The 2001 German GP Review

By Pablo Elizalde, Spain
Atlas F1 News Editor

The fact that only ten cars crossed the finish line last Sunday - and those did not include Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen or David Coulthard - had little or nothing to do with Ralf Schumacher's dominant win at his home German Grand Prix. The same, though, can't be said about Juan Pablo Montoya's bad luck and subsequent retirement from a race which he rightfully deserved to win.

It was rather clear after practice, obvious after qualifying, and a fact after the first few laps of the race, that the BMW/Williams/Michelin combination had no rivals at the 6.8 km Hockenheim circuit. It was also evident after the first free practice session that the fight between the two Williams drivers would be frantic, both for pole position and for the win on Sunday.

A spectacular Montoya won the first round of the Williams fight by beating Ralf to take his first pole position in Formula One, the Colombian showing once more that, after being given a wake-up call for overdriving it in the first few races of the season, he is getting to grips with Grand Prix racing. Montoya has not only outqualified his teammate in the last two events, but given Ralf a wakeup call.

The rookie did not put a foot wrong in the race, despite Ralf's less than sporting suggestions that Montoya had driven too hard, considering how the engines suffer at the high speed track. His comments were later dismissed by Williams technical director Patrick Head, as well as by BMW officials.

However, Montoya's race was spoiled before he was forced to retire with an engine failure, as a defective fuel rig saw him lose 30 seconds in the pits when he was almost ten seconds ahead of Ralf. His retirement left Ralf fighting against himself, and again the German demonstrated that he knows how to win a race. Ralf's cause was aided by his rivals retiring one by one due to mechanical problems, but the younger Schumacher was out of reach anyway.

One can hardly begin to imagine what Frank Williams will do next season, when both his drivers will probably fight for every race win. Ralf and Montoya are not racing in Formula One to make friends and it's only a matter of time before a spark ignites a rivalry that you definitely won't want to miss.

For a moment during the German Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher's luck seemed to have abandoned him probably for the first time this season. However, what could have been a disastrous race, suddenly helped him move one step closer to his fourth crown. Not that he needs any luck at this stage of the Championship; there is little doubt that the German will take his second consecutive title this year, being 37 points ahead of David Coulthard with only 50 points to win.

However, now that all Schumacher has to do to clinch the title is win one of the five races left, the German must be starting to be worried about next season, especially following two Grands Prix where Ferrari were nowhere, firstly compared to McLaren at Silverstone, and now compared to Williams. Technical director Ross Brawn already stated that Ferrari will not ease off until both Championships are secured. But the Italian team seem to have started planning for the 2002 season, and judging by the pace of the Williams cars, that doesn't seem like a bad decision.

After winning the title last season, Schumacher admitted and hoped that it was the start of an era of domination for the historic Maranello team. If Williams are capable of keeping their progress at the same rate, 2002 could see the BMW-powered cars cruising to win both titles.

McLaren could also set their sights on 2002, following another disappointing weekend. Despite their dominant win at the British Grand Prix only two weeks ago, the Woking-based outfit were miles off the Williams pace, and for the first time this year, none of the silver cars was able to see the chequered flag. To makes matter worse, it happened on Mercedes's home soil, and to complete the nightmare, the BMW-engined Williams dominated the rest of the field with ease.

David Coulthard's hopes of reducing the gap to Schumacher in the Championship were dashed once more, and for the second race in succession the Scot was unable to match Mika Hakkinen's pace. Coulthard's consistency this season, which helped him become a title contender to begin with, seems to have vanished, and with it, the Scot's motivation to at least beat Hakkinen. Now with Ralf's win and Rubens Barrichello's second place, Coulthard must start looking down if he doesn't want to lose second place in the Championship.

Proving that this season is going by with more talking off the track than action on it, Coulthard could not hide this frustration after the race and, more than probably suggesting that the stewards were benefitting Schumacher Sr, expressed his disappointment with the decision to red flag the race after the startline accident.

However, despite the ever-present controversy which glooms Formula One more often than desired, and the fact that there was no real racing at the top of the field, the German Grand Prix presented a good show for the fans, proving that the current cars can provide real racing when the circuits allow it.


