The 1999 Italian Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the LXX Gran Premio Campari d'Italia, was the twelfth round of the 1999 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Monza, Italy, on the 12 September 1999. The race would see Heinz-Harald Frentzen sweep to victory, after Championship leader Mika Häkkinen crashed out while leading.
Häkkinen had arrived in Monza as the overwhelming favourite to claim the race win, for the McLaren-Mercedes was well suited to a power circuit such as Monza. Furthermore, the Finn had convinced McLaren to force David Coulthard into helping his title bid, with Eddie Irvine a point behind for Ferrari with four races to go.
Häkkinen duly showed his expected dominance in qualifying claiming his eleventh pole position of the campaign. Heinz-Harald Frentzen would, however, manage to split the two McLarens in his Jordan-Mugen-Honda, while Irvine was a disappointing eighth in the his Ferrari, two places behind temporary teammate Mika Salo.
The start of the race, which was one of the hotter days of the season, saw Häkkinen sprint away to claim an early lead, while Italian born Alex Zanardi shot through to second for Williams-Supertec. Behind, Coulthard contrived to run off circuit and damage his McLaren, while Irvine made little progress and remained in eighth.
With Zanardi behind him, Häkkinen was able to build an impressive lead during the early stages, for the Italian simply lacked the pace of the McLaren and dropped back. However, the Williams did have enough pace to keep Frentzen, Ralf Schumacher, Salo, Rubens Barrichello, Coulthard and Irvine at bay, and hence made Häkkinen's race all the more simple.
Indeed, it was only when Zanardi damaged his car on a kerb that his resistance was broken, the Italian racer damaging the floor. Frentzen, Schumacher and Salo quickly scrambled past to chase after Häkkinen, although the #1 McLaren was still able to eek out its lead.
Then, on lap 30 of 53, Häkkinen made his costly mistake, riding the kerb at the Rettifilo chicane only to make a mistake while down shifting. That combination of factors caused the McLaren to suddenly snap sideways, with the Finn duly sliding into the gravel and out of the race. Häkkinen subsequently burst into tears, a rare show of emotion that showed just how costly that the accident had been.
Yet, his title rival was in no position to celebrate, for even with the Finn's demise Irvine was only in sixth, and hence not scoring enough points. Frentzen, meanwhile, claimed the lead over Schumacher and Salo, with the top three making their stops without the order shifting.
Indeed, there would be no major changes to the order during the second half of the race, with Frentzen duly cruising across the line to claim his second victory for the campaign. Schumacher was a frustrated second ahead of Salo, while Barrichello, Coulthard and Irvine all managed to force their way past Zanardi in the closing stages.
Irvine's lone point moved him level with Häkkinen at the head of the Championship, although the Finn remained the leader due to his four wins to the Brit's three.
Mika Häkkinen moved to the top of the Championship with second place in Belgium, although the Finn believed he should have won had it not been for his teammate's barge at the start. Regardless, he would leave Spa with a one point advantage over former leader Eddie Irvine, who had minimised the damage to his title hopes by finishing fourth. Those two were thirteen clear of David Coulthard in third, with the Scot an outside shot for the crown alongside Heinz-Harald Frentzen, twenty behind in fourth.
In the Constructors Championship a second one-two for McLaren-Mercedes in as many races had carried them to the top of the pack, leaving Spa on 106 points. That translated into a nine point lead over Ferrari, who were pushing lead driver Michael Schumacher to return as they battled for their first crown since 1983. Behind, third placed Jordan-Mugen-Honda were still mathematically in the hunt, although with 50 points between themselves and Ferrari their realistic hopes were non-existent.
