ATLAS F1   Volume 6, Issue 44 Email to Friend   Printable Version

Atlas F1   The Atlas F1 Top 10

It's that time of the year, where the Atlas F1 team vote on who was the best driver of the passing season and which Grand Prix was the most memorable. Fifteen voters participated. They each selected five drivers and three races, awarding the best driver five points, all the way down to one point for the driver in fifth place. The best race was awarded three points, all they way down to one point for the race in third place. Collecting together everyone's votes accumulated to a list of the Top 10 drivers of 2000, and the Top 10 races of the season. Here are the results and the voters' reasoning:

The Atlas F1 Top 10 Drivers of 2000

1. Michael Schumacher 71 3 5 3 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
2. Mika Hakkinen 53 5 4   4 4 4 4 4 3 4 2 3 4 4 4
3. Jacques Villeneuve 28 2 2 1 2 3 1 2 2   2 4 4 1 1 1
4. Jenson Button 27 4 1 4 3   3 1 1 1 1   2 3   3
5. Ralf Schumacher 23   3 5     2 3 3         2 3 2
6. David Coulthard 12     2   1       4 3       2  
7. Jarno Trulli 7       1 2           3 1      
8. Rubens Barrichello 2                 2            
9. Jos Verstappen 1 1                            
= Johnny Herbert 1                     1        

The Atlas F1 Top 10 Grands Prix of 2000

1. Belgian GP 26   2   3 2 3   3 1 3 1   3 2 3
2. German GP 21 1   3 2 3 2 1 1 2 1       3 2
3. Japanese GP 14 3   2   1 1 3     2 2        
4. United States GP 12   1         2       3 3 1 1 1
5. French GP 7                 3     2 2    
6. European GP 4   3   1                      
7. Spanish GP 2 2                            
= San Marino GP 2               2              
9. British GP 1                       1      
= Hungarian GP 1     1                        

Karl Ludvigsen (KL)

1. Hakkinen; 2. Button; 3. M. Schumacher; 4. Villeneuve 5. Verstappen

Mika did all that anyone could have asked of him in 2000 and turned in some stupendous qualifying and racing performances. He showed the skill and style that had already won him two World Championships, but his car and team just weren't quite good enough this year! In losing the championship Mika showed for the first time just how fine a champion he is.

1. Japan; 2. Spain; 3. Germany

Japan had it all for me - ultra-close nail-biting qualifying, excellent race-long, on-the-edge driving on a great circuit, superb strategy and tactics, plus a finish that was both popular and appropriate.

  • Moment to remember: Ferrari's win at Monza - glorious beginning to a great comeback.
  • Moment to forget: Alesi and Heidfeld wiping out the entire Prost team at the A1-Ring.

    Marcel Schot (MS)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. R. Schumacher; 4. Villeneuve 5. Button

    Michael Schumacher finally cashed in and did it with the best season a Ferrari driver has ever had. Mika Hakkinen looked to have lost some of his edge in the early season but in the end proved he was the only one able to attack Schumacher. Both Williams drivers proved a first year of a new team/engine combination can be successful. Villeneuve single-handedly brought BAR from the very depths of F1 to the subtop.

    1. Europe; 2. Belgium; 3. USA

    Nurburgring again takes the top spot in the drama category. The changing weather conditions and the great battle between Schumacher and Hakkinen made this one the best, head and shoulders above the rest. In Belgium it was again a beautiful duel between the two best drivers of this era, with Hakkinen taking the win with a stunning passing move. The US Grand Prix completes the top 3, simply because it was so entertaining to see so much action on track for a change.

  • Moment to remember: The post-race press conference at Monza.
  • Moment to forget: Monza, lap 1.

    Marcel Borsboom (MB)

    1. R. Schumacher; 2. Button; 3. M. Schumacher; 4. Coulthard; 5. Villeneuve

    Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button should have been tied for first place, because they both had a great season. I give Ralf the edge, however, because he was more consistent over the whole season. The amazing fact about Ralf is that no matter where he qualifies, he always puts himself in a position to score points halfway through the race. The reason for picking Michael Schumacher is quite obvious - he is the World Champion, winner of nine races this season, and he played a big role in the other races where he survived the first corner. David Coulthard had a very odd season where he could be almost unstoppable in some races, and nowhere in the next, but what really made Coulthard deserve this place is his second place in the Spanish Grand Prix only a few days after his plane crash. Jacques Villeneuve showed this year that he is a great driver, his highlight was trying to overtake Frentzen in the United States GP.

