Schumacher Wins Monaco


Michael Schumacher won the Monaco Grand Prix Sunday, becoming Ferrari's career leader in victories.

It was Schumacher's 16th victory in a Ferrari. He had tied Niki Lauda by winning the San Marino GP two weeks ago.

"Being a Ferrari driver is something special," Schumacher said. "Winning races for Ferrari is super special. And then to become the most successful one ..."

Overall, counting his years at Benetton, where he won two world championships, Schumacher has 35 career wins.

Schumacher beat teammate Eddie Irvine by 30.4 seconds, giving the Italian carmaker its first 1-2 finish at Monaco. In 1997, the two went 1-3.

Defending champion Mika Hakkinen, who started from the pole, was third in a McLaren-Mercedes, 37.4 seconds back.

Schumacher averaged 89.412 mph over the 78 laps of the 2.092-mile street circuit.

Schumacher leads the drivers' standings with 26 points, eight ahead of Irvine.

It was Schumacher's fourth win at Monaco. He had a tough time last year when a wheel arm broke and he struggled to 10th as Hakkinen won.

Schumacher showed the many practice starts he had taken in testing paid off when he beat Hakkinen to the first turn and opened a lead of 1.3 seconds at the end of the first lap.

"It was nice to be leading up front rather being having a gap behind," Schumacher said. "If we didn't win the start, we would have had to have a different strategy."

"I put too much wheel spin at the start and was not able to get out quick," Hakkinen said.

Schumacher stretched the lead to 8.4 seconds at the end of 15 laps when the leaders started to lap cars.

After the problems at San Marino, where David Coulthard was held up for laps behind slower cars, Schumacher quickly passed the back cars.

"My compliment to the drivers," Schumacher said. "They did a very good job for me. It was fair play."

The lead then reached 12.6 seconds in just three laps as Hakkinen encountered slight problems while Schumacher had a clear field.

It increased to 27.7 seconds before Hakkinen missed a turn and lost about 18 seconds on the 39th lap.

"There was some oil on the circuit," Hakkinen said. "I just lost the back end. If I would have tried to turn, I would have hit the barrier. So I decided to go straight and get out as soon as possible and go back."

"I lost too much time there."

Michael Schumacher jumps ahead early en route to his fourth win at Monaco.
Michael Schumacher jumps ahead early en route to his fourth win at Monaco. (AP)

That made the lead more than 45 seconds, allowing Schumacher to coe in for a long pit stop on the 42nd lap and exit with a lead of 27.7 seconds again.

Hakkinen had to pit for fuel and tires after 48 laps, giving Irvine second place. Irvine was now more than 20 seconds behind Schumacher, but 20 ahead of Hakkinen in third.

Irvine made a pit stop without losing second place on the 56th lap and the race was essentially decided.

Schumacher cruised over the final 20 laps, maintaining a margin of more than 30 seconds over Irvine.

Schumacher said he didn't need to go any faster by then.

"I was controlling the race," he said.

Ferrari leads the constructors' standings with 44 points.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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