1999 Malaysian Grand Prix
|1999 Malaysian Grand Prix|
|Race 15 of 16 in the 1999 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||17 October 1999|
|Official name||I Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix|
Sepang International Circuit|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.542 km (3.444 mi)|
|Distance||56 laps, 310.352 km (192.853 mi)|
|Weather||Cloudy, hot, dry|
|Attendance||80,000 (Weekend) |
|Time||1:40.267 on lap 25|
The 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix (formally the I Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 17 October 1999 at the new Sepang International Circuit near Sepang, Malaysia. It was the fifteenth race of the 1999 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The 56-lap race was won by Eddie Irvine, driving a Ferrari, after starting from second position. Teammate Michael Schumacher, in his first race back after breaking his leg at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, finished second having started from pole position, while Mika Häkkinen finished third in a McLaren-Mercedes. The win gave Irvine a four-point lead over Häkkinen in the Drivers' Championship with one race remaining.
This was the first Malaysian Grand Prix since a Formula Holden event in 1995, but the first time at Formula One world championship level. Michael Schumacher returned to Formula One having recovered from his broken leg, and took pole position by nearly a second from Ferrari team-mate Eddie Irvine, with the McLarens of David Coulthard and Mika Häkkinen third and fourth respectively. At the start, Schumacher led away from Irvine, Coulthard, Häkkinen and Rubens Barrichello. On lap 4, Schumacher slowed and allowed Irvine to pass him, then proceeded to block the McLarens. Coulthard forced his way past Schumacher on lap 5 and pursued Irvine for the lead, only for his McLaren to break down on lap 15.
Back in second place, Schumacher slowed again in order to allow Irvine to build an advantage. Then, as the first round of pit stops loomed, Schumacher accelerated the pace in order to stay ahead of Häkkinen. Realising this, McLaren gambled on giving Häkkinen half a tank of fuel, hoping it would be enough to get him out of the pits ahead of Schumacher. The gamble failed, as Schumacher stayed ahead of the Finn and proceeded to block him again, allowing Irvine to extend his lead to 20 seconds.
Irvine's lead was not big enough for him to stay ahead after his second pit stop, but Ferrari were sure that Häkkinen would have to stop again. He did, emerging in fourth place behind Johnny Herbert in the Stewart. Schumacher slowed once again to allow Irvine to retake the lead, while Häkkinen forced his way past Herbert for third. Irvine duly took the chequered flag one second ahead of Schumacher, with Häkkinen a further eight seconds back.
Immediately after the race, the Ferraris were disqualified due to an infringement on their bargeboards. This meant that Häkkinen and McLaren were effectively handed their respective championships by default. However, Ferrari appealed against the FIA's decision in court and both drivers were subsequently reinstated.
With one race remaining, Irvine led the Drivers' Championship by four points over Häkkinen, 70 to 66. Similarly, Ferrari held a four-point lead over McLaren in the Constructors' Championship, 118 to 114.
Championship standings after the race
- Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Last win: Eddie Irvine.
- Jarno Trulli suffered an engine failure on the formation lap.
- Last points: Stewart Grand Prix, Johnny Herbert
- This was the third race in a row in which a driver scored his last Grand Prix victory. Heinz-Harald Frentzen took his last win two races prior while Johnny Herbert took his last win at the preceding race.
- "Grand Prix Results: Malaysian GP, 1999". GrandPrix.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
- "Ferrari wins F1 appeal". BBC. 23 October 1999. Archived from the original on 20 April 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- "1999 Malaysian GP: Qualification". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
- "Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix - 1999: Startgrid". The Formula One Database. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
- "1999 Malaysian Grand Prix". formula1.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- "1999 Malaysian GP: Classification". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
- "1999 Malaysian GP: Overview". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
1999 European Grand Prix
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1999 Japanese Grand Prix
1995 Malaysian Grand Prix
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