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16th May 1999

Review of Monaco 1999

A red whitewash...

by David Cunliffe

Michael Schumacher and Ferrari put another result in the record books today. The German's 35th GP win was his 16th for Ferrari, one more than Niki Lauda who was previously the driver with most wins for the Scuderia. Eddie Irvine completed another ecstatic day for the tifosi, bringing his red car home in second place, just ahead of Mika Hakkinen. It was, as Martin Brundle remarked on TV, a Ferrari whitewash.

After an exciting qualifying session on Saturday, the McLarens just had the edge, with Hakkinen stealing pole at the last moment and Coulthard directly behind in third on the clean side of the circuit. But the Ferraris were alongside, ready to pounce. The team's drivers returned to Fiorano to practice their starts after qualifying. And it paid off handsomely. Schumacher and Irvine both squeezed past their Silver Arrows rivals at the first corner, Ste Devote, and hared off up the hill towards Casino Square. At the end of lap one, the Ferrari No1 was 1.3s ahead of his opposite number at McLaren. The respective No2s were 3rd and 4th.

Rubens Barrichello was an impressive 5th again for Stewart-Ford, and Frentzen was 6th looking likely to score more points for Jordan. Their team-mates were having a less happy time. Damon Hill, running way down in 17th, tried an over-ambitious move on his former team-Mate, Ralf Schumacher, at the "New Chicane", they touched, and Damon's race was over after only three laps. Rubens' team-mate, Johnny Herbert, lasted 29 laps more than his compatriot but then went out spectacularly on the way down to Mirabeau as his suspension failed. Little did Rubens know that he would have a carbon copy failure towards the end of the race whilst running strongly in fifth. Still, at least their Ford engines didn't explode this time...

As usual, Monaco was a car-breaker. Badoer, Gene (completely out of his depth in his first Monaco GP), and De la Rosa were early retirements. Both BARs went, apparently with brake failure. David Coulthard's McLaren was another victim of the attrition. Early on, his car began to belch smoke each time through the hairpin. It turned out to be burning gearbox oil. Once the oil was gone, so was his gearbox. Only eight cars made it to the end of the race.

Tora Takagi's retirement with a grenading engine was to cost Mika Hakkinen second place. As the Minardi deposited its bodily fluids all over the circuit on the way out of Casino Square, the Finn came flying down towards Mirabeau and spun on the slippery track. It lost him about 20s, enough to allow Eddie Irvine to claim second place after the pitstops. All of this drama was of no interest to Michael Schumacher who sailed serenely on, coasting for lap after lap, to claim that record-breaking victory.

Ferrari now have a commanding lead of 24 points over McLaren in the Constructors' Championship; Schumacher and Irvine have consolidated their places at the head of the Drivers'. It is actually beginning to look like, finally, that this really could be Ferrari's year. But there's a long way to go yet...

Pos Driver / Team



1 M. Schumacher
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
78 1hr 49m 31.872s
2 E. Irvine
Scuderia Ferrari
78 +30.476s
3 M. Hakkinen
West McLaren Mercedes
78 +37.483s
4 H. Frentzen
Benson & Hedges
78 +54.009
5 G. Fisichella
Mild Seven Benetton Playlife
6 A. Wurz
Mild Seven Benetton Playlife
7 J. Trulli
Gauloises Prost Peugeot
8 A. Zanardi
Winfield Williams
9 R. Barrichello
Stewart Ford
76 Suspension
10 R. Schumacher
Winfield Williams
11 J. Alesi
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
12 P. Diniz
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
13 O. Panis
Gauloises Prost Peugeot
14 D. Coulthard
West McLaren Mercedes
15 M. Salo
British American Racing
16 T. Takagi
Zepter Arrows
17 J. Villeneuve
British American Racing
32 Brakes
18 J. Herbert
Stewart Ford
32 Suspension
19 P. de la Rosa
Zepter Arrows
20 M. Gene
Fondmetal Minardi Ford
24 Accident
21 L. Badoer
Fondmetal Minardi Ford
22 D. Hill
B & H Jordan Mugen Honda
3 Accident

[Missing details in table to be updated]

Fastest lap: M Hakkinen: 1:22.258

Article is written by and copyright (c) 1999 David Cunliffe, Warrington, UK - all rights reserved.

David Cunliffe has been following F1 for over twenty years and is a fan of any skillful and sporting driver who's a true racer. He produces a number of F1 related websites.

Interested in reading more by this author?

Articles by David Cunliffe
Review of Japan 1999 - Honours Even
Review of Malaysia 1999 - The Barge-board controversy
Review of Europe 1999 - Tears all round...
Review of Italy 1999 - Tears at Bedtime
Review of Hungary 1999 - McLaren back on top
Review of Germany 1999 - Eddie Assumes the Mantle
Review of Austria 1999 - Motormouth lives up to his own Publicity
Review of Britain 1999 - Triumph and Tragedy
Review of Canada 1999 - Dreams and Nightmares
Review of Spain 1999 - Swings and Roundabouts
Review of Monaco 1999 - Red Whitewash
Review of San Marino 1999 - Tifosi Heaven
Review of Brazil 1999 - The Championship Race is On...
Review of Melbourne 1999 - Eddie Breaks his Duck

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