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GRAND PRIX : Zeltweg : McLarens Stumble, Eddie Strikes!

McLaren stand-off at the 2nd corner.
"Australia was an easy win, but this one was really great," said a delighted Irvine after scoring his second career win for Ferrari ahead of both McLarens in the next two places. Irvine's win now moves him into second place in the drivers' World Championship standings, just two points behind Hakkinen who came home in third place.

Eddie Irvine made the most of his opportunities as race favourite Hakkinen was knocked out of contention at the second corner by his own teammate David Coulthard. Hakkinen spun to the back of the field and drove a superb race back through the field to finish in third spot, just 22 seconds behind his teammate having closed the gap to just under 14 seconds before settling for third place.

Salo was unfortunate, but impressed.
Coulthard led the first 39 laps of the 71-lap race, but then lost the pace and the lead to Irvine at his pit stop which he never regained. Irvine, who was one of the last to stop for fuel, pushed hard for another five laps before his own stop and came out just ahead of the McLaren.

"It was great race strategy and there was such a lot going on," said Irvine. "I had a problem with the brakes, so in the first half I concentrated on saving fuel and the brakes when I was behind Barrichello and when he pitted I pushed hard to make up time on Coulthard," he added.

Irvine and Salo kept Ferrari hopes well alive.
It was a tactic which paid off, for he came back from his stop in the lead which he then defended brilliantly to the flag to cross the line just a car's length ahead of his rival. "I tried to save the brakes after the stop, but then the car was understeering a lot and David started to get a bit close so I had to forget about the brakes and push as hard as I could," he admitted after holding off a couple of challenges from the Scot in the last couple of laps to the finish.

Despite Coulthard's second place finish, he described the race as a "Nightmare of a race. Firstly because of what happened running into my teammate and then when I saw Irvine come out of the pits ahead of me," he said. He had lost his chances of staying ahead of Irvine just before his pit stop when he inexplicably drove the middle of the race without apparent urgency.

Would you buy a used Ferrari from this pair?
Irvine's win has also kept the Ferrari team ahead of McLaren in the Constructors' Championship points positions.

After taking second place from Irvine in the second corner confusion, Rubens Barrichello's drive to what looked like being fourth place came to a halt when the engine failed 16 laps from home. The same incident cost the second Stewart-Ford of Johnny Herbert any chance of a good finish when he was hit from behind by Mika Salo starting from seventh spot in the second Marlboro-Ferrari. Herbert, who set the second fastest lap of the race, lost four laps with a pit stop after losing his car's rear wing. He came home in 14th place.

Eddie’s courage in the last few laps was faultless.
The accident also cost Salo almost a lap when he too went to the pits to replace his Ferrari's damaged front wing. He was lap down by the end of the race taking ninth place overall.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen took the fourth place points for the Jordan team well clear of local hope Alexander Wurz who was fifth for the Benetton team after his teammate had blown up his Benetton's engine.

The final point of the day went to the Sauber-Petronas of Pedro Diniz, the Brazilian taking a two stop strategy like his teammate Alesi who ran out of fuel when he missed his pit signal for his second stop.

There were 13 cars running at the finish.

Jean Todt

"Today we have seen the right response from Eddie and the team to the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. We said we would not give up and this proves we did not. As usual, actions speak louder than words. It was a shame for Salo that he collided with Herbert, because he could have scored important points for the Constructors' Championship. There is still a long way to go…"

Eddie Irvine

"I knew qualifying did not represent our true performance and because of that and the right strategy I was able to win. I have proved I can do the job. In the early stages, I was having to watch my fuel, but then I really made up time before my pit-stop. The smoke from my car towards the end of the race was probably coming from my brain because I had to think about so many things - the fuel, the brakes, the tyres. It was not just a case of driving. I had understeer on my second set of tyres but it got better after a while. Then I eased off a bit to look after the brakes, but Coulthard caught me quicker than I expected and I had to push very hard again and forget about my brake problems. I wished the chequered flag would come sooner. At last week's Monza test we made a big step forward in terms of running on high speed tracks, so know I am confident for Hockenheim."

Mika Salo

"I am not happy within my race result, however my speed over the weekend was okay, even though I made a couple of mistakes. I made a good start, but I had to protect my position at the first corner. Then at the second corner, with the accident in front, the whole pack slowed down, but I was carrying a bit too much speed and hit Herbert from behind. During the race, I seemed to have a lack of straight line speed which made overtaking difficult. On the plus side, I learned a lot today and at the next race in Hockenheim, I know that I have to score points to help Ferrari in the championship. Now that I have more experience with the car I think that is possible. I am really happy for Eddie."

Race Results:

Austrian Grand Prix
World Championship of Drivers, round 9;
A1-Ring, Spielberg, July 25th, 1999;
71 laps, 306,649 kms


Pos  Driver        Team                 Time        
 1.  Irvine        Ferrari              1h 28:12.438
 2.  Coulthard     McLaren Mercedes     + 0.313     
 3.  Hakkinen      McLaren Mercedes     + 0:22.282  
 4.  Frentzen      Jordan Mugen-Honda   + 0:52.803  
 5.  Wurz          Benetton Playlife    + 1:06.300  
 6.  Diniz         Sauber Petronas      + 1:10.900  
 7.  Trulli        Prost Peugeot        + 1 Lap     
 8.  Hill          Jordan Mugen-Honda   + 1 Lap     
 9.  Salo          Ferrari              + 1 Lap     
10.  Panis         Prost Peugeot        + 1 Lap     
11.  Gene          Minardi Ford         + 1 Lap     
12.  Fisichella    Benetton Playlife    + 3 Laps *  
13.  Badoer        Minardi Ford         + 3 Laps    
14.  Herbert       Stewart Ford         + 4 Laps    

* retired on lap 68, due to engine failure


Driver        Team               On Lap   Reason      
Zonta         BAR Supertec         63     clutch      
Barrichello   Stewart Ford         55     engine      
Alesi         Sauber Petronas      49     out of fuel 
de la Rosa    Arrows TWR           38     spun off    
Zanardi       Williams Supertec    35     out of fuel 
Villeneuve    BAR Supertec         34     rear upright
Takagi        Arrows TWR           25     engine      
R.Schumacher  Williams Supertec     7     spun off    

Fastest Lap: Mika Hakkinen, Lap 39, 1:12.107 (215.629 kmph)

Drivers Points Standings after 9 rounds:

 1. Hakkinen      44        
 2. Irvine        42
 3  M.Schumacher  32        
 4. Frentzen      29
 5. Coulthard     28        
 6. R.Schumacher  19
 7. Fisichella    13        
 8. Barrichello   10
 9. Hill           5       
10. Diniz          3
 =  Wurz           3       
12. Herbert       2
13. Panis          1         
 =  Alesi          1
 =  Trulli         1        
 =  de la Rose     1

Constructors' Points Championship:

1. Scuderia Ferrari           74
2. McLaren-Mercedes           72
3. Jordan-Mugen Honda         34
4. Williams-Supertec          19
5. Benetton-Playlife          16
6. Stewart-Ford               12
7. Sauber-Petronas             4
8. Prost Peugeot               2
=  Arrows TWR                  2

All Timing Unofficial

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