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The Demolition Men

Spa-Francorchamps, August 30, 1998
The biggest crash in Formula 1 history
Schumacher v. Coulthard

The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps turned into a fiasco for the Scuderia: In their 600th Grand Prix, the Italian team were unable to get one of their cars across the finishing line.


But Ferrari was not the only team to mourn about this race: When it was started at 14.00 h in heavy rain, it only took some second until the red flags were waved to stop the race - the biggest crash in Formula 1 history had happened, involving not less than 13 cars, including the Ferrari of Eddie Irvine. David Coulthard in his McLaren-Mercedes had caused this junk feast.

After the restart, the race seemed to go well for the red cars from Maranello since Mika Häkkinen had spun in La Source after a mistake.
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Schumacher pulled away in front from the entire pack in a most sovereign way
- until lap 25: "Schumi" closed up on David Coulthard (who raced at the very end of the field after he had been off track shortly after the restart); the Scotsman slowed down to let the Ferrari pass, but he chose a very unfavorable moment and so Michael Schumacher heavily crashed into the tail of the McLaren.


The race was over for the German since a front wheel had been torn off by the impact, and the chance to take the lead in the championship was over as well. Just two laps after, Eddie Irvine had to give up, too. Schumacher's teammate had already had an irregular pitstop in lap 10 to receive a new front wing.


Thanks to the many drop outs, the Jordan team gained their first win which even became a double win: Damon Hill came in on 1st, followed by Ralf Schumacher.

980830.Spa.025 980830.Spa.027

1. Damon Hill, Jordan-Mugen
2. Ralf Schumacher, Jordan-Mugen
3. Jean Alesi, Sauber-Petronas
4. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Williams-Mecachrome
5. Pedro Diniz, Arrows
6. Jarno Trulli, Prost-Peugeot
Chassis Driver
188 Schumacher
185 Irvine
Chassis Driver
188 Schumacher
185, 186
Text Gregor Schulz
Translation Andreas Birner
Photo Rainer W. Schlegelmilch
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