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1998

The perfect season for our Flying Finn Mika Häkkinen: He archived his ultimate goal to be WORLDCHAMPION FORMULA ONE. He made McLaren win the constructors championship for the first time since Ayrton Senna in 1991. He married his girlfriend Erja Honkanen in the summer, and won his 'home' Grand Prix in Monaco.


from left to right: Worldchampion in Japan, Mika and Erja married in Porvoo, Mika cornering Rascasse in Monaco.

In 1998 he won 8 of the 16 races: Australia, Brazil, Spain, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Japan. Two second places: Argentina and England, one third in France, one fourth in Italy and one sixth in Hungary. He had to retire in only 3 races: San Marino (his 100th F1 GP) and Canada due to a broken gearbox, and in Belgium due to a crash with Michael Schumacher and Johnny Herbert.
He started 9 times from pole position: Australia, Brazil, Spain, Monaco, France, England, Germany, Hungary and Belgium.


Mika passes David on the straight in Australia - Mika concentrating in San Marino for his 100th GP.

At the beginning of the season the McLarens were much faster than the rest of the field but during the season Ferrari came closer and closer. Mika's first place in Australia was a present from his team-mate David Coulthard who agreed to give victory to whoever entered the first corner first.
In
Brazil they both lapped almost every car in the field. In rainy Argentina Mika had to let his rival Michael Schumacher take victory. In his 100th GP in San Marino Mika retired due to a broken gearbox but in Spain he drove the perfect GP: Fastest on Friday and Saturday, pole position, fastest lap in the race and victory on Sunday.
He archived one of his goals by winning the
Monaco GP and got married between the Monaco and Canadian GP. In France he had to share the podium with the two Ferrari drivers Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine who finished first and second.
In the pouring rain in
England lots of cars slid off the track including Mika, but he managed to take the chequered flag first although he was later ranked second because Michael Schumacher finished as number one in the pits (!). In Austria Mika finished first and David second, and that while David started from a 14th grid position.
In
Germany Mika led from start to finish, but had handling problems with his car in Hungary. In Belgium he escaped the first major crash, but at the restart he was touched by Michael Schumacher and then hit by Herbert. In Italy the McLarens beat the Ferrari's at the start but later David blew up his engine and Mika had breaking problems so he finished 4th. In Luxembourg Mika overtook Irvine and Schumacher and finished first before the two front row starters.
Finally in
Japan he became world champion.


Mika Häkkinen in the 1998 worldchampion car, the West-McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13.

FOR A DETAILED RAPPORT ABOUT EVERY 1998-RACE VISIT:
1998, RACE BY RACE.
CLICK HERE.

With exactly 100 points he beat his all-time rival Michael Schumacher (see 1984 and 1990) who gathered 86 points. Many thanks were also addressed to the designer of the car Adrian Newey who built the perfect car, Mercedes-Benz and Ilmor who built a reliable and powerful engine, Bridgestone who's tyres were almost always better than the Goodyear's, David Coulthard who is the perfect team-mate for Mika and the whole McLaren team who helped Mika to archive this result.

1998



click on the McLaren to race to 1999.

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