1998 San Marino Grand Prix
The 1998 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Imola on 26 April 1998. The 62-lap race was the fourth round of the 1998 FIA Formula One World Championship and was won by David Coulthard driving a McLaren-Mercedes.
|1998 San Marino Grand Prix|
|Race 4 of 16 in the 1998 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||26 April 1998|
|Official name||XVIII Gran Premio di San Marino|
|Location||Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.933 km (3.065 mi)|
|Distance||62 laps, 305.609 km (189.897 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny, 25 °C|
|Time||1:29.345 on lap 48|
It was back to business for McLaren in qualifying, with Coulthard outpacing Häkkinen for pole, and Ferrari's Schumacher and Eddie Irvine keeping things neat by qualifying third and fourth. However, the men in red had hoped for better, and had followed Tyrrell's lead in fitting 'side-wings' - x-shaped wings bolted atop the sideboards. But these appendages did not produce enough of a gain to topple the McLarens and, with Jordan and Sauber also sprouting these peculiar side-wings the sport's governing body voted to ban them the day after the race, as they felt that they would be unsafe if a driver suffered a side-on impact.
The race was simplicity itself for Coulthard as he controlled proceedings ahead of Mika Häkkinen, with Schumacher split from Irvine by Jacques Villeneuve's Williams. But on lap 17 Häkkinen retired to the pits, and the garage door was immediately rolled down to conceal his problem. It later proved to be a gearbox failure.
Unaware of his teammate's problem, Coulthard motored on ahead of Schumacher until the German emerged from his second stop and started to fly, eating into the Scot's 20-second advantage at a rate of a second per lap. Debris in a sidepod had sent Coulthard's oil cooler temperature soaring, and team boss Ron Dennis kept sprinting from the pit wall to the McLaren garage to check on the telemetry, so that Coulthard could be instructed how much he could afford to ease off to save his engine. Therefore, the Scot could every so often match Schumacher's pace, and he duly recorded the win. Irvine sent the Ferrari fans home happy by taking the final podium place, with the Williams duo of Villeneuve and Frentzen the only other unlapped runners.
- This was Coulthard's only win of 1998.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- F1, STATS. "San Marino 1998 - Qualifications • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
- "1998 San Marino Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- "San Marino 1998 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
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