ATLAS F1   Volume 6, Issue 31 Email to Friend   Printable Version

Atlas F1   The German GP Review

Hockenheim, July 28-30, 2000 by Pablo Elizalde, Spain

Barrichello on the podiumAfter a week full of controversy and accusations, courtesy of the top players in Formula One, it was comforting to see that, despite all the political affairs that are part and parcel of the big circus, this is still a sport that can offer memorable moments. The German Grand Prix was full of those - with drama, excitement and above all, great racing.

Five times World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio once said, "Don't start a race if you don't think you can win it". Whether Rubens Barrichello believed he could achieve his first career win after starting from the 18th place on the grid is a mistery, but his performance at the Hockenheim circuit was one of a genius at the wheel, and he fully deserved this win.

The Brazilian had many opportunities to make mistakes, starting from so far back, having to overtake 17 cars, and staying on dry weather tyres when a pouring rain started falling on the most tricky part of the circuit, the Stadium. But Rubens did a flawless and brave job, proving he is a master of the changing conditions.

Of course, Barrichello's efforts were helped by one, if not the most, bizarre incidents witnessed by motorsport fans for a long time, when a man, wearing a white raincoat full of slogans against Mercedes-Benz, jumped onto the track, forcing the safety car to come out and thus bringing the field together. This will surely mean a big fine for the GP organizers and may not do Hockenheim's options of retaining the German GP any good.

The McLaren drivers were the big losers in a race they thought belonged to them until, the intruder incident occurred and the rain started to fall. Neither Mika Hakkinen nor David Coulthard made any mistakes, and this time the McLaren crew was not outsmarted by Ross Brawn and Ferrari. Their decision to come in to put on wet tyres while Barrichello stayed on dry weather tyres was a logical one, as the Stadium was flooded. It was just a matter of skill, and Hakkinen and Coulthard could not match that of Rubens's.

Michael Schumacher was rather happy when the race ended, despite not having completed a single lap for the second Grand Prix in succession. Thanks to his teammate's achievement, the German is still leading the Drivers's Championship, although the last time he scored points was nearly two months ago. There is definitely some irony in the fact that, after being accused of unsporting driving, Schumacher has been the innocent victim of other drivers' errors on the track.

The Ferrari driver was pushed out of the race by Ricardo Zonta in Austria, while in Germany he crashed with Giancarlo Fisichella's Benetton, while Coulthard was breaking the "one move" rule - first blocking the German on the right and then cutting back to the left. Strangely, Schumacher put the blame on Fisichella, who had nowhere to go but out off the track if he wanted to avoid the collision.

Schumacher out of contentionIt is obvious that when these things happen at the front the repercussion is much bigger than when it happens at the back, but a driver behaving unsportingly or even dangerously represents the same risk whether he starts from pole or from the tenth row. In Austria, Pedro Diniz lost control of his Sauber at the start of the race and ended up creating a very dangerous situation. The Brazilian ran into Jean Alesi's Prost at Hockenheim at nearly 300km/h, and caused an accident where fortunately no one was hurt. Ironically, the only driver who complained was Alesi.

Ricardo Zonta was another driver who repeated his Austrian feat, though the victim this time was his own teammate, Jacques Villeneuve, completing a disappointing weekend for the BAR team. After their good performance in the last few races, it was somewhat strange to see that the powerful official Honda engine was not a match to the Mugen version, used by the Jordans, in a circuit where the cars spent more than 60 percent of the lap at full throttle.

But the German Grand Prix brought memories to many Formula One fans. When in 1995 Jean Alesi took his first and only win of his career, nearly everyone in the paddock was rejoiceful, regardless of which team they worked for. Last Sunday, and after a wait that lasted 123 GPs, the same feeling flooded the pitlane when Barrichello crossed the finish line to win the race of his life.


The ever important timing was even more so during the qualifying session for the German Grand Prix. And as usual, there were drivers who got it right and others who got it wrong, both ending up in positions uncommon to them.

As it happened in Austria, the rain began to fall just minutes before the session got underway so again all drivers queued up in the pitlane, waiting for the green light to go on. And when it did, we got the impression that the race itself had started.

Everyone, with dry weather tyres on, were trying to get a clean lap as soon as possible as it was obvious that the rain was getting heavier by the minute. Heinz-Harald Frentzen took the "first position" by cutting through one of the chicanes. It took the marshals more than 30 minutes to disallow Frentzen's fastest lap, and by that moment the conditions were very tricky.