The full entry list for the 1999 Italian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 1999 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Mika Häkkinen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:22.432||—||251.990 km/h|
|2||8||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||1:22.926||+0.494s||250.488 km/h|
|3||2||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:23.177||+0.745s||249.732 km/h|
|4||5||Alex Zanardi||Williams-Supertec||1:23.432||+1.000s||248.969 km/h|
|5||6||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-Supertec||1:23.636||+1.204s||248.362 km/h|
|6||3||Mika Salo||Ferrari||1:23.657||+1.225s||248.300 km/h|
|7||16||Rubens Barrichello||Stewart-Ford Cosworth||1:23.739||+1.307s||248.056 km/h|
|8||4||Eddie Irvine||Ferrari||1:23.765||+1.333s||247.979 km/h|
|9||7||Damon Hill||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||1:23.979||+1.547s||247.348 km/h|
|10||18||Olivier Panis||Prost-Peugeot||1:24.016||+1.584s||247.239 km/h|
|11||22||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Supertec||1:24.188||+1.756s||246.733 km/h|
|12||19||Jarno Trulli||Prost-Peugeot||1:24.293||+1.861s||246.426 km/h|
|13||11||Jean Alesi||Sauber-Petronas||1:24.591||+2.159s||245.558 km/h|
|14||10||Alexander Wurz||Benetton-Playlife||1:24.593||+2.161s||245.552 km/h|
|15||17||Johnny Herbert||Stewart-Ford Cosworth||1:24.594||+2.162s||245.549 km/h|
|16||12||Pedro Diniz||Sauber-Petronas||1:24.596||+2.164s||245.544 km/h|
|17||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Benetton-Playlife||1:24.862||+2.430s||244.774 km/h|
|18||23||Ricardo Zonta||BAR-Supertec||1:25.114||+2.682s||244.049 km/h|
|19||20||Luca Badoer||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:25.348||+2.916s||243.380 km/h|
|20||21||Marc Gené||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:25.695||+3.263s||242.395 km/h|
|21||14||Pedro de la Rosa||Arrows||1:26.383||+3.951s||240.464 km/h|
|22||15||Tora Takagi||Arrows||1:26.509||+4.077s||240.114 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:28.202|
- 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 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Panis was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Third and final career victory for Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
- Jordan scored their third win as a constructor.
- Ralf Schumacher claimed the third and final podium finish for a Supertec engine.
- Second and final podium for Mika Salo.
- Schumacher claimed his maiden fastest lap.
- This was also the only fastest lap to be recorded by a Supertec engine.
With Mika Häkkinen throwing away an almost certain victory the Finn had seen his lead in the Championship completely wiped out, although he still led on countback. Indeed, Eddie Irvine had failed to take advantage of Häkkinen's mistake, meaning his sole point in Italy was only enough to bring him level with the Finn on 60 points. Behind, most of the damage had been done by Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who sat just ten points off in third, with David Coulthard twelve off the lead in fourth.
In the Constructors Championship it had been a better day for Ferrari, as they closed the gap to leaders McLaren-Mercedes to six points. The Anglo-German effort themselves still had the advantage, however, with those two set to duel for the title with 48 points left to fight for across the remaining three rounds. Indeed, Jordan-Mugen-Honda were now mathematically out of the fight despite claiming their second win of the campaign, leaving Italy 51 points behind McLaren.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Italian GP, 1999', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr643.html, (Accessed 29/08/2019)
- 'Italy 1999: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/italie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 28/08/2019)
- 'Italy 1999: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/italie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 29/08/2019)
- 'Gran Premio Campari d'Italia 1999 - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/1999/races/699/italy/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 29/08/2019)
- 'Italy 1999: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/italie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 29/08/2019)
- '13. Italy 1999', statsf1.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/1999/italie.aspx, (Accessed 29/08/2019)
|V T E||Italian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Monza (1950 - 1979, 1981 - Present), Imola (1980)|
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|European Championship Races||1931 • 1932 • 1935 • 1936 • 1937 • 1938|
|Non-Championship Races||1921 • 1922 • 1923 • 1924 • 1925 • 1926 • 1927 • 1928 • 1933 • 1934 • 1947 • 1948 • 1949|
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