ATLAS F1   Volume 6, Issue 43 Email to Friend   Printable Version

Atlas F1   The Malaysian GP Review

Sepang, October 20-22, 2000 by Pablo Elizalde, Spain

Michael Schumacher celebrates his win with a red wigThe Malaysian Grand Prix was somewhat an appropriate race to end the 2000 season, summarizing the way the championship has developed this year, and perhaps the only thing that didn't fit was Mika Hakkinen's clear mistake at the start.

Alain Prost once said that to win a race, a driver must go as slow as necessary. Michael Schumacher took his ninth win of the season, the tenth for Ferrari and the 44th of his career, doing just that.

After yet another useless pole position, the German stayed behind David Coulthard until the Scot made a costly mistake that decided the race. His McLaren ran off the track briefly, collecting grass in its sidepods. It may have seemed irrelevant, but added to the Malaysian weather, Coulthard's engine began to overheat, forcing him to come into the pits too early, which meant that he couldn't take advantage of a low fuel load to lap quicker.

Meanwhile, Schumacher saw his chance and began lapping as fast as possible with no one to disturb him, and the seven-lap difference until his pitstop was enough for him to make up sufficient time to rejoin the race in the lead.

Coulthard got closer later in the race, but not enough to try and pass the German. The Ferrari crew did a perfect job on the second stop, and Schumacher came back out in the lead to cruise to the chequered flag. End of story; the Italian team was the double for the first time in, yes, 21 years.

If anyone had any doubts about Schumacher's motivation after finally achieving the goal he set himself five years ago when he joined Ferrari, the Malaysian Grand Prix was clear evidence that he still has a lot more races to win in him, and the Prost's 51-victory record, once considered something of an unreachable target, seems now at a stone's throw.

Hakkinen tries to cool off in MalaysiaQualifying

Qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix was all about Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari for the fourth consecutive race and for the ninth time this season. The German was in a class of his own, and if in Japan he only needed nine of his twelve allocated laps to get pole position, a mere eight were enough this time around to put nearly half a second between himself and Mika Hakkinen.

Despite the clouds that covered the Sepang circuit, the session started with a track temperature of 39°C, which meant that the drivers stayed in their pits for more than 15 minutes before jumping onto the track.

The newly-crowned World Champion kept his cool despite the Malaysian heat and swept the opposition with a crushing 1:37.397, also giving the impression that he could have gone faster if he had needed to. "It was not as easy as it looked at all," admitted later a smiling Schumacher. "I only did eight laps because I did not really have time to go out again at the end so I stayed on just eight."

In fact, only three laps would have been enough, as only Schumacher himself bettered his initial fastest time, while his rivals had to be content with fighting for a place alongside him. And it was a fierce battle indeed.

Hakkinen, who was the first driver out with the McLaren, was also the last one to cross the start/finish line in the dying seconds of the session, improving on his teammate's time by only 29 hundredths of a second, and jumping from fourth to second place after a less than flawless final attempt.

The Sepang circuitThe Finn, who had been slower than David Coulthard in each of his early attempts, was happy with second spot after struggling with the setup of his car during most of the session. "I was struggling through the first and second sectors, and losing time there," Hakkinen confessed. "I was losing two tenths in the first sector and a couple of tenths in the last sector. We are also losing a little bit in the middle sector."

It all looked good for Coulthard during most of the session, being consistently quicker than Hakkinen and most importantly, ahead of Rubens Barrichello, whose only chance of ending third in the championship was winning the race.

The Ferrari driver, who was suffering from the 'flu, seemed to hold the upper hand after improving on his final attempt, making for an all-scarlet front row, but the Scot eclipsed the Brazilian seconds later, relegating him to third place while Hakkinen's improvement demoted him to fourth.

Coulthard's session, though, was marked by a bizarre and dangerous incident in the McLaren garage, when fuel from a leak squirted into his left eye. "A fuel line came off and there was a small fire and a bit of a panic," related Coulthard. "I was in the garage and my visor was up and that is how it went in my eye. It certainly highlights the danger we face, especially the mechanics who are working out there in shorts and t-shirts. Those guys are taking big risks doing the jobs they do."

