Aug 22, 2018
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Belgian GP: Why Spa 1998 stays probably the most exceptional F1 races ever

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Belgian GP: Why Spa 1998 stays probably the most exceptional F1 races ever

Former world champion Damon Hill received a Components 1 race for the 22nd and last time at Spa on 30 August 1998

“Oh, that is horrible, that is fairly appalling, that is the worst begin to a grand prix I’ve ever seen in the entire of my life.”

Legendary commentator Murray Walker was seldom misplaced for phrases and true to kind they didn’t fail him when it got here to calling the unbelievable 1998 Belgian Grand Prix.

With the 20-year anniversary of the race approaching, now appears time to look again on an enthralling occasion that featured a 13-car pile-up, spectacular crashes, a livid pit-lane bust-up, horrendous climate from begin to end and a maiden win for one of many sport’s underdogs.

BBC Sport remembers probably the most incident-filled races within the 68-year historical past of the game, with evaluation all through from the BBC’s chief Components 1 author Andrew Benson, who was there that day.

“Reminiscences are slightly hazy – it was 20 years in the past, in any case,” says Benson.

“However they quantity to a mixture of shock, shock, pleasure and most of all, a way of a form of pervading insanity throughout.”

Unfortunate 13 – first-lap chaos units the tone

The race was the 13th of 16 that season, with McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen main the drivers’ championship and chasing his first world title, seven factors away from two-time champion Michael Schumacher of Ferrari.

The weekend was vigorous from the outset with Hakkinen, Jacques Villeneuve and Mika Salo crashing in follow, earlier than Hakkinen took pole with Schumacher fourth.

Come Sunday, the heavens opened in an enormous approach, however the determination was taken to begin the race on the scheduled time with out a security automotive.

And it appeared to be a smart transfer because the vehicles bought beneath approach… for all of 15 seconds.

Hakkinen led the pack down the hill in direction of Eau Rouge after which the drama began.

David Coulthard will get it improper on the exit of the primary nook and is spat throughout the observe
Eventual race winner Damon Hill avoids being collected however others behind are much less lucky
As Coulthard’s battered McLaren slithers down the limitations, the accident collects Eddie Irvine (Ferrari), Rubens Barrichello (Stewart), Olivier Panis, Jarno Trulli (each Prost), Johnny Herbert (Sauber) and Mika Salo (Arrows)
Alexander Wurz (Benetton) and Jos Verstappen (Stewart) are additionally caught within the chaos, whereas the Tyrrell of Ricardo Rosset is a latecomer to the difficulty, slamming into the vehicles forward
13 vehicles are in the end broken within the accident. 4 are unable to take the restart

So what was it like being in the course of all this?

In 2015, Ferrari’s Eddie Irvine told the official Formula 1 website