The 1999 Austrian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XXIII Großer Preis von Österreich, was the ninth round of the 1999 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the A1 Ring in Spielberg, Austria, on the 25 July 1999. The race would see Eddie Irvine claim victory for Ferrari, after David Coulthard tipped title challenging teammate Mika Häkkinen into a spin.
The two McLaren-Mercedes had been on their own during qualifying, with Häkkinen sweeping to pole ahead of Coulthard. Irvine was next, almost a full second off the pace, with new teammate Mika Salo, standing in for Michael Schumacher, secured seventh.
The start of the race saw the two McLarens start with some formation flying, with Häkkinen sprinting away ahead of Coulthard. Behind, Irvine gave chase ahead of a fast starting Rubens Barrichello, with the rest of the field making it into the first corner without issue.
Instead it was the third corner where things unravelled for McLaren, with Coulthard lunging inside of Häkkinen on the brakes for Remus. However, while Häkkinen left the Scot room Coulthard contrived to clamber over the kerb and tap the back of the #1 car, tipping the Finn into a spin.
Coulthard duly escaped with the lead, while Barrichello got ahead of Irvine as they found their way past the pirouetting McLaren. Elsewhere, Salo damaged his car on the back of Johnny Herbert, while Häkkinen would recover at the back of the field, having miraculously emerged without damage.
The Finn quickly began carving his way back up the order, while Coulthard did his best to build a lead, knowing that Irvine was stuck behind Barrichello. Indeed, the race seemed to be in the Scot's hands well before the pitstops, with the Scot one of the earliest pit callers.
It was at that point that Coulthard's bid for victory collapsed, for he simply lacked any real pace with a heavy fuel load. Irvine, meanwhile, would be released by Barrichello when the Brazilian peeled off to make his stop, and duly delivered a series of strong laps to get ahead of the Scot after his stop.
With the #4 Ferrari emerging ahead of the #2 McLaren Coulthard's hopes were severely hampered, for overtaking in F1 had become increasingly hard, particularly with cars running at a similar pace. Häkkinen was somewhat proving this, having stormed into the top ten in the early stages, before slowly chipping his way up into the points over the rest of the race.
Coulthard eventually rediscovered his early pace once a fair amount of fuel had burned off, although the McLaren never looked likely to pass the Ferrari. Indeed, while the Scot managed to tuck himself right under the rear wing of Irvine's car in the closing stages, the Ulsterman would only have to make a couple of defensive manoeuvres.
With that the race was effectively over, with Irvine holding onto a 0.313s lead over Coulthard through to the chequered flag. Behind, Häkkinen ended up in a lonely and frustrated third, having set a series of fastest laps, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Alexander Wurz and Pedro Diniz completed the points.
It was status quo at the head of the Championship as a result of the British Grand Prix, for neither Mika Häkkinen nor Michael Schumacher had scored. That meant that the Finn held an eight point lead, although with Schumacher set to miss most of the season the German ace was no longer the Finn's biggest threat. Instead, it was Eddie Irvine who left Silverstone as the main pretender to Häkkinen's throne, sitting eight behind the Finn at the halfway point in the season.
In the Constructors Championship, however, there had been some changes, for McLaren-Mercedes had managed to all but eliminate Ferrari's lead at the halfway point. Indeed, the Anglo-German alliance ended the weekend just two behind the Scuderia, with those two the only realistic contenders for the title. Indeed, third placed Jordan-Mugen-Honda had lost ground, holding half the points of McLaren, while Williams-Supertec and Benetton-Playlife completed the top five.
The full entry list for the 1999 Austrian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1999 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Mika Häkkinen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:10.954||—||219.134 km/h|
|2||2||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:11.153||+0.199s||218.521 km/h|
|3||4||Eddie Irvine||Ferrari||1:11.973||+1.019s||216.031 km/h|
|4||8||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||1:12.266||+1.312s||215.155 km/h|
|5||16||Rubens Barrichello||Stewart-Ford Cosworth||1:12.342||+1.388s||214.929 km/h|
|6||17||Johnny Herbert||Stewart-Ford Cosworth||1:12.488||+1.534s||214.496 km/h|
|7||3||Mika Salo||Ferrari||1:12.514||+1.560s||214.419 km/h|
|8||6||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-Supertec||1:12.515||+1.561s||214.416 km/h|
|9||22||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Supertec||1:12.833||+1.879s||213.480 km/h|
|10||10||Alexander Wurz||Benetton-Playlife||1:12.850||+1.896s||213.430 km/h|
|11||7||Damon Hill||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||1:12.901||+1.947s||213.281 km/h|
|12||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Benetton-Playlife||1:12.924||+1.970s||213.214 km/h|
|13||19||Jarno Trulli||Prost-Peugeot||1:12.999||+2.045s||212.995 km/h|
|14||5||Alex Zanardi||Williams-Supertec||1:13.101||+2.147s||212.697 km/h|
|15||23||Ricardo Zonta||BAR-Supertec||1:13.172||+2.218s||212.491 km/h|
|16||12||Pedro Diniz||Sauber-Petronas||1:13.223||+2.269s||212.343 km/h|
|17||11||Jean Alesi||Sauber-Petronas||1:13.226||+2.272s||212.334 km/h|
|18||18||Olivier Panis||Prost-Peugeot||1:13.457||+2.503s||211.667 km/h|
|19||20||Luca Badoer||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:13.606||+2.652s||211.238 km/h|
|20||15||Tora Takagi||Arrows||1:13.641||+2.687s||211.138 km/h|
|21||14||Pedro de la Rosa||Arrows||1:14.139||+3.185s||209.720 km/h|
|22||21||Marc Gené||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:14.363||+3.409s||209.088 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:15.921|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
|Pedro de la Rosa||22|
The full results for the 1999 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Fisichella and Zonta were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- 50th Grand Prix start for Giancarlo Fisichella.
- Eddie Irvine claimed his second career victory.
- 123rd win for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Mika Häkkinen set the 25th fastest lap to be recorded using a Mercedes engine.
The early collision between Mika Häkkinen and teammate David Coulthard may have proved crucial to the outcome of the Championship, for it had ensured that the Finn's Championship lead had been almost completely wiped out. Indeed, race winner Eddie Irvine had closed to within two points of Häkkinen at the head of the field, ten points clear of the injured Michael Schumacher in third. Elsewhere, Heinz-Harald Frentzen had closed up on his absent compatriot, while Coulthard completed the top five.
In the Constructors Championship it had been an even day for Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes at the head of the hunt, meaning the gap between them remained at two points. Behind, Jordan-Mugen-Honda had lost more ground in third, but with Williams-Supertec having failed to score the Irish squad were still in a fairly secure position. Elsewhere, Benetton-Playlife completed the top five, three behind Williams, with Stewart-Ford Cosworth in sixth.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Austrian GP, 1999', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr639.html, (Accessed 28/08/2019)
- 'Austria 1999: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/autriche/engages.aspx, (Accessed 28/08/2019)
- 'Austria 1999: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/autriche/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 28/08/2019)
- 'Grosser Preis von Österreich 1999 - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1999/races/695/austria/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 28/08/2019)
- 'Austria 1999: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/autriche/classement.aspx, (Accessed 28/08/2019)
- '9. Austria 1999', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/autriche.aspx, (Accessed 28/08/2019)
|V T E||Austrian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Zeltweg Airfield (1963–1964), Red Bull Ring (1970–1987, 1997-2003, 2014-present)|
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|Red Bull Ring was previously called Österreichring and A1-Ring.|
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