BELGIAN GRAND PRIX 1998 - RACE DAY Chassis Numbers: Mika Hakkinen: MP4 - 13 / 05 David Coulthard: MP4 - 13 / 07 T. Car: MP4 - 13 / 03 The West McLaren Mercedes team had a frustrating race but will still go into the next round of the ...
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX 1998 - RACE DAY
Chassis Numbers: Mika Hakkinen: MP4 - 13 / 05 David Coulthard: MP4 - 13 / 07 T. Car: MP4 - 13 / 03
The West McLaren Mercedes team had a frustrating race but will still go into the next round of the championship in the lead of both the Drivers' and Constructors' leader boards. David was involved in two incidents, the first of which caused considerable damage to the chassis. Whilst Mika was spun on the first corner of the re-start following contact from another car which put him out of contention.
MIKA HAKKINEN 'The first start went reasonable well and I managed to keep out of the way of the accident in which David was involved on the first lap. However, at the re-start I struggled a bit to gain grip and then I was touched in the scrabble of cars at the first corner, spinning me round and leaving me vulnerable to the on-coming traffic. Finally Herbert was unable to avoid me, taking off my front left suspension which eliminated me from the race.'
DAVID COULTHARD 'In the initial start of the race I was hit from behind after the hairpin which turned me violently right and into the wall. I was a passenger from then on as the car spun and was hit again in the ensuing mayhem. Fortunately the team was able to prepare the T car for me and I managed to get out onto the grid for the re-start. After a few laps following the second start I called the team over the radio several times asking for the safety car to be brought out as I could see the situation was very dangerous and that a lot of cars were going off. Several laps later, having stopped for full wets, I was informed from the pit wall that Schumacher was behind me and I was told at turn seven to let him by. At the exit of turn nine I kept right to let him go and the next thing I know he is running into the back of me.'
RON DENNIS 'The team is naturally very disappointed that Mika was spun out of contention on the first lap of the race and that David was the victim of two unfortunate accidents. In the first incident he was hit violently from behind, pitching him onto the wall. Whilst in the second, David had been told by his engineer to let Michael Schumacher pass and so he kept to the right of the track to do just that. Michael then hit him from behind. We repaired David's car in the hope that an additional retirement would have led to a possible one point. When this became mathematically impossible David held position in order not to get involved in the Jordan race. A great result for Eddie the whole McLaren team is very happy for everyone at Jordan.'
NORBERT HAUG 'These were irregular conditions and the race with the most incidents we have ever taken part in. I am relieved that nobody was hurt. We expect an exciting final phase of the championship with three more races to go. The incident with Michael Schumacher is unfortunate. David followed instructions from the pits to make way for Michael, which he did, so he has done nothing wrong.'