1999 Canadian Grand Prix

The 1999 Canadian Grand Prix[2] was a Formula One motor race held on 13 June 1999 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was the sixth race of the 1999 Formula One season. The race was notable for the four crashes that occurred in turn 13 and for the number of times the safety car was deployed. Turn 13, the final chicane, had four separate crashes in which a driver either went wide or spun into the wall. Three of the drivers who crashed there had previously won the Drivers' Championship, leading to the wall becoming known as the "Wall of Champions". The safety car was deployed four times in the race, a record at the time, and was the first F1 race to finish behind the safety car following Heinz-Harald Frentzen's massive crash with four laps to go.[3]

1999 Canadian Grand Prix
Race 6 of 16 in the 1999 Formula One World Championship
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (last modified in 1996)
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (last modified in 1996)
Race details
Date 13 June 1999
Official name XXXVII Grand Prix Air Canada
Location Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Course Temporary street circuit
Course length 4.421 km (2.747 mi)
Distance 69 laps, 305.049 km (189.549 mi)
Weather Hot with temperatures approaching 31 °C (88 °F); wind speeds up to 5.1 kilometres per hour (3.2 mph)[1] Track 41–43 °C (106–109 °F)
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 1:19.298
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari
Time 1:20.382 on lap 62
First McLaren-Mercedes
Second Benetton-Playlife
Third Ferrari



The race was won by Mika Häkkinen for McLaren.

The front runners got off the line cleanly, with Michael Schumacher maintaining first place, after starting on pole for the first time in 1999, ahead of Mika Häkkinen and Eddie Irvine. Behind them Giancarlo Fisichella passed David Coulthard to take fifth place. Jarno Trulli, starting ninth, went off the track trying to pass Heinz-Harald Frentzen up the inside into turn one. Trulli spun across turn one, collecting Jean Alesi and Rubens Barrichello in the process. Trulli and Alesi retired, and the safety car was deployed. Alexander Wurz also retired during the first lap with transmission problems. Barichello limped back to the pits where repairs were made to his car. His was able to resume the race, albeit two laps down on the leader, but ultimately had to retire because of the collision damage after having completed 14 laps.[4][5]

Eddie Irvine posted his only career fastest lap in this race.

The safety car returned to the pits at the end of the second lap, having been deployed for only one lap, allowing normal racing to resume with the top six being Michael Schumacher, Häkkinen, Irvine, Fisichella, Coulthard and Frentzen.

During the third lap Coulthard passed Fisichella going into turn 13 to retake fourth place. Later that same lap, Ricardo Zonta retired after spinning into the wall at that same turn 13. He stopped just off the track, missing his right rear wheel. This brought the safety car out again. Zonta was the first of four drivers to hit the "Wall of Champions" in this race.

At the end of lap 7 the safety left the track again, allowing the race to resume normally again. The order remained stable until on lap 15, Damon Hill became the second driver to hit the turn 13 wall. He was able to pull off the track in a safe location, and the safety car was not deployed.

During lap 24, Pedro de la Rosa came in to the pits for a scheduled stop, but when trying to leave his gearbox failed. This forced him to retire. One lap later Stewart's Johnny Herbert, from seventh position, was the first driver running in the top ten to make a scheduled pit stop. He returned to the track in tenth place.

Michael Schumacher hit the wall at turn 13 on lap 30, giving the lead to Mika Häkkinen. Five laps later, Jacques Villeneuve became the fourth and final driver on the day to hit the wall at that turn, bringing the safety car out for the third time. Hill, Schumacher, and Villeneuve were three of the four Formula 1 Drivers' Champions competing in the race who hit the wall.[6]

The third safety car period, occurring around the halfway point of the race, was used by many drivers to make a scheduled pitstop. Fisichella, Frentzen, Pedro Diniz, Ralf Schumacher, Herbert, Häkkinen,and Irvine all came into the pits shortly before or after the safety car having being deployed to the circuit.

Near the end of lap 38, David Coulthard passed the safety car before entering the pit lane for his scheduled stop. Shortly afterwards Alessandro Zanardi did the same after coming out of the pit lane following his stop trying to prevent being lapped. Both Coulthard and Zanardi also ignored a red light at the end of the pit lane when exiting following their pit stop.[5]

Following the series of pit stops, the top six behind the safety car was Häkkinen, Irvine, Coulthard, Fisichella, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Ralf Schumacher. Normal racing restarted again on lap 41. Coulthard tried to go around the outside of Eddie Irvine into turn one, then the inside on turn two. However they touched, and both spun off. Both were able to rejoin, though Coulthard had to pit at the end of the lap. This dropped them to 8th and 10th place respectively while Fisichella and Frentzen took over third and fourth place with Ralf Schumacher and Diniz following in fifth and sixth.

Two laps later Fisichella and Frentzen found themselves trying to lap Luca Badoer and Olivier Panis. However Panis attempted to pass Badoer while approaching turn 13, thus ingoring blue flags being showed to them. Panis was unable to pass before the turn and being on the outside going into it had to yield. This meant he went rather slowly through the turn, forcing Fisichella behind wide which in turn allowed Frentzen to move into third place. On the same lap, Toranosuke Takagi, already two laps from the lead, slowly entered the pit lane to retire his Arrows with transmission problems.

