Going into the Belgian Grand Prix, McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen led the championship by seven points, with only Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard (Hakkinen’s teammate) still in title contention with him.
There was drama right from the start, as Coulthard crashed in soaking wet conditions, sparking a huge multi-car shunt on the downhill run towards Eau Rouge that took out 13 cars and caused a red flag.
The aftermath of one of the worst ever F1 Crashes
Photo by: Sutton Images
At the restart, Hakkinen clipped Schumacher and spun at the first corner and was collected by Johnny Herbert’s spinning Sauber – putting them both out of the race.
Mika Hakkinen, McLaren MP4/13, was hit by Johnny Herbert, Sauber C17 on the exit of La Source
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Schumacher now appeared to be set fair for a crucial victory – that would result in the points lead with three races remaining – only to collide with Coulthard, in McLaren’s spare car, who was running a lap down after another opening lap spin.
Coulthard claimed he was lifting out of the throttle to let Schumacher past, but Michael confronted him later in the pits and accused him of “trying to f**king kill me”.
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari after the crash
Photo by: Motorsport Images
Damon Hill went on to lead Ralf Schumacher to a Jordan 1-2, the team’s first ever F1 victory, while Jean Alesi scored the final podium finish of his F1 career for Sauber.
Click here to watch the full version of Motorsport Heroes, which stars Mika Hakkinen, Tom Kristensen, Michele Mouton and Felipe Massa, on Motorsport.tv.