Formula One Race Synopsis - 2000

The new Jaguar F1 car

The Formula One Spanish Grand Prix
Round 5 of 17
May 7, 2000
The weather conditions in Barcelona race weekend were variable, but with no rain. Heavy clouds rolled in for the race. Current points leader, Michael Schumacher, put his Ferrari on the pole with rival Mika Hakkinen next to him in the silver and black McLaren Mercedes. These two teams are again duelilng for F1 superiority in 2000. Williams is the top team on the second tier, finishing in 3rd place in the constructor's points, but far below Ferrari or McLaren.

Williams can thank their new BMW engines for this rise in success from last year. Their #1 driver, Ralf Schumacher, appeared able to beat Ruben's Ferrari down the long straight showing the power of the BMW. Ralf was able to put rookie teammate, Jenson Button in his place this week. Ralf qualified 5th and then grabbed onto 3rd in the outstanding start to the race. Jenson did well though, reaching 6th position by lap 33 and retaining it until a few laps from the end, when car trouble caused him to retire! Jacques Villeneuve had held 6th position early, but his hopes were dashed by the failure of his new Honda engine.

Michael Schumacher handily controlled the start of the race and held the lead over Hakkinen throughout 2/3rds of the race. Michael's team had a scary moment when he pulled out of the pit during the first stop. The fueler was still trying to release the nozzle when Michael sped off. His cheif mechanic, Nigel Stepney got clipped by the rear wing or tire of the Ferrari. His leg was injured, but he soon returned to the pits from the field hospital, albeit in a wheelchair, where he could only watch.

Defending champion Mika Hakkinen won his 1st victory of 2000 at Barcelona Spain. Michael held the lead until the 2nd set of pit stops. The Ferrari team again had trouble with the fuel nozzle. This time it cost them a position as Mika Hakkinen took the lead. Soon after, Michael apparently was having some difficulty with the car. His lap times were uneven and he was passed by Coulthard.

Then the most exciting moment of the race occurred when Michael's brother Ralf, was racing beside him through the twisty turns, their wheels interlocking, but not touching! Rubens saw an opportunity and passed both in a fell swoop to take 3rd. When you see driving like this or like the close calls in the pits a month ago, you clearly see the amazing calibre of the Formula One drivers. Any of these incidences occuring in a CART race would have left car parts flying all over the place. (But, of course, Indycar racing is the most exciting!) Michael later had to pit for a cut tire, but he was far enough ahead of Fretzen to retain 5th position.

David Coulthard, who finished 2nd in the race, had a terrible scare a week earlier when a small jet he was in crashed. He was lucky to only have gotten a broken rib in the wreck, for it killed the plane's two pilots!

START Driver Team
1.M. SchumacherFerrari
2.M. HakkinenMcLaren
3.R. BarrichelloFerrari
4.D. CoulthardMcLaren
5.R. SchumacherWilliams
6.J. VilleneuveBAR
7.J. TrulliJordon
8.H. FretzenJordon
9.E. IrvineJaguar
10.J. ButtonWilliams
11.J. VerstappenArrows
12.M. SaloSauber
13.G. FisichellaBenetton
14.J. HerbertJaguar
15.P. DinizSauber
16.R. ZontaBAR
17.J. AlesiProst
18.A. WurzBenetton
19.N. HeidfeldProst
20.M. GeneMinardi
21.G. MazzacaneMinardi
22.P. de la RosaArrows
FINISH Driver Team
1.M. HakkinenMcLaren
2.D. CoulthardMcLaren
3.R. BarrichelloFerrari
4.R. SchumacherWilliams
5.M. SchumacherFerrari
6.H. FretzenJordon
7.M. SaloSauber
8.R. ZontaBAR
9.G. FisichellaBenetton
10.A. WurzBenetton
11.E. IrvineJaguar
12.J. TrulliJordon
13.J. HerbertJaguar
14.M. GeneMinardi
15.G. MazzacaneMinardi
16.N. HeidfeldProst
DNFJ. ButtonWilliams
DNFJ. VerstappenArrows
DNFJ. VilleneuveBAR
DNFJ. AlesiProst
DNFP. de la RosaArrows
DNFP. DinizSauber

Previous 2000 race reports

The Formula One British Grand Prix

April 23, 2000

In a strange move, the 51st British Grand Prix was moved from its traditional June date to Easter Sunday, a notorious time for nasty weather in England. The rain came hard this week and many of the fans had their cars stuck in the mud. The authorities were telling race goers to stay away this weekend during qualifying, if they were planning to drive there. On race day, traffic was reportedly backed up so bad that cars were still in line waiting to get in by the end of the race! I don't look for them to try that again next year.

In 1995, Michael Schumacher's teammate out qualified him. It had not happened since until this race. Michael's new Ferrari teammate is the Brazilian, Rubens Barrichello.

The lineup for the race was different than usual owing to the fact that the track conditions improved throughout the day of qualifying with the last qualifiers getting the best times. We were to see the all three of the leading teams have their number two's running ahead of their respective number ones.

After the start of the race and through the first half of the race the line up was generally:
1. Rubens Barrichello .................. Ferrari
2. Heinz Harald-Frentzen ............ Jordon
3. David Coulthard ........................ McLaren
4. Mika Hakkinen ........................... McLaren
5. Jenson Button ............................ Williams BMW
6. Ralf Schumacher ........................ Williams BMW
7. Jacques Villeneuve .................. BAR Honda
8. Michael Schumacher ................. Ferrari

By Lap 28 the top 5 had not yet pitted and the line up was:
1. Barrichello
2. Coulthard
3. Hakkinen
4. Villeneuve
5. M. Schumacher
6. Frentzen

Two laps later, David Coulthard finally got around Ruben's Ferrari, to take the lead. Soon after the McLarens took their pitstops.

A few laps later, Barrichello spun half way around in the middle of the track while leading! He stayed on the gas and did a donut to turn around, but he over corrected and ended up going through the wet grass. He dove into the pits and his pit crew wasn't ready! When he went to pull out of his pit, it sounded like he ground his gears and he quickly came to a halt. They pushed him into his garage. It was all over for Rubens this day.

Jacques Villeneuve, a hard man to pass, was able to keep Michael Schumacher behind him up until the pit stops. Ferrari was able to get Michael out faster and in front of Jacques. Still, Jacques stayed in the running, and it lookied like he was going to score a point. Unfortunately he suffered car problems and had to retire 4 laps from the end of the race.

Rookie, Jenson Button had a tremendous day, along with his Williams teammate, Ralf Schumacher. BMW's re-entry into Formula One is looking very good.

Well the fans we're happy to see A British driver win the British Grand Prix for a British team. The English are also quite excited about their new 20-year old rookie driver, Jenson Button, who secures his 4th World Championship point in his third grand prix.

David Coulthard's West McLaren Mercedes TOP 6 FINISHERS
1. David Coulthard
2. Mika Hakkinen
3. Michael Schumacher
4. Ralf Schumacher
5. Jenson Button
6. Jarno Trulli

Tobacco Advertising is illegal in Britain, and basically every car had to change their paint job to remove names of cigarette makers. McLaren painted their drivers' names on the side of the car instead of "West". I like that.

Mika Hakkinen 1999 World Driving Champion

Ferrari 1999 Constructor's Champion

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