SILVERSTONE, Great Britain, Sunday, April 23, 2000-David Coulthard stopped Ferrari's winning streak at three as he led West McLaren-Mercedes teammate Mika Hakkinen to a one-two sweep of the British Grand Prix on April 23. This was...
SILVERSTONE, Great Britain, Sunday, April 23, 2000-David Coulthard stopped Ferrari's winning streak at three as he led West McLaren-Mercedes teammate Mika Hakkinen to a one-two sweep of the British Grand Prix on April 23. This was Coulthard's second consecutive win in his home Grand Prix and his first victory since the 1999 Belgian Grand Prix. "It's a fantastic feeling to win in front of my home crowd for the second time in a row," Coulthard said. "My engineers and mechanics did a fantastic job, and I would really like to thank them for all their effort and support. I managed to overtake Rubens just before my one and only pit stop. That left me with quite some time to think about what it would feel like to win." Coulthard's averaged 129.959 mph (208.266 km/h) to complete the 60-lap, 191-603-mile (308.356-km) race in one hour, 28 minutes and 50.108 seconds. His margin of victory over Hakkinen was 1.477 seconds. Michael Schumacher, winner of the first three Grands Prix of the season, finished third in his Ferrari. Three drivers -- Ralf Schumacher, Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve - all passed him at the start. The early laps saw pole sitter Rubens Barrichello leading a high-speed train consisting of Heinz-Harald Frentzen's B&H Jordan-Mugen-Honda, Coulthard, Hakkinen, Button and Ralf Schumacher. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher got stuck behind Villeneuve while the lead group pulled away. Barrichello led until half distance when hydraulics problems caused him to spin and then retire his Ferrari. Michael Schumacher and Frentzen each led for three laps, but when all the pit stops had been completed, Coulthard was out in front and would remain there on his way to earning his seventh career Grand Prix victory. Hakkinen closed in during the final laps and crossed the line to give McLaren its 37th one-two finish. While the top three drivers chose a one-stop strategy, Williams-BMW teammates Ralf Schumacher and Button pitted twice and finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Jacques Villeneuve was in sixth place in his Lucky Strike BAR-Honda when the transmission failed just four laps from the end. Jordan's Jarno Trulli ended up sixth. In all, 17 of the 22 starters were classed as finishers. While it rained on Friday and Saturday and was foggy on Sunday morning, weather conditions during most of Sunday were dry and sunny.
DAVID COULTHARD (West McLaren-Mercedes, winner): "I developed a small gearbox problem 15 laps from the end, and I was preparing to cry in the car because I didn't need that. I am thankful it held together, which is great for the team. We got both cars home, in first and second places, which is fantastic. Now I am really looking forward to the rest of the season. I'm pleased that my challenge for the Championship has begun."
MIKA HAKKINEN (West McLaren-Mercedes, second): "The start really decided the outcome of the race, and it was unfortunate that I just lost grip while accelerating. I had a problem with my car in this morning's warm-up, which meant that I didn't get a lot of track time and we were unable to make the final adjustments to our race setup. As a result I was not happy with the balance of the car in the race. We made a minor change in my pit stop, and I was able to go quicker but we needed more than that. The car did improve toward the end when there was a lot more grip on the track surface and I was clear of traffic, so I was able to close the gap to David."
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (Ferrari, third): "I had a very good start, honestly. I had the option to go to the middle, but there were too many cars and nobody seemed to be opening any doors. So I took the other option, of going through the grass. It should have worked, but after so much rain in the past days the grass was so wet that I found myself just sitting there and going nowhere with the wheels spinning. That's where I lost the momentum. I'm not sure in what order it all happened, but (Jenson) Button went past me on the inside, and then it was (Jacques) Villeneuve passing me on the outside, and suddenly it was Ralf (Schumacher) coming through. I was having a good fight with him in the first couple of corners, but than I really had to back off as we were going through Bridge (corner). It would have been tight, and he seemed to be very keen to close the door. I didn't want to risk having an 'off' with my brother, obviously, and I decided that my time (to pass him) would come. But then I got really stuck, behind Villeneuve. Although I was much, much faster, there was no way to overtake."
