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The 1998 British Grand Prix (formally the LI RAC British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at the Silverstone Circuit, England on 12 July 1998. It was the ninth race of the 1998 FIA Formula One World Championship. The 60-lap race was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari car after starting from second position. Mika Häkkinen, who started from pole position, finished second with Eddie Irvine third in the other Ferrari. Schumacher's victory was his fourth of the season, and his third consecutive victory having won both the preceding Canadian and French Grand Prix, but was under controversial circumstances: there was dispute whether he had avoided a stop-and-go penalty by entering the pit lane to serve it on the final lap, crossing the finish line in the pit lane to win the race before reaching his pit box, although the penalty was later rescinded. This race was held the same day as the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final in Saint-Denis, France, but that event took place later in the day from this Grand Prix.

1998 British Grand Prix
Race 9 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One World Championship
Silverstone Circuit in its 1998 configuration
Silverstone Circuit in its 1998 configuration
Race details
Date 12 July 1998
Official name LI RAC British Grand Prix
Location Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, England
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.140 km (3.194 mi)
Distance 60 laps, 308.400 km (191.631 mi)
Weather Rain, Wet Track
Pole position
Driver McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:23.271
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:35.704 on lap 12
First Ferrari
Second McLaren-Mercedes
Third Ferrari




Mika Häkkinen took pole position by nearly half a second from championship rival Michael Schumacher. Jacques Villeneuve took third position whilst Häkkinen's team-mate David Coulthard qualified in fourth. Ralf Schumacher and Olivier Panis had their qualifying times deleted as they were not able to get out of their cars quick enough during an FIA safety drill, to practice evacuating the cockpit in case of fire. Ralf Schumacher had spun and stalled his engine early in qualifying and qualified in the spare car, which was set up for his team-mate Damon Hill.


Heavy rain fell during the morning prior to the race. Although the rain stopped before the start, there was a mixture of wet and dry parts on the circuit and as a result all but two cars started on intermediate compound tyres. The two Stewart-Fords decided to start on dry weather tyres.[1] The first retirement came after 13 laps, when Damon Hill lost control on the damp track whilst battling with Villeneuve for 7th place. After 16 laps, it began to rain again, and many drivers switched to a full wet weather tyre. Johnny Herbert spun and regained the track, but had damaged his car and retired on reaching the pits.

David Coulthard retires from the race

David Coulthard, driving on intermediates, spun out on lap 38 whilst passing a backmarker. Jarno Trulli spun out on the same lap as Coulthard as Barrichello spun out and hit the wall at Club on lap 40. His McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Mika Häkkinen had built up a lead of 49 seconds over second place driver Michael Schumacher when four laps later he went off the track, did a complete 360 degrees turn before continuing. The incident damaged the front wing of his car and cost him 10 seconds of his lead but following numerous other spins caused by the worsening conditions the safety car was deployed which slowed the cars down, and removed Häkkinen's advantage over Schumacher altogether.[2]

The race restarted on lap 50 and it took only two laps for Häkkinen to make another mistake, which put Schumacher in the lead. The German quickly pulled away from his rival, who was now nursing his McLaren home.

However, two laps from the finish, Schumacher was issued with a stop-and-go penalty for passing Alexander Wurz under the safety car on lap 43. He had to come in to the pits within three laps to serve his penalty, which he did by entering the pit lane on the final lap of the race, but in doing so he crossed the finish line, which extends across the pit lane, before reaching his pit box, and won the race without having served his penalty. His team argued that the penalty should have been issued within 25 minutes of the incident but instead they were informed after 31 minutes. They also argued that the hand-written notification was unclear as to which penalty was actually being issued: a stop-and-go, or a 10-second addition to Schumacher's race time. The stewards then decided to apply the 10-second addition, post-race. However, the added time penalty can only be used to punish an infraction in the last 12 laps of a Grand Prix, and so did not apply here. The stewards eventually rescinded the penalty altogether.[3] A protest was lodged by McLaren-Mercedes who felt Ferrari cheated by not having Schumacher serve the penalty, but this was rejected by the FIA. As a result, the three stewards involved handed in their licenses at an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Council.[4]



Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 8   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.271
2 3   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:23.720 +0.449
3 1   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 1:24.102 +0.831
4 7   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.310 +1.039
5 4   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:24.436 +1.165
6 2   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 1:24.442 +1.171
7 9   Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:24.542 +1.271
8 14   Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 1:25.081 +1.810
9 15   Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 1:25.084 +1.813
10 5   Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 1:25.654 +2.383
11 6   Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 1:25.760 +2.489
12 16   Pedro Diniz Arrows 1:26.376 +3.105
13 17   Mika Salo Arrows 1:26.487 +3.216
14 12   Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 1:26.808 +3.537
15 19   Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford 1:26.948 +3.677
16 18   Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 1:26.990 +3.719
17 21   Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 1:27.061 +3.790
18 23   Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 1:28.051 +4.780
19 22   Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 1:28.123 +4.852
20 20   Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 1:28.608 +5.337
107% time: 1:29.100
21 10   Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda No Time1
22 11   Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot No Time1
Source: [5]


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 60 1:47:02.450 2 10
2 8   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 60 +22.465 1 6
3 4   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 60 +29.199 5 4
4 6   Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 59 +1 Lap 11 3
5 5   Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 59 +1 Lap 10 2
6 10   Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda 59 +1 Lap 21 1
7 1   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 59 +1 Lap 3  
8 22   Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 58 +2 Laps 19  
9 21   Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 56 +4 Laps 17  
Ret 14   Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 53 Electrical 8  
Ret 16   Pedro Diniz Arrows 45 Spun off 12  
Ret 11   Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot 40 Spun off 22  
Ret 18   Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 39 Accident 16  
Ret 19   Jos Verstappen Stewart-Ford 38 Engine 15  
Ret 7   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 37 Spun off 4  
Ret 12   Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 37 Spun off 14  
Ret 20   Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 29 Spun off 20  
Ret 23   Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 29 Spun off 18  
Ret 15   Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 27 Spun off 9  
Ret 17   Mika Salo Arrows 27 Spun off 13  
Ret 2   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 15 Spun off 6  
Ret 9   Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 13 Spun off 7  

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ British Grand Prix Review
  2. ^ BBC News:Schumacher wins British GP
  3. ^ "Scandal at Silverstone"
  4. ^ "...but the stewards get the axe"
  5. ^ F1, STATS. "Britain 1998 - Qualifications • STATS F1". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  6. ^ "1998 British Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Britain 1998 - Championship • STATS F1". Retrieved 14 March 2019.

Previous race:
1998 French Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1998 season
Next race:
1998 Austrian Grand Prix
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1997 British Grand Prix
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1999 British Grand Prix