Mika HakkinenAs they were starting their first flying lap, both Giancarlo Fisichella and Rubens Barrichello were forced to park their cars on the track. The Italian spun after the first corner, while The Brazilian's Ferrari suffered an electrical problem.

Soon after that, David Coulthard set the fastest time, with his teammate Mika Hakkinen in second place, nearly 1.5 seconds behind. Michael Schumacher was third and Pedro de la Rosa fourth with the Arrows. Meanwhile, Jacques Villeneuve was spinning and losing some precious seconds.

After 10 minutes the commotion calmed down, and suddenly the track was empty. While the rain kept falling, Barrichello, Fisichella and Jos Verstappen had not put a lap time yet and the weather was not improving. The Dutchman went out 5 minutes later and set the 10th fastest time.

Some 20 minutes into the session the rain stopped, but the track was still wet as the trees prevented the track from drying up. Nevertheless, Fisichella, on slick tyres, did a magnificent lap to elevate himself up to second place.

Michael Schumacher tried to emulate the Benetton driver's performance, but there was nothing he could do as less than five minutes later the skies opened and the track conditions worsened, especially at the Stadium.

Barrichello was the only driver to come onto the track, but his lap was 11 seconds off the pole time and therefore he was still outside the 107 percent with less than 15 minutes remaining. Frentzen was in the same situation. Finally, with some 10 minutes remaining, and after the conditions improved, both drivers managed to qualify for Sunday's race, although far from what they expected before the session began. The Jordan driver was 17th, while Barrichello had to settle with the 18th spot.

"This was without a doubt the worst day of the year for me," said the Brazilian. "In the final minutes, the conditions improved but on my third and best lap I was caught in traffic. I am confident that tomorrow I will be able to make up the places I lost in qualifying because I know I have a competitive car."

When the grid seemed to be settled for good, Michael Schumacher's magic came into play as he suddenly placed himself into second place with his Ferrari, albeit 1.3 seconds behind pole sitter David Coulthard. "A perfect result," confirmed the Scot. "I was probably able to read the conditions better than everybody else and managed to be very quick in the middle sector. The race tomorrow will be very close but I want the 10 points."

Nick HeidfeldIn third place was a delighted and surprised Fisichella: "I'm so happy with this position! When my engineers came on the radio and said I was second I couldn't believe it!"

Mika Hakkinen was only fourth in the other McLaren. The Finn was too cautious on his fastest lap and ended up paying the price. "A disappointing outcome considering the improvements we had found to the set-up during practice," commented the reigning World Champion.

Pedro la Rosa shone once more in his Arrows, after achieving the best grid position of his career - fifth - and also the best ever by an Spanish driver. "I am very satisfied by the whole team's work and we had the one lap at the beginning and we took our chances. We were a little bit lucky with the rain but we've been very unlucky in the past so that's the way it goes sometimes," said de la Rosa.

Jarno Trulli completed the top six in his Jordan, being the fastest of the Honda drivers, while BAR drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta, both powered by the official Japanese engine, were 9th and 12th.

Even more disappointing was the performance of the Williams team, at their engine supplier's debut home race. "The result is disappointing for us, as we were expecting better positions than 14th (Ralf Schumacher) and 16th (Jenson Button). The weather conditions were hard for everybody but the timing made the difference and ours wasn't the best," explained BMW Motorsports Director, Gerhard Berger.

Qualifying Results

Pos  Driver         Team                 Times                 
 1.  Coulthard      McLaren Mercedes     1:45.697  232.457 km/h
 2.  M.Schumacher   Ferrari              1:47.063   +  1.366
 3.  Fisichella     Benetton Playlife    1:47.130   +  1.433
 4.  Hakkinen       McLaren Mercedes     1:47.162   +  1.465
 5.  de la Rosa     Arrows Supertec      1:47.786   +  2.089
 6.  Trulli         Jordan Mugen-Honda   1:47.833   +  2.136
 7.  Wurz           Benetton Playlife    1:48.037   +  2.340
 8.  Herbert        Jaguar Cosworth      1:48.078   +  2.381
 9.  Villeneuve     BAR Honda            1:48.121   +  2.424
10.  Irvine         Jaguar Cosworth      1:48.305   +  2.608
11.  Verstappen     Arrows Supertec      1:48.321   +  2.624
12.  Zonta          BAR Honda            1:48.665   +  2.968
13.  Heidfeld       Prost Peugeot        1:48.690   +  2.993
14.  R.Schumacher   Williams BMW         1:48.841   +  3.144
15.  Salo           Sauber Petronas      1:49.204   +  3.507
16.  Button         Williams BMW         1:49.215   +  3.518
17.  Frentzen       Jordan Mugen-Honda   1:49.280   +  3.583
18.  Barrichello    Ferrari              1:49.544   +  3.847
19.  Diniz          Sauber Petronas      1:49.936   +  4.239
20.  Alesi          Prost Peugeot        1:50.289   +  4.592
21.  Mazzacane      Minardi Fondmetal    1:51.611   +  5.914
22.  Gene           Minardi Fondmetal    1:53.094   +  7.397