Despite the incident, Coulthard managed to end the session in front of Barrichello, who was disappointed after being knocked back to the second row by a very a small margin, only three hundredths of a second. The farewell party for Johnny Herbert"After suffering with small health problems over the past few days, I gave it my all at the end of the session to do a great lap and I feel I succeeded," said Barrichello. "It's a shame both McLaren drivers went quicker than me, both by a very small margin. I am sure our car is very competitive."

Alexander Wurz shocked the paddock with his Benetton by equalling his best qualifying position after what has been his worst season so far. The Austrian set the "best of the rest" time, in fifth, apparently enjoying a boost of confidence after securing a place as McLaren's test driver for next season.

"To qualify right behind the McLarens and Ferraris is really pole position for me!" said Wurz. "I'm very happy that I achieved this in my last qualifying session with the team and I hope this helps to put pay to rumours that have followed me this year. I want to thank the people who work with me and who have supported me for the last three years in the team."

Not far behind Wurz was Jacques Villeneuve with the BAR, and despite suffering an engine shutdown on his final attempt, he ended up in sixth position, anticipating a hard battle for fourth place in the constructors' title race, with only two points separating his team from Benetton.

Last year's Malaysian Grand Prix winner Eddie Irvine was seventh for Jaguar, but not happy with any of his fastest laps. Teammate Johnny Herbert, in his final Formula One qualifying session, had to be content with the twelfth spot.

Qualifying Results

Pos  Driver         Team                 Times                 
 1.  M.Schumacher   Ferrari              1:37.397  204.881 km/h
 2.  Hakkinen       McLaren Mercedes     1:37.860   +  0.463
 3.  Coulthard      McLaren Mercedes     1:37.889   +  0.492
 4.  Barrichello    Ferrari              1:37.896   +  0.499
 5.  Wurz           Benetton Playlife    1:38.644   +  1.247
 6.  Villeneuve     BAR Honda            1:38.653   +  1.256
 7.  Irvine         Jaguar Cosworth      1:38.696   +  1.299
 8.  R.Schumacher   Williams BMW         1:38.739   +  1.342
 9.  Trulli         Jordan Mugen-Honda   1:38.909   +  1.512
10.  Frentzen       Jordan Mugen-Honda   1:38.988   +  1.591
11.  Zonta          BAR Honda            1:39.158   +  1.761
12.  Herbert        Jaguar Cosworth      1:39.331   +  1.934
13.  Fisichella     Benetton Playlife    1:39.387   +  1.990
14.  de la Rosa     Arrows Supertec      1:39.443   +  2.046
15.  Verstappen     Arrows Supertec      1:39.489   +  2.092
16.  Button         Williams BMW         1:39.563   +  2.166
17.  Salo           Sauber Petronas      1:39.591   +  2.194
18.  Alesi          Prost Peugeot        1:40.065   +  2.668
19.  Heidfeld       Prost Peugeot        1:40.148   +  2.751
20.  Diniz          Sauber Petronas      1:40.521   +  3.124
21.  Gene           Minardi Fondmetal    1:40.662   +  3.265
22.  Mazzacane      Minardi Fondmetal    1:42.078   +  4.681

The Race

The start of the raceHeat and humidity were two major concerns for the teams and more so for the drivers, who had to complete 56 laps around the Sepang circuit, with a track temperature of 35°C before the start of the race. Fortunately for them, an overcast sky helped ease the heat during most of the race.

Unfortunately for the spectators, however, the expected final battle of the 2000 season between Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher ended before it even started, as the Finn jumped the start and was penalized with a 10-second stop and go.

Initially it looked as though Schumacher had been beaten off the line once more, but the replays showed that Hakkinen's car moved, and though he stopped before the lights were out, his McLaren was clearly over the line.