There was every indication before qualifying for the German Grand Prix that the Williams duo of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya would fight for pole position at Hockenheim, and so it came as no surprise to see both cars from Grove on the front row of the grid after the hour-long session at the high-speed German circuit.

The very powerful BMW engine, added to the intense heat which helped the Michelin tyres perform at their peak on the FW23 chassis, were the perfect combination to crush the opposition along the straights of Hockenheim. Perhaps everyone in the paddock was expecting Ralf to clinch an easy pole, especially after the German star had topped the timesheets in the final practice session on Saturday.

But to the disappointment of the thousands of Schumacher fans that crowded the stands, neither of their heroes were able to beat Montoya, who drove an impressive lap to clinch his first pole position in only twelve starts. In doing so, the Colombian used only eight of the allocated twelve laps and smashed the circuit's record with a lap more than seven seconds quicker than last year's pole.

Though a Williams front row was certainly expected, perhaps nobody thought the Ferraris and McLarens would end up so far behind the white and blue cars, with Mika Hakkinen being the best of the rest - which in this case was everybody but the Williams - more than half a second behind Montoya and Schumacher. It was even more frustrating for the local fans to witness Michael Schumacher having to settle for fourth place behind Hakkinen, the German's worst qualifying performance since the 2001 San Marino Grand Prix.

Having struggled during most of the practice sessions with his McLaren's handling, David Coulthard had to make do with a distant fifth place, a massive seven tenths behind his own teammate. The Scot was the first of the heavy hitters to jump onto the track after 20 minutes of waiting. Coulthard immediately placed himself in first place with a time of 1:39.802. He wouldn't stay there for long, as Hakkinen and Ralf were next up to complete their first attempts, first the Finn relegating his teammate and then Ralf sending his first warning with a 1:38.458.

Montoya quickly responded to his teammate's time, lapping only a tenth slower to move to second. The Ferraris were the last drivers to leave the pits, with Schumacher completing a poor lap which left him fourth, more than eight tenths of a second behind his brother. Rubens Barrichello further demonstrated that the Italian team were not having their best day, the Brazilian setting the fifth fastest time.

The elder Schumacher came back on track 34 minutes into the session, at the same time as Coulthard, and having made a mistake on his first run, the German was hardly expected to improve on his time. The same applied to Coulthard, who continued to struggle with an oversteering McLaren. Ralf did improve on his second attempt, and by a significant three tenths of a second. Hakkinen also come out for his second run, and although he bettered his time, he stayed in third.

Montoya was the last of the top runners to complete his second attempt, and with a blistering third split, the Colombian jumped into first place, just nineteen thousandths ahead of Ralf. The German returned to the track with fifteen minutes remaining to try and beat the Colombian, but traffic in the Motordrom section stopped him from even having a shot at pole and so he was forced to wait for his final run in his pit, as usual, with his helmet off and his balaclava on.

On their third run, Michael Schumacher, Coulthard and Barrichello were able to improve time but not position, the German Ferrari driver admitting there was nothing wrong with his car. "We were just slower than the other guys," he said. "We have performed normally, if you look at our gap to McLaren, but Williams have done a much better job than usual."

Jarno Trulli's engine blow-up, along with Luciano Burti spinning off the track in the final minutes of the session, guaranteed to make things very hard for the rest of the field still trying to improve, and apart from Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Raikkonen, none of the drivers in the top ten were able to better position or time. Ralf completed his final run, but was not capable of beating Montoya's time and had to concede defeat to the delighted Colombian, who on the radio of his Williams described the result as "fucking brilliant."

"It feels really good," he said afterwards. "We've worked hard and worked well for this. I'm very pleased for myself and the mechanics because we worked so hard for this. The car is really good but I'm surprised Michael didn't go quicker and I'm surprised how much quicker we were."

Ralf, expecting no favours from his flamboyant teammate, was ready to take revenge on Montoya, after losing out in front of his home crowd. "JP had bad luck at start of season so things have changed and he has developed in the right direction and that is good for him and the team," Ralf said. "But if you are on pole sometimes you are first into the first corner and second into the second corner and the race is long so anything can happen."

