Sunday, October 17, 1999 Published at 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Ferrari fights disqualifications
Eddie Irvine: Lost first place as well as the drivers' championship
Mika Hakkinen has been installed as provisional world drivers' champion after Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher were sensationally thrown out of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
But Irvine and second-placed team-mate Schumacher were disqualified less than three hours after the race had finished, when the sport's technical delegate announced the Ferrari cars had broken technical regulations.
The team said that the breach of the regulations did not improve the performance of the car.
Ferrari press officer Claudio Berro acknowledged that the panels might not conform to regulations.
"We need to check the technical situation," he said. "We checked the parts, whether it confirmed to the rules. It is possible the manufacturer does not conform. I don't know. It is too much early to give an explanation."
After the hearing, the following statement was released:
"Having heard the explanation of the competitors' representative and the team's technical director and having heard the explanations of the FIA technical delegate and the team's acceptance that the bodywork did not conform, the stewards decide that neither car complies with Article 3.12.1 of the 1999 FIA FI technical regulations and therefore exclude both cars from the event.
"The competitor's representative is reminded of his right to appeal."
It is a dramatic twist to a race which saw Schumacher, in his comeback from a broken leg, wave through his team-mate with three laps left, to set up what looked like a thrilling climax to the drivers' championship.
But the 10 points that are awarded with victory now give Hakkinen an unassailable lead at the head of the drivers standings before the season-ending race at Suzuka, Japan.
According to Bauer, the deflector panels on the Ferraris' bodywork were deemed to have broken the regulations.
"When checking the bodywork facing the ground (article 3.12.1) it was noticed that the upper parts of the deflector panels do not lie on either the reference or step planes.
"In my opinion neither car does comply up to 10 millimetres with article 3.12.1 of the 1999 FIA Formula One technical regulations."
Schumacher plays team card
Former world champion Schumacher led the race, after Irvine, from Northern Ireland, pulled in for his second pit stop, but the German let Irvine cruise into first.
Hakkinen snatched back third place from Stewart Ford's Herbert with a daring move on the penultimate lap.
Rubens Barrichello was promoted to third after coming fifth, with Heinz-Harald Frentzen moving to fourth.
Team-mate Damon Hill was forced to retire in the penultimate race of his career after being hit on the opening lap while McLaren's David Coulthard quit with a technical problem when lying second.
Result of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix following the disqualification of the Ferrari team who finished first and second:
Race distance: 56 laps:
1. Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren 1 hour 36 minutes 48.237
Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BAR completed 48 laps
Did not start:
Jarno Trulli (Italy) Prost
Eddie Irvine (Britain) Ferrari
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