The 2001 Hungarian GP Review

By Pablo Elizalde, Spain
Atlas F1 News Editor

The Hungarian Grand Prix, traditionally one of the most boring races of the season, was no different this year, with one exception: it was a celebration of Michael Schumacher's sheer dominance, and a powerful way of clinching a Championship and a record-equalling wins tally. Pablo Elizalde reviews the events of this dramatic weekend

In what surely has become one of the most boring seasons of Formula One's modern era, it was certainly fitting that both Championships were sealed at the Hungarian Grand Prix of all places. Year in, year out, the Hungaroring circuit serves up processional, often bland racing, and so watching Michael Schumacher cruise for 77 dull laps around the 'mickey mouse' track to clinch his fourth drivers' crown came as no surprise, especially after the German was in a class of his own during qualifying.

Coming to the thirteenth round of the 2001 season, not much was expected, apart from Schumacher and Ferrari putting an end to this year's walkaways, or David Coulthard and McLaren delaying what has been inevitable since the Scot's title challenge began to falter after the Monaco Grand Prix back in May. As expected, the former happened, and with four races left in the season, Schumacher and his team can now relax and continue to make records tumble like nine pins.

Of course, the race - which saw only one on-track pass, that of Jean Alesi overtaking Pedro de la Rosa in a struggling Jaguar - could not overshadow Schumacher's and Ferrari's success, after perhaps one of the most flawless seasons of the duo, either together or individually. The German master was the only driver who deserved to win this year's title, having thus far clinched seven wins, four second places, and nine pole positions. That, with four races remaining in which his only worry will be trying to become the most successful Formula One driver in the history of the sport.

In Hungary, Schumacher wrote another chapter of his glorious career by equalling Alain Prost's record for most number of wins, and also became the third man along with the Frenchman and Juan Manuel Fangio to win four titles. What not so long ago seemed to be a matchless achievement - Fangio's five titles - is now a stone's throw away from Schumacher. And if he remains competitive - can anyone doubt it? - until his contract expires at the end of 2004, Schuey will surely head all of the statistical tables.

It's little wonder, then, that Coulthard asked his rival to take a vacation in the remainder of the season. "Today is all about Michael's win. I congratulate him on that achievement and recommend that he takes a holiday for the last four Grands Prix," the Scot said after the race.

The McLaren driver perhaps could have presented a serious challenge to Schumacher in the race had he not been slow off the line, losing out to Rubens Barrichello. The latter, this time, performed brilliantly to finish in the deserved second place which helped Ferrari clinch the Constructors' title. After the start, only retirements or pitstops can see a driver changing position, and that was the case with Coulthard, who moved ahead of the Brazilian at his first stop, but saw the Ferrari jumping ahead at the second.

One of the few interesting points left in the season will be witnessing the battle for second place in the drivers' standings, and despite Coulthard claiming he is not interested in that position, McLaren boss Ron Dennis will surely quickly change the Scot's mind. Barrichello and Ralf are certainly willing to take the runner-up spot, and with Spa and Monza coming up, things look brighter for both of them, more so considering Coulthard's last win came more than three months ago.

It is a well known fact that as fast as a driver may be at the Hungaroring, the one in front doesn't have much to worry about as long as he stays on the track. Just ask Mika Hakkinen: the Finn endured yet another disappointing weekend, qualifying sixth and finishing only a place higher after being stuck behind Jarno Trulli's Jordan for more than a third of the race.


If anyone thought Michael Schumacher had done his best this season to clinch eight pole positions in twelve races, the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying showed what the German is really capable of when he does what he is best at: driving a Formula One car to its limits.

With two staggering laps and only half of the usual four attempts, the German sent a clear warning to all his rivals ahead of the possible title-deciding race, by snatching pole position, more than eight tenths of a second ahead of David Coulthard, who again was the best of the McLaren drivers despite a difficult session. Rubens Barrichello completed a Bridgestone top three despite the high temperatures at the Hungarian track in which the Michelin runners were expected to excel.

However, as they had anticipated before the weekend, the Williams team and Ralf Schumacher couldn't do much to get close to the leaders and finished the day in fourth place, more than a second behind the pole sitter. Nevertheless, considering his elder brother destroyed the previous lap record, lapping faster than ever around the twisty and dusty circuit in fifteen years of Formula One history, one whole second was not as significant as in other occasions.

For the first time since the San Marino Grand Prix, Schumacher had started his psychological games early and had topped the timesheets both on Friday and on Saturday morning, until Coulthard, who had missed the second Friday session following his incident with the high kerbs on turn 12, went fastest in the final practice, anticipating a thrilling battle for pole, ever so important at the Hungaroring. As it turned out, it was not to be and Schumacher's lap, more than 3.5 seconds quicker than last year's pole, was out of the Scot's reach.

The hour-long session began with a temperature of 42°C on the track, and with the unpopular kerb on turn 12 lowered by 2.5 centimeters following Coulthard's complaints. Apart from Fernando Alonso coming out in the initial minutes, no top contender left the pits before the 20-minute mark, when Jacques Villeneuve completed his first attempt to set a less than promising 1:17.003, which was quickly eclipsed by Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel of the Sauber.