"I am very disappointed they gave me the stop/go penalty," said the Finn, "When all the red lights were on, I saw Michael move a little bit and my car moved a little bit. Michael stopped his car. I stopped mine and then the light went off. It was a weird situation."

His teammate David Coulthard didn't need to anticipate the start to jump in front of Schumacher, and at the end of the straight the Scot passed the German on the outside and stuck right behind Hakkinen. Rubens Barrichello fought hard to keep Jacques Villeneuve at bay, who overtook Alex Wurz after yet another brilliant start.

de la Rosa does the waveAt the back of the pack, when arriving at the second turn, Pedro Diniz overshot the entry and ran into the back of Jean Alesi's Prost, who touched Nick Heidfeld's car, pushing it into Pedro de la Rosa's Arrows. Diniz, Heidfeld and de la Rosa were out of the race, while Alesi spun and rejoined at the back of the field.

The collision caused the introduction of the safety car for two laps, a period during which Jarno Trulli, who had made contact with the back of Eddie Irvine's Jaguar at the second corner, came into the pits to replace his front wing, ending his chances of fighting for a points finish.

The race was restarted on lap 3, and Hakkinen immediately allowed Coulthard to go by, apparently knowing that he would have to come into the pits for his penalty. Schumacher only in turn needed a couple of turns to pass the Finn, who didn't do much to stop the German.

Hakkinen came into the pits to serve his penalty on lap six, rejoining the race in last position and beginning his charge to the front. By now, the already slim chances that McLaren had in the constructors' cup, were virtually over.

Up in front, Coulthard was, perhaps surprisingly after his qualifying performance, lapping faster than Schumacher, pulling away slightly, and by lap eight his advantage over the German was almost four seconds.

de la Rosa and Heidfeld retireOn that lap, Heinz-Harald Frentzen's disappointing season came to an end after he retired with a hydraulics problem in his Jordan car. His teammate Trulli came back into the pits two laps later, apparently for an early scheduled stop.

Coulthard made his first stop on lap 17, making clear that he was on a two-stop strategy, though he had to come in earlier than planned after running off the track briefly, picking up a lot of grass in his sidepods and thus causing the engine to overheat.

"I thought it was all over for me and the team called me in early for my stop to clean the radiators which fixed the problem," said Coulthard.

The McLaren crew did a fine job and the Scot rejoined after being stationary for only seven seconds. As it happened in Japan, once his McLaren rival had stopped, Schumacher began to lap faster, setting a couple of fastest laps, building a comfortable lead over Barrichello and Wurz, who was now up to third.

The Austrian came in to pit for the first time on lap 20, at the same time that Jenson Button's Williams came to a halt due to an engine problem, concluding one of his worst performances of the year.

Schumacher moves to secondSchumacher gradually continued to increase his gap over Coulthard before stopping on lap 24, when McLaren had a sense of deja vu from Japan. The Ferrari's stop was flawless, and when the triple World Champion rejoined the race, he was more than four seconds ahead of Coulthard.

Barrichello hoped to follow suit, but he was not able to gain enough time on Coulthard, and he came back onto the track in third position.

Meanwhile, Hakkinen was charging hard, and by lap 28 he was already right behind Villeneuve in seventh place. The Canadian did his best to keep the Finn behind, but Hakkinen got his way eventually at turn 14, after some fantastic wheel-to-wheel racing from the two ex-champions.

Hakkinen, on a one-stop strategy, came into the pits on lap 36, when he was already in fourth spot. Only two laps later Coulthard made his second scheduled stop, after lapping constantly quicker than Schumacher and reducing the German's advantage to only 1.9 seconds.

The leader pitted on the next lap, but a sensational 6.6 seconds stop by the Ferrari team didn't allow the Scot to move ahead. Barrichello led the race for two laps before making his stop, rejoining in third place, not close enough to Coulthard, and some 20 seconds in front of Hakkinen.

