The 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix, otherwise officially advertised as the XXVIII Grande Prêmio Marlboro do Brasil, was the second round of the 1999 FIA Formula One World Championship, held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo, Brazil, on the 11 April 1999. The race would see Mika Häkkinen secure an impressive victory for McLaren-Mercedes, recovering from an early gearbox glitch.
The Finn proved to be the man to beat in qualifying, beating teammate David Coulthard to pole position in a private duel. Rubens Barrichello produced another strong result to secure best-of-the-rest status in third ahead of Michael Schumacher, with four seconds covering the field.
The start saw Häkkinen sprint away to claim an early lead, while teammate Coulthard stalled, causing chaos as the field tried to squeezed past the stranded McLaren. Miraculously everyone managed to avoid the Scot, with the #2 car dragged into the pitlane to be restarted by his pitcrew.
On track, meanwhile, Barrichello secured second ahead of Schumacher, although neither were able to keep pace with the #1 McLaren. Indeed, it looked as if Häkkinen had already sown up the race victory, so it came as a huge shock when Barrichello appeared at the end of lap four in the lead.
Häkkinen had been the victim of a gearbox glitch, which had left the Finn stuck in neutral around the back of the circuit and unable to get into gear. Barrichello and Schumacher both flashed past as the Finn tried to get a gear, with Häkkinen eventually getting back up to speed a few moments later.
An 80,000 strong home crowd cheered Barrichello on, with the Brazilian soon establishing a five second lead over Schumacher. The Stewart-Ford Cosworth pilot duly led through to his stop on lap 27, with Schumacher inheriting the lead.
Schumacher spent ten laps in the lead before making his stop, and would be harassed throughout by Häkkinen, who was being severely held up by the Ferrari. The Finn duly showed his true pace once the German pulled off, setting a series of fastest laps before making his stop.
Ultimately that brief run in clear air did the damage, with Häkkinen emerging from his stop a few seconds ahead of Schumacher. Barrichello, by rights, should have appeared ahead of the Finn, although he was to left heartbroken at the side of the circuit by an engine failure on the same lap.
With that Häkkinen was away, easing clear of Schumacher before pacing himself against the German with around five seconds between them. Behind, Heinz-Harald Frentzen moved into the top three, after Eddie Irvine, who had been fighting Barrichello prior to the Brazilian's engine failure, made an unexpected stop to clear his radiators.
Häkkinen duly flashed across the line to claim victory ahead of Schumacher, opening his account for the season. Frentzen ran out of fuel on the final lap but still completed the podium, for fourth placed Ralf Schumacher was a lap down. The German racer himself was lucky to claim fourth, having been hunted down late on by Irvine, while Olivier Panis claimed the final point.
Eddie Irvine unsurprisingly left the opening round at the head of the Championship hunt, leaving Australia with ten points to his name. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was second ahead of Ralf Schumacher, four and six behind the Brit after the first race. The other scorers after the opening race were Giancarlo Fisichella, Rubens Barrichello and Pedro de la Rosa.
Ferrari left Australia at the head of the Constructors Championship, holding a four point lead over Jordan-Mugen-Honda. Williams-Supertec were next ahead of Benetton-Playlife, while Stewart-Ford Cosworth and Arrows completed the scorers. Defending Champions McLaren-Mercedes, meanwhile, failed to score.
The full entry list for the 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix is outlined below:
- * Sarrazin was a late entry for Minardi after Badoer was ruled out of the weekend due to injury.
The full qualifying results for the 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Mika Häkkinen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:16.568||—||201.797 km/h|
|2||2||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:16.715||+0.147s||201.410 km/h|
|3||16||Rubens Barrichello||Stewart-Ford Cosworth||1:17.305||+0.737s||199.873 km/h|
|4||3||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:17.578||+1.010s||199.170 km/h|
|5||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Benetton-Playlife||1:17.810||+1.242s||198.576 km/h|
|6||4||Eddie Irvine||Ferrari||1:17.843||+1.275s||198.492 km/h|
|7||7||Damon Hill||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||1:17.884||+1.316s||198.387 km/h|
|8||8||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||1:17.902||+1.334s||198.341 km/h|
|9||10||Alexander Wurz||Benetton-Playlife||1:18.334||+1.766s||197.248 km/h|
|10||17||Johnny Herbert||Stewart-Ford Cosworth||1:18.374||+1.806s||197.147 km/h|
|11||6||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-Supertec||1:18.506||+1.938s||196.816 km/h|
|12||18||Olivier Panis||Prost-Peugeot||1:18.636||+2.068s||196.490 km/h|
|13||19||Jarno Trulli||Prost-Peugeot||1:18.684||+2.116s||196.370 km/h|
|14||11||Jean Alesi||Sauber-Petronas||1:18.716||+2.148s||196.290 km/h|
|15||12||Pedro Diniz||Sauber-Petronas||1:19.194||+2.626s||195.106 km/h|
|16||5||Alex Zanardi||Williams-Supertec||1:19.452||+2.884s||194.472 km/h|
|17||20||Stéphane Sarrazin||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:20.016||+3.448s||193.101 km/h|
|18||14||Pedro de la Rosa||Arrows||1:20.075||+3.507s||192.959 km/h|
|19||15||Tora Takagi||Arrows||1:20.096||+3.528s||192.908 km/h|
|20||21||Marc Gené||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:20.710||+4.142s||191.441 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:21.928|
|EXC*||22||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Supertec||1:19.377||+2.809s||194.656 km/h|
|WD||20||Luca Badoer||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||Withdrawn|
- 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.
- * Villeneuve was excluded from the results of qualifying for providing an illegal fuel sample.
- † Zonta failed to set a time during qualifying.
|18||Pedro de la Rosa|
The full results for the 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Frentzen was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Debut (and only) race for Stéphane Sarrazin.
- 100th Grand Prix entry for Rubens Barrichello.
- Tenth career victory for Mika Häkkinen.
- McLaren secured their 117th win as a constructor.
- Heinz-Harald Frentzen registered the tenth podium finish for a Mugen-Honda engine.
Eddie Irvine retained the lead in the Championship after the second round of the season, leaving Brazil with twelve points to his name. Defending Champion Mika Häkkinen, meanwhile, had shot up to second, leaving Brazil level with Heinz-Harald Frentzen, but ahead of the German on countback due to his race win. Behind Ralf Schumacher found himself a point ahead of brother Michael Schumacher, with nine drivers on the score sheet.
In the Constructors Championship it was Ferrari who still led the charge after the second round, and had managed to extend their lead. Indeed, the Scuderia left Interlagos with an eight point lead over rivals McLaren-Mercedes, with Jordan-Mugen-Honda joining their Anglo-German counterparts on ten points. Williams-Supertec were next ahead of Benetton-Playlife, with eight constructors on the board.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Brazilian GP, 1999', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr632.html, (Accessed 25/08/2019)
- 'Brazil 1999: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/bresil/engages.aspx, (Accessed 25/08/2019)
- 'Brazil 1999: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/bresil/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 25/08/2019)
- 'Grande Premio Marlboro do Brasil 1999 - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1999/races/688/brazil/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 25/08/2019)
- 'Brazil 1999: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/bresil/classement.aspx, (Accessed 25/08/2019)
- '1999 Brazilian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=1999&gp=Brazilian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 26/08/2019)
- '2. Brazil 1999', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/bresil.aspx, (Accessed 26/08/2019)
|V T E||Brazilian Grand Prix / São Paulo Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Interlagos (1972–1977, 1979–1980, 1990–present), Jacarepaguá (1978, 1981–1989)|
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