Japanese GP 1999

Japanese GP, 1999

In the days before the race at Suzuka the FIA Court of Appeal ruled that the Ferraris had been legal at the Malaysian Grand Prix. That meant that McLaren and Ferrari were going head-to-head for both World Championships. Ferrari's Eddie Irvine was four points of ahead of McLaren's Mika Hakkinen in the Drivers' title and Ferrari was four ahead in the Constructors'.

Michael Schumacher did well in qualifying to take pole position but he was nowhere near as quick as he had been in Malaysia a fortnight earlier. Hakkinen was second on the grid with his McLaren team mate David Coulthard third and Heinz-Harald Frentzen fourth in his Jordan-Mugen Honda. Irvine was only fifth. The Ulsterman could only hope that Schumacher would win the race and take points away from Hakkinen.

Hakkinen beat Schumacher away at the start and it was obvious that the Ferrari could not match the McLaren. Coulthard ran third for a long time but then made a mistake, tore the nose off his car and had to pit. That ended McLaren's hopes of the Constructors' title. Coulthard rejoined and Schumacher later made a fuss about being held up by the lapped Scotsman, but there was little substance to the allegation.

Hakkinen drove a fabulous race and duly won to take the World Championship. Schumacher was second with Irvine third, a minute and a half behind. Frentzen was fourth with the final points going to Ralf Schumacher and Jean Alesi in his last race for the Sauber team.

Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes  53 1h31m18.785  1m37.820 
Michael Schumacher Ferrari  53 5.015  1m37.470 
Eddie Irvine Ferrari  53 1m35.680  1m38.975 
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen Honda  53 1m38.635  1m38.696 
Ralf Schumacher Williams-Supertec  53 1m39.494  1m39.717 
11 Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas  52 1 Lap  1m39.721 10 
17 Johnny Herbert Stewart-Ford  52 1 Lap  1m39.706 
16 Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford  52 1 Lap  1m40.140 13 
22 Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Supertec  52 1 Lap  1m39.732 11 
10 10 Alexander Wurz Benetton-Supertec  52 1 Lap  1m40.303 15 
11 12 Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas  52 1 Lap  1m40.740 17 
12 23 Ricardo Zonta BAR-Supertec  52 1 Lap  1m40.861 18 
13 15 Pedro de la Rosa Arrows  51 2 Laps  1m41.708 21 
14 Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Supertec  47 6 Laps  1m40.261 14 
14 Toranosuke Takagi Arrows  43 Gearbox 1m41.067 19 
20 Luca Badoer Minardi-Ford  43 Engine 1m42.515 22 
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes  39 Handling 1m38.239 
21 Marc Gene Minardi-Ford  31 Engine 1m41.529 20 
Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen Honda  21 Handling 1m40.140 12 
18 Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot  19 Alternator 1m39.623 
19 Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot  Mechanical 1m39.644 
Alessandro Zanardi Williams-Supertec  Electrical 1m40.403 16