Schumacher's advantage was less than two seconds for the next few laps, Coulthard gaining on him steadily but not close enough to try any moves on the German. With ten laps to go, the gap was a mere eight tenths of a second, and the McLaren driver was clearly faster than the Ferrari in the slow sections, but he could do nothing to pass the German.

Villeneuve passes WurzOn lap 49, Johnny Herbert's F1 career ended with a bang, when his Jaguar suffered a suspension failure, tearing the right rear wheel off and launching the car into the tyre wall at very high speed.

"There's nothing like ending your career with a bang," said the jovial Briton, who was carried away from the scene of the accident with a bruised knee. "When the car pitched, I was trying to work out which way I was going in so I could position my legs for the impact but I lost my sense of direction."

As usual, and despite the accident, Herbert had the last laugh. "I guess it was inevitable that because I began my career being carried to the car, I would end it being carried out of it," he joked.

The final laps saw Coulthard putting pressure on Schumacher, who calmly cruised to the finish line in first place, achieving his ninth win of the season, equalling his and Nigel Mansell's record of victories in a season. It was also his fourth consecutive win from pole, also giving the Constructors' Championship title to Ferrari for the second year in a row.

The whole team wore red wigs to celebrate, and even Ross Brawn and Jean Todt allowed themselves to relax.

"We did it by winning, which was what I really wanted to do," said a serene Schumacher while wearing a red wig during the press conference. Schumacher leads Coulthard to the end"It was a tough race all the way with David pushing me hard. I didn't have a good start again and I had a lot of wheelspin. Mika was ahead of me and then I was pushed down to third when David outbraked me on the outside. So, then we had to see what we could do with the strategy."

"The championship could not have finished better than this, with two drivers on the podium," added Todt. "This season's figures speak for themselves: ten wins, nine for Michael and one for Rubens. It has been a fantastic year."

Coulthard finished second, only six tenths behind Schumacher, and third once again in the championship. And, after the war of words between these too, it was nice to see the Scot apologising, hoping to make a fresh start next season. "We have had some differences and I am embarrassed that sometimes I said things too publicly instead of going to see him and to talk to him face to face," Coulthard admitted. "At the end of the season, I wanted to apologise to him for that and to say he is a great champion and that I look forward to competing with him again next season."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis was finally gracious in defeat. "Now is the appropriate time to congratulate both Michael and the rest of the Ferrari team for their Drivers' and Constructors' Championships," he said. "I hope that they party for at least three months in order to give us a head start for next year."

Schumacher takes the chequered flagBarrichello was third despite being being ill, something that he confessed didn't affect his performance. "I didn't feel at all well, and although I didn't feel anything bad during the race I was mentally worried that the hot air might get me at some point."

Hakkinen's charge was good enough for an irrelevant fourth place, while Villeneuve finished fifth for the BAR team, which equalled Benetton's pointscore in the Constructors' Championship. However, the latter took fourth place thanks to their better placings during the season.

Eddie Irvine ended the season on a high with Jaguar, by scoring the last point of the race after a strong performance. Things can only improve for them next season. "We didn't make one change to the car and our strategy was spot on," said Irvine. "In the latter part of the season we have begun to understand the problems with the car. If those theories prove correct, we can look to make a big step forward in 2001."

The Malaysian Grand Prix served as yet another example of Ferrari's and Michael Schumacher's domination during this year. Finally, after years of trying, all the pieces fell into the right place for the Italian team. Now they have more than four months to enjoy it, before they have to defend their crown against the fierce opposition. But's for the time being, that's a different story.