RALF SCHUMACHER (Williams-BMW, fourth): "After the start I found the right spot to pass Michael (Schumacher) and also (Jacques) Villeneuve. This was good because I was on a two-stop strategy, and I had to gain as much advantage as I could. Today we showed a good performance and proved that Williams as well as BMW has done a good job."
JENSON BUTTON (Williams-BMW, fifth): "The best moment for me was getting past Michael Schumacher on the first corner after the start. It was an amazing feeling racing in the top group. I was following Mika Hakkinen for so long and then leading him after the pit stop. I think I learned something from it!"
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (Ferrari, retired while leading): "I had the opportunity of taking my first Grand Prix win. Around five or six laps before I retired I started to feel that there was something wrong with the car. Then I began to have problems with the clutch and throttle. That is why Coulthard managed to pass me. I spun because of the erratic behavior of the engine, which almost died. It was a problem with the high-pressure hydraulic circuit."
JACQUES VILLENEUVE (Lucky Strike British American Racing-Honda, retired from sixth place): "The car was jumping out of gear for several laps before I came in, and then the transmission just packed up. I made a good start and was surprised how easy it was to stay ahead of Michael Schumacher. Apart from the first lap, he really didn't have a chance to come by. I am happy with the progress Honda has made with the engine. What's slowing us down is the chassis and the need for better aerodynamic performance."
NEWS and NOTES:
Fog and traffic: Heavy fog on race morning added problems to Silverstone's usual heavy traffic on race day. The morning warm-up session was delayed by 90 minutes because the fog grounded the medical helicopter. Fog also kept the many helicopter shuttles (Silverstone is the busiest airport in England on the day of the Grand Prix) from flying until mid-morning, which stranded many people and added to the traffic congestion on the roads. World Champion Mika Hakkinen, stuck in a long queue of cars, had to hitch a ride on a motorcycle to get into the circuit. A statement from police said that by 9 a.m. Sunday people could expect to wait five hours in 15-mile-long (24-km) traffic queues to get into the circuit. The police advised people not already on the road to stay home.
Gala affair: Bernie Ecclestone played host to a lavish ball at London's Dorchester Hotel before the British Grand Prix to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the modern Formula One Championship and to raise money for charity. The first event in the World Championship, won by Giuseppe Farina driving an Alfa Romeo, took place at Silverstone in May 1950. World Champions Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Phil Hill, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jody Scheckter, Alan Jones and Keke Rosberg were among those that attended the party. An auction of F1 and music items raised money for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Drivers visit: World Champs Phil Hill, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, NASCAR 's Johnny Benson, former Grand Prix great Stirling Moss, and CART's Dario Franchitti and Gil de Ferran visited Silverstone during the Grand Prix weekend.
Benson is an avid F1 fan. During a caution period at a recent NASCAR race, Benson radioed in for an update on the Brazilian Grand Prix that was running at the same time.
Brazil's 500th: Pedro Diniz wore a new helmet designs for this race to honor the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil on April 22, 1500. After winning his first pole position for Ferrari, fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello said he hoped to give Brazil something to celebrate by scoring his first Grand Prix victory on race day.
*** Webber's first: Australian Mark Webber won Saturday's rain-soaked FIA Formula 3000 race. He slipped by pole sitter Darren Manning on Lap 15 and went on to win in only his second start in the series. Manning finished second, and Justin Wilson took third.
*** Villeneuve's power: Jacques Villeneuve and his Lucky Strike British American Racing teammate Ricardo Zonta used the latest specification Honda V10 at Silverstone. "We have achieved our initial objectives," said Honda's F1 project leader Takefumi Hosaka. "We have proved the reliability of the engine and can now move on with confidence. The revised engine has many new features, but obviously I cannot tell the world precise details. More important than an immediate increase in power, we feel that the revised format offers significantly more development potential in the future."