At the start David Coulthard gets away well but Michael Schumacher makes a better start than Mika Hakkinen and is second as they dive into the first corner. Giancarlo Fisichella takes fourth but behind him there is congestion caused by Ralf ...
At the start David Coulthard gets away well but Michael Schumacher makes a better start than Mika Hakkinen and is second as they dive into the first corner. Giancarlo Fisichella takes fourth but behind him there is congestion caused by Ralf Schumacher failing to get off the line. This results in Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Damon Hill, Jean Alesi and Alexander Wurz all trying to go into the corner together. Wurz hits Alesi and is launched into a roll. The accident takes them both out with Jarno Trulli and Johnny Herbert also being knocked off. The race is red-flagged.
Alesi, Wurz and Trulli go to their spare cars while Herbert's car is repaired and he is able to start from the pitlane. At the second start there is more chaos as both McLarens get away but then Hakkinen suddenly slows, causing congestion in the first corner. Ralf Schumacher spins in the first corner causing chaos behind him. Trulli and Alesi collide and Tora Takagi is taken out as well. Wurz has to pit for new tyres and Eddie Irvine suffers a puncture and has to drive slowly round to the pits. A Safety Car is despatched until the race is restarted at the end of the fifth lap.
At the front Coulthard is able to keep Schumacher behind him, while Rubens Barrichello passes Frentzen on lap 6 and Villeneuve on lap 8 to move up to fourth place.
The two leaders run together in the early laps, trading fastest laps, leaving Fisichella and Barrichello behind. On lap 11 Barrichello spins at the hairpin. Two laps later Pedro Diniz spins off and when he rejoins he had a considerable amount of turf trapped beneath the car. This is distributed around the circuit and a second Safety Car period is needed between laps 15-17.
After the restart Coulthard slows suddenly with a mechanical problem and Schumacher gets the lead. At the back of the track Mika Salo has a big accident, leaving wreckage all over the track and simultaneously Herbert spins at the haipin. The Safety Car is sent out again. The race runs under caution for three laps. Schumacher takes the opportunity to pit and as he rejoins he pulls across the road, a move which causes Frentzen to go off. Fisichella is in the lead with Villeneuve behind him.
At the restart Villeneuve takes the lead on the run down to the first corner but overcooks it and goes across the sand trap and drops back. He then collides with Esteban Tuero and both have to pit for repairs. He rejoins at the tail of the field and runs to the finish but is many laps behind.
Schumacher chases Fisichella for the next 12 laps before the stewards decided that he should stop for a 10-second penalty for forcing Frentzen off the track. He rejoins behind Damon Hill. On lap 38 Michael challenges Damon for the position and gets ahead after a twitchy moment as they brake for the pit chicane.
Fisichella stays ahead until he pits on lap 44 and then Schumacher is in the lead again. He sets a string of fastest laps to build up a gap and then pits on lap 50. The Ferrari mechanics do a good job to get the German out just ahead of Fisichella. He then pulls away to win.
Fisichella is second with Irvine third after a fortunate race while Wurz finishes fifth and Barrichello fifth. Jan Magnussen makes it a double score for Stewart Grand Prix with sixth place, just ahead of Shinji Nakano's Minardi.
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