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Schumacher finished second - Irvine fourth

Nürburgring, September 27, 1998
Two Ferrari in row one
Change of positions during a pitstop
Hakkinen in advantage again

Michael Schumacher had been the unquestioned favorite for the Grand Prix of Luxembourg at the Nürburgring since he was to start the race from the pole position, but eventually he came in on second only.

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The German Ferrari-pilot had to surrender to his arch-rival in the battle for the championship, Mika Hakkinen. The McLaren-Mercedes driver crossed the finishing line 2.212 seconds earlier than Schumacher.


In the qualifying, the two Ferrari had still been able to keep the McLarens in the distance: Michael Schumacher qualified fastest (1:18.561) while his teammate Eddie Irvine gained an excellent second grid position (1:18.907). Mika Hakkinen ended up third on the grid (1:18.940), missing four tenth parts of a second on "Schumi".

After the start, the situation seemed to stay unchanged since the two Ferrari were able to keep the lead without any problems, although Eddie Irvine had passed Schumacher. But the Irishman did let the titel expectant Schumacher get back to his leading position right after the first lap. From now on, Schumacher pulled away in front.


When Mika Hakkinen passed Irvine in the Veedol chicane after 13 laps, the Fin was missing 8,5 seconds on Schumacher.
Lap 25: Michael Schumacher pulls into the pits; the stop takes 8,6 seconds. His lead is now about 5,2 seconds.
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When Hakkinen steers his car into the pits three laps later, too, he needs 8,7 seconds to get back on the track, but he manages to snatch the lead from the German.



Irvine's fate is quite similar: He loses his 3rd position to David Coulthard during a pitstop.

Within the next laps, Schumacher did not get close enough to Hakkinen to pass the McLaren-Mercedes driver. The second series of pitstops did not help to change any positions, and so the situtation remained unchanged until the flag dropped.

The second series of pitstops did not help to change any positions, and so the situtation remained unchanged until the flag dropped.
Thanks to his well-earned win (84 points), Mika Hakkinen is now back in the lead for the championship, but the lead by four points is not a reason to relax: McLaren-Mercedes, be assured that one will work feverish in Maranello until the final race at Suzuka to take place on November 1st. Furthermore, the Japanese circuit is regarded more as a "drivers' track" than a track on which the results are more dependant on the performance of the cars. This might be an advantage for Schumacher.

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If Schumacher should eventually win the Japanese Grand Prix while Hakkinen should end up on 2nd, the Fin would nevertheless be the new world champion: If two drivers have gained the same number of points and wins, all depends on the 2nd positions acghieved during the season, and this would be a 3:2 lead for Hakkinen.

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1. Mika Häkkinen, McLaren-Mercedes
2. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari
3. David Coulthard, McLaren-Mercedes
4. Eddie Irvine, Ferrari
5. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Williams-Mecachrome
6. Giancarlo Fisichella, Benetton-Playlife
Chassis Driver
189 Schumacher
184 Irvine
Chassis Driver
189 Schumacher
184 Irvine
Text Gregor Schulz
Translation Andreas Birner
Photo Rainer W. Schlegelmilch
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