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Win # 117


Silverstone, July 12, 1998

'Magic Michael' performed like 'Taffy' von Trips
The probably most amazing finish for years

Michael Schumacher's win at Silverstone was a historic one - not only since this was Schumacher's first win in the Grand Prix of Great Britain, but also for being the first race in which the winner crossed the finishing line using the pitlane.


Furthermore, the british Grand Prix is now the first one to have been won by two different German drivers in a Ferrari. Back in 1961, Count Wolfgang Berghe von Trips took the win (at that time, the British Grand Prix was still being hosted at Aintree instead of Silverstone). The German aristocrat did win a race that was plagued by pouring rain - exactly like this one in our days, 37 years later.

Phil Hill - who finished 2nd in 1961 - was present at Silverstone again this year to support the Scuderia morally. He still hopes that one day someone will continue his tradition (world champion with Ferrari in 1961).

After this short glimpse of the weather conditions, let's get to the race: Already in qualifying, Schumacher did not have a real chance against the dominant McLarens, although he eventually managed to end up as 2nd on the grid aside of Häkkinen. When the race started, the silver arrows immediately took the lead - until it started to rain.



David Coulthard's race ended in the gravel and "Schumi" was on 2nd. A safety car phase equalled the distance between the still leading Häkkinen and Schumacher, and in lap 51 of a total of 60, Häkkinen lost control of his car for a moment, left the track for some seconds - and Schumacher passed him. And why did he eventually cross the finishing line inside the pitlane? Ferrari's star pilot had been sentenced with a 10 seconds penalty for overtaking during a yellow flag phase (which was withdrawn again later due to a procedural error).


Some seconds prior to the end, there was total confusion among the members of Ferrari's staff, and so they decided to call Schumacher into the pits - a decision that proved to be unnecessary later. However, having steered his car into the Parc Fermé, Schumacher put a question he had never asked up to that moment: "Did I win?" Thanks to this vitctory, he minimized the gap in the overall ranking between him and Häkkinen (who came in on 2nd this time) to two points.

Eddie Irvine ended up on 3rd and made this weekend become a most satisfying one to the Scuderia.


1. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari


2. Mika Häkkinen, McLaren-Mercedes


3. Eddie Irvine, Ferrari


4. Alexander Wurz, Benetton-Playlife


5. Giancarlo Fisichella, Benetton-Playlife


6. Ralf Schumacher, Jordan-Mugen


Schumacher 187, Irvine 185
Schumacher 187, Irvine 185, 186 T-Car
Text Gregor Schulz
Translation Andreas Birner
Photo Rainer W. Schlegelmilch
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