    1. Germany; 2. Japan; 3. Hungary

    The German Grand Prix really stands out in my memory of 2000 - it just had everything: Michael Schumacher out at the first corner for the second time, a man on track protesting against Mercedes and of course the first win of Rubens Barrichello. The Japanese Grand Prix was not that exciting, but Schumacher and Hakkinen were never more than four seconds away from each other and that made it a great Grand Prix to watch. Putting Hungary in my top three looks silly, and it may well be, but I will remember this race as one of the most boring races I have ever seen and that has to be worth something.

  • Moment to remember: Verstappen in the rain in Canada.
  • Moment to forget: Man on track in Germany.

    Richard Barnes (RB)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Button; 4. Villeneuve; 5. Trulli

    Schumacher and Hakkinen are still the class drivers of the field, and obvious choices. Button was astonishing in his first season, showing maturity, speed and remarkably few mistakes - especially considering that he only learnt starts and pitstops shortly before the season began. Outqualifying Ralf Schumacher half-a-dozen times, on tracks where he has far less experience, says it all. Villeneuve had a great season, consistently pushing the BAR further and faster than it should have gone. Trulli is fast relegating Heinz-Harald Frentzen, one of the stars of '99, to has-been status. If he collides a few more times with Button, we could soon have a Senna-Prost style rivalry on our hands.

    1. Belgium; 2. Germany; 3. Europe

    Belgium had the move of the season - Hakkinen spectacularly outsmarting Schumacher while Ricardo Zonta looked on from the best seat in the house. Germany featured a gutsy and skilful performance in treacherous conditions from Rubens Barrichello, with all the emotion of his maiden win. Europe saw Schumacher turn the tables on Hakkinen, overtaking the Finn on track for the lead. The two of them went on to destroy the field in a classic display of dominant wet-weather driving. Three deserving winners, three memorable races.

  • Moment to remember: Red wigs at Sepang.
  • Moment to forget: The first-lap collisions at Monza.

    Pablo Elizalde (PE)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Villeneuve; 4. Trulli; 5. Coulthard

    Ferrari gave him the right car and Michael Schumacher was up to the task. He was the class of the field all year long, and only the mid-season incidents stopped him from sweeping the opposition. A worthy champion. A great champion needs a great rival and that was Mika Hakkinen, on and off the track. Slow start, but amazing recovery. Jacques Villeneuve deserves third place on my list for being a fighter and never giving up in a slow car. After a season with only four winners, he was really missed. Jarno Trulli was, without any doubt, the most unfortunate driver of the year, yet he showed he's a star in the making, outperforming his teammate Frentzen in many occasions. The future is his. My final point goes to David Coulthard. After his plane crash, the Scot was his best ever and had some very good races. Unfortunately for him, that didn't last long.

    1. Germany; 2. Belgium; 3. Japan

    In a year with very few surprises and unexpected results, Rubens Barrichello's charge to the front at the German Grand Prix made for the most entertaining race of the season. Mika Hakkinen's recovery and subsequent pass over Michael Schumacher at the Belgian Grand Prix proved once more that Spa always provides great racing. The Japanese Grand Prix highlighted the best of Ferrari: the Schumacher/Brawn combination. Although most of the action took place in the pits, when two geniuses work together as they did in Japan, the result is pure magic.

  • Moment to remember: Ferrari's title.
  • Moment to forget: Only two teams winning all the races.

    Paul Ryder (PR)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Button; 4. R. Schumacher; 5. Villeneuve

    It is very hard to separate Michael and Mika at this moment in their careers. Both drivers appear to be reaching the peak of their careers at the same time, and they have amazing respect for each other. Rivals couldn't be better friends. Michael Schumacher lost a big lead in the championship, but was able to come back and seal it with four wins in the final four races of the season, not cracking under pressure. Mika Hakkinen could have done better, his car letting him down early on was the worst possible way to start a World Championship defence. Jenson Button impressed greatly, especially when he out-quailified experienced Ralf Schumacher on occasions. Ralf Schumacher himself finished fifth in the Championship, and fourth in my top five; his World Championship position gives him the "best of the rest" title, consistent results have rewarded him well. Jacques Villeneuve is my fifth choice: sticking with BAR was a brave move for the Canadian, and you never seem to hear him complain. A very loyal racer indeed.

