A-1 Ring, July/ 25/ 1999 1999 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE McLarens clash, Irvine takes advantage A first-lap misunderstanding between McLaren drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard helped Eddie Irvine to take a glorious but ...
A-1 Ring, July/ 25/ 1999 1999 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE
McLarens clash, Irvine takes advantage
A first-lap misunderstanding between McLaren drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard helped Eddie Irvine to take a glorious but unexpected victory for Ferrari in the Austrian Grand Prix. In a clash of wheels approaching the slow second corner, Hakkinen was spun around by Coulthard and lost many places. Coulthard, who later apologised to his team mate, continued with his car slightly damaged but he lost the lead to Irvine when they both made their single mid-race pit stops and Irvine was able to stay out longer to build up his lead with a clear road in front of him. Despite pushing Irvine's brake-troubled Ferrari in the closing laps, the Scot was unable to snatch back the lead in the dash to the finish and had to be satisfied with a close 2nd place. Following his delay, Hakkinen electrified the spectators with a remarkable climb through the field from last place all the way to 3rd at the finish. The reigning world champion still holds the lead in this year's title-chase, but his lead is now down to two points (44 to 42) over Irvine.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "Today many of the drivers preferred to start the race on scrubbed tyres because there was less risk of the understeer to be expected here with brand new rubber. However, others had to fit old (part worn) tyres on their cars, not for the same reason but because they only had used rubber left over after qualifying. For this race on this circuit, scrubbed tyres provided better balance than new ones because the normal process of degradation is less severe."
Luca Baldisseri, Race Engineer on Eddie Irvine's Ferrari: "Because of the problem between the two McLarens at the second corner, Eddie had to fall back behind Barrichello. Having to follow another car very closely usually causes understeer, which is why Eddie was complaining about the handling at that stage. The car was set up to be quick on used tyres, at the end of the stint, and this worked out well because it gave us seven or eight laps more than the opposition before we had to stop for fuel. It was in those laps that we were able to build up the gap that allowed Eddie to come out ahead of Coulthard. In the second stint Eddie managed - just - to keep Coulthard behind him. I think we can say it happened just as we had planned."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 15:-16: 19:-21: Dull - dry Afternoon 20:-22: 25:-29: Dull- dry