F1

Formula One 2000 season in review

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2000 -- Michael Schumacher won nine Grand Prix races during the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship season en route to becoming the first driver to win the Drivers Championship for Ferrari since Jody...

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2000 -- Michael Schumacher won nine Grand Prix races during the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship season en route to becoming the first driver to win the Drivers Championship for Ferrari since Jody Scheckter in 1979. Schumacher and his teammate, Rubens Barrichello, also clinched the Constructors Championship for Ferrari as one or both drivers finished in the points in all 17 races. Ferrari's 10th Constructors Championship put the team ahead of Williams, which won the title nine times, and McLaren, which has eight titles. Schumacher tied the record of most wins in a season set by Nigel Mansell in 1992 and tied by Schumacher in 1995. For much of the season, the championship was a four-way battle between the Ferrari drivers and West McLaren-Mercedes teammates Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. After 11 rounds, a mere 10 points separated the four drivers, but as the season drew to a close the battle for the title turned into a duel between Hakkinen, who was trying to win his third consecutive championship, and Schumacher. Schumacher, who won the championship in 1994 and 1995 driving for Benetton, clinched the 2000 crown with four consecutive victories at the end of the season, including a win at the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Hakkinen ended up second in the championship, followed by Coulthard and Barrichello. For the first time since 1988, two teams-Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes-won every Grand Prix during the season. Between them, Schumacher (nine wins), Hakkinen (four wins), Coulthard (three wins) and Barrichello (one win) garnered 332 of the 442 available points during the 17 races. This review looks at the highlights from each Grand Prix and charts the points totals of the top four contenders.

Round 1-Australian Grand Prix
Hakkinen started on the pole but both he and McLaren-Mercedes teammate Coulthard retired with engine problems and left Schumacher to lead Barrichello to a Ferrari 1-2 sweep of the season opener. BMW, back in F1 for the first time since 1987, ended up on the podium thanks to Ralf Schumacher finishing third in his Williams-BMW. Honda, back in F1 for the first time since 1992, also ended up in the points as former Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve finished fourth in his Lucky Strike British American Racing-Honda, while his teammate Ricardo Zonta took sixth place. Points: Schumacher-10, Barrichello-6, Hakkinen-0, Coulthard-0.

Round 2-Brazilian Grand Prix
Once again, Hakkinen won the pole. And once again, he stopped with engine woes while leading. Michael Schumacher went on to win while Coulthard finished second. After the race, however, officials disqualified Coulthard for a front-wing infringement, and that elevated Fisichella to the runner-up spot. Heinz-Harald Frentzen ended up third in his Benson & Hedges Jordan-Mugen-Honda. Points: Schumacher-20, Barrichello-6, Hakkinen-0, Coulthard-0.

Round 3-San Marino Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher's third consecutive win of the season thrilled the Ferrari "tifosi" fans that packed the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit near Imola, Italy. After failing to score points in the opening two rounds of the season, Hakkinen and Coulthard finished second and third, respectively. Hakkinen won the pole and led the first two-thirds of the race only to lose the lead to Schumacher during the second round of pit stops. Coulthard and Barrichello dueled for third place, and Barrichello ended up fourth. Points: Schumacher-30, Rubens Barrichello-9, Hakkinen-6, Coulthard-4.

Round 4-British Grand Prix
Traditionally held in July, the British Grand Prix was staged in what turned out to be one of wettest Aprils in more than 100 years in England. While the fans struggled to get in and out of muddy parking lots, Barrichello won the pole and led the race until half distance when hydraulics problems caused him to spin. After days of rain before the event, it stayed dry for the race itself. Coulthard stopped Schumacher's winning streak at three as he scored his second consecutive win in his home Grand Prix and his first victory since the 1999 Belgian Grand Prix. Hakkinen took second while Schumacher, who got stuck in traffic for much of the race, ended up third. Points: Schumacher-34, Coulthard-14, Hakkinen-12, Barrichello-9.