Qualifying Results

Pos. Driver        Team                    Times                 
 1.  Montoya       Williams BMW       (M)  1:38.117  250.415 km/h
 2.  R.Schumacher  Williams BMW       (M)  1:38.136    +    0.019
 3.  Hakkinen      McLaren Mercedes   (B)  1:38.811    +    0.694
 4.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari            (B)  1:38.941    +    0.824
 5.  Coulthard     McLaren Mercedes   (B)  1:39.574    +    1.457
 6.  Barrichello   Ferrari            (B)  1:39.682    +    1.565
 7.  Heidfeld      Sauber Petronas    (B)  1:39.921    +    1.804
 8.  Raikkonen     Sauber Petronas    (B)  1:40.072    +    1.955
 9.  de la Rosa    Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  1:40.265    +    2.148
10.  Trulli        Jordan Honda       (B)  1:40.322    +    2.205
11.  Irvine        Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  1:40.371    +    2.254
12.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda          (B)  1:40.437    +    2.320
13.  Panis         BAR Honda          (B)  1:40.610    +    2.493
14.  Alesi         Prost Acer         (M)  1:40.740    +    2.623
15.  Zonta         Jordan Honda       (B)  1:41.174    +    3.057
16.  Burti         Prost Acer         (M)  1:41.213    +    3.096
17.  Fisichella    Benetton Renault   (M)  1:41.299    +    3.182
18.  Button        Benetton Renault   (M)  1:41.438    +    3.321
19.  Bernoldi      Arrows Asiatech    (B)  1:41.668    +    3.551
20.  Verstappen    Arrows Asiatech    (B)  1:41.870    +    3.753
21.  Alonso        Minardi European   (M)  1:41.913    +    3.796
22.  Marques       Minardi European   (M)  1:42.716    +    4.599

The Race

The Minardi team were the first unfortunate protagonists of Sunday's race, even before the lights went off. Birthday boy Fernando Alonso saw his car burning with 20 minutes to go before the start of the race. The Spaniard was able to take the spare car and start from the pitlane. Teammate Tarso Marques also suffered a problem before the start of the race and was forced to use Alonso's car, which had suffered a fuel valve problem that was fixed in time.

Minardi's problems were only the prologue of what was to come at the start. When the red lights went off, the Williams duo got away perfectly, Montoya staying ahead of Ralf, with Hakkinen in third. Schumacher's Ferrari starting well, but only a few split seconds later the German slowed, being unable to select a gear. It was almost inevitable that someone would crash into him, and it was Luciano Burti's Prost that took the honours, taking off in dramatic fashion and landing right in front of the Arrows of Enrique Bernoldi, rolling on the tarmac and hitting the tyre wall at the end of the straight before coming to a halt.

"I could not see him," explained a lucky Burti after the race. "He slowed down in the middle of the track among all the cars in front of me. When I saw him it was too late to avoid the crash. I think the accident looked worse on TV than I experienced in my car."

"I did not know where to go and when I saw Burti in my mirrors I couldn't move out of the way," explained Schumacher. "It was a difficult situation but it could have been a lot worse."

All sort of debris from the destroyed cars was laid on the track and Schumacher walked quietly back to the pits, certain that for the second consecutive year, his German Grand Prix had not even lasted a turn. But the Gods were on the Ferrari driver's side, and the stewards decided to stop the race. It was, no doubt, the right decision, though perhaps it took them too long, as the pace car was already on track and the cars had already run over the debris.

So everybody was able to take the second start from their grid positions, and this time there were no incidents. Montoya made another perfect getaway and kept his lead ahead of Ralf, Hakkinen, Michael and Coulthard, who was doing his best to keep Barrichello at bay. The Scot stopped the Brazilian from passing him at the first chicane, something that Hakkinen was unable to do with Schumacher, who took third place away from him.

Nick Heidfeld was the first retirement after Pedro de la Rosa overshot the first chicane and crashed heavily into the back of the Sauber, ending both drivers' races. The Spaniard later accepted full blame for the accident, which robbed them both of a good result after a promising qualifying.

Barrichello eventually overtook Coulthard on the first lap after an exciting duel, immediately setting his sights on the other McLaren, already suggesting the Ferrari was low on fuel. It didn't take long for the Brazilian to pass Hakkinen at the Ostkurve. Further back, Olivier Panis was also a man on the move, passing Jenson Button and putting Ricardo Zonta under pressure until the Brazilian missed his braking point and had to concede at the Senna chicane.

