Monza, September/ 13 /1998 1998 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE Hakkinen's 4th place keeps him level with race winner Schumacher After taking an early lead, Mika Hakkinen had to be satisfied with fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix. His ...
Monza, September/ 13 /1998 1998 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE Hakkinen's 4th place keeps him level with race winner Schumacher
After taking an early lead, Mika Hakkinen had to be satisfied with fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix. His West-McLaren-Mercedes suffered brake problems and he was forced, first, to pass the lead to his team mate David Coulthard after seven laps. The fading brakes cost him another position in favour of eventual race winner Michael Schumacher. Coulthard was obliged to retire after 16 laps with engine failure and Hakkinen's difficulties continued as he lost 2nd place to the second Ferrari driven by Eddie Irvine, then third place to the Jordan of Ralf Schumacher. Hakkinen struggled home in fourth place, but Michael Schumacher's victory has put him level with the Finn in the drivers' world championship with 80 points each.
Hirohide Hamashima, Technical Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "After a result like today's, we are determined to look on the bright side. It is encouraging to see that Mika took the fastest lap of the race, while it was pleasing to see Jarno Trulli taking the fifth fastest lap. Even so, the two final races of the season are taking on even more importance than we expected - and we are already working hard for them. To find the correct specification of tyres for the Luxembourg and Japanese GPs we will be testing this week with McLaren, Benetton and Prost at Magny-Cours "
Mika Hakkinen, Driver, West McLaren Mercedes (4th): "My main problem today was brakes. Although I had an excellent start which gave me the opportunity to lead the race for seven or eight laps, the balance of my car was not as competitive as David's car. I radioed the team to see if they could do something about it, and after my first pit stop I definitely felt an improvement. With the improved balance I was definitely able to push harder until, unfortunately, the brake pedal went to the floor."
Norbert Haug, Motorsport Director, Mercedes-Benz: "Despite the final result, both of our drivers did an excellent job today, especially at the start where they came through from the second row to snatch the lead into the first corner. Unfortunately David Coulthard had an engine problem, while Mika Hakkinen had difficulties with his brakes. There is no question of us slowing down our efforts in the battle for the championship and we will be testing at Magny-Cours before the next round at the Nurburgring on September 27."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK TRACK CONDITIONS Morning 18:-18: 23:-25: Sunny - dry Afternoon 29:-25: 39:-35: Sunny - dry