You can’t imagine it now though there was a time a lot of drivers tested in the Formula One. Or teams tested in between races to test new aerodynamics or new engines. Or just to cash extra money by letting unknown drivers, who will never arrive, experience the Formula 1.
As many of these drivers are long forgotten, and there isn’t a real overview of the test drivers, its all bits and pieces. It though well why not? Here are the drivers who tested with a F1 car in 1999.
Luckily there are a lot of test times available from the late 1990s and early 2000s. AtlasF1 is one of those sites that kept the testing times and published them on a special page dedicated to testing. Below are links to the test sessions that were kept during the months, as you will see back then there was unlimited testing!
February testing – March testing – April testing – May testing – June testing – July testing – August testing – September testing – Oktober testing – December testing.
West McLaren Mercedes
Looking at the statistics 1999 was not a great year for the McLaren team. Considering the many retirements from both Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard during the seasons. McLaren appeared with the McLaren MP4/14. While Mercedes brought the needed speed with it. Mika would become for the second time in his career the world-champion.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the McLaren MP4/14.
David Coulthard: Tested with the McLaren MP4/14.
Olivier Panis: Tested with the McLaren MP4/14 at Jerez.
Nick Heidfeld: Tested with the McLaren MP4/14 at Silverstone.
Jenson Button: Tested with the McLaren MP4/14 in November at Silverstone because he won the Autosport BRDC in 1998.
Mário Haberfeld: Tested with the McLaren MP4/14 at Donnington.
Darren Turner: Is said to have tested with the McLaren MP4/14 at Silverstone.
Andrew Kirkaldy: Tested with the McLaren MP4/14.
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
If Schumacher did not have his accident and Eddie Irvine was a bit more serious with his career probably one of the Ferrari drivers would have been world Champion in 1999. However, the Scuderia would win the constructors championship that year. The team appeared with the Ferrari F399 on the grid. Powered by their own Ferrari V10 engine.
Michael Schumacher: Tested with the Ferrari F399.
Eddie Irvine: Tested with the Ferrari F399.
Mika Salo: Tested with the Ferrari F399 prior him replacing Schumacher at Fiorano.
Rubens Barrichello: Tested the Ferrari F399 at the end of the season, as he would be the second Ferrari driver in 2000.
Max Biaggi: Tested with the Ferrari F399 in January at Fiorano.
Luca Badoer: Tested with the Ferrari F399.
The Williams team went from to midfield in only a few seasons. If not for Ralf Schumacher the team would have sunk even further. With Ralf Schumacher and Alessandro Zanardi they had two new drivers behind the wheels. The team appeared with the FW21 on the grid. Powered by the Supertec V10 engine. Basically the Renault V10 engines.
Alessandro Zanardi: Tested with the Williams FW21.
Ralf Schumacher: Tested with the Williams FW21.
Antonia Pizzonia: Tested with the Williams FW21 on the 8th of November as he was the Formula Renault UK Champion.
Tom Kristensen: Tested with the Williams FW21.
Benson and Hedges Jordan
Jordan is perhaps the most surprising team in 1999. While they showed their progression since late 1996 it seemed 1999 was their year. With Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Damon Hill as their drivers. While powered by the Mugen-Honda V10. The Jordan 199 was a smooth looking car. Sadly, for the team it seemed that Damon lost interest in racing in 1999.
Damon Hill: Tested with the Jordan 199.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Tested with the Jordan 199.
Jarno Trulli: Tested with the Jordan 199 at Barcelona.
Tomas Enge: Tested with the Jordan 199.
Martin Brundle: Tested the Jordan 199 at Silverstone.
Jos Verstappen: Tested the Jordan 199 on the 29th of June on a wet Silverstone.
Shinji Nakano: Tested with the Jordan 199.
David Kennedy: Tested with the Jordan 199 at Mondello park.
Mild Seven Benetton Playlife
The team in transformation already to become Renault a few years later? They appeared with the Benetton B199 on the grid while Alexander Wurz and Giancarlo Fisichella completed the line-up. The car was still powered by the Playlife V10 engine. Their best result was a second place in Canada.
Alexander Wurz: Tested with the Benetton B199.
Giancarlo Fisichella: Tested with the Benetton B199.
Laurent Redon: Tested with the Benetton B199.
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
1999 was the first season the team did not score podium for a few years. The team appeared with the Sauber C18 on the grid. Powered by the Petronas V10 engine. Both Jean Alesi and Pedro Diniz managed to score every now and then some points.
Jean Alesi: Tested with the Sauber C18.
Pedro Diniz: Tested with the Sauber C18.
Enrique Bernoldi: Tested with the Sauber C18 at Magny Cours.
Repsol Arrows F1 Team
Even today we are still talking about the Arrows team and their 1999 season. Who doesn’t remember their introduction with a new title sponsor? T-minus it is. A company that was said to do a lot in several sectors. However, in the T-Minus disappeared from the car as sponsor. The Arrows A20 was a smooth designed car driven by Pedro de la Rosa and Toranosuke Takagi. Their own Arrows engine, an old Hart, powered the car. As the team was lacking proper funding, they were unable to keep on developing the car. Pedro scored one point in the first race of the season.
