ABOUT THIS SEASON
It was like nothing had happened. In the first Formula 1 qualifying in history in Malaysia, Michael Schumacher convincingly collected the pole position – being one second faster than his team mate Eddie Irvine on second position.
After that he indisputably led the first Grand Prix in Sepang. But three laps before the end Michael let Eddie pass, who has still chances to win the title and after this easy victory he took the lead in the drivers standings. In the last race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix, he failed because of Mika Häkkinen, Michael’s old rival.
The first Constructor’s Championship since 1983
Michael Schumacher said after the race that he not only drives for himself but also for the team. But on that Sunday everybody saw who the real winner of the Malaysia GP 1999 was, who probably could have been the real world champion in the year 1999. With a one-two finish and the second place in Suzuka Michael helped Ferrari to win the first constructors title since 1983.
At the beginning of the season he was considered to be a favourite for the driver’s title, it would have been the first for Ferrari since Jody Scheckter 1979. Ferrari used Bridgestone tyres for the first time, but the new year started like the old year ended: with a problem at the start, the last starting position and additional technical problems. More than position 8 was not possible and Eddie Irvine, in the second F399, won.
Michael became second in Brazil and won in San Marino and Monaco and took the lead in the drivers standings. In Spain he only became third, in Canada he crashed into the notorious Wall of Champions. What followed was position five in Magny Cours and July 11th.
The end of dreaming about the title
Silverstone, 14:03. Zanardi and Villeneuve stranded on the grid. The race was stopped. Michael’s radio was defective, but he did not notice it. He overtook his team mate Irvine in the Stowe-corner and after 38 seconds the race was over for him. “Suddenly the brake was not working any more“, he explained afterwards. “You want to brake, the pedal travel gets longer and longer. You know instantly what is going on. You desperately try to steer but it does not work because the front wheels lock.”
With more than 200 km/h the Ferrari drove into a gravel shoulder. “I see the wall of tyres – and know: That is going to be bad, it is going to hurt.” The Ferrari crashed into the piles of tyres still being 107 km/h fast. Michael instantly felt the pain in his leg, he wanted to get out of the car but failed. “It is a horrible feeling.” The right fibula and shin-bone were broken, the ankle was bruised and there was a four centimetres long cut in his heel. Michael’s first thought: “Okay, you are still alive.” The second one was about his injuries. “You suddenly think: The world championship is over. It is kind of weird, you are hurt but you still think about the championship, despite the fact that there are other things to worry about.” Michael’s dreams about the title were gone – at least for the year 1999. During the winter he had the chance to get over another futile attempt to win the championship.
Courtesy by motorsport-magazin.com
1999 Saison Figures
GRAND PRIX WINS
ALL GRAND PRIX
The races of 1999