Leader Montoya was already flying, lapping consistently half a second quicker than Ralf, the Colombian already breaking the existing track record on lap 2. By lap 10, the Williams driver was more than six seconds ahead of his teammate and nearly ten in front of Barrichello, who was now in third place after Schumacher had let him go to take full advantage of his two-stop strategy. Panis was also going for two stops, the BAR driver now entertaining the crowd with a frantic battle with Jarno Trulli, who was the only remaining Jordan driver, following Ricardo Zonta's exit after damaging his car against the Arrows of Jos Verstappen.

The battle between Panis and Trulli lasted until the Frenchman ran slightly wide at the Jim Clark chicane, moving ahead of the Italian, who on the next chicane tried to retake his position but lost control and spun. "Panis tried to overtake me at the first chicane but he overshot the corner and jumped the chicane, coming out in front of me," said Trulli. "The regulations say that he should have let me have my position back, so I tried to overtake him at the next chicane but he closed the door, which I didn't expect."

While the Williams were clearly in a class of their own and Barrichello was taking advantage of his low fuel load, a distant Schumacher was edging away from Hakkinen and Coulthard, who were unable to keep up with the Ferrari's pace. However, Hakkinen's race would not last much longer, and on lap 14 his engine let go, forcing the Finn to retire for the seventh time in twelve races. "All of a sudden I felt vibration behind me, saw smoke and the engine stopped," Hakkinen explained. "However there is no point in being depressed and I'm confident that we will be pushing hard for the rest of the season."

Barrichello came into the pits for his first stop on lap 16, rejoining right behind Coulthard, who managed to keep the Ferrari at bay to the frustration of the Brazilian. "It was a fair race but I think it was a little bit too close," he said. "David was losing time as well so I don't know what he was playing at, because we both wanted to go forward and we were losing like three seconds a lap."

Eventually the Ferrari driver overtook the Scot around the outside of the Agip Kurve, quickly moving away from the McLaren. By lap 20, Montoya's lead was close to ten seconds after a masterful demonstration of driving, when he dived into the pits for his only stop. But things would not go his way and a problem with the fuel rig cost the frustrated Colombian 30 seconds and the lead. Michael Schumacher was the next of the top runners to pit, on lap 23, but the German's hopes of scoring points on home soil were quickly dashed, his car suffering a fuel pressure problem, forcing him to retire for the first time since San Marino.

Ralf pitted on that same lap, rejoining the race clearly in the lead. The story of the race changed completely within the space of five laps, and following Schumacher's retirement it was Montoya's turn to retire with a broken engine on lap 25. "I am so disappointed I cannot find the words to describe how I feel," he said after yet another disappointing retirement. "Up to the pitstop the race was going perfectly for me."

But Montoya's exit was not the end of story, as Coulthard, who had just pitted, would see his engine expire, bringing a smile to Schumacher's face. "I almost have the World Championship in my pocket," said Schumacher. "This is the best thing that could have happened if I did not win the race. It is not over yet but I will try to do it as soon as possible."

Not that he needed it, but the retirement of all the contenders cleared the way for Ralf who, after Barrichello's problematic second stop, had a gap of more than 40 seconds. Third place had been inherited by Jacques Villeneuve, while Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button could hardly believe it when they discovered they were both running in the points.

With only ten cars remaining on the track, the laps went by quietly, with only Jean Alesi putting Button under some pressure. The Briton, despite making a mistake and missing a chicane, was able to keep his fifth place, which almost became fourth when Fisichella ran wide and off the track with two laps to go. Fortunately for the Italian, he could return to the track and maintain his position ahead of his teammate and Alesi, who again showed his days as a Grand Prix driver are far from over.

At the end, Ralf was more than 45 seconds ahead of Barrichello and more than a minute ahead of Villeneuve, who scored BAR's second podium of the season to help the Brackley-based team move ahead of Jordan in the Constructors' Championship standings. The day, however, belonged to Ralf Schumacher, who admitted he had been lucky to score his third win of the season. "I always had a bit of bad luck here and to win the race in Germany is a great feeling," Ralf said after moving to within six points of Coulthard in the World Championship. "I've never really finished in a good position and to be here today in a German package to win the race in Germany is a great feeling."

