After the success of my predictions in 1997, I have been encouraged to check into the mists of time for 1998. January: The Dakar rally is badly hit by weather, causing all bar the starting off the ramp, and the finish at the ramp to be ...
After the success of my predictions in 1997, I have been encouraged to check into the mists of time for 1998.
January: The Dakar rally is badly hit by weather, causing all bar the starting off the ramp, and the finish at the ramp to be cancelled. The winner turns out to be a 1978 vintage Skoda driven by 2 journalists from a national newspaper.
February: The FIA confirm that the Belgian Grand Prix is cancelled, and has been replaced by the Chinese Grand Prix. This is later moved to Spa Francorchamps after Schumacher makes a comment about "chicken flu" and certain members of the pit lane. The hot weather test in South Africa is judged a success when it rains everyday. A Prost spokesman says "This is perfect for testing our set up for Silverstone in July". Ferrari announce sponsorship from CAT.
March: The Grand Prix season gets underway. Michael Schumacher punts into a Minardi. The Minardi is out on the spot, but Michael limps around to 20th place. The FIA disqualify him from the race. Max Moseley states "There isn't a driver who wouldn't risk being banned from the next race if he was able to keep 20th place in the todays results".
April: Goodyear deny that they are scaling down their investment in F1 early when their teams turn up to Imola sporting Eagle 155/13's. A spokesman says "We want to use technology that can be transferred to road cars". There is further amazement when the BATyrrell team launch a new interim chassis with a revolutionary cylindrical shape. The paint job is also updated, with a brown nose joining the plain white body. The car is nicknamed the Bernie-1 by the team.
May: In a snow covered Monaco Grand Prix Williams stuns the grid by fitting slicks to its cars. A spokesman says "Our weather man says that it will stop snowing within a minute of the start and their will be a tropical heatwave. It's called Global Warming". Dave Richard's Benetton team take the victory when he uses his rally experience to fit chains to the tyres.
June: The Canadian Grand Prix is a huge success, though Jacques causes yet more controversy when he turns up in dreadlocks. Martin Brundle is furious as he can't use his favourite nickname anymore. Ferrari introduce the interim 649B chassis with Ben Hurr style blades fitted to the car. Damon Hill takes part in extensive testing for Silverstone. He opts for a Marshal amp and a Fender guitar.
July: Nigel Mansell announces that he hasn't retired, and is considering many offers of F1, Indycar and Sportscar drives, but can't decide whether to go for the one with magnitrack, the one with realistic tyre smoke or the full working headlights. The reinstated French Grand Prix is marked by controversy when coverage is filmed by L!VE TV. The highlight of the show turns out to be the NewsBunny being run over by Frentzen, making his 8th retirement in as many races.
August: The FIA announce the GT series calendar. Frank Williams is called to the FIA tribunal to answer allegations that his team is race fixing by having Frentzen retire at every Grand Prix. The team say that it is a total coincidence that Frentzen is always the one to retire, and that the porcupine that jumped in front of the car at Silverstone was one of those things. At the Chinese Grand Prix victory looks set for Damon Hill until Ralf collides with him 5 feet from the finishing line, handing victory to Frentzen.
September: The Italian Grand Prix is totally packed out when it is announced that in testing Schumacher had knocked 20 seconds off the lap record at Monza. It turns out that he was playing a computer game at the time, and had put it in cheat mode.
October: The championship goes right down to the wire, with 19 drivers within a point of the championship. At Japan they all collide wiping out the entire field. All bar Jan Magnussen are disqualified from the 1998 season giving the championship to him. Kleenex are announced as new sponsors of the Stewart team in response.
November: Teams start to announce their full driver line-ups for 1999. The Williams team stun everyone by announcing their team of Villeneuve and Giovanni Amati.
December: Michael Schumacher is thrown out of the FIA awards dinner when Jacques pushed past him in the queue for the fondu dip, and Schumacher barged into him, causing him to drop it on the floor. He later commented "It was the wrong thing to do, but it was instinctive". Damon Hill later responded by saying "The instinctive thing in such a circumstance is to avoid an accident".