The Race

The incident at the startAlthough the sun was shining when the race was about to start, a light rain began to fall over the Stadium section, causing some concerns among teams and drivers, as the Hockenheim circuit is the most dangerous in wet conditions. The water lifted by the cars at more than 300 km/h makes it virtually impossible for a driver to see anything, when he is running behind another car.

Fortunately, the sun kept on shinning and the start of the race took place on a dry track. However, as the grid was ready to leave for the parade lap, Jenson Button stalled his Williams-BMW, and not until the entire field got underway was his team able to restart his engine. Button would join the field eventually, but had to take the last position on the grid.

While the cars were forming on the grid, another event took place that seemed irrelevant at the time: a marshal was seen pulling a man from his arms off the track. At first it seemed as though someone had fainted, but the white raincoat the marshal was holding on his hand would solve the mystery 25 laps later.

So the German Grand Prix began as if nothing had happened and when the lights went off, the front row starters made a less than brilliant getaway. Both David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher seemed to be stuck in first gear while Mika Hakkinen was already in front of them after starting fourth.

Hakkinen's task was simplified by Coulthard, who moved to the right side of the track in an attempt to block Schumacher, leaving the necessary room for his teammate to take the lead. Schumacher tried to take Coulthard on the outside, but the Scot took sweet revenge and cut across him, now moving to the left.

The Ferrari driver had to take a wider line, but Giancarlo Fisichella's Benetton was there, and the collision was inevitable, putting both drivers out of the race before the first turn, just like in Austria. "Fisichella came from behind and he is the person to watch out for cars in front of him," said Schumacher.

The McLarens leadThe Italian driver, however, had a different perspective: "I was on my line and then suddenly Michael's car was right in front of my front wheel so I went into the back of it," he said.

So the McLarens were first and second, while Jordan's Jarno Trulli was up to third after a great start, with Pedro de la Rosa in fourth position, ahead of the two Jaguars of Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert and his Arrows teammate Jos Verstappen. Meanwhile, Rubens Barrichello had already gained 8 places and at the end of the first lap he was in tenth.

Herbert took fifth place away from Irvine on lap two, and the Irishman lost another place to Verstappen moments later. Up in front the two McLarens began to pull away from Trulli and de la Rosa, while Barrichello had passed the two BARs and Irvine's Jaguar, elevating himself to seventh place in only three laps.

Another man in charge was Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who was 13th by the end of lap 4. Then Barrichello took Verstappen for sixth position - the Brazilian was flying and it soon became evident he was on a two stop strategy, while most of the field had only one stop on the schedule. On the next lap, the sole racing Ferrari gained another place by overtaking Herbert, as Frentzen took Ralf Schumacher and Alex Wurz to move to 11th.

Now Barrichello had some room in front of him, as de la Rosa was a few seconds ahead and began lapping even faster. With Michael Schumacher and Fisichella out on the first turn, the two McLarens comfortably in the lead, and Barrichello chasing de la Rosa, it was nearly a replay of the Austrian GP.

But this time Barrichello closed the gap to the Spaniard rapidly and passed him on the second chicane. With his Ferrari low on fuel, there was not much his rivals could do to avoid him from outbraking them and the Brazilian's moves were smooth as silk.

By lap 12 Hakkinen and Coulthard had a 12 seconds gap to Barrichello, who was now some 2 seconds behind Trulli. Frentzen kept charging hard, and although he was not running at the same pace as Barrichello, his recovery was also impressive, as he was now up to sixth. Behind him, between the driver from seventh (Verstappen) up to 20th place (Jenson Button) the gap was only ten seconds - a rare sight in recent races.

