mspt-Mercedes 10th Eddie Irvine -1 Lap VTR-Mecachrome 11th Jean Alesi -1 Lap Gui Racing-Ford 12th Mika Salo -1 Lap AquinoPlus-Peugeot 13th Olivier Panis -1 Lap J Racing-Ford 14th Bruno Junqueira -1 Lap Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 15th Marc Gene -1 Lap Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 16th Jan Magnussen -1 Lap Dark Wolf-Mugen 17th Giancarlo Fisichella -2 Laps AquinoPlus-Peugeot 18th Kenny Brack Didn't Finish Willow Image-Ferrari 19th David Coulthard Transmission Mason Mspt-Mercedes 20th Johnny Herbert Didn't Finish VTR-Mecachrome 21st Mark Blundell Transmission Dark Wolf-Mugen 22nd Mika Hakkinen Engine Dodgem-Ferrari
Driver Best Laps Spain - Barcelona (65 Laps) Pos Driver Best Lap 1st Mika Hakkinen 1m 21.422s Dodgem-Ferrari 2nd Ralf Schumacher +0.182s Gui Racing-Ford 3rd Michael Schumacher +0.321s Dodgem-Ferrari 4th Rubens Barrichello +0.418s Pedersen-Mercedes 5th Jos Verstappen +0.452s FJR-Mecachrome 6th Damon Hill +0.513s Willow Image-Ferrari 7th Jean Alesi +0.564s Gui Racing-Ford 8th Jacques Villeneuve +0.580s Pedersen-Mercedes 9th Alexander Wurz +0.713s J Racing-Ford 10th Juan-Pablo Montoya +0.816s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 11th Allan McNish +0.999s FJR-Mecachrome 12th Johnny Herbert +1.043s VTR-Mecachrome 13th Eddie Irvine +1.104s VTR-Mecachrome 14th David Coulthard +1.158s Mason Mspt-Mercedes 15th Olivier Panis +1.348s J Racing-Ford 16th Mika Salo +1.362s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 17th Giancarlo Fisichella +1.432s AquinoPlus-Peugeot 18th Marc Gene +1.850s Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 19th Bruno Junqueira +2.070s Maestro Mspt-Peugeot 20th Mark Blundell +2.235s Dark Wolf-Mugen 21st Kenny Brack +2.336s Willow Image-Ferrari 22nd Jan Magnussen +2.526s Dark Wolf-Mugen