    1. Belgium; 2. Germany; 3. Japan

    Belgium was the best race of 2000 for me. The race was action-packed and included a pass few will forget, when Mika Hakkinen finally got past Michael Schumacher to win the race. Amazing stuff. Germany is my second favourite race: it saw tricky wet conditions and a Brazilian finally lay a ghost to rest, with Rubens Barrichello scoring his first Grand Prix victory. Japan was one of the closest races for a long time, Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen sticking together and leaving the rest behind. Both drivers soaked up the pressure, and the race was ultimately decided by changing conditions and a fantastic sprint by Michael prior to his final pit stop. It was nice to see a World Championship end without argument or controversy, a Championship decided by racers.

  • Moment to remember: The magical pass by Hakkinen on Schumacher at Spa.
  • Moment to forget: The tragic event on the first lap of the Italian GP.

    David Wright (DW)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. R. Schumacher; 4. Villeneuve; 5. Button

    Michael Schumacher gains the top spot for taking a slightly-slower-than-McLaren Ferrari to its limits and beyond, to claim the Championship he and Ferrari have been searching for, despite a mid-season slump in fortunes. Mika Hakkinen returned to 1998 form, consistent and quick, apart from a couple of races when he was just beaten by teammate David Coulthard. Ralf Schumacher continued his 1999 form, gaining three podium finishes in a car that many thought he would be lucky to just score points in. Jacques Villeneuve showed us that with a more competitive BAR, he could still fight with the best of them, such as his dice with Frentzen at Indianapolis. Finally, Jenson Button showed bursts of speed and signs of a possible future champion - all he needs to do is to calm down a little bit.

    1. Japan; 2. USA; 3. Germany

    To me, Suzuka was the ultimate battle between two drivers in two cars, almost nothing between them in qualifying, and the race was a tight two-horse affair, too - not forgetting the crowning of the first Ferrari World Champion since 1979. Indianapolis provided us with a good race, despite (or perhaps because of) the layout of the circuit, while the German Grand Prix had everything - first corner crash, a Ferrari flying through the field in pursuit of the McLaren duo, a track invader, the safety car - and then the rain started falling!

  • Moment to remember: Schumacher's joy after crossing the line at Suzuka.
  • Moment to forget: The crash on the first lap at Monza.

    Mark Glendenning (MG)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. R. Schumacher; 4. Villeneuve; 5. Button

    Schumacher and Hakkinen are obvious picks for the top spots. Even taking Hakkinen's early-season slump into account, there was really nobody who could hold a candle to these two this year. After that, though, it gets a little more difficult. There are at least six drivers who are worth considering for the last three spots, but in the end I was won over by Ralf for the way he made the most of the surprisingly quick BMW-Williams; Villeneuve for giving 110% no matter what the car was doing; and Button for the extraordinary results he achieved in his first year.

    1. Belgium; 2. San Marino; 3. Germany

    Race of the year was Belgium - an exciting duel between two multiple world champions, and the best overtaking move of the past few years. Imola was the kind of classic wheel-to-wheel battle between championship contenders that we have seen all too rarely in recent times. Barrichello's drive to victory from 18th on the grid at Hockenheim was the best individual performance of the season, and loads of fun to watch.

  • Moment to remember: Mark Webber's impressive test for Benetton.
  • Moment to forget: Anything to do with Prost.

    Ewan Tytler (ET)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Coulthard; 3. Hakkinen; 4. Barrichello; 5. Button

    The statistics clearly show that Michael Schumacher was the driver of the year, with nine victories and nine pole positions, but Schumacher nearly threw the championship away by taking unnecessary risks in the mid-season races. David Coulthard worked hard and had the best and most consistent year of his career, his mistakes were minor but were costly in points. Mika Hakkinen showed flashes of brilliance, especially at Spa-Francorchamps, but he didn't do enough winter testing and was inconsistent in the first half of the season. Rubens Barrichello had an imperfect season but he did a lot better than most of Schumacher's previous teammates, scoring his maiden victory at Hockenheim and setting pole position at Silverstone. Although his self-promotion was excessive, Jenson Button just beat Jacques Villeneuve for fifth in my book, excelling at the most difficult tracks in the Formula One calendar.

