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1998 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Date  29 March 1998
Course length  4.292 km (2.667 mi)
1998 Brazilian Grand Prix
Official name  XXVII Grande Prêmio Marlboro do Brasil
Location  Autódromo José Carlos Pace São Paulo, Brazil
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  72 laps, 309.024 km (192.019 mi)

The 1998 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Interlagos on 29 March 1998. Mika Häkkinen, won his third straight race, with McLaren, also securing their third straight one two finish.

Contents

Background

Before the race there was a furore surrounding McLaren as Ferrari had protested about its braking system - which enabled the drivers to apply the brakes on the rear wheels independently, and thus assist both turn in to corners and traction out of them. Effectively meaning that the system was a four-wheel steering device, which was banned by the FIA. McLaren announced that they would not appeal the decision. Drivers including Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill disliked how the device performed. As a result of Ferrari's protest the team agreed not to use the system at any stage over the weekend. However team boss Ron Dennis was livid that the system had been approved on four occasions by the FIA technical delegate, Charlie Whiting, and was being declared illegal by the three stewards in office for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Race

As soon as the race started, Mika Häkkinen stormed into the lead, and took off for a long and lonely drive, leading every lap of the Grand Prix. At the back of the grid the Arrows team had their worst weekend since Tom Walkinshaw took over with Mika Salo qualifying 20th, and Pedro Diniz qualifying last. On lap one Häkkinen led David Coulthard by over a second, and was three seconds ahead of Heinz-Harald Frentzen in third, Ralf Schumacher spun out on the first lap at the fourth corner, meaning that he had not finished a single lap, so far in the season. Eddie Irvine was ahead of the slow starting Michael Schumacher. On lap 18 Coulthard was 5 seconds behind Häkkinen. Frentzen and Schumacher, after getting past his team-mate, were 23 seconds behind the McLaren duo. Schumacher passed Frentzen at the first pit stop, but had to fight to make sure he was not lapped by the two McLarens. The McLarens were totally dominant, for the second time in as many races. Ferrari and Benetton seemed to be unable to find an answer, while reigning world champions Williams were also struggling.

Championship standings after the race

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

    1998 Brazilian Grand Prix Wikipedia


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