F1 Rumors - news ahead of the headlines

30th May 1999

Review of Spain 1999

Swings and roundabouts

by David Cunliffe

McLaren-Mercedes needed a 1-2 in Spain to reinvigorate their Championship challenges. Hakkinen and Coulthard duly delivered, relegating Schumacher and his Ferrari team-mate Irvine to 3rd and 4th. No points this time though for the other early season front runners, Jordan and Stewart - the final places in the top six were claimed by Ralf Schumacher for Williams-Supertec and Jarno Trulli for Prost-Peugeot.

After a tense and close fight for pole on Saturday, the Ferraris looked a lot more competitive at the Barcelona track - supposedly the team's worst - than expected. Irvine had outpaced his team leader for once, qualifying 2nd to Schumacher's 4th; the two McLarens were alongside, with Hakkinen keeping his 100% pole position winning record for the season. Irvine was to hinder rather than help the Ferrari No1 as the red lights dimmed - he started poorly and impeded Schumacher's fine start, allowing Jacques Villeneuve to grab 3rd place. For lap after lap, the Canadian impressively held off the Ferraris in his under-powered BAR-Supertec as the McLarens steamed off to take a seemingly unassailable lead.

It was a dull and processional race, the worst of the season so far. What a pity that the promised gathering of the great and the good from F1, called by Max Mosley to find some way to improve the entertainment value of F1, has had to be postponed. If it wasn't for the pitstops, there would have been very little overtaking, apart from an opportunist move on Rubens Barrichello late in the race by Damon Hill who sneaked by the Brazilian's Stewart-Ford in the wake of the lapping Michael Schumacher.

As the season progresses, the teams are sorting out some of their reliability problems - more cars were still running at the end of this race than thus far. Although the Ferraris have been reliable since Melbourne, before Barcelona, the McLarens had only finished three times in eight starts. Their revolutionary 1999 car has been fast but fragile. Ferrari and Schumacher will be worried if the team from Woking has cured that fragility. Ron Dennis warned everyone not to write off his team so early in the season. Sound advice...

Pos Driver / Team

Laps

Time/reason





1 M. Hakkinen
West McLaren Mercedes
65 1hr 34m 13.665s
2 D. Coulthard
West McLaren Mercedes
65 +6.238s
3 M. Schumacher
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
65 +10.845s
4 E. Irvine
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
65 +30.182s
5 R. Schumacher
Winfield Williams
65 +1m 27.208s
6 J. Trulli
Gauloises Prost Peugeot
64
7 D. Hill
B & H Jordan Mugen Honda
64
8 R. Barrichello
Stewart Ford
64
9 M. Salo
British American Racing
64
10 G. Fisichella
Mild Seven Benetton Playlife
64
11 A. Wurz
Mild Seven Benetton Playlife
64
12 P. de la Rosa
Zepter Arrows
63
13 T. Takagi
Zepter Arrows
62
14 L. Badoer
Fondmetal Minardi Ford
50 Spin
15 J. Villeneuve
British American Racing
40 Gearbox
16 P. Diniz
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
40 ?
17 J. Herbert
Stewart Ford
40 Transmission
18 HH. Frentzen
Benson & Hedges Jordan
35 Transmission
19 J. Alesi
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
27 ?
20 A. Zanardi
Winfield Williams
24 Gearbox
21 O. Panis
Gauloises Prost Peugeot
24 ?
22 M. Gene
Fondmetal Minardi Ford
0 Engine

Fastest lap: M Schumacher


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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