An iconic Schumacher Ferrari F1 is up for sale
Although he had to lose to Mika Häkkinen in the race for the world title in 1998, Michael Schumacher won in spectacular fashion earlier in the year, during the Hungarian Grand Prix. The victory that day of the seven-time World Champion, who was driving the Ferrari F300 which will soon be sold at private auction, is due to excellent driving, of course, but also to a stroke of strategic genius from from Ross Brawn.
Because the Prancing Horse was not the favorite. By monopolizing the front row, Häkkinen ahead of David Coulthard, on a circuit where it is particularly difficult to overtake, McLaren had already taken a good step towards victory when the start had not yet been given. Third, Schumacher still benefited from a helping hand when the leader Häkkinen had a technical problem but the Ferrari driver was still driving behind Coulthard.
It was then that Ross Brawn made the bold move to pit Schumacher for a second whirlwind stop. Having received less fuel than his adversaries, the German driver therefore emerged in the lead but with the obligation to make one more stop. To keep the command, Schumacher had to widen a gap of 25 seconds… in 19 laps.
« We need you to do 19 qualifying laps »Brawn announced on the radio, to which the Red Baron calmly replied: « OK, thanks. » Neither Häkkinen nor Coulthard could respond to Schumacher’s frantic pace and he ended up winning by more than nine seconds, despite his third stoppage.
« It’s one of my most emotional victories »Schumacher commented on arrival. « The team chose the right strategy although I wasn’t sure our plan would work at first as I was stuck behind Jacques [Villeneuve] and David for a while. In the end, it turned out that the team had made the right decision. Of course we took advantage of the problems of our opponents but throughout the race I could easily keep pace with the McLarens.