Nurburgring, September/ 27 /1998 1998 LUXEMBOURG GRAND PRIX - RACE Bridgestone edges closer to the constructors' and drivers' titles Racing flat out from start to finish, Mika Hakkinen defeated Michael Schumacher in a thrilling race at the ...
Nurburgring, September/ 27 /1998 1998 LUXEMBOURG GRAND PRIX - RACE
Bridgestone edges closer to the constructors' and drivers' titles
Racing flat out from start to finish, Mika Hakkinen defeated Michael Schumacher in a thrilling race at the Nurburgring which gave the Finn his seventh victory of the season. With only one race to go, in Japan on November 1, Schumacher now needs to score at least four more points than Mika at Suzuka to secure the 1998 world drivers' championship. Starting from third place on the grid, Hakkinen held his position in the dash to the first corner. He passed Eddie Irvine's Ferrari to take second place after 13 laps, then set four new fastest laps as he closed on Schumacher. It was in the four laps after Schumacher made the first of his two pit stops that Hakkinen piled on the pressure and built up the advantage which enabled him to stay ahead as he emerged from the pits after his own refuelling stop. Hakkinen held his advantage through a second series of stops and was able to maintain a four second advantage over his season-long rival all the way to the flag.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Today's result shows that the whole package is working well again. After two races away from the top of the podium we have re-established ourselves where we believe we should be. Now I look forward to seeing all our supporters - and our rivals! - in Japan, Bridgestone's home country, where we will be fighting hard to complete the job."
Hirohide Hamashima, Technical Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "We are still alive! The next month is now going to be very important because it is the results of the development we will be doing here in Europe which will affect the outcome of the championship at Suzuka. The weather in Japan at the beginning of November is likely to be very similar to what we have seen here this weekend in Germany. This means we must prepare a special tyre, based on the results of our testing at circuits here, including Silverstone and Barcelona."
Steve Hallam, Chief engineer, West McLaren Mercedes: "What a fabulous race! Mika drove better today than I can ever remember. Bridgestone's performance was outstanding: the tyres came into their own just when we needed them, and we are pleased for everyone that we are back on top. I am sure that Schumacher did not expect us to take the lead during the first pit stops, and after that we were able to cover him to the end of the race." David Richards, Managing Director, MildSeven Benetton Playlife: "While everyone else's attention is on the fight between Hakkinen and Schumacher, our priority is to do our best in the constructors' championship. Today's result has helped put us up to 4th place in the points table, but there are only two points separating us from Williams and we intend to fight hard all the way to Suzuka to claim 3rd place."
Norbert Haug, Motorsport Director, Mercedes-Benz: "This was certainly the most important victory of the season. We intend to work harder than ever for the next race. The team has never given up. It is thanks to the great tyres supplied by Bridgestone, coupled with the best team strategy of the day, that we were able to achieve this magnificent result."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK TRACK CONDITIONS Morning 13:-13: 14:-14: Overcast - dry Afternoon 14:-15: 18:-19: Overcast - dry