A few minutes later, Ralf Schumacher and Coulthard went for their first run and while the Williams, which as most of the cars in Hungary included a revised aerodynamic package to suit the high demands of the track, immediately jumped to the top of the timesheets, the McLaren driver nearly crashed into the back of Heinz-Harald Frentzen who, coming out of the pits, forgot to check his mirrors.

"It happens sometimes that you get traffic and you have to expect one incident on a track like this," Coulthard said. "But I was just a little frustrated because he went literally at cruising speed through the first corner and I feel that his team should have given him the information."

As Coulthard returned to the pits, having been unable to set a time, Michael Schumacher jumped onto the track for the first time, flying around the circuit to set an already impressive 1:14.417, more than a second quicker than anyone else, including Hakkinen, who had placed himself on provisional pole just before the German crossed the line.

Having been unable to complete his first run, Coulthard quickly returned to the track for his second attempt, this time successfully completing it with a 1:14.860 which allowed him to move to second place. With four tenths to Schumacher's initial time, the prospect of an exciting fight for pole was already looking unlikely. Ralf and Barrichello also returned to the track for their second attempt, the German improving his time to move ahead of Jarno Trulli in fourth place. Barrichello, meanwhile, was not so lucky and could not improve after being slowed down by Juan Pablo Montoya.

With 38 minutes gone, Schumacher was back on track and that was basically the end of the story. The Ferrari driver literally completed the perfect lap - setting the fastest time in all three splits - and crushed the circuit record and his rivals' morale with a time of 1:14.059, the fastest ever lap around the Hungaroring.

"My car was perfect and I had a perfect lap," claimed Schumacher, who decided afterwards that it was unnecessary to waste more laps and stayed in his pit for the remaining minutes. "After such a perfect lap I knew I could not go any faster so there was no point wasting the effort. It will probably be a lot closer in the race."

Firstly Hakkinen, then Barrichello and Coulthard, and then Hakkinen again tried, in vain, to at least get closer to the German's time in their third attempt. But none were able to improve on their times and had to wait until the final minutes for their last attempt.

Barrichello was the first man to complete his final run - five minutes before the end in order to avoid the traffic - but the Brazilian was unable to get close to his initial best lap and had to settle for third place. Coulthard, Ralf and Hakkinen followed suit, and again were not capable of bettering their times, staying second, fourth and sixth respectively, with an again impressive Trulli in fifth. The Jordan driver was one of the few who were able to lap faster in his final attempt, demoting Hakkinen and adding to McLaren's misery.

"I am going to go for it if there is the slightest gap," said a challenging Coulthard after qualifying. "I am not out there to pick up points. I need to win this Grand Prix. At least I've got a clear run down to the first corner and you rely as a driver now on your start systems."

Once more, the Sauber boys impressed in qualifying, with Nick Heidfeld finishing in seventh place while Kimi Raikkonen was ninth, only 25 thousandths of a second behind Montoya, who was the first of the rookies. Jordan's new boy Jean Alesi came out on top of Heinz-Harald Frentzen after they switched cars before the Hungarian Grand Prix. However, the Frenchman was more than a second behind Trulli, while the German clearly outqualified Luciano Burti.

Qualifying Results

Pos. Driver        Team                    Times                 
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari            (B)  1:14.059  193.224 km/h
 2.  Coulthard     McLaren Mercedes   (B)  1:14.860    +    0.801
 3.  Barrichello   Ferrari            (B)  1:14.953    +    0.894
 4.  R.Schumacher  Williams BMW       (M)  1:15.095    +    1.036
 5.  Trulli        Jordan Honda       (B)  1:15.394    +    1.335
 6.  Hakkinen      McLaren Mercedes   (B)  1:15.411    +    1.352
 7.  Heidfeld      Sauber Petronas    (B)  1:15.739    +    1.680
 8.  Montoya       Williams BMW       (M)  1:15.881    +    1.822
 9.  Raikkonen     Sauber Petronas    (B)  1:15.906    +    1.847
10.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda          (B)  1:16.212    +    2.153
11.  Panis         BAR Honda          (B)  1:16.382    +    2.323
12.  Alesi         Jordan Honda       (B)  1:16.471    +    2.412
13.  de la Rosa    Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  1:16.543    +    2.484
14.  Irvine        Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  1:16.607    +    2.548
15.  Fisichella    Benetton Renault   (M)  1:16.632    +    2.573
16.  Frentzen      Prost Acer         (M)  1:17.196    +    3.137
17.  Button        Benetton Renault   (M)  1:17.535    +    3.476
18.  Alonso        Minardi European   (M)  1:17.624    +    3.565
19.  Burti         Prost Acer         (M)  1:18.238    +    4.179
20.  Bernoldi      Arrows Asiatech    (B)  1:18.258    +    4.199
21.  Verstappen    Arrows Asiatech    (B)  1:18.389    +    4.330
22.  Marques       Minardi European   (M)  1:19.139    +    5.080

The Race

On race day, Michael Schumacher nearly threw it all away after his brilliant pole position when, with fifteen minutes before the start of the event, he went off the track at turn 12, running over the gravel before returning to the tarmac. Fortunately for the German, there was still time to change a damaged barge board on the grid and his car was ready before the red lights went out.