Round 5-Spanish Grand Prix
Hakkinen moved into second place in the championship with his victory and led Coulthard to a McLaren 1-2 finish for the third consecutive time in Spain. Coulthard's second place came just five days after he, his fiancee, Heidi Wichlinski, and his trainer, Andy Marshall, escaped serious injury when their private jet crashed in France while making an emergency landing. Both pilots died in the accident. Coulthard drove the race in considerable pain because of the severely bruised ribs he suffered in the accident, and he did not participate in the usual post-race champagne spraying celebration out of respect for the families of his two pilots. Barrichello rounded out the top three while pole sitter Michael Schumacher, who led in the early stages, ended up fifth due in part to knocking down Ferrari crew member Nigel Stepney during his first pit stop. Points: Schumacher-36, Hakkinen-22, Coulthard-20, Barrichello-13.

Round 6-European Grand Prix
More than 140,000 fans showed up at Germany's Nurburgring track to see Michael Schumacher score a popular "home" victory. He called it one of the best days of his life, as it was the first time he had won in Germany with Ferrari. Coulthard won the pole, his first since the 1998 Canadian Grand Prix, but it was Hakkinen who claimed the lead at the start only to be passed by Schumacher after 11 laps. It then started raining, and the blinding spray and slippery track created all sort of incidents. In all, seven drivers retired because of accidents and spins. After problems with the right-rear tire had slowed his first pit stop, Hakkinen lost more time when he got hung up behind a slower car before his second pit stop, and that allowed Schumacher to take the lead. Hakkinen closed in on Schumacher but had to settle for second place ahead of Coulthard and Barrichello. Points: Schumacher-46, Hakkinen-28, Coulthard-24, Barrichello-16.

Round 7-Monaco Grand Prix
Coulthard won the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix after pole sitter and leader Michael Schumacher failed to finish for the first time in the season. A broken exhaust system on Schumacher's Ferrari funneled hot air onto and warped a carbon-fiber piece of the rear suspension. Jarno Trulli qualified his Jordan-Mugen-Honda second and ran in second place before retiring with gearbox problems. That left Barrichello and Fisichella to round out the top three. Eddie Irvine scored the first points for the Jaguar team (formerly Stewart-Ford) with a fourth-place finish. Hakkinen, who had to make a long stop when an electronic sensor got tangled in the brake pedal, ended up sixth behind Mika Salo's Red Bull Sauber Petronas. It took three attempts to get the race underway. Alexander Wurz caused the first start to be aborted when he stalled his Benetton. The second start was filled with confusion as the red "abort start" lights came on at the start-finish line because of a computer glitch and a multi-car accident that blocked the track at the Grand Station Hairpin. Points: Schumacher-46, Coulthard-34, Hakkinen-29, Barrichello-22.

Round 8-Canadian Grand Prix
Pole sitter Michael Schumacher led all but nine of the 69 laps of Canadian Grand Prix on his way to his fifth win of the season. Rain began to fall just past half distance, and, although Schumacher slid off the track at one stage, he kept his Ferrari under control and went on to win for the fourth time in Canada. Barrichello ended up second despite getting held up behind Villeneuve for the first 24 laps, which allowed Schumacher to pull out a 26-second lead, and then having to wait behind Schumacher when both came into the Ferrari pits at the same time to switch to rain tires. Schumacher slowed in the closing laps because of a faulty sensor, and the Ferrari team ordered Barrichello to hold station and not pass for the lead. Benetton's pit strategy helped Fisichella claim third place. Coulthard had to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty because his mechanics had not cleared the grid 15 seconds prior to the final formation lap. The penalty, a spin and a collision with Wurz dropped Coulthard to seventh place. Hakkinen, who got held up behind Villeneuve, salvaged fourth place ahead of Jos Verstappen, who scored his first points of the season when he brought his Orange Arrows-Supertec home fifth. Points: Schumacher-56, Coulthard-34, Hakkinen-32, Barrichello-28.

