Frentzen wins in Italy Hein-Harald Frentzen and the Benson and Hedges Jordan team took their second win of the 1999 Formula One World Championship today when the German ace stormed to victory in the Italian Grand Prix. Starting from second...
Frentzen wins in Italy
Hein-Harald Frentzen and the Benson and Hedges Jordan team took their second win of the 1999 Formula One World Championship today when the German ace stormed to victory in the Italian Grand Prix. Starting from second place on the grid, Heinz-Harald took the lead when Mika Hakkinen spun his McLaren off the track on lap 30. Thereafter Heinz-Harald maintained a solid lead over the second placed Williams driven by Ralf Schumacher and, helped by a superb pit stop lasting only 7.4 seconds, he went on to dominate the remainder of the race.
At the start of the race Heinz-Harald appeared to get too much wheelspin, dropping down to fourth place on the run into the first chicane. However, as David Coulthard's McLaren became caught in a battle with Ralf Schumacher's Williams, Heinz was able to nip through into third place as he exited the corner, and was then able overtake second placed Alex Zanardi who had made an excellent start.
Zanardi later fell back down the order, with Mika Salo, Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard coming through. Ralf Schumacher drove superbly to finish in a strong second position, while Eddie Irvine's hopes of a good result on Ferrari's home ground produced only one point for sixth place. With Hakkinen out, however, Irvine was fortunate that this single point pulls him level with the Finn in the Championship standings.
"This victory here is tremendous for me and the team, " said Heinz-Harald. "and I do not have enough words to express how I feel. The Championship battle is now really close - I cannot believe it. The team and Mugen-Honda have done a fantastic job to make the car fast and reliable. When I saw Mika go off I thought 'bad luck for him, good luck for me'. We have used every opportunity this year to score points when we can and today we made use of a fantastic opportunity. McLaren did not use their potential and if this happens in the next races it will give Eddie (Irvine) and me a chance in the Championship."
"If at the beginning of the season Eddie Jordan had told me that I would be winning races like this I would have told him he was crazy. It is hard to lead a race because you are in control and you are trying to maintain the gap, save the car and you can lose concentration - which is perhaps what happened to Mika. It is a lot easier to push someone from behind. Once I was in the lead I was trying to save the brakes, tyres and engine to finish the race without any problems and it is difficult when you are thinking about all these things."
This is the third win of Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Formula One career, and places him only 10 points behind Mika Hakkinen and Eddie Irvine in the World Championship for Drivers with three races remaining.