Race Results


Pos  Driver         Team                             
 1.  M.Schumacher   Ferrari             1h35:54.235 
 2.  Coulthard      McLaren Mercedes    +     0.732 
 3.  Barrichello    Ferrari             +    18.444 
 4.  Hakkinen       McLaren Mercedes    +    35.269 
 5.  Villeneuve     BAR Honda           +  1:10.692 
 6.  Irvine         Jaguar Cosworth     +  1:12.568 
 7.  Wurz           Benetton Playlife   +  1:39.314 
 8.  Salo           Sauber Petronas     +  1 Lap    
 9.  Fisichella     Benetton Playlife   +  1 Lap    
10.  Verstappen     Arrows Supertec     +  1 Lap    
11.  Alesi          Prost Peugeot       +  1 Lap    
12.  Trulli         Jordan Mugen-Honda  +  1 Lap    
13.  Mazzacane      Minardi Fondmetal   +  6 Laps  *

Fastest Lap: M.Hakkinen, 1:38.543

NOT CLASSIFIED / RETIREMENTS                                
     Herbert        Jaguar Cosworth       49    rear suspension
     Zonta          BAR Honda             47    engine         
     R.Schumacher   Williams BMW          44    engine         
     Gene           Minardi Fondmetal     37    engine         
     Button         Williams BMW          17    engine         
     Frentzen       Jordan Mugen-Honda     8    hydraulics     
     Heidfeld       Prost Peugeot          1    accident       
     Diniz          Sauber Petronas        1    accident       
     de la Rosa     Arrows Supertec        1    accident       


Drivers:                   Constructors:             
 1.  M. Schumacher 108 WC  1.  Ferrari            170 CC
 2.  Hakkinen       89     2.  McLaren            152
 3.  Coulthard      73     3.  Williams-BMW        36
 4.  Barrichello    62     4.  Benetton-Playlife   20
 5.  R.Schumacher   24     5.  BAR-Honda           20
 6.  Fisichella     18     6.  Jordan-Mugen Honda  17
 7.  Villeneuve     17     7.  Arrows               7
 8.  Button         12     8.  Sauber               6
 9.  Frentzen       11     9.  Jaguar               4
10.  Trulli          6                               
 =   Salo            6                               
12.  Verstappen      5                               
13.  Irvine          4                               
14.  Zonta           3                               
15.  de la Rosa      2                               
 =   Wurz            2                               

Fastest Race Laps

Pos Driver         Team               Lap  Time             
 1.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    34  1:38.543         
 2.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari             21  1:39.064  + 0.521
 3.  Barrichello   Ferrari             23  1:39.302  + 0.759
 4.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    36  1:39.529  + 0.986
 5.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           20  1:40.160  + 1.617
 6.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     18  1:40.292  + 1.749
 7.  Wurz          Benetton-Playlife   19  1:40.312  + 1.769
 8.  Zonta         BAR-Honda           21  1:40.498  + 1.955
 9.  Herbert       Jaguar-Cosworth     27  1:40.764  + 2.221
10.  Salo          Sauber-Petronas     14  1:40.896  + 2.353
11.  Fisichella    Benetton-Playlife   53  1:40.925  + 2.382
12.  Verstappen    Arrows-Supertec     27  1:41.104  + 2.561
13.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda  33  1:41.262  + 2.719
14.  Alesi         Prost-Peugeot       34  1:41.634  + 3.091
15.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW        42  1:41.729  + 3.186
16.  Gene          Minardi-Fondmetal   27  1:41.928  + 3.385
17.  Button        Williams-BMW        17  1:42.226  + 3.683
18.  Mazzacane     Minardi-Fondmetal   24  1:43.147  + 4.604
19.  Frentzen      Jordan-Mugen Honda   3  1:44.557  + 6.014

