INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000 -- 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 ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000 -- 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. This was the first-ever Grand Prix at the Brickyard and the first United States Grand Prix since the race in Phoenix in 1991. The largest in modern Formula One history watched the historic race as Ferrari drivers Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello swept to a 1-2 finish. "It's the first time we've been here," Schumacher said. "Nobody expected such a great welcome from the American fans, not only from the Americans, but all the fans from around the world. Seeing so many people celebrating victory here with us for a Formula One race, it's the best." Schumacher's victory gives him an eight-point lead over Mika Hakkinen, who retired from second place with an engine fire on his West McLaren-Mercedes on Lap 26. After 15 of 17 races in the FIA Formula One World Championship, Schumacher has 88 points to Hakkinen's 80. With its third 1-2 finish of the season, Ferrari retook the lead in the Constructors' Championship, 143-133, over McLaren. Heinz-Harald Frentzen scored his second podium finish of the season by bringing his Benson & Hedges Jordan-Mugen-Honda home third. He fended off 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve, who ended up fourth in his Lucky Strike British American Racing-Honda. "I had a really hard race today," Frentzen said. "I was fighting for every tenth (of a second) today." David Coulthard, who led the first six laps in his McLaren, had to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start. He worked his way back up to finish fifth. Ricardo Zonta rounded out the top six in his Lucky Strike BAR-Honda. Schumacher dueled with Coulthard in the opening laps and took the lead on Lap 7. He went on to lead for the rest of the 73-lap race despite a quick spin with five laps to go. "I wasn't concentrating any more because I was cruising," Schumacher said. "I caught a bit of grass which was a bit damp still, and it spun me around." The race started in damp conditions, and every driver except Johnny Herbert fitted wet-weather tires. Within six laps, however, the track had dried enough for the drivers to start pitting for dry-weather tires. Schumacher averaged 118.203 mph (190.229 kph) to win the 73-lap, 190.138-mile (305.999-km) race in one hour, 36 minutes and 30.883 seconds. His margin of victory was 12.118 seconds. Schumacher's seventh victory of the season was also the 42nd of his career. He is second on the all-time win list behind Alain Prost (51 wins), moving ahead of the late Ayrton Senna (41 wins). This was Ferrari's first win in the United States Grand Prix since Gilles Villeneuve won at Watkins Glen in 1979. This marked the third time in the history of the United States Grand Prix that Ferrari has finished first and second. The team finished 1-2 at Long Beach in 1976 with Clay Regazzoni and Niki Lauda and again at Long Beach in 1979 with Gilles Villeneuve and Jody Scheckter. As for the championship, Schumacher said: "From my point of view it is still open, although we now have a good advantage. I'll start to think about the championship once it is over, not before. You have seen earlier this season what can happen."
Lap leaders: Coulthard 1-6, M. Schumacher 7-73. Fastest lap: David Coulthard, 1:14.711, 125.513 mph, (201.994 kph) on Lap 40.
Drivers: Michael Schumacher 88, Mika Hakkinen 80, David Coulthard 63, Rubens Barrichello 55, Ralf Schumacher 24, Giancarlo Fisichella 18, Jacques Villeneuve 14, Heinz-Harald Frentzen 11, Jenson Button 10, Jarno Trulli 6, Mika Salo 6, Jos Verstappen 5, Eddie Irvine 3, Ricardo Zonta 3, Alexander Wurz 2, Pedro de la Rosa 2.
Constructors: Ferrari 143, McLaren-Mercedes 133, Williams-BMW 34, Benetton-Playlife 20, Jordan-Mugen-Honda 17, British American Racing-Honda 17, Arrows-Supertec 7, Sauber-Petronas 6, Jaguar-Cosworth 3.
-Indianapolis Motor Speedway-