New Williams signing Lance Stroll was born on the 29th of October 1998. That’s right -Nineteen. Ninety. Eight. That means there’s an absolute ton of stuff that still might be considered ‘recent’ that happened when he wasn’t even born yet.
Here are a selection of some of them that’ll make you feel very, very old.
1997 European Grand Prix
One of the most controversial and action packed title deciders in the history of F1, the event started off bizarrely when Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen all set identical times in qualifying. Then in the race Schumacher tried to take Villeneuve out to win the championship but failed, earning himself a disqualification from the entire season. Villeneuve led until the last lap when he decided to let both McLarens past, allowing Hakkinen to take his maiden win.
Gran Turismo was released
One of the greatest and most significant video games of all time, the first entry in the Gran Turismo series hit the shops in Japan in late 1997, with the European and North American versions getting a release in May 1998. The series has been a hit ever since, and the first game introduced the joys of car culture and racing to a whole generation of young PS1 gamers. The classic intro sequence still sends a shiver up the spine of anyone of a certain age. Not Stroll though, he won’t remember.
1998 Argentine 250cc Grand Prix
Four days before Stroll was born, Valentino Rossi won in Argentina to take second in the 250cc World Championship. He’d won the 125cc title the year before, and the year after he’d win the 250cc championship before graduating to the premier 500cc (now MotoGP) class, where he’s still racing, still winning and still challenging for championships. That’s right – Rossi’s career is significantly longer than Stroll’s entire life.
Probably the biggest and most spectacular incident in F1 history, the pile-up at the start of the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix is the stuff of legend. From David Coulthard’s spin that caused the accident, to Eddie Irvine’s ruined Ferrari and Ricardo Rosset ploughing into the carnage at full speed, everyone who watched it live can remember where they were and what they were doing.
The rest of the race was pretty exciting too, with Schumacher trying to fight Coulthard in the pit lane and Hill winning Jordan’s first race. Lance Stroll? Not born for another two months.
Mansell stuns the BTCC
By 1998, Nigel Mansell’s career was well and truly winding down, but he was still keen to race and had struck a deal with Ford to race in three rounds of the BTCC. The Mondeo was generally uncompetitive that year and he started the feature race at Donington Park in 19th place, but on a wet track he was able to fight his way to the front. The fighting driving style that endeared him to millions came out once more and though he slipped to 5th at the end, his presence helped ensure the race went down as one of the greatest touring car races of all time, over five months before Stroll was born.
Funnily enough, when Nigel Mansell was 18, his racing career had barely started at all and he was still working part time as an engineer!