Barrichello and Trulli close the gap to HakkinenHerbert's Jaguar was the first car to suffer a mechanical failure, ending the Briton's good performance on lap 13. Two laps later Barrichello took third place away from Trulli, but he quickly lost it as he came into the pits for the first time, rejoining the race in sixth place. He gained one place when Frentzen, also on a two stop strategy, came in a lap later.

For a few laps, the order at the front remained unchanged, as the pit stops were about to begin. Ralf Schumacher and Pedro Diniz were the first two drivers to come in, on lap 22, something they would regret three laps later.

On lap 25 and while everybody was about to stop, the same man who had been taken off the track before the race-start was now all of a sudden on the circuit, endangering his and the drivers' lives by crossing in front of the cars, at a point where they reach more that 350 km/h.

The man, a former worker of Mercedes-Benz protesting his dismissal from the company, probably did not know he had achieved his goal to get the message to those who sacked him loud and clear, but the safety car was despatched, and the two McLaren drivers lost their advantage.

All the teams decided to take the opportunity to make their stops, even Ferrari, who called Barrichello in. McLaren had to take a quick but crucial decision: which driver should come in first, and which would be stuck behind the safety car for a whole lap. Whether it was because he was in first place or because he is Dennis's favourite - the chosen driver was Hakkinen. And by the time Coulthard pitted, he had already lost five places.

The safety car left on lap 29, with Hakkinen on first, Trulli second and Barrichello third. A lap after the restart, Pedro Diniz tried to overtake Jean Alesi at the Ayrton Senna chicane, but the Brazilian ran into the Prost at a very high speed. The accident looked very serious and Alesi was very lucky to walk away from it without a scratch. With tyres and debris on the track, the safety car was dispatched again.

After the second restart, Wurz's Benetton suffered an electrical problem and his gearbox locked up, forcing him into a dangerous spin while the pack was running close together. And while the Benetton was being removed from the track, heavy rain began to fall on the Stadium.

Mika SaloWith ten laps to go, the rain intensified, and, with most of the track dry, it was a tough call for the teams. The Williams team reacted quickly and called Button in, who was already tenth, to change to wet weather tyres. So did Hakkinen, Trulli and de la Rosa a lap later, while Barrichello, Coulthard and Frentzen stayed on dry weather tyres.

Several drivers spun off the track as Trulli was given a stop and go for speeding in the pitlane, losing all his chances of ending in the points. Ricardo Zonta, who had tapped his teammate Villeneuve a lap earlier, forcing him into a spin, was also penalized, but the Brazilian went off the track and out of the race before he could come into the pits.

On lap 38, Coulthard came in for wet tyres and dropped to fifth place, while the brave Barrichello decided to stay on dry weather tyres, demonstrating his skill under such conditions. On the same lap, Button was now up to fifth after overtaking de la Rosa.

Hakkinen was in second spot but could not match Barrichello's pace and the Brazilian began to open a comfortable gap. Meanwhile, with five laps to go, Frentzen retired with gearbox problems after a brilliant race.

Mika Salo, who as usual came from nowhere, was running third until he got passed by Coulthard and Button. Although the rain was heavier, Hakkinen could not catch Barrichello, who crossed the finish line to acheive a dramatic an emotional first win.

"I still cannot believe it! I feel great," exclaimed Rubens. "I had been told that when you are leading a race the last lap is the longest and it really felt like it. I saw it was only wet in the Motodrom and the team told me that if I kept doing the same lap times I would win, so I decided to stay out on the track."

Visibly excited, Barrichello could not hold his tears, and even his teammate was touched by the emotion of the moment. "I am very happy for Rubens, whom I have to thank for saving my first place in the Drivers' Championship," said Schumacher. "His win was a very emotional moment for me, after a great climb through the field which was unexpected from eighteenth place."

The happy podiumThe cautious McLaren drivers filled the podium behind Barrichello. "I might have won the race if I had remained on dry weather tyres. However, the risk of spinning off was too big as it was very slippery, especially in the stadium section, and the car was not easy to drive," commented second place man Hakkinen.

Teammate Coulthard was happy with his third place, as it got him closer to Schumacher in the Championship: "When the rain began I stayed out for a long time to see what sort of difference wet tyres made on lap times. I only decided to come in for wets one corner before the pitlane so it was a late call. However, I am happy to settle for points today and close the gap to the championship leader considerably."

