Ready to pounce
Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher with their new Ferrari F399, were surely ready to pounce before the 1999 Formula 1 season (picture-above). Ferrari won their ninth constructors’ title, and their first since the 1983 season, paving the way for the Michael Schumacher era of Ferrari dominance beginning in 2000.
However, Schumacher’s participation in the 1999 championship was cut short du to injury at the British Grand Prix , where he suffered a broken leg in a crash. He returned for the last two races of the season in order to assist Eddie Irvine in his championship run.
Finally, the drivers’ championship was won for a second consecutive time by Mika Hakkinen (McLaren), although Eddie Irvine (Ferrari), David Coulthard (McLaren) and Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan) all had a chance of winning the title at various stages.
At Ferrari, most of the insiders were satisfied with the outcome, even relieved, wishing Michael Schumacher and not Eddie Irvine, to win the first Drivers’ Championship for Ferrari since 1979. They’ll have to wait one more year.
Picture below: Podium of the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix. Eddie Irvine has been gifted the race by Michael Schumacher who was so much faster than him, while Mika Hakkinen watches on in third.