Pit-Stops Times

Pos  Driver        Team                Time  Lap
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari             32.9  39
 2.  Wurz          Benetton-Playlife   32.9  20
 3.  Mazzacane     Minardi-Fondmetal   33.2  45
 4.  Barrichello   Ferrari             33.6  25
 5.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    33.7  17
 6.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari             33.7  24
 7.  Zonta         BAR-Honda           33.8  23
 8.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    33.9  38
 9.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           34.3  22
10.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     34.3  40
11.  Alesi         Prost-Peugeot       34.9  16
12.  Zonta         BAR-Honda           34.9  37
13.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     35.1  19
14.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           35.1  38
15.  Alesi         Prost-Peugeot       35.1  35
16.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda  35.2  39
17.  Wurz          Benetton-Playlife   35.4  35
18.  Salo          Sauber-Petronas     35.4  16
19.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    35.4  35
20.  Salo          Sauber-Petronas     35.7  36
21.  Fisichella    Benetton-Playlife   36.0  32
22.  Barrichello   Ferrari             36.3  41
23.  Frentzen      Jordan-Mugen Honda  36.7   6
24.  Verstappen    Arrows-Supertec     37.3  29
25.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda  37.5  10
26.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    37.9   5
27.  Mazzacane     Minardi-Fondmetal   38.6  27
28.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW        38.8  28
29.  Gene          Minardi-Fondmetal   38.8  28
30.  Trulli        Jordan-Mugen Honda  40.3   1
31.  Herbert       Jaguar-Cosworth     50.0  28

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 Coulthard 25.345 292.32   1 Hakkinen 33.078 139.20   1 Hakkinen 39.834 265.44  
2 Hakkinen 25.385 291.36   2 M.Schumacher 33.293 140.16   2 M.Schumacher 40.138 260.48  
3 M.Schumacher 25.448 288.32   3 Barrichello 33.340 141.12   3 Coulthard 40.169 264.48  
4 Villeneuve 25.505 289.28   4 Coulthard 33.595 137.28   4 Barrichello 40.397 260.48  
5 Barrichello 25.520 286.40   5 Villeneuve 33.731 141.12   5 Wurz 40.517 261.44  
6 Verstappen 25.560 291.36   6 Wurz 33.949 143.20   6 Irvine 40.539 260.48  
7 Salo 25.615 294.24   7 Zonta 34.036 145.12   7 Villeneuve 40.614 264.48  
8 Wurz 25.629 289.28   8 Irvine 34.062 144.16   8 Verstappen 40.773 263.52  
9 Fisichella 25.639 284.32   9 Herbert 34.216 139.20   9 Salo 40.794 260.48  
10 Zonta 25.648 290.24   10 Salo 34.231 141.12   10 Zonta 40.814 264.48  
11 Irvine 25.649 291.36   11 Fisichella 34.235 143.20   11 Herbert 40.836 260.48  
12 Herbert 25.666 288.32   12 Trulli 34.319 138.24   12 Fisichella 40.929 256.48  
13 Trulli 25.789 289.28   13 Alesi 34.322 139.20   13 Trulli 40.949 260.48  
14 Alesi 25.799 288.32   14 Verstappen 34.462 143.20   14 R.Schumacher 41.088 260.48  
15 Gene 25.815 286.40   15 R.Schumacher 34.552 140.16   15 Gene 41.179 259.52  
16 R.Schumacher 25.897 289.28   16 Gene 34.640 140.16   16 Alesi 41.229 259.52  
17 Button 25.979 287.36   17 Button 34.703 134.24   17 Button 41.479 258.56  
18 Mazzacane 26.042 284.32   18 Mazzacane 35.554 139.20   18 Mazzacane 41.762 258.56  
19 Frentzen 26.140 285.28   19 Frentzen 35.773 136.16   19 Frentzen 42.134 256.48  

The Malaysian Grand Prix, Lap by Lap

Lap 1: Mika Hakkinen moves before the lights go out and is later given a 10-second stop-go penalty. He takes the lead with David Coulthard getting past Michael Schumacher to take third going into the first corner. Rubens Barrichello is fourth ahead of Alexander Wurz and Jacques Villeneuve. In the midfield Pedro de la Rosa, Nick Heidfeld and Pedro Diniz arrive side by side in a corner and collide. They then hit Jean Alesi's Prost. Jean rejoins but the other three all retire. Further around the lap Ralf Schumacher runs wide and drops to the tail of the field. Jarno Trulli heads for the pits for repairs and Jos Verstappen has a spin. With wreckage on the track the Safety Car is sent out for one lap.

Lap 3: The race restarts with Hakkinen allowing Coulthard to pass him. The Finn then falls behind Schumacher and Barrichello.

