1998 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE
TWO BRIDGESTONE SURVIVORS OF THE STORM
In wet and often rainy conditions, a major accident damaged 13 cars within 300 metres of the start of the Belgian Grand Prix. Although both McLaren drivers were able to take the re-start, they later became involved in separate accidents which prevented them from adding to their world championship scores. After the elimination of Michael Schumacher's Ferrari in a controversial collision with Coulthard's repaired car it was the Jordans of Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher which ran to an unexpected but popular 1-2 finish. Only two drivers on Bridgestone tyres were running at the end of 44 wet laps, with Pedro Diniz scoring two points for Arrows, while Prost Grand Prix's Jarno Trulli took his first point of the season by finishing sixth.
Hirohide Hamashima, Technical Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Congratulations to Jarno Trulli on scoring such a valuable first point of the season for Prost Grand Prix, and to Pedro Diniz on safely finishing a race which saw so many crashes. As far we can say at the moment, we have to accept that our rain tyres were not as effective on this circuit as they have been elsewhere. Our testing programme will be concentrated on further developments of the wet tyres with the specific objective of finding the extra competitiveness we need. These final three races will be vital for the championship and we have no intention of making any concessions at this stage."
Pedro Diniz, Driver, Arrows Grand Prix (5th): " This was an amazing race: at times I felt that I was only a passenger in my car. During the worst of the rain I was aquaplaning everywhere because I had chosen a very low downforce set-up. However, I am delighted to finish such an amazing race in fifth place. I look forward to improving on this result as soon as possible. The new-spec engine which we brought here was a big improvement and I am looking forward to using it at Monza."
Jarno Trulli, Driver, Prost Grand Prix (6th): "Today's result is a big relief for all of us. When there wasn't too much water on the track the car was actually quite driveable, but when the rain started to fall more heavily it was much more difficult due to the car being set up for the dry. Now I hope that this point will be the first one of a long series."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 11:-11: 13:-13: Cold - wet Afternoon 12:-15: 14:-15: Cold - wet