Qualifying saw Heinz-Harald Frentzen in his Williams-Renault in front of Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari; third was Jacques Villeneuve in the other Williams. Fourth was Giancarlo Fisichella in the Jordan-Peugeot, while the fifth place was taken by David Coulthard in the McLaren-Mercedes and the sixth by Ralf Schumacher in the second Jordan, showing the good setup the team had found on the circuit.
The warmup session was dry, with Williams taking first and second places. But about 30 minutes to go before the start the first raindrops began to fall; Williams decided to run both cars with dry tyres and setup, thinking the weather would return dry, while Michael Schumacher set the car for intermediate weather conditions. During the warm up lap, the weather worsened, so the German's gamble paid off: at the start, Schumacher was quickest and took first place, starting to build a huge lead: he was ahead the rest of the group by 22 seconds on lap 5. Behind him the Jordans, which both had the car set for rain, took second and third spots, until they were both passed by Rubens Barrichello in the Stewart, who benefited from the Bridgestone wet tyres, which were better than Goodyear's under those conditions. Third place was taken by Schumacher's teammate, Eddie Irvine, who overcame the 1996 winner Olivier Panis' Ligier, thereby exacting some revenge for Panis questionable manoeuvre that had seen Panis get past Irvine a year earlier.
The start of the race was catastrophic for the Arrows team, as Pedro Diniz slid stright into the wall on the opening lap, while Diniz' team-mate Damon Hill was involved in a collision with Mika Häkkinen's McLaren on the second lap, eliminating both cars on the spot.
Both Willams drivers went out of the race after they had to pit to change their tyres: Frentzen hit a barrier at the chicane on lap 39, Villeneuve hit a wall and had to retire on lap 17. Schumacher continued to build his lead until he had about 30 seconds advantage over Barrichello; then he backed off and began to maintain the gap. By the mid-race he was able to pit without losing the lead; his only glitch in the race was an error on lap 53 at the Ste. Devote corner, in which he went down the escape road and lost 10 seconds. The race was stopped on lap 62 instead of the 78 scheduled because of the time limit of 2 hours. Michael Schumacher won with a 53 second margin over Barrichello, and third on the podium was Eddie Irvine.
|5||19||Mika Salo||Tyrrell-Ford||61||+1 Lap||14||2|
|6||12||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Peugeot||61||+1 Lap||4||1|
|7||23||Jan Magnussen||Stewart-Ford||61||+1 Lap||19|
|8||18||Jos Verstappen||Tyrrell-Ford||60||+2 Laps||22|
|9||8||Gerhard Berger||Benetton-Renault||60||+2 Laps||17|
|10||20||Ukyo Katayama||Minardi-Hart||60||+2 Laps||20|
|Ret||4||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Williams-Renault||39||Spun off||1|
|Ret||15||Shinji Nakano||Prost-Mugen-Honda||36||Spun off||21|
|Ret||17||Nicola Larini||Sauber-Petronas||24||Spun off||11|
|Ret||7||Jean Alesi||Benetton-Renault||16||Spun off||9|
|Ret||3||Jacques Villeneuve||Williams-Renault||16||Spun off||3|
|Ret||11||Ralf Schumacher||Jordan-Peugeot||10||Spun off||6|
|Ret||16||Johnny Herbert||Sauber-Petronas||9||Spun off||7|
|Ret||21||Jarno Trulli||Minardi-Hart||7||Spun off||18|
|Ret||10||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1||Spun off||5|
|Ret||2||Pedro Diniz||Arrows-Yamaha||0||Spun off||16|