1 World Drivers’ Championship – All drivers

1998 - World Drivers' Championship - All drivers

Just 23 drivers participated in 1998 and only 17 scored points. Championship protagonists Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher both comfortably outscored their team-mates David Coulthard and Eddir Irvine. 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve could only finish fifth in the Supertec-powered Williams. Both he and team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen would move to new teams for 1999.

2 World Drivers’ Championship – Battle for the title

1998 - World Drivers' Championship - Battle for the title

Hakkinen lead the championship all the way but Schumacher recovered a deficit of 22 points after Monaco to tie the championship with two rouds to go.

3 World Drivers’ Championship – Points systems 1981-present

1998 - World Drivers' Championship - Points systems 1981-present

The points system introduced in 2003 would not have made the battle for the 1998 championship much closer, but it would have given Coulthard and Irvine far more points.

4 World Constructors’ Championships – All constructors

1998 - World Constructors' Championships - All constructors

The extent of the plight of 1997 champions Williams is plain to see – McLaren scored four times more points than their Didcot rivals. Fellow Supertec users Benetton also confronted the harsh reality of life after works Renault engines (and, for that matter, Schumacher and his cohorts). Jordan scored almost half of their 34 points with their 1-2 finish at Spa-Francorchamps.

5 World Constructors’ Championships – Battle for the title

1998 - World Constructors' Championships - Battle for the title

The constructor’s championship was only wrapped up in the final round, though Ferrari had closed to within three points of McLaren earlier in the season.

6 Drivers’ Average Start Positions

1998 - Drivers' Average Start Positions

Hakkinen made exemplary use of the formidable MP4-13, dominating the front of the pack. Rubens Barrichello comfortably had the beating of Stewart team-mates Jan Magnussen and Jos Verstappen.

7 Drivers’ Top 3 Qualifying Positions

1998 - Drivers' Top 3 Qualifying Positions

Hakkinen started every race from the top three but Schumacher’s thee poles and eleven top-three starts underline the fact that the Ferrari was no dog. Giancarlo Fisichella scored his first pole position at the A1-Ring in the wet.

8 Drivers’ Average Position Changes and Participations

1998 - Drivers' Average Position Changes and Participations

Only two drivers – Magnussen and his replacement, Verstappen, did not enter every round of the season.

9 Drivers’ Points per Round and per Finish

1998 - Drivers' Points per Round and per Finish

Hakkinen was hampered by his failure to finish rate slightly more than Schumacher was, but there was very little in it.

10 Drivers’ DNFs (totals)

1998 - Drivers' DNFs (totals)

Over a quarter of starts in 1998 ended in mechanical failure, and the three ‘DNQ’s were the work of one driver – Ricardo Rosset, who failed to beat the 107% pole time in Spain, Hungary and Japan.

11 Drivers’ DNFs (by driver)

1998 - Drivers' DNFs (by driver)

Hakkinen and Schumacher had just three retirements apiece, but others were not so fortunate. Mika Salo’s Arrows broke down in more than half of the races and Verstappen’s Stewart failed on six of his nine starts.

2 comments on “1998”

  1. 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve could only finish fifth in the Supertec-powered Williams.

    Wasn’t williams of the 1998 powered by mecachrome?

    1. The engines for the 1998 season bore the Mecachrome badge and were virtually 1997 spec Renault engines with some minor tweaks. Williams used the Supertec engines in 1999 which were rebadged Macachromes (so still only a modest evolution of the 1997 Renault engine).

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