PODIUM DOUBLE FOR WILLIAMS-BMW Everything ran like a dream for Michael Schumacher in the first German Grand Prix at the revised Hockenheim circuit. The local favourite was in control all the way from pole position and scored his 62nd Formula One...
PODIUM DOUBLE FOR WILLIAMS-BMW
Everything ran like a dream for Michael Schumacher in the first German Grand Prix at the revised Hockenheim circuit. The local favourite was in control all the way from pole position and scored his 62nd Formula One victory. The five-times world champion also established the first F1 lap record at the new track -- 1m 16.462s. The two BMW-Williams/Michelin drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher finished second and third to complete the podium.
Although Michaël Schumacher younger brother Ralf (Williams-BMW/Michelin) provided the main opposition for most of the race, Schumacher Jnr had to make a late, unscheduled stop to top up his hydraulic system and that dropped him to third behind his Williams-BMW team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya. After a slow start by his own high standards, the Colombian pulled off one of the moves of the race to pass Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin) for fourth on lap 11 and he moved ahead of Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) when the latter was delayed by a slow refuelling stop.
Second place keeps Montoya at the head of a closely-grouped pack of drivers behind Michael Schumacher in the points table.
Only nine cars finished a race of extreme attrition: David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin) was fifth and Mika Salo (Toyota/Michelin) ninth. Of the other Michelin drivers, Räikkönen spun into retirement while running 11th. Eddie Irvine (Jaguar) spun twice early in the race and was running at the back of the field when brake problems forced him to stop with eight laps to go.
Jarno Trulli (Renault) ran as high as sixth in the early stages before making an early pit stop for fuel and tyres after losing several places. After rejoining he was given a drive-through penalty for holding up Ralf Schumacher, but he had recovered to 11th place when he crashed at the Sachs Kurve.
Jenson Button (Renault) dropped down the field in the opening laps when his engine lost power, although it picked up again when he switched off his traction control system. Eventually, however, the Englishman's race ended when his engine suddenly cut