    1. France; 2. Germany; 3. Belgium

    For two years in a row, the best Formula One race took place on the much-maligned Magny-Cours track. The on-track battles between Schumacher and Coulthard were the stuff that Formula One legends are made of. The German Grand Prix was perhaps the strangest and most memorable races of the 2000 season: Barrichello's brilliant and emotional victory, the anti-Mercedes protestor, the demi-wet track, Schumacher and Fisichella's first lap accident and McLaren dropping the ball under the safety car. The Belgian Grand Prix was memorable for Hakkinen's brilliant drive, snatching victory from the King of Spa - Michael Schumacher. The British Grand Prix deserves an honourable mention for David Coulthard's outrageous overtaking maneouver at Stowe corner, as does the synchronized overtaking of the McLarens by the Ferraris at Interlagos.

  • Moment to remember: Schumacher and Coulthard's wheel-to-wheel battles in France.
  • Moment to forget: Ricardo Zonta's 10s stop-go penalty at the A1-Ring.

    Roger Horton (RH)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Coulthard; 4. Villeneuve; 5. Button

    Michael Schumacher was quite clearly the best driver of the season. He drove all year with hardly a mistake and with never an off day. Mika Hakkinen confirmed, once again, that he was as fast on his day as anyone on the grid when the conditions suited him, and in some races they didn't. Coulthard's year was a repeat of last year - sometimes brilliant, sometimes rather ordinary. Jacques Villenueve pushed extra hard all year, and some of his efforts in qualifying were truly heroic. Jenson Button, who, given his lack of experience showed at Spa and Suzuka - two drivers' circuits, showed that pure talent can't always be measured by the points tally at the end of the season.

    1. Belgium; 2. Japan; 3. Germany

    Spa-Francorchamps, because it was an old-fashioned race, decided between two drivers through a contest of driver ability on the track, and on a circuit where skill and courage in the cockpit is everything. Japan, because of its importance for Ferrari's revival, and because it was the best example of the skill which is required to win in the current F1 environment. Germany, because of the race's sheer drama and uncertainty that produced a surprise winner, something F1 needs more of.

  • Moment to remember: F1 cars blasting through turn 13 at Indy to the cheer of the crowd.
  • Moment to forget: A deranged 'fan' wandering alongside the Hockenheim track.

    Don Capps (DC)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Villeneuve; 3. Trulli; 4. Hakkinen; 5. Herbert

    Picking Michael Schumacher is a real surprise for me, since I can scarcely be called a fan. However, in a season where whether he won the WDC or not lots of folks would be taking pot-shots at him, he won the WDC. He got my vote for delivering the goods. In an age where the "package" is everything, Jacques Villeneuve did a great job with a generally poor "package". He kept his foot to the floor and never blinked. Jarno Trulli just did an excellent job in a trying season. Another of those who didn't blink. Mika Hakkinen had a season most drivers dream about, but still came up short. Johnny Herbert edged out Marc Gene and Ralf Schumacher, because he is 'Old School' and soldiered on while the Jaguar dithered and dallied. Another of those who got about the job even if the attention was at the other end of the pits.

    1. USA; 2. Japan; 3. Belgium

    The return of F1 to the USA is my first choice - it's nice to have a WDC round at Indy for the first time since 1960... the Japanese Grand Prix was where Schumacher finally delivers the goods, and as for the Belgian Grand Prix - any race at Spa is generally better than a hundred races anywhere else today.

  • Moment to remember: The start of the race at Indy.
  • Moment to forget: Ecclestone getting the commercial rights to F1 for the next century.

    Tom Keeble (TK)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Villeneuve; 3. Hakkinen; 4. Button; 5. Trulli

    Schumacher's year was an example of a full season of professional driving that all who aspire to win the Championship should follow. Villeneuve pulled a string of top qualifying performances from the BAR chassis that gave the team points positions and a pretty solid season. Mika Hakkinen had some stunning races but appeared unmotivated in the mid-season. Button's venture into the sport shows maturity beyond his years, whilst Trulli made an excellent transition to Jordan. Honourable mention also to Coulthard, who really picked up his game this season.

