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The 1998 Canadian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 7, 1998. The race was won by Michael Schumacher, however the race is probably best remembered for the crash on the first lap involving Alexander Wurz and Jean Alesi, which resulted in the race being red flagged and restarted.

Qualifying Summary

In Montreal, David Coulthard secured his third pole position of the season. The Scotsman managed to do the fastest time at the very end of the session. Mika Häkkinen was very unlucky during the qualifying session. He encountered a lot of traffic during his quick laps. Michael Schumacher was third, and was happily surprised by his lap time which was only 0.2 seconds behind Coulthard's time. The night before qualifying, Eddie Irvine had released a comment saying that the Canadian Grand Prix would be crucial for Ferrari, with Schumacher expressing the same opinion.

Race Summary

The First Start

At the start of the race Alexander Wurz was squeezed by other cars and was forced to cut across the grass in his Benetton. This meant that he was unable to brake, and therefore the Austrian crashed into Jean Alesi as well as Johnny Herbert and Jarno Trulli. Wurz' car rolled over three times, though luckily he was not injured. The race was stopped and Alesi, Wurz and Trulli all took the restart in their spare cars. Herbert was lucky that his mechanics were able to repair his Sauber, as Alesi took the spare. The only damage to the car proved to be a bent suspension arm.

The Second Start

At the second start Häkkinen's gearbox jammed while further back there was another incident. This time it was Ralf Schumacher who was pushing too hard; he also went across the grass and spun in the middle of the track. This caused mayhem in the pack behind him. Trulli mounted Alesi's car and in total five cars retired after the second start: Häkkinen (gearbox), Ralf Schumacher (spun off), Alesi and Trulli who were involved in the accident, and Toranosuke Takagi who had transmission problems.

Michael Schumacher managed to overtake Giancarlo Fisichella on the first lap but due to all the retirements the safety car was sent out. After five laps, the safety car came back in and the order was Coulthard followed by Michael Schumacher, Fisichella, Jacques Villeneuve, Rubens Barrichello, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

David Coulthard vs Michael Schumacher

As the race got under way again, Coulthard and Michael Schumacher started to pull away from the rest of the field. Coulthard led for the first 13 laps until the safety car came out for the second time. Pedro Diniz had gone off the track and when he rejoined he threw a lot of grass and dirt on to the circuit that needed to be removed. When the safety car went back in, there were another three retirements. Mika Salo collided with Herbert who went off for the second time, and Coulthard had a transmission problem.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen vs Michael Schumacher

The accident involving Salo and Herbert sent out the safety car for a third time, and Michael Schumacher took advantage by making a pitstop. When he got back out and yellow flags were waved to show that there was to be no overtaking, Schumacher shot across to the other side of the track and sent Frentzen off the track and onto the grass as he tried to avoid the Ferrari. The Williams driver was thus knocked out of the Grand Prix.

Final Half

At the restart Fisichella led, ahead of Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jan Magnussen and Shinji Nakano. Villeneuve immediately tried to go around the outside of Fisichella and take the lead, but he got it all wrong, went off the track and damaged his rear wing. On lap 35, Michael Schumacher was given a 10 second stop-and-go penalty due to the 'incident' with Frentzen. This momentarily put him behind Hill, but Schumacher overtook him and regained second place on lap 38. Then he took the lead on lap 45 when Fisichella went in for his only pit stop. Schumacher then extended his lead over the rest of the pack, and by the time he made his second pit stop to refuel he was able to hold on to his first place, and subsequently finish the race with 16 seconds between himself and second place finisher Fisichella.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3 Template:Country flagicon Michael Schumacher Ferrari 69 1:40:57.335 3 10
2 5 Template:Country flagicon Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 69 +16.662 4 6
3 4 Template:Country flagicon Eddie Irvine Ferrari 69 +1:00.059 8 4
4 6 Template:Country flagicon Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 69 +1:03.232 11 3
5 18 Template:Country flagicon Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 69 +1:21.513 13 2
6 19 Template:Country flagicon Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford 68 +1 Lap 20 1
7 22 Template:Country flagicon Shinji Nakano Minardi-Ford 68 +1 Lap 18  
8 20 Template:Country flagicon Ricardo Rosset Tyrrell-Ford 68 +1 Lap 22  
9 16 Template:Country flagicon Pedro Diniz Arrows 68 +1 Lap 19  
10 1 Template:Country flagicon Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Mecachrome 63 +6 Laps 6  
Ret 23 Template:Country flagicon Esteban Tuero Minardi-Ford 53 Electrical 21  
Ret 9 Template:Country flagicon Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 42 Electrical 10  
Ret 11 Template:Country flagicon Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot 39 Spun off 15  
Ret 2 Template:Country flagicon Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Mecachrome 20 Spun off 7  
Ret 7 Template:Country flagicon David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 18 Throttle 1  
Ret 15 Template:Country flagicon Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 18 Spun off 12  
Ret 17 Template:Country flagicon Mika Salo Arrows 18 Accident 17  
Ret 8 Template:Country flagicon Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 0 Gearbox 2  
Ret 10 Template:Country flagicon Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Mugen-Honda 0 Gearbox 5  
Ret 14 Template:Country flagicon Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 0 Collision 9  
Ret 12 Template:Country flagicon Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 0 Collision 14  
Ret 21 Template:Country flagicon Toranosuke Takagi Tyrrell-Ford 0 Transmission 16  

Standings after Grand Prix

Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 Template:Country flagicon Mika Häkkinen 46
2 Template:Country flagicon Michael Schumacher 34
3 Template:Country flagicon David Coulthard 29
4 Template:Country flagicon Eddie Irvine 19
5 Template:Country flagicon Giancarlo Fisichella 13
Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 Template:Country flagicon McLaren-Mercedes 75
2 Template:Country flagicon Ferrari 53
3 Template:Country flagicon Benetton-Playlife 25
4 Template:Country flagicon Williams-Mecachrome 16
5 Template:Country flagicon Stewart-Ford 5
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.