Formula One World Championship 1999
The Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal is the venue for the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix. The 4.421 km circuit is situated in the parks of Ile Notre-Dame, in part using the public roads. The long straights followed by sudden chicanes are harsh on the brakes, and the street sections cause grip problems.
Qualifying started under clear skies, the temperature a modest 29ºC. The track temperature was 43ºC, but was clearly on the rise.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen cannot find a clear lap, but still manages to qualify 6th. Teammate Damon Hill has engine problems, and is forced to qualify with Frentzen’s spare car. As the machine is set up differently to Hill’s, 14th place was the best he could manage.
The Ferraris and McLarens dominate the front two rows, with Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) gaining his first pole of the season, Mika Hakkinen (McLaren-Mercedes) 2nd, Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) 3rd, and David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes) 4th.
The traditionally chaotic Canadian Grand Prix is no different this year, with machines sliding off the course during free practice and qualifying as the track temperature rose.
The race is marred from the beginning, with three cars crashing on the first corner, bringing in the safety car. On lap 3 of the restart, Ricardo Zonta (BAR-Supertec) crashes on the last corner, bringing in the safety car once more. The chaos still continues.
Jordan Mugen-Honda’s Damon Hill spins off the last corner on lap 15, hits the concrete wall damaging his right rear wheel, and retires.
Teammate Frentzen battles with Johnny Herbert for 6th place, and as race leader Michael Schumacher crashes at the last corner on lap 29, the fight becomes one for 5th place.
Later in the race, Jacques Villeneuve (BAR-Supertec) dives into the concrete wall on the last corner, and the safety car nullifies the distances between the drivers.
As the race restarts on lap 40, 2nd place contenders Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) and David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes) collide at the first corner, allowing Frentzen to gain 3rd place, behind Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton-Playlife).
Two laps later, Frentzen takes the inside from Fisichella and grabs 2nd at the last corner, but this battle meets an unexpected end as Frentzen’s brakes fail at the chicane, sending him hard into the tire barrier. Frentzen is immediately flown by helicopter to a hospital in Montreal, but luckily is only bruised.
The accident causes the safety car to enter yet again, for the rest of the race. Hakkinen wins, with Fisichella 2nd and Irvine 3rd.
|1||M.HAKKINEN (Mclaren Mercedes)|
|2||G.FISICHELLA (Benetton Playlife)|
|4||R.SCHUMACHER (Williams Supertec)|
|5||J.HERBERT (Stewart Ford)|
|6||P.DINIZ (Sauber Petronas)|
|7||D.COULTHARD (Mclaren Mercedes)|
|8||M.GENE (Minardi Ford)|
|9||O.PANIS (Prost Peugeot)|
|10||L.BADOER (Minardi Ford)|
|11||H.FRENTZEN (Jordan Mugen-Honda)|
|DNF||A.ZANARDI (Williams Supertec)|
|DNF||J.VILLENEUVE (BAR Supertec)|
|DNF||P.DE LA ROSA (Arrows)|
|DNF||D.HILL (Jordan Mugen-Honda)|
|DNF||R.BARRICHELLO (Stewart Ford)|
|DNF||R.ZONTA (BAR Supertec)|
|DNF||J.ALESI (Sauber Petronas)|
|DNF||J.TRULLI (Prost Peugeot)|
|DNF||A.WURZ (Benetton Playlife)|