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|1999 Hungarian GP News|
Hungarian GP Preview:
The Hungarian GP is a must win situation for both Hakkinen and McLaren if they want to get back on the championship track. Hakkinen has suffered a string of bad luck races so if he does get better luck this time he should win. David Coulthard didn't run into bad luck in the past 2 races but he did not perform so he too will be aiming for a top finish.
Eddie Irvine will be looking for a win to increase his lead, it will be hard if Hakkinen does not run into problems. Mika Salo was impressive at Germany and will probably be equally impressive in Hungary but he must let Irvine pass him if he is ahead so as we saw in Germany, if he is leading and Irvine behind he will be forced to let Irvine through.
Jordan will be strong in Hungary and Damon Hill in particular as this is one of his favourite circuits. Hill will probably out-qualify Frentzen on this circuit and if he is comfortable with the car he will probably finish ahead but both will be strong.
Barrichello will be strong and so will both Benetton drivers as this kind of circuit suites their cars. Ralf Schumacher could be a points finisher too. Finally, we could see Jacques Villeneuve finishing a race this season and if he does it will most probably be in the points.
Stay tuned for all the news and results.
Eddie Irvine sets the fastest time in today's practice sessions ahead of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. Rubens Barrichello, Mika Salo and Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Mika Hakkinen lost half of the second session when he spun and despite that he still managed second place less than 0.3 seconds behind Irvine who set his fastest time in the dying moments of the session. David Coulthard was yet again not so impressive setting the 3rd fastest time more than half a second slower than Irvine.
The top 2 are the only drivers clocking under the 1.20 time, the following 3 are the only drivers clocking under the 1.21 time. From 6th place to 14th, the times are very close and they are all in the 1.21 time. If the trend continues for the qualifying session, expect Hakkinen to easily take pole position followed by Irvine or Coulthard then Salo and Barrichello.
Marc Gene was again impressive in the Minardi setting the 13th fastest time mixing it with all the Supertec runners.
Looking for an interesting qualifying session.
Mika Hakkinen grabs his 9th pole position of the season ahead of Eddie Irvine and David Coulthard. An impressive Fisichella was 4th followed by Frentzen and Hill.
Amazingly, Hakkinen's pole time was
set on his very first run, his next runs were interrupted by traffic or perhaps
deliberately as he was certainly faster than what his time indicates. Irvine and
Coulthard traded places a few times through the session but Coulthard could not
match the pace of Irvine in the end.
The Minardi's and Arrows' make up the rest.
The top 9 are within 1 second of pole time although I suspect that Hakkinen could have gone half a second faster. The top 17 are within 2 seconds of pole time. Let us hope for a close race.
Mika Hakkinen wins the Hungarian GP ahead of David Coulthard and Eddie Irvine, Frentzen, Barrichello and Hill make the top 6.
drove superbly and without having any real threat. At one stage of the race he
was more than 30 seconds in the lead. David Coulthard has made up some of his
disappointing form by finishing 2nd, while Irvine has not lived up to the
expectations by finishing 3rd and making a crucial mistake which saw him give up
2nd place to Coulthard. Mika Salo was very disappointing finishing in 12th
This result also clearly
shows that Irvine's last 2 wins were simply McLaren's failures rather than
Ferrari's competitiveness. This result put even more pressure on Michael
Schumacher to try and make a comeback as soon as possible to try and save the
constructors championship at the least. If he does not, it doesn't
Mika Hakkinen and Eddie Irvine both have good starts and retain their positions. David Coulthard has a very bad start and ends up in 5th place while Giancarlo Fisichella and Heinz Harald Frentzen both gain a place.
Mika Salo meanwhile, loses 2 positions and is in 20th place !!
Race order after the first lap: Hakkinen, Irvine, Fisichella, Coulthard Hill.
Alex Zanardi runs
off the circuit and limps back to the pits to retire with differential problems
on lap 11.
Most teams were on a 2 stop strategy and after the first pit stops, David Coulthard makes up 2 positions.
Race Order: Hakkinen, Irvine, Barrichello, Coulthard, Fisichella, Frentzen.
Rubens Barrichello pits for his 1st and only stop.
Race Order: Hakkinen, Irvine, Coulthard, Fisichella, Frentzen, Hill
Giancarlo Fisichella retires with engine problems on lap 53
Following the 2 pits stops, race order: Hakkinen, Irvine, Coulthard, Frentzen, Barrichello, Hill
Irvine runs wide allowing Coulthard to pass him taking second position.
Jacques Villeneuve retires with Hydraulic problems on lap 61
Race Order at the finish : Hakkinen, Coulthard, Irvine, Frentzen, Barrichello, Hill