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Saturday, July 31, 1999 Published at 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK

Hakkinen grabs German pole

Mika Hakkinen: "Really enjoyable"

World champion Mika Hakkinen displayed icy nerve to ease his McLaren into pole position for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on Sunday.

Jonathan Legard: "This was a tour de force by Mika Hakkinen"
"I had to fight for pole position and it was really enjoyable," he said.

"It was extremely close, but that's how it should be."

Germany's Heinz-Harald Frentzen drove an inspirational qualifying session for second on the grid and was only denied Jordan's second pole in 140 attempts by half-a-second.

Frustrating session

Hakkinen's British team mate David Coulthard recovered after "an attention grabbing moment" when he hit a gravel trap to place third in the spare car.

Last week's Austrian GP winner and second-placed driver Eddie Irvine struggled to find balance with his Ferrari and spun off the track, before eventually placing fifth.

[ image: Eddie Irvine: Outshone by Mika Salo]
Eddie Irvine: Outshone by Mika Salo
In a particularly frustrating session, the Ulsterman saw his team mate and replacement for the injured Michael Schumacher, Mika Salo, cruise into fourth on the grid for only his second race with Ferrari.

Damon Hill found his form again to set the best time in early qualifying, before slipping back to eighth.

And Stewart Ford's Johnny Herbert recovered from an horrific 210mph smash to place 17th, although he was lucky to escape serious injury, suffering nothing more serious than a bruised thumb.

He crashed out near the section of the Hockenheimering that claimed the life of former British world champion Jim Clark in 1968.

Hard driving

The pole will do much to settle Hakkinen's nerves, after Eddie Irvine's win last week threw the race for the championship wide open.

Irvine, meanwhile, will have to rely on a combination of luck and hard driving if he is to beat the Finn at Hockenheim.

Little-known Italian Jarno Trulli failed to hold onto his form, when he upset the hierarchy to clock the fastest time in practice on Friday. He had to settle for ninth after the qualifying round.


  • 1. M Hakkinen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1mins 42.950secs (ave speed 238.589kph)
  • 2. H-H Frentzen (Ger) Jordan-Mugen Honda 1:43.000
  • 3. D Coulthard (Gbr) McLaren-Mercedes 1:43.288
  • 4. M Salo (Fin) Ferrari 1:43.577
  • 5. E Irvine (Gbr) Ferrari 1:43.769
  • 6. R Barrichello (Bra) Stewart-Ford 1:43.938
  • 7. O Panis (Fra) Prost-Peugeot 1:43.979
  • 8. D Hill (Gbr) Jordan-Mugen Honda 1:44.001
  • 9. J Trulli (Ita) Prost-Peugeot 1:44.209
  • 10. G Fisichella (Ita) Benetton-Supertec 1:44.338
  • 11. R Schumacher (Ger) Williams-Supertec 1:44.468
  • 12. J Villeneuve (Can) BAR-Supertec 1:44.508
  • 13. A Wurz (Aut) Benetton-Supertec 1:44.522
  • 14. A Zanardi (Ita) Williams-Supertec 1:45.034
  • 15. M Gene (Spa) Minardi-Ford 1:45.331
  • 16. PP Diniz (Bra) Sauber-Petronas 1:45.335
  • 17. J Herbert (Gbr) Stewart-Ford 1:45.454
  • 18. R Zonta (Bra) BAR-Supertec 1:45.460
  • 19. L Badoer (Ita) Minardi-Ford 1:45.917
  • 20. P de la Rosa (Spa) Arrows 1:45.935
  • 21. J Alesi (Fra) Sauber-Petronas 1:45.962
  • 22. T Takagi (Jpn) Arrows 1:46.209.

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Hakkinen crowned F1 champion

Finn toasts team success

1999 Championship standings

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