Mika Hakkinen secured a convincing victory on the streets of Monte Carlo from the pole position, leading in all laps of the race and driving the fastest lap, which was his second Grand Chelem in Formula 1 after 1998 Brazilian GP.

The new big change of rules for 1998 brought narrower cars and grooved tyres and McLaren switched to Bridgestone, which proved to be a better tyre in 1998. The McLaren – Mercedes alliance was already very strong in 1997 with three victories, with numerous retirements due to unreliability, and in 1998 it all fell into place and Hakkinen had been a serious candidate for the title from the beginning of the season.

After the first five races of the season, Hakkinen had seven points more than Coulthard and 12 points more than Schumacher while McLaren had 30 points more than Ferrari.

Hakkinen won a convincing pole position in Monaco (1:19.798), 0.339 seconds ahead of Coulthard and 0.570 seconds ahead of Fisichella in Benetton while Michael Schumacher started just fourth with 0.904 seconds behind.

The McLarens started well ahead of Fisichella and Schumacher and in the first 17 laps Hakkinen had 3.744 seconds ahead of Coulthard and 17.349 seconds ahead of Fisichella who kept Schumacher at bay.

Hakkinen leads COulthard Monaco GP F1 1998 race Foto McLaren

But Coulthard retired with an engine failure in the next lap and the drivers behind him moved up one place. Schumacher pitted in lap 30, Fisichella one lap later, but he came back behind the German. But Schumacher came back behind Wurz who was not in the pits and tried to overtake him at all costs to lose as little time as possible.

This proved to be a bad decision because Michael failed to pass Wurz in the slow Loews after he damaged his car and had to pit, after which he returned with three laps behind Hakkinen.

Although Wurz did not seem to have suffered any damage, he  damaged the suspension, causing a big crash on the tunnel exit and stopping in the lap 42.

Hakkinen celebrated with 11.475 seconds ahead of Fisichella and 41.378 seconds ahead of Irvine, with Salo in Arrows, Villeneuve in Williams and Diniz in Second Arrow also scored.

STARTING GRID

1 8 Mika Häkkinen McLaren/Mercedes 1:19.798
2 7 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 1:20.137 0.339
3 5 G.Fisichella Benetton/Playlife 1:20.368 0.570
4 3 M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:20.702 0.904
5 2 H-H.Frentzen Williams/Mecachrome 1:20.729 0.931
6 6 Alexander Wurz Benetton/Playlife 1:20.955 1.157
7 4 Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:21.712 1.914
8 17 Mika Salo Arrows 1:22.144 2.346
9 15 Johnny Herbert Sauber/Petronas 1:22.157 2.359
10 12 Jarno Trulli Prost/Peugeot 1:22.238 2.440
11 14 Jean Alesi Sauber/Petronas 1:22.257 2.459
12 16 Pedro Diniz Arrows 1:22.355 2.557
13 1 J.Villeneuve Williams/Mecachrome 1:22.468 2.670
14 18 R.Barrichello Stewart/Ford 1:22.540 2.742
15 9 Damon Hill Jordan/Mugen-Honda 1:23.151 3.353
16 10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan/Mugen-Honda 1:23.263 3.465
17 19 Jan Magnussen Stewart/Ford 1:23.411 3.613
18 11 Olivier Panis Prost/Peugeot 1:23.536 3.738
19 22 Shinji Nakano Minardi/Ford 1:23.957 4.159
20 21 T.Takagi Tyrrell/Ford 1:24.024 4.226
21 23 Esteban Tuero Minardi/Ford 1:24.031 4.233

RACE RESULTS

1 8 Mika Häkkinen McLaren/Mercedes 78 1:51:23.595
2 5 G.Fisichella Benetton/Playlife 78 1:51:35.070 11.475
3 4 Eddie Irvine Ferrari 78 1:52:04.973 41.378
4 17 Mika Salo Arrows 78 1:52:23.958 1:00.363
5 1 J.Villeneuve Williams/Mecachrome 77 1:51:58.811 1 lap
6 16 Pedro Diniz Arrows 77 1:52:06.752 1 lap
7 15 Johnny Herbert Sauber/Petronas 77 1:52:36.186 1 lap
8 9 Damon Hill Jordan/Mugen-Honda 76 1:51:47.513 2 laps
9 22 Shinji Nakano Minardi/Ford 76 1:51:48.485 2 laps
10 3 M.Schumacher Ferrari 76 1:52:16.789 2 laps
11 21 T.Takagi Tyrrell/Ford 76 1:52:31.704 2 laps
12 14 Jean Alesi Sauber/Petronas 72 1:44:13.825 Gearbox
(10) 12 Jarno Trulli Prost/Peugeot 56 1:22:53.228 Gearbox
(13) 11 Olivier Panis Prost/Peugeot 49 1:12:51.172 Wheel
(11) 10 Ralf Schumacher Jordan/Mugen-Honda 44 1:05:23.379 Suspension
(4) 6 Alexander Wurz Benetton/Playlife 42 1:00:20.557 Spun off
(12) 19 Jan Magnussen Stewart/Ford 30 44:05.573 Suspension
(2) 7 David Coulthard McLaren/Mercedes 17 24:02.426 Engine
(12) 18 R.Barrichello Stewart/Ford 11 16:26.312 Suspension
(6) 2 H-H.Frentzen Williams/Mecachrome 9 13:12.462 Collision
23 Esteban Tuero Minardi/Ford 0 Spun off

Fastest lap: Mika Hakkinen – 1:22.948 (lap 29)

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 6/16 RACES

1 Mika Häkkinen 46   10 10 6 10 10
2 David Coulthard 29   6 6 1 10 6
3 Michael Schumacher 24   4 10 6 4
4 Eddie Irvine 15   3 4 4 4
5 Alexander Wurz 9   3 3 3
6 Heinz-Harald Frentzen 8   4 2 2
7 Jacques Villeneuve 8   2 3 1 2
8 Giancarlo Fisichella 7   1 6
9 Mika Salo 3   3
10 Jean Alesi 3   2 1
11 Rubens Barrichello 2   2
12 Johnny Herbert 1   1
13 Pedro Diniz 1   1

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 McLaren/Mercedes 75   16 16 7 10 16 10
2 Ferrari 39   3 4 14 10 4 4
3 Benetton/Playlife 16   4 3 3 6
4 Williams/Mecachrome 16   6 2 5 1 2
5 Arrows 4   4
6 Sauber/Petronas 4   1 2 1
7 Stewart/Ford 2   2

RACE

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