    1. USA; 2. France; 3. Britain

    France saw Coulthard's excellent overtaking maneouver on Schumacher for the race lead; Indy saw the converse, and another 60 on-track passes; Real, on track racing for the top spot is rare in the modern sport. Silverstone features for showing up the FIA's farcical politics for what they are, as events surrounding the race unravelled: very illuminating, I thought.

  • Moment to remember: Michael Schumacher's emotional reactions. The man is human, after all!
  • Moment to forget: Johnny Herbert's violent exit from Formula One.

    Mitch McCann (MM)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Button; 4. R. Schumacher; 5. Villeneuve

    I still don't like Michael Schumacher's tactics, but you have to give it to him for finally getting the job done. Hakkinen was clearly the second best driver, and I mean that in a good way. And a bad way. Jenson Button achieved well beyond what was expected. Ralf Schumacher continued to mature and may yet one day demonstrate his complete potential. And Villeneuve gets elected for making things interesting at times.

    1. Belgium; 2. France; 3. USA

    Spa - for the pass of the season. France - for a season's worth of passes. And Indy - for bringing F1 back to the US successfully.

  • Moment to remember: Ferrari's celebrations at Suzuka.
  • Moment to forget: Michael Schumacher at Monza.

    Mark Alan Jones (MJ)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. R. Schumacher; 4. Coulthard; 5. Villeneuve

    Michael Schumacher drove the year that we were perhaps denied last year, and against a McLaren that was stronger in car and in both its drivers, he won the World Championship. He thoroughly deserves to join the oh-so elite club of triple world champions. Mika Hakkinen rose to the challenge much stronger than he did last year, even after losing momentum to Coulthard as well as Schumacher. Coulthard for most of the year was the man we hoped to see in 1998 after the promise of '97. Ralf continues to show the promise much have made of him. Jacques continues to extract much from his equipment. Just missing out is Jenson Button, who had a remarkable debut season.

    1. Germany; 2. Belgium; 3. USA

    What is it about wet races in recent times? Germany had everything - startline shunt, a loon wandering the circuit, and a brilliantly calculated drive from almost the back of the grid by Rubens Barrichello for that emotional first win. Hakkinen's hunting down of Michael Schumacher in the dying laps of the Belgian Grand Prix, culminating in that passing move on the climb to Les Combes was a highlight. The spectacle of Indianapolis just edged out San Marino for third spot.

  • Moment to remember: Rubens sobbing on the podium to the sound of the Brazilian anthem.
  • Moment to forget: The whole Silverstone debacle.

    Biranit Goren (BG)

    1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Button; 4. R. Schumacher; 5. Villeneuve

    People remember the 1995 season as Michael Schumacher's cakewalk. In truth, the 2000 season was a far better one from the German: more points, more pole positions, same number of wins. But more importantly, Schumacher faced this year a far superior rival and a hell of a lot more pressure. He had risen above it all, and did a fantastic job. Hakkinen, at the same time, won me over by showing fantastic class on and off the track. Button exceeded my expectations and surprised me immensely by his maturity and talent. Ralf Schumacher was consistent throughout the season, eventually ending as 'the best of the rest', and Jacques Villeneuve was a fantastic qualifier in an inferior car. Special mention goes to Pedro de la Rosa, who really showed talent this year, as well as David Coulthard, who had a few flashes of brilliance worth noting.

    1. Belgium; 2. Germany; 3. USA

    To be honest, I really hated the Belgian Grand Prix. On a track where 'my man' Schumacher is usually the king of the crop, Mika Hakkinen put in one of the most mesmerising challenges, culminating to the best and boldest passing move in years. It really was, whether I like it or not, the best race of the season. Germany, on the other hand, was pure entertainment, not to mention the fantastic drive from Rubens Barrichello. As for the US Grand Prix - that was a tough choice over France, Japan and Europe. But what eventually did it for me was the fact that I was there, that the atmosphere in the stands was electrifying, and because, after all, it was one of the best GP weekends of my life.

  • Moment to remember: Rubens crying in Germany, and Michael crying in Monza & Japan.
  • Moment to forget: Live TV images of Paolo Gislimberti receiving CPR at Monza.

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