Lap 4: Coulthard tries to build up a lead while McLaren receive the news that Hakkinen must stop for a penalty. Further back Ricardo Zonta jumps up from 11th to ninth, passing Jenson Button and Johnny Herbert. Button also falls behind Mika Salo. Sixteenth placed Verstappen passes Marc Gene as he begins to recover from his spin.

Lap 5: Hakkinen stops for his penalty and drops from fourth to 19th. Heinz-Harald Frentzen goes off and pits to have his car repaired. Verstappen overtakes Ralf Schumacher.

Lap 7: Coulthard sets the fastest lap of the race to increase his lead to 3.6secs. Further back Villeneuve pressures Wurz for fourth place. Verstappen overtakes Giancarlo Fisichella for 11th. Frentzen retires after doing one more exploratory lap.

Lap 8: Trulli begins to recover by passing Gastone Mazzacane.

Lap 9: Salo passes Herbert to take eighth place. Further back Ralf Schumacher drops behind Gene and Alesi, his Williams clearly in mechanical trouble.

Lap 10: Coulthard runs wide at one corner and bounces across the grass. He loses only a few tenths but gets debris in his left-hand radiator. Alesi passes Gene for 13th. At the tail of the field Trulli pits for more repairs.

Lap 12: Coulthard's lead is up to 5.6secs. Further back Verstappen continues his progress, passing Button to take 10th place.

Lap 13: Hakkinen catches and passes Ralf Schumacher at the tail of the field. Two laps later he passes Gene.

Lap 16: Salo and Alesi pit. Mika dropping from eighth to 13th and Jean from 13th to 17th.

Lap 17: Coulthard is called in earlier than planned to clear out his radiator. this puts Schumacher into the lead and David into sixth.

Lap 18: Button retires with an engine failure.

Lap 21: As the two-stop runners pit, shuffling the order at the front, Michael Schumacher sets four consecutive fastest laps.

Lap 24: Schumacher pits and Barrichello moves into the lead. Michael is able to rejoin ahead of Coulthard.

Lap 25: Barrichello pits, leaving Schumacher in the lead with Coulthard almost five seconds behind him. Johnny Herbert is fourth, going for a one-stop race and Verstappen is a remarkable fifth ahead of Villeneuve, who has got ahead of Wurz during the pit stops. Jacques is under pressure from the recovering Hakkinen who has opted for a one-stop race.

Lap 28: Hakkinen goes off while trying to pass Villeneuve while Zonta also has an off, running across a sand trap. Herbert pits from fourth place but there are problems and he loses a lot of time and rejoins in 12th.

Lap 29: Fourth-placed Verstappen stops and drops down the order to 11th.

Lap 30: Hakkinen passes Villeneuve to take fourth.

Lap 31: Villeneuve tried to retake the place and overshoots so Hakkinen remains ahead.

Lap 32: Fisichella comes in for his one and only stop, dropping from eighth place to 11th.

Lap 35: Hakkinen pits and drops to sixth behind Villeneuve and Irvine. Wurz also pits (although it is his second stop) and he slips back from sixth to ninth.

Lap 36: Seventh placed Zonta pits for the second time.

Lap 38: Coulthard has closed the gap to Schumacher to around two seconds when he pits from second place and is followed into the pits by fourth-placed Villeneuve. David rejoins in third and Jacques in sixth.

Lap 39: Michael Schumacher stops and is able to get out ahead of Coulthard. This leaves Barrichello in the lead.

Lap 41: Barrichello pits, leaving Schumacher and Coulthard first and second, separated by two seconds. Rubens rejoins third. Hakkinen is fourth with Villeneuve fifth and Irvine sixth.

Lap 45: Coulthard has closed the gap to less than a second and is pressuring Schumacher. Further back Ralf Schumacher retires.

Lap 47: Eighth-placed Zonta retires with an engine failure.