Round 9-French Grand Prix
After an intense wheel-to-wheel duel with Michael Schumacher, Coulthard went on to win the French Grand Prix ahead of Hakkinen and Barrichello. Coulthard finally got by Schumacher on Lap 40, and although the right front wheel of the Ferrari bounced off the left rear wheel of the McLaren, both cars continued unscathed. Afterward, Coulthard questioned some of Schumacher 's moves in defending the lead. Schumacher, who started from the pole, eventually retired with engine problems, and this would be the first of three consecutive races where he failed to score any points. Points: Schumacher-56, Coulthard-44, Hakkinen-38, Barrichello-32. Round 10-Austrian Grand Prix Refreshed from a midseason holiday, Hakkinen started on the pole and led all but four laps to win the Austrian Grand Prix while Michael Schumacher got hit by Zonta and knocked out of the race in a multi-car accident in the first turn. After the race, officials found that a seal was missing from the electronic box on Hakkinen's car. While it was established that the box had not been tampered with, McLaren-Mercedes lost the 10 Constructors points earned with Hakkinen's victory. But Hakkinen was allowed to keep the 10 points he scored in the Drivers Championship. Coulthard finished second while Barrichello was third. Pedro de la Rosa was one of the stars of the race as he ran in third place before retiring with gearbox problems on his Arrows. Points: Schumacher-56, Coulthard-50, Hakkinen-48, Barrichello-36.

Round 11-German Grand Prix
Barrichello scored his first-ever Grand Prix victory after fighting his way up from 18th place at the start. He began the race on a light fuel load as he and the Ferrari team had planned a two pit stop strategy, and he steadily passed cars and worked his way up to third place by Lap 15. When it began to rain on one section of the Hockenheim circuit with 15 of the 45 laps yet to run, every driver eventually pitted for wet-weather tires or spun off except Barrichello, who kept control of his car in the tricky conditions and went on to win ahead of Hakkinen and Coulthard. At the start of the race, Coulthard swerved to his right and across the front Schumacher's Ferrari, and Michael Schumacher then moved left only to collide with Fisichella's Benetton. It marked the third consecutive race that Schumacher failed to finish. His championship lead, once as large as 26 points, was now down to just two points. Hakkinen and pole winner Coulthard pulled away in the early stages of the race but lost their advantage when the Safety Car came out because a protester walked out onto the track. Still, Hakkinen and Coulthard managed to finish second and third, respectively. Points: Schumacher-56, Coulthard-54, Hakkinen-54, Barrichello-46.

Round 12-Hungarian Grand Prix
After passing pole sitter Michael Schumacher in the first turn, Hakkinen went on to win in Hungary and took over the lead in the championship for the first time in the season. Schumacher finished second, just 0.538 of a second ahead of Coulthard, who complained of being held up in traffic. After 12 of 17 races, the McLaren-Mercedes team now led the Constructors Championship by one point over Ferrari, 112-111. Points: Hakkinen-64, Schumacher-62, Coulthard-58, Barrichello-49.

Round 13-Belgian Grand Prix
Hakkinen spun and won the Belgian Grand Prix-a race in which he lost the lead to Michael Schumacher after spinning his McLaren-Mercedes, charged back and then took the lead with a heart-stopping pass. The track was still wet from a morning rain as the cars lined up for the start and, because of the damp conditions, officials decided to have the cars run the opening lap behind the Safety Car rather than have the usual standing start. On Lap 40 of 44, Hakkinen made a move to the inside as he and Schumacher headed up the hill toward the Les Combes corner at nearly 200 mph, but Schumacher moved over to protect his lead. On the next lap, as Schumacher and Hakkinen came up the same hill at high speed, they encountered Zonta's BAR-Honda in the middle of the track. Schumacher went by Zonta's left while Hakkinen sneaked through on Zonta's right. Hakkinen went on to win the 18th Grand Prix of his career. Schumacher took second ahead of his brother, Ralf Schumacher. Points: Hakkinen-74, Schumacher-68, Coulthard-61, Barrichello-49.

