F1 |  Silverstone 1998 and Stop & Go after the race

F1 | Silverstone 1998 and Stop & Go after the race

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F1 |  Silverstone 1998 and Stop & Go after the race

We are on 12th July 1998, again on the Silverstone circuit. In Northamptonshire it rains heavily in those days. In the ranking Mika Hakkinen is ahead of Michael Schumacher by six points, 50 to 44. And in qualifying he snatches the pole in 1: 23.271 right in front of the German, then Villeneuve, Coulthard, Irvine and Frentzen. The Italians are 10th (Fisichella) and 14th (Trulli). They all mount the intermediates. At the start, Hakkinen and Schumacher got off to a good start, while Irvine slipped backwards, up to 10th place, before climbing up a few positions in the following laps. The race takes the direction of McLaren right away. It is clear on lap five, when after several disturbing actions, the second silver car (Coulthard’s) overtakes Schumacher at the Abbey corner.

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Hill is the first to retire, ending up off the track at Brooklands on lap 13, followed by Frentzen. The cars stop for the first pits, while the rain increases in intensity. Hakkinen is ahead of everyone, followed by Coulthard and Schumacher. Herbert ends up outside, but returns to the track pushed by the commissioners. But before being disqualified, he retires. The rain increases again, and Salo, Rosset, and Tuero end up in meadows, greeting the company. Coulthard also notices this and, to the delight of the Ferrari drivers, on lap 38, in an attempt to overtake Wurz, goes out of the race. A little bad, However, Hakkinen seems unattainable, even without Coulthard. He has a 24-second advantage over the Ferrari team, with Irvine having moved up to fourth place in the meantime. But here the fun begins.

Weather conditions continue to deteriorate, and Hakkinen makes a long at Bridge. Barrichello’s Stewart ends her race against the barriers, and Trulli, her teammate Panis and Verstappen also close their race. In the meantime, the Safety Car and on lap 49, as soon as the car returned, Hakkinen was in the lead ahead of Schumacher and Irvine. Schumacher, however, who behind the Safety Car had the dubbed Wurz between him and Hakkinen, overtakes him just before crossing the finish line and immediately sets off on the hunt for the Finn. At the historic Becketts, however, there is the twist. Hakkinen goes long and Schumi passes, to the euphoria of many Italians. And, while Irvine undermines the Finn but without success, Alesi who was fourth retires due to trouble with the plumbing system.

F1 |  Silverstone 1998 and Stop & Go after the race

A few minutes from the end, the German of Ferrari is inflicted with one Stop & Go 10 seconds for that overtaking on Wurz made on lap 43. If Schumi re-entered he would be re-overtaken by Mika, so at Ferrari they invent genius. After careful evaluation at the wall, that old fox of Ross Brawn decides to stop Schumi only on the last lap, making him cross the finish line in the pitlane and delivering him the victory over Hakkinen in a controversial way to say the least. Third comes Irvine, preceding the two Benettons of Wurz and Fisichella and the Jordan of Ralf Schumacher.

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McLaren will later make a formal protest for this action, a complaint that will be rejected by the FIA ​​as there was no material time for Ferrari to serve the penalty to its driver for a delay in communicating it. Later, precisely because of this event, the rule will be changed and today instead of the 10-second stop & go, a 25-second penalty is imposed at the end of the race. Eventually Schumacher took the win and got close to Hakkinen in the standings, with a score of 54 to 56 for the Finn. It will then be the latter, however, to win, due to the very unfortunate Suzuka that will make the dream world champion by Schumacher and the Scuderia di Maranello.