Jenson Button finished in a deserved fourth place, and his performance was only bettered by Barrichello's achievements. "I am very happy, thinking how my race started with my engine not firing up and having to start at the very back! The team made an excellent job calling me in at the right time to switch to wet tyres," Button said.

Salo was finally fifth with the Sauber and Pedro de la Rosa got another point for the Arrows team after finishing sixth.

The fight for the Drivers' Championship is now tighter than ever, as Schumacher leads by only two points from Hakkinen and Coulthard, and ten from Barrichello. However, the Brazilian is not letting the green grass fool him and he knows the way Ferrari works: "Hey look, let's talk about this win! It's been such a long time. It's good to work with Ferrari, too. Everyone's been talking about number 1 and number 2 drivers, but that doesn't matter." What else could he say?

Race Results


Pos  Driver         Team                             
 1.  Barrichello    Ferrari               1H25:34.418
 2.  Hakkinen       McLaren Mercedes      +     7.400
 3.  Coulthard      McLaren Mercedes      +    21.100
 4.  Button         Williams BMW          +    22.600
 5.  Salo           Sauber Petronas       +    27.100
 6.  de la Rosa     Arrows Supertec       +    29.000
 7.  R.Schumacher   Williams BMW          +    30.800
 8.  Villeneuve     BAR Honda             +    47.500
 9.  Trulli         Jordan Mugen-Honda    +    50.900
10.  Irvine         Jaguar Cosworth       +  1:19.600
11.  Mazzacane      Minardi Fondmetal     +  1:29.500
12.  Heidfeld       Prost Peugeot         +  5 Laps  *

Fastest Lap: R.Barrichello, 1:44.300 (235.570km/s), lap 20

NOT CLASSIFIED / RETIREMENTS                                
     Frentzen       Jordan Mugen-Honda    39    electrical failure
     Verstappen     Arrows Supertec       39    spun off
     Zonta          BAR Honda             37    spun off
     Gene           Minardi Fondmetal     33    engine
     Wurz           Benetton Playlife     31    spun off/stalled
     Diniz          Sauber Petronas       29    accident 
     Alesi          Prost Peugeot         29    accident 
     Herbert        Jaguar Cosworth       12    gearbox
     M.Schumacher   Ferrari                0    accident


Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  M.Schumacher  56        1.  Ferrari            102
 2.  Coulthard     54        2.  McLaren             98 
 =   Hakkinen      54        3.  Williams-BMW        22
 4.  Barrichello   46        4.  Benetton-Playlife   18
 5.  Fisichella    18        5.  BAR-Honda           12
 6.  R.Schumacher  14        6.  Jordan-Mugen Honda  11
 7.  Villeneuve    11        7.  Sauber               6
 8.  Button         8        8.  Arrows               4
 9.  Trulli         6        9.  Jaguar               3
 =   Salo           6                                  
11.  Frentzen       5                                 
12.  Irvine         3                                  
13.  Verstappen     2                                  
 =   de la Rosa     2                                  
15.  Zonta          1                                  

Fastest Race Laps

Pos  Driver        Team                Lap  Time             
 1.  Barrichello   Ferrari              20  1:44.300         
 2.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes     24  1:44.579  + 0.279
 3.  Frentzen      Jordan-Mugen Honda   20  1:44.614  + 0.314
 4.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes     23  1:44.698  + 0.398
 5.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda   30  1:45.754  + 1.454
 6.  de la Rosa    Arrows-Supertec      21  1:46.243  + 1.943
 7.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda            24  1:46.374  + 2.074
 8.  Diniz         Sauber-Petronas      24  1:46.639  + 2.339
 9.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW         24  1:46.685  + 2.385
10.  Alesi         Prost-Peugeot        23  1:47.001  + 2.701
11.  Button        Williams-BMW         23  1:47.073  + 2.773
12.  Salo          Sauber-Petronas      32  1:47.129  + 2.829
13.  Heidfeld      Prost-Peugeot        23  1:47.140  + 2.840
14.  Verstappen    Arrows-Supertec      25  1:47.156  + 2.856
15.  Gene          Minardi-Fondmetal    33  1:47.158  + 2.858
16.  Zonta         BAR-Honda            33  1:47.248  + 2.948
17.  Wurz          Benetton-Playlife    23  1:47.269  + 2.969
18.  Herbert       Jaguar-Cosworth       9  1:47.332  + 3.032
19.  Mazzacane     Minardi-Fondmetal    22  1:47.448  + 3.148
20.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth      18  1:47.570  + 3.270

