JORDAN BREAKS TOP FOUR STRANGLEHOLD Damon Hill's drive to fourth place at the Japanese Grand Prix has enabled the Benson and Hedges Jordan team to break the McLaren-Ferrari-Williams-Benetton monopoly of the top four Constructors, which has...
JORDAN BREAKS TOP FOUR STRANGLEHOLD
Damon Hill's drive to fourth place at the Japanese Grand Prix has enabled the Benson and Hedges Jordan team to break the McLaren-Ferrari-Williams-Benetton monopoly of the top four Constructors, which has stood since 1989. Hill's superb drive scored three points to take Jordan into fourth place in the Constructor's Championship, and his overtaking of Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the chicane on the final lap brought Jordan its highest ever Championship points tally (34 points). Hill also placed himself sixth in the Drivers' Championship, only one point behind Villeneuve.
Ralf Schumacher was sadly unable to score more points for B & H Jordan in his final Grand Prix with the team as he was forced to retire after 13 laps with an engine failure.
The final showdown did not disappoint the spectators, nor the viewers who watched around the world in the middle of the night. The race had two restarts, and Michael Schumacher was forced to start from the back of the grid after stalling at the second start. He managed to blitz his was through the field until finding himself in 7th place, behind Damon Hill. Hill, who was chasing Villeneuve in front of him, held Schumacher until the pit stops. Schumacher's Championship challenge finally ended when he suffered a puncture and was forced to retire. Mika Hakkinen went on to win the race and the Championship.
DAMON HILL "I am absolutely delighted! This has been a remarkable season - quite exceptional. Everyone in the team has moved forward - everyone at Mugen-Honda, everyone at Goodyear, and of course everyone at Jordan Grand Prix. We can now look forward to next year and to being a top team. I even managed to overtake Heinz-Harald for good measure, so I am now going to celebrate with everyone at Jordan. I am also delighted for Mika. He has been solid all year and kept calm under attack. I said he would do it, and he has."
RALF SCHUMACHER "This was a disappointing way for me to end my season and two years with Jordan. I would have loved to have won more points for the team, but it was not my lucky day. In fact it was not a lucky day for the Schumachers. The two re-starts meant the oil temperature in my car became very high and we were unable to do anything about it which meant that eventually the engine failed. I am very sorry for Michael. He came up so quickly behind me that it was normal for me to let him through, but sadly his race came to nothing as well. I would like to thank everyone at Jordan for a great two years and an excellent 1998 season - or at least the second half of it. Eddie and I had a quiet chat at the end of the race and it was really quite emotional."