Pedro de la Rosa: Tested with the Arrows A20.
Toranosuke Takagi: Tested with the Arrows A20.
Mark Webber: Tested with the Arrows A20 at Barcelona while fitted with the Supertec engines.
Mika Salo: Tested a couple of times with the Arrows A20. He was one of the drivers, before Tom Walkinshaw dropped him just a week before the opening race.
Tom Coronel: Tested with the Arrows A20, though it seemed he tested the Arrows only to put pressure on Verstappen’s management for a spot in the team in 2000.
HSBC Stewart Ford
The last year we would see the Stewart team on the grid. It seemed the team finally conquered their struggles with the wind tunnel. The Stewart SF03 was an elegant car powered by the Ford V10. Rubens Barrichello and Johnny Herbert were the drivers for the team. The team managed to score several podiums. Their best results was the 1 – 3 in Germany.
Johnny Herbert: Tested with the Stewart SF03.
Rubens Barrichello: Tested with the Stewart SF03.
Luciano Burti: Tested with the Stewart SF03 at Monza and Silverstone and Jerez.
Eddie Irvine: Tested with the Stewart SF03, in a white overall, at Silverstone. In preparation of his season in 2000 with Jaguar, that acquired Stewart Grand Prix.
Gauloises Prost Peugeot
While 1998 was a disastrous season for the French team, 1999 would be a bit better. The team appeared with the Prost AP02 on the grid. Powered by Peugeot’s V10 engine. With Olivier Panis and Jarno Trulli behind the wheel, the team scored several points. Their best result was a second place during the European Grand Prix.
Olivier Panis: Tested with the Prost AP02.
Jarno Trulli: Tested with the Prost AP02.
Jenson Button: Tested with the Prost AP02 in December at Barcelona.
Nick Heidfeld: Tested with the Prost AP02 in December at Barcelona.
Jean Alesi: Tested with the Prost AP02 in December at Jerez.
Fondmetal Minardi Team
A new season, with a brand-new car. The Minardi M01 was pure in its simplicity. Sadly, also in 1999 the team had not the money to keep on developing the car. The Ford V10 powered the car. Marc Gené and Luca Badoer drove most of the races for the team. While Stéphane Sarrazin replaced Luca Badoer during the second Grand Prix of 1999.
Luca Badoer: Tested with the Minardi M01.
Marc Gené: Tested with the Minardi M01.
Gastón Mazzacane: Tested with the Minardi M01 at Vairano a couple of times.
Max Wilson: Tested with the Minardi M01 in December at Jerez.
Fernando Alonso: Tested with the Minardi M01 in December at Jerez.
Norberto Fontana: Tested with the Minardi M01 in December at Jerez.
Giorgio Vinella: Tested with the Minardi M01 in December at Jerez.
Peter Sundberg: Tested with the Minardi M01 in December at Jerez.
British American Racing
With a lot of big talk British American Racing, better known as BAR, entered the Formula One in 1999. The team purchased in 1998 the Tyrrell team. With Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta behind the wheels the team had a decent drivers duo. While Mika Salo replaced Zonta for a few races. However, the BAR 01 was a joke during the Grand Prix weekends. Powered by Supertec, proven in the Williams to score points, the team failed badly.
Jacques Villeneuve: Tested with the BAR 01.
Ricardo Zonta: Tested with the BAR 01.
Mika Salo: Tested with the BAR 01.
Patrick Lemarié: Is said to have tested the BAR 01.
Jean-Christophe Boullion: Tested with the BAR 01.
A story that have been told by many people during the last years. Perhaps this is the biggest what if in Formula One. Probably more for Jos Verstappen. If the Honda RA099 build by Dallara, was that competitive as shown on the tracks. Perhaps Jos Verstappen would have been the first Dutch world champion. Sadly, the team stopped investing in the team after Harvey Postlethwaite died.
Jos Verstappen: Tested a lot with the Honda RA099.
Nicolas Minassian: Tested the Honda RA099 at least at Pembrey.
Satoru Nakajima: It is sai that Nakajima has tested the Honda RA099 as well.
Mika Salo: Would test the Honda RA099, though this never happened after Honda pulled the plug.
Williams FW21B BMW Test car
During the season Williams signed a deal with BMW for 2000 and further. The Williams AFW21 was fitted with the BMW V10 engine. The car was tested at Miramas and he A1-Ring.
Jorg Müller: Tested the Williams BMW FW21B.
Darren Manning: Tested the Williams BWM FW21B.
Ralf Schumacher: Tested with the Williams BMW FW21B.
Williams FW21 Michelin test car
Besides adopting one of the FW21’s to be fitted with the BMW V10 engine. Another Williams FW21 was used to test the new Michelin tyres at the end of the season at Miramas.
Jorg Müller: Tested with the Test car.