1 World Drivers’ Championship – All drivers
Mika Hakkinen’s second title was won by just two points from Eddie Irvine. Team mate David Coulthard struggled, scoring just 48 points to Hakkinen’s 76. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was a strong third for Jordan-Mugen Honda, and remained in the title chase until the dying stages.
2 World Drivers’ Championship – Battle for the title
Hakkinen would have won the title in Malaysia – the penultimate round – had the Ferraris not been controversially reinstated. Michael Schumacher led the championship battle earlier in the season but had slipped behind Hakkinen at the time of his leg-breaking accident at Silverstone.
3 World Drivers’ Championship – Points systems 1981-present
Under the 2003 points system Eddie Irvine would have been champion by six points, although by popular regard he did not perform as well as Hakkinen, Schumacher or even Frentzen.
4 World Constructors’ Championships – All constructors
Stewart performed exceptionally well in their final year, secuting fourth in the championship ahead of Williams by a single point. Newcomers BAR astonishingly failed to score at all, despite their bold pre-season promises of challenging for race wins and the championship.
5 World Constructors’ Championships – Battle for the title
Ferrari took the World Constructors’ Title thanks to their disputed 1-2 in Malaysia and David Coulthard’s failure to finish in Japan.
6 Drivers’ Average Start Positions
Hakkinen dominated qualifying in 1999 with eleven pole positions – his one-off low qualifying position of 14th in France pushed his average starting position up from 1.47 to 2.25. Comparing Michael Schumacher’s average qualifying position – 2.7 – within Irvine’s – 5.38 – suggests the Irishman was struggling to get the most out of the Ferrari package in his last year with the team.
7 Drivers’ Top 3 Qualifying Positions
Hakkinen and Coulthard had the same number of top-three starts – but Coulthard had not a single pole position. Rubens Barrichello took pole at Magny-Cours in a wet session, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen started first at the Nurburgring.
8 Drivers’ Average Position Changes and Participations
Marc Gene’s strong finishing record for Minardi meant he finished races an average of six places higher than where he started. He twice picked up 14 places in a single race – the best of the season. Coulthard’s poor year is underlined by his failure to improve, on average, on his qualifying position.
9 Drivers’ Points per Round and per Finish
McLaren’s reliability problems and Hakkinen’s occasional moments of brain fade (San Marino, Monza) meant his rate of points scored per finish was far lower than it could have been. The same was true of team-mate Coulthard, showing how easily McLaren might have won the constructor’s title.
10 Drivers’ DNFs (totals)
The reliability rate in 1999 was just above 50%, with well over a third of all starts ending in mechanical failure. There were also 59 separate racing incidents.
11 Drivers’ DNFs (by driver)
BAR suffered repeated failures in their first season – Jacques Villeneuve failed to finish on 10 of 16 starts due to car failure. Compared to McLaren, Ferrari had greatly superior reliability – their three drivers had just two mechanical failures (one of Mika Salo’s came while he was with BAR) compared to McLaren’s eight.