Monaco GP Mercedes-Benz Race Report

MONTVALE, N.J. (June 4, 2000) * David Coulthard won the legendary Grand Prix of Monaco Sunday, taking over second place in the Formula One Driver's World Championship and moving West McLaren Mercedes to within five points of the lead in...

MONTVALE, N.J. (June 4, 2000) * David Coulthard won the legendary Grand Prix of Monaco Sunday, taking over second place in the Formula One Driver's World Championship and moving West McLaren Mercedes to within five points of the lead in the Constructor's Championship. The triumph was the second victory of the year for the Scotsman, the eighth of his career and the third in seven races this season for the West McLaren Mercedes team. The Grand Prix of Monaco, contested on the tight, twisty streets of Monte Carlo, is traditionally a race of attrition. That fact worked to the advantage of the West McLaren Mercedes team in this year's edition. Coulthard, who started in third position, pushed Jordan Mugen Honda driver Jarno Trulli relentlessly until the halfway point, when Trulli retired with mechanical problems. From second position, Coulthard closed the gap on race leader Michael Schumacher, then gained the lead when Schumacher dropped out with a suspension problem on lap 56 of the 78-lap race. For Coulthard, who resides in Monte Carlo, this grand prix victory was a special moment in his career. "I have always said that there are a few grand prix which are very special to me, and Monaco is definitely one of them," said Coulthard. "I felt confident all weekend, and the car was very good throughout the race. There is an element of luck, but it's up to the driver not to hit the barrier and the team to build a car that can last a race distance, and that's what we did. It's an excellent day for me and the whole team." Double World Champion Mika Hakkinen started in fifth position, but pitted on lap 36 when an errant part in the footwell caused a braking problem. The team quickly rectified the problem * and Hakkinen promptly set the fastest lap of the race * but the trouble cost the Finn any chance of a podium finish. He resumed the race in 14th position and climbed back to challenge Mika Salo for fifth place in the closing laps before slowing with gearbox problems. Hakkinen earned one point toward the defense of his driving championship. "It was a super race by David, a shining performance," said Norbert Haug, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. "He kept his cool and pushed throughout the race, and his efforts were rewarded. It's a shame that Mika's race was affected by mechanical problems. Without these, he would have been in a very strong position as his setting the quickest lap of the race proved. The team is looking forward to the next race."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Mika Salo , Norbert Haug
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Jordan