Suzuka, Japan, 3oth October 1999 - The scene has been set for a dramatic showdown at the Suzuka Circuit tomorrow after an action packed qualifying which left the two Championship contenders three places apart. Hakkinen came out the winner over ...
Suzuka, Japan, 3oth October 1999 - The scene has been set for a dramatic showdown at the Suzuka Circuit tomorrow after an action packed qualifying which left the two Championship contenders three places apart. Hakkinen came out the winner over Irvine, qualifying second to Irvine's fifth.
Both contenders encountered problems during the session. Irvine crashed heavily at turn ten after braking late and going off onto the kerb. He was then forced to take the spare car for his last run in the dying minutes of the session and was unable to move up the grid.
Hakkinen, who was battling with Schumacher for pole, was on his final run when Alesi, running behind the Finn, cut across the chicane right into Hakkinen's path. Hakkinen was able to keep his car running, despite spinning off, but his lap was ruined, and Schumacher kept pole.
Benson and Hedges Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen produce another excellent performance and will race between the two World Championship contenders after qualifying ahead of Eddie Irvine. The German beat Irvine to fourth place on his final run, spurred on by a special qualifying engine provided by Mugen-Honda. "I am pleased with fourth place," said Frentzen, "and would like to thank Mugen-Honda who gave us a really strong engine for qualifying. Starting from the second row puts us in a good position to be able to finish on the podium. I do not want to be involved in the Championship fight; I just want to finish as high up as I can. David Coulthard is my contender in this race and I will be aiming to win as many points as possible. It should be very exciting."
Damon Hill had a disappointing last qualifying session. Not able to find his best form, he finished in 12th place. "I am disappointed with my result," he said. "I would have liked to have been higher up in my last qualifying session and cannot put my finger on why I was not faster. I hope to have a better race."