A happy Barrichello had to settle for second this year, but the Brazilian admitted his emotions were almost repeated. "On the podium I was almost crying already just thinking of last year here," he said. "I feel happy today just because Williams were in a different league and we couldn't really achieve more and if they had a reliability problem we could only achieve that so I'm quite happy."

Barrichello was certainly right: the Williams were in a different league, and the prospect of witnessing the battles between Ralf and Montoya is surely exciting, especially as this Championship is all but decided. The next episode, after a much deserved break in three weeks time, will be in Hungary.

Race Results


Pos  Driver        Team                    Time        
 1.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW       (M)  1h 17:17.873
 2.  Barrichello   Ferrari            (B)  +     46.117
 3.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda          (B)  +   1:02.806
 4.  Fisichella    Benetton Renault   (M)  +   1:03.477
 5.  Button        Benetton Renault   (M)  +   1:05.454
 6.  Alesi         Prost Acer         (M)  +   1:13.950
 7.  Panis         BAR Honda          (B)  +   1:17.527
 8.  Bernoldi      Arrows Asiatech    (B)  +   1 Lap   
 9.  Verstappen    Arrows Asiatech    (M)  +   1 Lap   
10.  Alonso        Minardi European   (B)  +   1 Lap   

Fastest Lap: Montoya, 1:41.808, lap 20

     Trulli        Jordan-Honda       (B)   35
     Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes   (B)   27
     Marques       Minardi-European   (M)   26
     Montoya       Williams BMW       (M)   25
     Burti         Prost-Acer         (M)   23
     M.Schumacher  Ferrari            (B)   23
     Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth    (M)   16
     Raikkonen     Sauber-Petronas    (B)   16
     Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes   (B)   14
     Zonta         Jordan-Honda       (B)    7
     Heidfeld      Sauber-Petronas    (B)    1
     De la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth    (M)    1


Drivers:                  Constructors:    
 1.  M.Schumacher  84     1.  Ferrari   124
 2.  Coulthard     47     2.  McLaren    66
 3.  R.Schumacher  41     3.  Williams   56
 4.  Barrichello   40     4.  Sauber     19
 5.  Hakkinen      19     5.  BAR        16
 6.  Montoya       15     6.  Jordan     15
 7.  Villeneuve    11     7.  Jaguar      5
 8.  Heidfeld      10     =.  Benetton    5
 9.  Trulli         9     9.  Prost       4
 =.  Raikkonen      9    10.  Arrows      1
11.  Frentzen       6                      
12.  Panis          5                      
13.  Irvine         4                      
 =.  Alesi          4                      
 =.  Fisichella     4                      
16.  Button         2                      
17.  Verstappen     1                      
 =   de la Rosa     1                      

Fastest Race Laps

Pos  Driver        Team                  Lap  Time             
 1.  Montoya       Williams-BMW      (M)  20  1:41.808         
 2.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW      (M)  17  1:42.048  + 0.240
 3.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  10  1:42.638  + 0.830
 4.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  21  1:42.853  + 1.045
 5.  Panis         BAR-Honda         (B)  30  1:43.329  + 1.521
 6.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda         (B)  21  1:43.448  + 1.640
 7.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes  (B)   4  1:43.516  + 1.708
 8.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes  (B)  26  1:43.571  + 1.763
 9.  Trulli        Jordan-Honda      (B)  33  1:43.740  + 1.932
10.  Fisichella    Benetton-Renault  (M)  34  1:43.999  + 2.191
11.  Button        Benetton-Renault  (M)  31  1:44.051  + 2.243
12.  Alesi         Prost-Acer        (M)  42  1:44.135  + 2.327
13.  Raikkonen     Sauber-Petronas   (B)  10  1:44.365  + 2.557
14.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth   (M)  11  1:44.415  + 2.607
15.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech   (B)  35  1:44.681  + 2.873
16.  Burti         Prost-Acer        (M)  17  1:44.683  + 2.875
17.  Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech   (B)  31  1:44.785  + 2.977
18.  Zonta         Jordan-Honda      (B)   4  1:45.591  + 3.783
19.  Alonso        Minardi-European  (M)   4  1:45.908  + 4.100
20.  Marques       Minardi-European  (M)  12  1:46.013  + 4.205

