Silverstone GP: Michael Schumacher won the 1998 race during controversial penalty

Michael Schumacher produced one of his most memorable victories at the British Grand Prix in 1998 but it led to a whole heap of controversy.

He is one of the greatest and most respected Formula 1 drivers of all time but 24 years ago, Schumacher was part of one of the most turbulent races we have ever seen.

We just hope that this year’s race is every bit as entertaining as the German’s victory.

After starting from pole position on an extremely wet track, Mika Hakkinen was dominating the race early on and he was starting to build a substantial lead.

However, the worsening conditions meant that the safety car was deployed and suddenly the Finn’s healthy lead was wiped out.

Hakkinen was having issues with his car following a dangerous spin through the gravel which brought Schumacher back into play.

With 10 laps to go, the Ferrari driver flew past the race leader to put himself in a strong position.

12 Jul 1998: Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari celebrates his victory during the 1998 British Grand Prix held at Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. \ Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson /Allsport

The German looked set to win the race but with just three laps remaining, he was given a 10-second stop-go penalty for passing Alex Wurz behind the safety car.

Schumacher just kept going and decided to take his penalty on the final lap.

He drove into the pits, served his penalty and then went on and won the race from the pit lane to complete one of the most extraordinary races in recent history.

To add to the confusion, the finish line was actually located before the pit stop, so Schumacher had actually crossed the line before pitting.

Ferrari argued that the penalty was issued too long after the incident happened and that they were not actually sure what type of penalty had been issued.

Unbelievably, the stewards sided with the Italian side and the result stood with McLaren rightly furious.

In the aftermath of the race, the three stewards lost their licences as a result of the chaos.

Ferrari are back in the mix this year following improvements to their car and they will be hoping for a repeat result of what happened in 1998 – but perhaps in different circumstances. 

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