Round 14-Italian Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher scored what would be the first of four consecutive victories with an emotional win in the Italian Grand Prix. Two accidents at the start of the race ended the day for two other championship contenders-Coulthard and Barrichello-as well as five other drivers. Unfortunately, fire marshal Paolo Ghislimberti suffered fatal injuries when hit by flying debris from the second accident. Pole sitter Schumacher led nearly every lap to earn his 41st Grand Prix victory of his career and equal the number of victories scored by the late Ayrton Senna. Alain Prost holds the record with 51 wins. The emotions of equaling Senna's tally and winning in a Ferrari in front of the fanatical Italian fans became too much for Schumacher, who wept in the post-race TV press conference. Hakkinen finished second, while Ralf Schumacher was third and joined his brother on the podium for the third time in the 2000 season. Points: Hakkinen-80, Schumacher-78, Coulthard-61, Barrichello-49.

Round 15-SAP United States Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher made history and took the lead in the World Championship with a dominating victory in his Ferrari in the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The largest crowd in modern F1 history watched the historic race as Schumacher and Barrichello swept to a 1-2 finish in the first Grand Prix in the U.S. since the race in Phoenix in 1991. This was Ferrari's first win in the United States Grand Prix since Gilles Villeneuve won at Watkins Glen in 1979. Hakkinen retired from second place with an engine fire on Lap 26. Coulthard, who led the first six laps, had to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start. He worked his way back up to finish fifth. Frentzen made it onto the podium for the first time since the season opener when he finished third in his Jordan-Mugen-Honda. Returning to the Brickyard for the first time since he won the 1995 Indianapolis 500, Villeneuve finished fourth. His BAR-Honda teammate Zonta rounded out the top six. Points: Schumacher-88, Hakkinen-80, Coulthard-63, Barrichello-55.

Round 16-Japanese Grand Prix
Hakkinen had to win in Japan to keep his championship hopes alive, but he could not keep Michael Schumacher at bay. Hakkinen took the lead at the start despite pole sitter Schumacher's best efforts to get ahead into the first turn, and he managed to pull out a two-second lead over Schumacher. A light rain began to fall midway through the race, and while it was not heavy enough to force the drivers to pit for rain tires, it did allow Schumacher to close the gap on Hakkinen. The turning point of the race came during the second round of pit stops. Not only did Schumacher have a quicker stop, he also had quicker in and out laps than Hakkinen when he pitted. After his pit stop, Schumacher came out ahead of Hakkinen, took the lead and held it until the end of the 53-lap race, clinching the Drivers Championship. Hakkinen placed second ahead of Coulthard. Points: Schumacher-98, Hakkinen-86, Coulthard-67, Barrichello-58.

Round 17-Malaysian Grand Prix
McLaren-Mercedes had a slim chance of winning the Constructors Championship instead of Ferrari, but Michael Schumacher ensured that Ferrari took the crown with his win in the season finale. Schumacher, who started from the pole, barely held off Coulthard to earn the 44th Grand Prix victory of his career. Barrichello finished third. Hakkinen jumped the start and had to pit for a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, and that dropped him to 18th place. But he charged back to finish fourth. Coulthard led in the early stages but had to make an early pit stop after he briefly slid off the track and got grass and debris in his car's radiators, which caused the engine to overheat. Coulthard then chased hard after Schumacher and crossed the line just 0.732 of a second behind the winning car. The Ferrari crew and drivers celebrated winning the double championships by donning red wigs for the post-race festivities.

FINAL POINTS:

Drivers: Michael Schumacher 108, Mika Hakkinen 89, David Coulthard 73, Rubens Barrichello 62, Ralf Schumacher 24, Giancarlo Fisichella 18, Jacques Villeneuve 17, Jenson Button 12, Heinz-Harald Frentzen 11, Jarno Trulli 6, Mika Salo 6, Jos Verstappen 5, Eddie Irvine 4, Ricardo Zonta 3, Alexander Wurz 2, Pedro de la Rosa 2.

Constructors: Ferrari 170, McLaren-Mercedes 152, Williams-BMW 36, Benetton-Playlife 20, British American Racing-Honda 20, Jordan-Mugen-Honda 17, Arrows-Supertec 7, Sauber-Petronas 6, Jaguar-Cosworth 4.

-IMS-

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