Pit-Stops Times

Pos  Driver        Team                    Time    Lap
 1.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)     28.9  16
 2.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes  (B)     29.1  27
 3.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech   (B)     29.4  27
 4.  Fisichella    Benetton-Renault  (M)     29.5  26
 5.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth   (M)     29.6  12
 6.  Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech   (B)     30.0  28
 7.  Panis         BAR-Honda         (B)     31.0  31
 8.  Alonso        Minardi-European  (M)     31.0  13
 9.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech   (B)     31.1   7
10.  Alesi         Prost-Acer        (M)     31.1  25
11.  Alonso        Minardi-European  (M)     31.2  25
12.  Panis         BAR-Honda         (B)     31.2  16
13.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)     31.4  23
14.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW      (M)     31.5  24
15.  Button        Benetton-Renault  (M)     31.9  24
16.  Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech   (B)     33.3  12
17.  Marques       Minardi-European  (M)     34.6  20
18.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda         (B)     36.1  24
19.  Trulli        Jordan-Honda      (B)     37.8  27
20.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)     39.8  32
21.  Zonta         Jordan-Honda      (B)     49.0   6
22.  Montoya       Williams-BMW      (M)     50.8  22
23.  Montoya       Williams-BMW      (M)  102.141  14

The German Grand Prix, Lap by Lap

Before the start of the final parade lap both Minardis hit trouble. Fernando Alonso switches to the spare but has to start from the pitlane while the team tries to repair Tarso Marques's car. At the start Juan Pablo Montoya takes the lead from Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. Michael Schumacher gets off the line without a problem but the Ferrari suddenly slows with a mechanical problem. The drivers behind him swerve to avoid the slow-moving car but an unsighted Luciano Burti is unable to avoid running into the back of Michael. The impact launches the Prost into the air and the car then rolls over the top of Enrique Bernoldi's Arrows (without actually touching it) and narrowly misses landing on Jos Verstappen's similar car. One of Burti's wheels, detached by the initial impact, lands on Bernoldi's car and is carried by it down to the first corner. Burti's car ends up the right way up and skates off the road into the barriers. There are small pieces of wreckage all over the road and it is decided that the Safety Car is not sufficiently safe and so the race is red-flagged to allow the fragments of car to be removed. The red flag means that Michael Schumacher and Burti are able to go to their spare cars. Both Minardis are also able to undergo repairs and take their places on the grid for the restart.

Lap 1: Montoya again gets away well and takes the lead in the first corner with Ralf Schumacher behind him and then Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello. At the first chicane Pedro de la Rosa loses control of his Jaguar and crashes into Nick Heidfeld's Sauber. Both cars retire. On the run up to the second corner Michael Schumacher overtakes Hakkinen to grab third place. As the cars enter the stadium area Barrichello passes Coulthard for fifth with a brave move on the outside of the McLaren. At the end of the lap Montoya has a 1.4 second advantage over Ralf Schumacher. Michael Schumacher is third with Hakkinen fourth, Barrichello fifth and Coulthard sixth. Kimi Raikkonen is seventh with Eddie Irvine eighth and Jarno Trulli ninth. Jacques Villeneuve completes the top 10 in his BAR-Honda. As usual Jos Verstappen has a good first lap, jumping up from 20th on the grid to 11th. Also having a good first lap is Jenson Button who moves from 18th to eighth.

Lap 2: Montoya increases his lead to over two seconds while the gap between Ralf and Michael Schumacher grows to two seconds. Further back Enrique Bernoldi overtakes Giancarlo Fisichella for 15th place.

Lap 3: Rubens Barrichello overtakes Hakkinen at the Ostkurve, indicating that the Ferrari is probably running on a two-stop strategy. Also making progress is Olivier Panis who overtakes Button to take 13th place.

Lap 5: Panis continues to make progress and overtakes Ricardo Zonta to move to 12th place. Bernoldi also makes progress, passing Button for 14th position.

Lap 6: Montoya's lead is up to 4.2 seconds with a similar gap between Ralf and the two Ferraris. Rubens Barrichello passes Michael Schumacher as the third chicane to move up to third place. In the midfield Panis continues his progress, overtaking Verstappen after the Dutchman is run into by Zonta. The Jordan drivers pits for a new nose at the end of the lap. Verstappen loses a place to Panis.