During lap 47 Coulthard, Zanardi, Badoer and Panis were all issued 10 second stop and go penalties. Coulthard and Zanardi for ignoring the red light in the pit lane following their pitstops, Badoer and Panis for ignoring blue flags.[5] The latter three served their penalties on the same lap, while Coulthard followed suit one lap later.

Meanwhile, Irvine continued to move back up the order following the incident with Coulthard. By lap 46 he had moved into seventh place. At the start of lap 47 he passed Diniz for sixth place going into turn one. Six laps later he passed Herbert for fifth place going into turn 13, though both drivers had to cut across the grass. Another five lap later he passed Ralf Schumacher on the same spot to take fourth place. In the meantime, on lap 51, Zanardi retired with brake problems.

The fourth and final safety car of the race came out on lap 66 after Heinz-Harald Frentzen, running in second place, suffered a brake failure whilst approaching turn three, crashing into the barriers sideways. He was uninjured. The race then finished under safety car conditions, a first for Formula One,[5] with Mika Häkkinen victorious.[4] Eddie Irvine scored his first fastest lap[7] and finished third behind Giancarlo Fisichella.


Jacques Villeneuve (BAR) (top), Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) (center), and Damon Hill (Jordan) (bottom) all became victims of the outside wall at the exit of the final chicane. Because all three of them were former World Champions, their collisions with that wall (which all happened on separate occasions) resulted in it being nicknamed the "Wall of Champions".


Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 3   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:19.298
2 1   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.327 +0.029
3 4   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:19.440 +0.142
4 2   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.729 +0.431
5 16   Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 1:19.930 +0.632
6 8   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:20.158 +0.860
7 9   Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 1:20.378 +1.080
8 11   Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 1:20.459 +1.161
9 19   Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 1:20.557 +1.259
10 17   Johnny Herbert Stewart-Ford 1:20.829 +1.531
11 10   Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 1:21.000 +1.702
12 5   Alessandro Zanardi Williams-Supertec 1:21.076 +1.778
13 6   Ralf Schumacher Williams-Supertec 1:21.081 +1.783
14 7   Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:21.094 +1.796
15 18   Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot 1:21.252 +1.954
16 22   Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Supertec 1:21.302 +2.004
17 23   Ricardo Zonta BAR-Supertec 1:21.467 +2.169
18 12   Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas 1:21.571 +2.273
19 15   Toranosuke Takagi Arrows 1:21.693 +2.395
20 14   Pedro de la Rosa Arrows 1:22.613 +3.315
21 20   Luca Badoer Minardi-Ford 1:22.808 +3.510
22 21   Marc Gené Minardi-Ford 1:23.387 +4.089
107% time: 1:24.849


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 69 1:41:35.727 2 10
2 9   Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 69 +0.782 7 6
3 4   Eddie Irvine Ferrari 69 +1.797 3 4
4 6   Ralf Schumacher Williams-Supertec 69 +2.392 13 3
5 17   Johnny Herbert Stewart-Ford 69 +2.805 10 2
6 12   Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas 69 +3.711 18 1
7 2   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 69 +5.004 4  
8 21   Marc Gené Minardi-Ford 68 +1 Lap 22  
9 18   Olivier Panis Prost-Peugeot 68 +1 Lap 15  
10 20   Luca Badoer Minardi-Ford 67 +2 Laps 21  
11 8   Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen-Honda 65 Brakes/accident 6  
Ret 5   Alessandro Zanardi Williams-Supertec 50 Brakes 12  
Ret 15   Toranosuke Takagi Arrows 41 Transmission 19  
Ret 22   Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Supertec 34 Accident 16  
Ret 3   Michael Schumacher Ferrari 29 Accident 1  
Ret 14   Pedro de la Rosa Arrows 22 Transmission 20  
Ret 7   Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda 14 Accident 14  
Ret 16   Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 14 Steering/accident 5  
Ret 23   Ricardo Zonta BAR-Supertec 2 Spun off 17  
Ret 11   Jean Alesi Sauber-Petronas 0 Collision 8  
Ret 19   Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot 0 Collision 9  
Ret 10   Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 0 Transmission 11  

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "1999 Canadian GP: Weather". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "1999 Canadian Grand Prix". The Official Formula 1 Website. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Formula One Safety Car". F1 Technical. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Grand Prix of Canada Review". Autosport. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Grand Prix of Canada - Race Facts" (PDF). FIA.com (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 13 June 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2005.
  6. ^ "Murray's Memories: F1 Canadian GP 1999: 'The Wall of Champions'". BBC Sport. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  7. ^ "1999 Canadian GP: Overview". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  8. ^ "1999 Canadian GP". chicanef1.com. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  9. ^ "1999 Canadian GP". chicanef1.com. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Canada 1999 - Championship • STATS F1". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 14 March 2019.

External linksEdit

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1999 Spanish Grand Prix
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1999 French Grand Prix
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1998 Canadian Grand Prix
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2000 Canadian Grand Prix