The biggest surprise in qualifying on the Saturday was Giancarlo Fisichella. He managed to put his car up into third place, behind only the two McLaren-Mercedes. At one stage Fisichella was the fastest driver. Michael Schumacher, who was for the world championship qualified fourth which was a big disappointment for the thousand of Italian fans who travelled to Monaco for the race.
A perfect start from both McLaren-Mercedes saw them lead through the first corner, with Häkkinen ahead of Coulthard. Fisichella and Schumacher were running 3rd and 4th. In the early stages the two McLaren-Mercedes pulled ahead, netting 12 fastest laps between them from laps 4 to 12. The pack stretched out behind them, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen succumbed to pressure from Eddie Irvine. On lap 18 David Coulthard retired with engine problems.
Michael Schumacher was first to pit for fuel on lap 30. One lap later Giancarlo Fisichella went in, although he came out of the pits behind the Ferrari. Soon Michael came up behind Alexander Wurz and tried to get past him at all costs. When the two came to the Lowes corner, Michael went down the inside but the Austrian did not give way. The two cars touched and the Ferrari was damaged. Michael went in to pit for repairs, and he eventually came out three laps down on the leader Mika Häkkinen.
Wurz appeared unaffected by the contact, but his suspension broke due to damage from the collision and he had a huge accident coming out of the tunnel, finally stopping at the Nouvelle chicane. After Wurz's second accident on lap 42, the order was Mika Häkkinen followed by Giancarlo Fisichella, Eddie Irvine, Jean Alesi, and Mika Salo. However five laps from the end Jean Alesi experienced gearbox problems, and he was forced to pull out of the race, promoting Pedro Diniz to sixth. Michael Schumacher attempted to pass Diniz in the chicane, but they made contact. This second accident broke his front wing, and Michael finally ended up two laps down in tenth place, out of the points.
Standings after Grand Prix
- Drivers' Championship standings
|1||Template:Country flagicon Mika Häkkinen||46|
|2||Template:Country flagicon David Coulthard||29|
|3||Template:Country flagicon Michael Schumacher||24|
|4||Template:Country flagicon Eddie Irvine||15|
|5||Template:Country flagicon Alexander Wurz||9|
- Constructors' Championship standings
|1||Template:Country flagicon McLaren-Mercedes||75|
|2||Template:Country flagicon Ferrari||39|
|3||Template:Country flagicon Williams-Mecachrome||16|
|4||Template:Country flagicon Benetton-Playlife||16|
|5||Template:Country flagicon Sauber-Petronas||4|
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.