Lap 7: Verstappen pits for repairs and drops from 12th place to the tail of the field. At the back Zonta returns to the pits and retires.

Lap 9: Montoya's lead in up to 6.2 seconds. Further back Jean Alesi overtakes Burti for 15th place.

Lap 10: Panis moves ahead of Villeneuve to take 10th place.

Lap 12: Eddie Irvine pits and drops from eighth place to 16th. Bernoldi also stops and falls from 13th to 18th. Panis overtakes Trulli for ninth. The Jordan driver tries to get the place back and spins off at the Ostkurve, rejoining in 17th place.

Lap 14: Hakkinen slows and retires with a mechanical problem. This lifts Coulthard to fifth and Raikkonen to sixth. Panis is seventh.

Lap 15: Verstappen overtakes Marques to move to 15th.

Lap 16: Barrichello stops and drops from third to fifth, just behind David Coulthard. Panis also stops and drops back from seventh to 12th. Raikkonen slows and goes into the pits to retire, allowing Villeneuve to move to sixth place. Eddie Irvine also retires with an engine misfire.

Lap 18: Trulli and Panis both move ahead of tenth-placed Burti.

Lap 20: Montoya's lead is up to nearly 10 seconds. Michael Schumacher remains third while Barrichello gets around Coulthard on the outside in the fast right-hander into the stadium to take fourth place.

Lap 22: Montoya comes into the pits. This puts Ralf Schumacher into the lead. There is a problem with the Williams refuelling machine and Montoya loses around 20 seconds. He rejoins in fourth position.

Lap 23: Michael Schumacher pits. He rejoins but retires almost immediately, pulling off out in the forest. This means that Barrichello moves up to second with Montoya third.

Lap 24: Ralf stops but his pit stop goes without trouble and he rejoins in the lead. Also pitting on that lap were Villeneuve and Jenson Button, who was running seventh. At the tail of the field Burti retires with mechanical trouble. Alonso also has a problem during his stop and leaves the pits trailing flames. The fire extinguishes itself and the Minardi drivers keeps going.

Lap 25: Montoya retires with a mechanical failure. This puts Coulthard up to third place with Giancarlo Fisichella fourth. Fifth-placed Jean Alesi also pits and so Villeneuve moves up to fifth with Trulli sixth.

Lap 26: Fisichella pits and falls from fourth place to fifth. Villeneuve moves to fourth. At the tail of the field Marques retires with a mechanical problem.

Lap 27: Coulthard pits. He rejoins but his engine fails just after he rejoins. Trulli also pits and drops to ninth place. This puts Panis up to sixth.

Lap 28: As things begin to settle down Ralf Schumacher has a lead of 10 seconds over Barrichello. Villeneuve is over a minute behind in third with Fisichella fourth. panis fifth and Button sixth. Jean Alesi is seventh.

Lap 31: Panis stops for his second planned stop and this drops him behind both Button and Alesi.

Lap 32: Barrichello completes his second stop. There is a problem wit the refuelling machine but despite losing time he remains in second place.

Lap 35: Trulli, running in eighth place, retires with a mechanical problem.

Lap 43: Fisichella goes off as he tries to catch Villeneuve but he is able to get back onto the track before he is overtaken by Button and Alesi. A lap down the two Arrows drivers scrap over eighth place, narrowly avoiding colliding.

Lap 45: Ralf Schumacher wins his third race of the year with Barrichello second and Villeneuve third. Fisichella and Button give Benetton an unexpected five points while the final point goes to Alesi. Panis is the only other man on the lead lap. The only other finishers are the two Arrows and Alonso's Minardi.

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Volume 7, Issue 31
August 1st 2001

Atlas F1 Exclusive

Interview with Montoya
by Biranit Goren

The Frentzen Affair: A Question of Trust
by Biranit Goren

German GP Review

The German GP Review
by Pablo Elizalde

A Glimpse of Things to Come
by Richard Barnes

Winner Walkinshaw
by Karl Ludvigsen


Qualifying Differentials
by Marcel Borsboom

The F1 Insider
by Mitch McCann

Season Strokes - the GP Cartoon
by Bruce Thomson

Rear View Mirror
by Don Capps

The Weekly Grapevine
by the F1 Rumors Team

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