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1999 Hungarian GP News

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Drivers Championship Constructors Championship

Race Preview | Friday Practice | Saturday Qualifying | Race Report

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.

Friday Practice

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.

Click here for the timed results
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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.
Benetton's package is certainly designed for low speed circuits as they jump again to the front of the grid with Fisichella in 4th and Wurz in 7th.
I expected Hill to out-qualify Frentzen but I was 0.003 seconds wrong as Hill couldn't manage those few thousandths of a second to out-qualify his team-mate Frentzen. It appears that both will be strong tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello was 8th which was lower than expected and his team-mate Johnny Herbert was again nearby in 10 place. Jacques Villeneuve was in a respectable 9th position given that Zonta only managed 17th !!. The Sauber's of Alesi and Diniz were 11th and 12th while Trulli and Panis were 13th and 14th.
Then the first surprise were Zanardi outqualified Ralf Schumacher in 15th and 16th. They are followed by Zonta and the second and biggest surprise of the session was 18th place belonged to Mika Salo and that is in a Ferrari and not a Tyrell. It appears the Salo was not comfortable with the car on low speed tracks but 18th and 2.213 seconds slower than Hakkinen was not imaginable after his great form in Germany. Unless he is now relaxed given that he has 6 offers on hand !!

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.

Click here for the timed results
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Mika Hakkinen wins the Hungarian GP ahead of David Coulthard and Eddie Irvine, Frentzen, Barrichello and Hill make the top 6.

Hakkinen 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 place.
This result clearly indicates that Ferrari are struggling without Michael Schumacher as they were expected to at least match McLaren on this kind of circuit. This clearly was not the case and one wonders how they will perform at Spa in 2 weeks as that circuit suits McLaren.

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
look like Irvine gels with the Ferrari team as well as Schumacher and that is simply because he was always considered a number 2 driver.

Race Start

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.
Pedro Diniz spins and stalls his engine on lap 20.
Takagi retires on lap 27.

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

Click here for the timed results
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