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1999 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Date  17 October 1999
Course length  5.542 km (3.444 mi)
Location  Sepang, Malaysia
1999 Malaysian Grand Prix
Official name  I Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  56 laps, 310.352 km (192.853 mi)

The 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix (formally the I Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 17 October 1999 at the Sepang International Circuit near Sepang, Malaysia. It was the fifteenth race of the 1999 Formula One season. The 56-lap race was won by Eddie Irvine driving a Ferrari car from a second position start. Michael Schumacher, in his first race back since breaking his leg during that season's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and who started from pole position, finished second with Mika Häkkinen finishing third driving for McLaren.



This was the first Malaysian Grand Prix since a Formula Holden event in 1995, but the first time at Formula One world championship level. Michael Schumacher returned to Formula One having recovered from his broken leg, and replaced Mika Salo at Ferrari. The German took pole position by nearly a second, won the start with Irvine in second and Coulthard in third, and went off in the lead with Irvine having trouble keeping Coulthard, Häkkinen and Barrichello behind him. On lap four Schumacher slowed and allowed Irvine to pass him and then proceeded to block Coulthard and the others. But on the next lap Coulthard forced his way past the Ferrari and began pursuit of Irvine. He was challenging for the lead when his car broke down.

Back in second place, Schumacher slowed down again to allow Irvine to get an advantage. Then, needing to stay ahead of Häkkinen during the pit stops, Michael accelerated the pace in order to build a lead. Realising this, McLaren took a risk. They gave Häkkinen half a tank of fuel and hoped it would be enough to get him out of the pits ahead of Schumacher.

The gamble failed. Schumacher blocked Häkkinen again and the gap to Irvine went up to around 20secs. Irvine did not have a big enough advantage to stay ahead at his second stop but Ferrari was sure that Häkkinen would have to stop again. He did, emerging in fourth place behind Herbert. Schumacher slowed again to allow Irvine to take the lead. Häkkinen could do no more than force his way past Herbert to take third place. It was Herbert's final point-scoring finish of his career. Immediately after the race the two Ferraris were disqualified due to an infringement on their bargeboards. This meant that Mika Häkkinen was effectively handed the championship by default. However, Ferrari appealed against the FIA's decision in court and both drivers were subsequently reinstated.

As a consequence of the race, Irvine regained the lead of the Drivers' Championship over Häkkinen and extended the gap to four points with their nearest rival Heinz-Harald Frentzen out of the championship chase as he was nineteen points behind Irvine. In the constructors championship, Ferrari passed McLaren for the lead with a gap of four points.

Championship standings after the race

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1999 Malaysian Grand Prix Wikipedia

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