The 1998 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monza on 13 September 1998. The race was won by Michael Schumacher, ahead of teammate Eddie Irvine. This race was Scuderia Ferrari’s 600th start in a World Championship event as a team. Michael’s win for the Maranello team in front of the Tifosi was also the last Grand Prix victory for Goodyear Racing tyres.
The start of the 1998 Italian GP was everything that the Ferrari had not expected it to be, while it was everything that the McLarens had dreamed of. At the turn of the lights, Michael had one of the worst starts of the season, as he dropped down to fifth place. Both the McLarens blazed past Schumi and Jacques into the lead.
Mika and David started pulling away, and Michael soon fought back to third place. However, some brake issues prevented Mika from having proper control of the car, and thus the team asked David to pass Mika. David had an impressive run building a lead of nine seconds before his engine blew up. Ironically, Mika and Michael were caught in the oil spill and fought tooth-and-nail for the first position. Michael prevailed.
It was one of the greatest wheel-to-wheel battles; fortunes changed twice in a few seconds. The positions remained so for the rest of the race until lap 44, where Mika started making a remarkable recovery to catch Michael. It looked all set to be a clash of the titans right to the end of the final lap, until Mika’s brake issue resurfaced. Mika spun 360 degrees and then rejoined the track.
That incident led to Mika slowing down and eventually losing second place to Eddie Irvine. He, finally, finished fourth behind Ralf Schumacher in third place. The final standings meant that Michael and Mika were dead equal on points in the drivers’ championship.
The championship was alive and firing again!! And for the Italian fans, Ferraris finished 1-2, a least expected outcome a few hours ago.