Canadian Grand Prix 1999 – Race
The performance of the Williams team this weekend was exactly as any Williams fan has come to expect this season. A poor qualifying position for both drivers, but both close together on the grid, a good race for Schumacher culminating in a couple of points and Zanardi not finishing due to some technical difficulty. The Canadian race was no different except that at least this time there was something marginally more interesting taking place at the head of the field!
Qualifying was nothing short of disastrous for Ralf including a heavy crash and a brush with Ricardo Zonta. Given these incidents it was pretty amazing that he qualified only one place below Zanardi in 13th.
Both Zanardi and Schumacher made up places at the start thanks to Jarno Trulli who made a mess of the start and took out Alesi and Barrichello in the process. This piece of good fortune left Zanardi 8th with his teammate right behind him. The good fortune didn’t last long though as on lap four Zanardi took his first trip across the gravel and promptly put himself down to 17th position and last… Zanardi wasn’t too far behind though as by this time the safety car had made it’s second appearance and the pack were closed up once more.
By lap eighteen the order was Schumacher (Michael), Hakkinen, Irvine, Fisichella, Frentzen, Herbert with Schumacher (Ralf) 8th and Zanardi 15th. Ralf made up another place when his brother, in a moment of madness hits the wall at the last turn and puts himself out of the race.
By lap 35 Zanardi had been lapped by the leader, now Hakkinen and Ralf Schumacher has had an off from which he recovered and remained 6th.
Having tried it in a Williams Jacques Villeneuve thought he would try it in a BAR and hit the wall in exactly the same spot that Damon Hill, Ricardo Zonta and Michael Schumacher had done on previous laps. Once again the safety car came out to allow the marshals some space to clear the wreckage.
When the safety car went in Ralf Schumacher was 4th and Zanardi 8th, however this was not to last long as the Italian was called in for a 10 second stop-and-go penalty for a safety car infringement. This somewhat took the wind out of his sails and on lap 50 he was out for good but not before sailing over the gravel trap once more for good measure.
As usual it was left to Ralf Schumacher to maintain the Williams honor. Once more bringing home the car in 4th position for a few more valuable points.