Pit-Stops Times

Pos  Driver        Team                Time  Lap
 1.  Button        Williams-BMW        26.5  34 
 2.  Heidfeld      Prost-Peugeot       27.3  33 
 3.  Barrichello   Ferrari             27.7  17 
 4.  Barrichello   Ferrari             27.8  26 
 5.  Frentzen      Jordan-Mugen Honda  28.0  26 
 6.  Button        Williams-BMW        28.2  27 
 7.  Salo          Sauber-Petronas     28.6  25 
 8.  Mazzacane     Minardi-Fondmetal   28.6  35 
 9.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           29.1  25 
10.  Salo          Sauber-Petronas     29.1  35 
11.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda  29.1  35 
12.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    29.1  35 
13.  Gene          Minardi-Fondmetal   29.2  26 
14.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           29.2  35 
15.  de la Rosa    Arrows-Supertec     29.2  35 
16.  Frentzen      Jordan-Mugen Honda  29.5  18 
17.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW        29.7  21 
18.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    29.8  38 
19.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    29.8  26 
20.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    29.9  27 
21.  Zonta         BAR-Honda           29.9  26 
22.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW        30.1  36 
23.  Mazzacane     Minardi-Fondmetal   30.2  25 
24.  Verstappen    Arrows-Supertec     30.3  35 
25.  Alesi         Prost-Peugeot       30.3  25 
26.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     30.3  24 
27.  Wurz          Benetton-Playlife   30.6  25 
28.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda  30.7  25 
29.  Heidfeld      Prost-Peugeot       31.0  24 
30.  Diniz         Sauber-Petronas     31.1  21 
31.  de la Rosa    Arrows-Supertec     31.3  25 
32.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     31.5  35 
33.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda  34.0  37 
34.  Verstappen    Arrows-Supertec     34.8  23 
35.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW        44.4  30 

Sector Times and Speeds

Sector 1 (S/F Line - T1) Sector 2 (T1 - T2) Sector 3 (T2 - S/F Line)
Pos Driver Time Speed   Pos Driver Time Speed   Pos Driver Time Speed  
1 Hakkinen 19.552 347.04   1 Coulthard 57.697 333.12   1 Barrichello 26.450 267.52  
2 Coulthard 19.581 358.88   2 Frentzen 57.786 335.04   2 Hakkinen 26.900 269.44  
3 Frentzen 19.593 352.96   3 Barrichello 57.870 332.00   3 Frentzen 26.903 270.40  
4 Barrichello 19.617 352.00   4 Hakkinen 57.908 331.04   4 Coulthard 27.133 270.40  
5 delarosa 19.825 351.04   5 Trulli 58.138 330.08   5 R.Schumacher 27.193 261.44  
6 Verstappen 19.841 353.92   6 delarosa 58.521 332.00   6 Diniz 27.379 262.56  
7 Trulli 19.868 348.00   7 Salo 58.584 333.12   7 Trulli 27.390 264.48  
8 Diniz 19.898 351.04   8 Villeneuve 58.743 329.12   8 delarosa 27.432 266.40  
9 Salo 19.969 352.00   9 R.Schumacher 58.874 323.20   9 Button 27.476 258.56  
10 Herbert 19.971 348.00   10 Zonta 58.894 327.04   10 Zonta 27.491 263.52  
11 Villeneuve 19.975 348.96   11 Wurz 58.902 327.04   11 Verstappen 27.540 265.44  
12 Irvine 20.014 352.00   12 Heidfeld 58.978 327.04   12 Gene 27.554 264.48  
13 Alesi 20.017 343.04   13 Button 59.021 324.16   13 Villeneuve 27.569 264.48  
14 Zonta 20.053 344.00   14 Diniz 59.060 333.12   14 Heidfeld 27.629 263.52  
15 Wurz 20.062 348.00   15 Alesi 59.138 325.12   15 Salo 27.693 265.44  
16 Heidfeld 20.084 349.92   16 Verstappen 59.196 331.04   16 Mazzacane 27.780 263.52  
17 Gene 20.103 344.96   17 Mazzacane 59.238 324.16   17 Alesi 27.808 264.48  
18 Button 20.108 343.84   18 Gene 59.310 325.12   18 Wurz 27.808 264.48  
19 Mazzacane 20.147 343.84   19 Herbert 59.334 329.12   19 Irvine 27.900 263.52  
20 R.Schumacher 20.165 343.04   20 Irvine 59.336 331.04   20 Herbert 27.902 265.44  

The German Grand Prix, Lap by Lap

Before the start: Jenson Button fails to get away from the pre-grid and so is forced to start at the back of the grid.