Lap 49: Herbert suffers a rear suspension failure and crashes heavily. He climbs out of the cockpit but has a problem with his left knee and has to be carried from the car.

Lap 51: At the tail of the field Mazzacane retires with an engine failure.

Lap 56: After 10 laps running nose to tail Schumacher wins the race, beating Coulthard to the line by 0.7sec. Barrichello is third with Hakkinen fourth and Villeneuve fifth. Irvine gives Jaguar a point for sixth place. Verstappen's promising race ends with a mechanical problem on the last lap which drops him from eighth to 10th.

The Results - Team by Team (provided by Reuters)

FERRARI (Michael Schumacher 1, Rubens Barrichello 3):

Schumacher lost two places at the start when both McLarens passed him, but he regained the lead by lap 17 and, on a two-stop strategy, dominated the race.

Brazilian Barrichello helped secure the constructors' championship for Ferrari.

MCLAREN (David Coulthard 2, Mika Hakkinen 4):

Briton Coulthard started well and led on the second lap. But he was forced into the pits on lap 17 with his car overheating after he had run wide and over some grass, which blocked his cooling system. Finland's Hakkinen jumped the start and was punished with a 10-second stop-go penalty. He worked his way back from last place with a series of fastest laps.

BAR (Jacques Villeneuve 5, Ricardo Zonta retired):

Canadian Villeneuve made a good start and was pushing the top three with a typically aggressive drive. He ran wheel-to-wheel with Hakkinen in the latter stages. Brazilian Zonta was running in the top 10 but an engine blow-out after 46 laps forced him to pull into a gravel trap.

JAGUAR (Eddie Irvine 6, Johnny Herbert crashed):

Briton Irvine earned his fourth point of the season as he ran in the top six for most of the race. Compatriot Herbert had a spectacular crash in his final Formula One race when his car suffered a suspension failure on lap 48. He escaped with a bruised left knee.

BENETTON (Alexander Wurz 7, Giancarlo Fisichella 10):

Wurz signed off for the team with an impressive drive as he ran in fifth place during the early stages. He dropped back two places after his pit-stops.

Italian Fisichella ran in the midfield for the entire race. His car lacked the pace and grip to overtake.

SAUBER (Mika Salo 9, Pedro Diniz retired):

Finland's Salo was the first to pit on lap 16 after avoiding the second corner crash involving his team-mate Pedro Diniz. He suffered with a lack of grip at times and never threatened the top six. Brazilian Diniz had a miserable weekend and crashed into the Arrows of Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa and Prost of Germany's Nick Heidfeld at the second corner.

ARROWS (Jos Verstappen 8, Pedro de la Rosa retired):

Vertappen spun on the first lap, but recovered to rise through the field on a one-stop strategy.

Spaniard De la Rosa crashed out at the second corner.

PROST (Jean Alesi 11, Nick Heidfeld retired):

Frenchman Alesi was involved in the second corner crash but his car suffered no damage and he was able to complete a race after two retirements in a row. Heidfeld failed to complete a lap in his last race for the team.

JORDAN (Jarno Trulli 12, Heinz Harald Frentzen retired):

Italian Trulli's race was ruined after a first lap collision with the Williams of Ralf Schumacher. He was forced to pit to get a new nose cone fitted and was left at the back.

German Frentzen was forced to pit on lap six with a mechanical problem and then retired a lap later.

MINARDI (Gaston Mazzacane 13, Marc Gene retired):

Argentine Mazzacane ran near the back for most of the race before engine failure prevented him from passing the chequered flag after he had completed 50 laps.

Spaniard Gene was forced out after 36 laps when his car suffered a puncture to its left rear tyre.

WILLIAMS (Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button retired):

German Schumacher retired after he had completed 43 laps. He lost six places to 14th after a clash with Trulli on the first lap, and was 16th when engine failure forced him out.

Briton Button had a great start that saw him rise from 16th to 10th place, but retired after 18 laps with a blown engine.

Pablo Elizalde© 2000 Kaizar.Com, Incorporated.
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