Wurz retiresLap 1: At the start both front row men are slow away. David Coulthard moves across to protect his position from Michael Schumacher while Mika Hakkinen dives to the right and passes both of them. Schumacher then moves to the left and is hit from behind by Giancarlo Fisichella. Both men go off. At the front Hakkinen leads Coulthard with Jarno Trulli third and Pedro de la Rosa fourth ahead of the two Jaguars of Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert and Jos Verstappen's Arrows. Further back Rubens Barrichello moves from 18th on the grid to 10th.

Lap 2: Herbert moves to fifth place while Irvine drops behind his team mate and Verstappen. Further back Barrichello's charge continues as he moves to eighth ahead of the two BARs.

Lap 3: As the two McLarens begin to pull away from Trulli, Barrichello passes Irvine to take seventh. Further back Heinz-Harald Frentzen begins to charge, passing Pedro Diniz's Sauber for 14th.

Lap 4: Frentzen passes Nick Heidfeld to move to 13th.

Lap 5: Barrichello overtakes Verstappen to take sixth place.

Lap 6: Barrichello passes Herbert to take fifth while further back Frentzen overtakes both Ralf Schumacher and Alexander Wurz to move into 11th.

Pedro de la RosaLap 7: Barrichello sets the fastest lap of the race as he chases after Pedro de la Rosa's Arrows. Further back Frentzen passes Ricardo Zonta to take 10th place.

Lap 8: Jos Verstappen's Arrows loses half of its engine cover. Barrichello sets another fastest lap while Frentzen passes Jacques Villeneuve for ninth.

Lap 9: Frentzen passes Irvine for eighth place.

Lap 10: Frentzen passes Verstappen for seventh.

Lap 11: Frentzen overtakes Herbert to move into the top six. Further back Ralf Schumacher overtakes Zonta for 11th place while Pedro Diniz passes his Sauber team mate to Mika Salo.

Lap 12: Barrichello overtakes de la Rosa for fourth place. Frentzen sets the fastest lap as he chases after de la Rosa. Verstappen passes Herbert for seventh. Further back the two Saubers pass Heidfeld and Salo gets back in front of Diniz.

Lap 13: Herbert retires with a mechanical problem.

Lap 15: Barrichello overtakes Trulli to take third place.

Lap 17: Barrichello pits and is able to rejoin in sixth position.

Lap 18: Frentzen stops and loses only one place, rejoining in sixth position.

Jenson Button and Marc GeneLap 22: While the order at the front remains the same but in the midfield Villeneuve passes Irvine to take eighth place. Further back Ralf Schumacher and Pedro Diniz pit.

Lap 25: As the pit stops approach a man appears beside the track on the straight after the third chicane. He appears to be attempting to use the TV coverage of the race to register a protest. The Safety Car is despatched. Teams immediately decide to bring in their drivers early to take advantage of the situation. The first to stop are third-placed Trulli and fourth-placed de la Rosa.

Lap 26: Most of the drivers come in but McLaren calls in Hakkinen. Coulthard is forced to continue without having changed tyres.

Lap 27: Coulthard stops and drops to sixth place.

Lap 29: The race restarts with Hakkinen leading and Trulli under pressure for second place from Barrichello.

Lap 30: Jean Alesi and Pedro Diniz collide at the third chicane and the Frenchman has a large accident. The Safety car is despatched again. On the same lap Ralf Schumacher has a spin and has to pit for repairs.

Lap 32: The race restarts and immediately there is trouble with Wurz suffering a gearbox failure. He pulls off to avoid an accident and is nearly hit by Salo.

Lap 33: It starts to rain in the pit area.

Lap 34: Jenson Button is running 10th and is the first major runner to stop for wet tyres. Further back Marc Gene suffers an engine failure.

Coulthard drops downLap 35: As the rain intensifies in the stadium area, it remains dry out in the woods. Hakkinen, Trulli and de la Rosa decide to pit for wet tyres. Barrichello, Coulthard, Frentzen and Zonta continue on dry tyres. Several drivers have spins including Jacques Villeneuve and Eddie Irvine (the Jaguar driver spinning twice).

Lap 37: Trulli is given a 10-second stop-go penalty for speeding in the pitlane. He stops and drops from sixth to 11th. Zonta is also given a penalty but spins out before he can come into the pits.

Lap 38: Coulthard pits for wet tyres. He drops from second to fifth place. Further back Button passes de la Rosa to take sixth place.

Lap 40: Frentzen retires with a gearbox problem. Coulthard overtakes Salo for third place while Button closes up on the Finn as well.

Lap 43: Button passes Salo for fourth place.

Lap 44: The rain intensifies but it is still not wet enough for Hakkinen to be able to gain much time on Barrichello.

Lap 45: Barrichello wins a dramatic victory having started from 18th on the grid. As Barrichello completes his slowing down lap the rain begins to fall heavily.

The Results - Team by Team (provided by Reuters)

Rubens Barrichello masters the wetFERRARI (Rubens Barrichello 1, Michael Schumacher retired):

Barrichello claimed his first victory in eight years in Formula One after starting 18th on the grid and staying out on slick tyres in the wet conditions.

German Schumacher suffered his second consecutive first-corner retirement after a collision with Giancarlo Fisichella while fighting for track position.

MCLAREN (Mika Hakkinen 2, David Coulthard 3):

Hakkinen might have won had the safety car not been called out. Rain also hit his chances. Coulthard had similar problems.

"When the first safety car came out we immediately had a problem because Ferrari only had to concentrate on one car and we had the prospect of bringing two cars in and queuing them for fuel and tyres or letting one car stay out," said team managing director Martin Whitmarsh. "When we let David go round for one more lap it cost him places on the track."

WILLIAMS (Jenson Button 4, Ralf Schumacher 7):

Eddie IrvineBriton Button made a brilliant comeback after starting last because his car stalled on the grid during the warm-up. Struggled in the midfield for much of the race but switched to wet tyres at the right time and passed the Sauber of Mika Salo two laps from the finish.

Schumacher struggled with his set-up and had a spin after a collision with BAR's Ricardo Zonta, forcing him to pit.

"This was really one of the better races I have watched," commented team owner Frank Williams.

SAUBER (Mika Salo 5, Pedro Diniz retired):

Salo claimed his fourth points finish of the season after he benefited from the pit-stop sequence. Brazilian Diniz retired on lap 30 after driving into the side of Frenchman Jean Alesi's Prost at the third chicane.

ARROWS (Pedro de la Rosa 6, Jos Verstappen retired):

Spaniard De la Rosa ran fourth for much of the race but lost out in the pit-stop scramble when the rain arrived.

Dutchman Verstappen spun off into the gravel trap in the wet conditions on lap 40 and stalled.

Jacques VilleneuveBAR (Jacques Villeneuve 8, Ricardo Zonta retired):

Canadian Villeneuve was sent into a spin on the start-finish straight by team-mate Ricardo Zonta. The Brazilian paid for his decision to stay on slick tyres in the wet conditions when he slid off the track and into the gravel on lap 37.

JORDAN (Jarno Trulli 9, Heinz-Harald Frentzen retired):

Italian Trulli missed a points finish after being given a 10-second stop-go penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. He ran third during the early stages.

German Frentzen went out on lap 39 with mechanical problems. He started in 17th and was third before retiring.

JAGUAR (Eddie Irvine 10, Johnny Herbert retired):

Briton Irvine was fifth early on but three spins late in the race cost him a potential points finish. Herbert retired with mechanical problems on lap 13 while in eighth place.

Marc Gene retiresMINARDI (Gaston Mazzacane 11, Marc Gene retired):

Argentine Mazzacane ran at the back of the grid for much of the race and was classified as a finisher despite spinning into the gravel trap. Spaniard Gene's race ended on lap 34 when his engine broke and spilled oil onto the circuit.

PROST (Nick Heidfeld 12, Jean Alesi retired):

German Heidfeld completed 40 laps before mechanical problems forced him to spin out. Frenchman Alesi had a major spin at the third chicane on lap 30 after Diniz drove into the side of his car. He hit the wall but escaped unhurt.

BENETTON (Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz retired):

Austrian Wurz spun on the start-finish line and was unable to keep his engine running on lap 31. Italian Fisichella retired after a first-corner incident with Schumacher.

Pablo Elizalde© 2000 Kaizar.Com, Incorporated.
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