"Obviously this is the last moment before the race, you can simply check whether the fine tuning is alright and I usually do that and for whatever reason the back end stepped out entering the corner," Schumacher explained. "I could have remained on the circuit using every inch of the kerb, but knowing what has happened to David and Verstappen this weekend I was concerned to do this and preferred to go around the kerb and I used the gravel."

Once the lights extinguished, Schumacher, on the clean side of the track, got away cleanly while David Coulthard was unable to keep Rubens Barrichello at bay, which meant basically that the Scot's chances of winning the race were reduced to a better pitstop strategy than the Brazilian and his teammate. Ralf was able to keep fourth place from Jarno Trulli and Mika Hakkinen, while Eddie Irvine, who had been outqualified by teammate Pedro de la Rosa, was already out of the race before the second corner.

"It was my fault completely," admitted Irvine after the race. "I was running down the dusty side of the track and simply went into turn one too fast. The back end of the car spun around but I couldn't catch it in time."

It soon became obvious that the top three drivers were in a class of their own, immediately opening a gap to Ralf, while Trulli was unable to follow the Williams and Hakkinen was unable to pass him. By lap five, Ralf was already seven seconds behind his brother Michael, with Barrichello still following closely right in front of Coulthard.

Apart from Jenson Button receiving a ten-second stop and go for jumping the start, the action on track, as usual at the Hungaroring, was non-existent except for the high speed procession. Schumacher began to edge away from Barrichello and Coulthard around lap 10, increasing the gap up to 5.5 seconds to the Brazilian by lap 20. Coulthard was some seven seconds off the leader and not showing signs of having intentions to try a move on the second Ferrari.

Further back, Ralf was already more than fifteen seconds behind Michael. Trulli, who was obviously struggling with his Jordan, was still keeping a frustrated Hakkinen behind while a queue of cars headed by Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber trailed the Finn. The McLaren driver tried to dive down the inside of Trulli at the end on the straight, but without success. In fact, Hakkinen had to take defensive action to avoid Heidfeld from passing him.

The first round of stops was triggered on lap 26 by Kimi Raikkonen, who was then followed by teammate Heidfeld a lap later. Schumacher, leading by more than six seconds, came in on lap 27, standing still for 8.4 seconds before rejoining the race in front of his brother in third place.

Barrichello pitted on lap 30 - 9.1 seconds - before returning to the track, while Coulthard followed suit a lap later, the Scot rejoining right in front of the Brazilian after only eight seconds of standing still. Ron Dennis's joy was evident and he may well have believed that now the Scot would fly around to track, catch Schumacher and maybe overtake him during his second stop. But that soon proved to be wishful thinking.

Hakkinen, who had been able to lap almost two seconds quicker once Trulli pitted on lap 29, was one of the last drivers to come into the pits for the first time. For a few laps, Coulthard was able to reduce the 14-second gap to Schumacher while the German lapped the backmarkers, but by lap 40 it became clear that the German had the situation under control and his advantage was never less then eleven seconds.

To make matters worse for Coulthard, Barrichello was now all over the back of his car, though of course unable to overtake him. Raikkonen, who was already running in sixth place, was again the first of the top runners to make his second scheduled stop, with Schumacher following suit on lap 52. Ralf, running in a distant fourth, came into the pits on that same lap, both Schumachers rejoining the race without any problems.

Barrichello pitted a lap later, his Ferrari returning to the track after a pitstop that lasted 8.5 seconds. The McLaren crew needed to perform in order for Coulthard, who came in on lap 54, to maintain his position. But the moment the Scot stopped, the fuel rig refused to engage for a few vital seconds and when he finally returned to the track, the red car of Barrichello had taken second spot. The celebrations were just some 20 laps away.

A lonely Hakkinen came into the pits on lap 56, allowing Ralf to retake fourth place, but the Finn began to close and soon was right below the Williams' rear wing.

Up front, Schumacher was already cruising around the track, allowing Barrichello to close the gap to less then eight seconds with ten laps to go, while a close-following Coulthard couldn't do anything but wait for a mistake from the Ferrari driver. The last sign of action at the Hungaroring was Hakkinen's third stop with six laps remaining for a strange splash and dash, effectively putting an end to his challenge for fourth place.

The final laps went by quietly for Schumacher, who just like last year, clinched the title in his first attempt. And again, deservedly so. The German admitted to some weakness after the race, but unfortunately for his rivals, it had nothing to do with his on-track performances. "I might be a good driver but I am not good at finding the right words to describe this," he said. "It has been a beautiful weekend and we have done everything we could.

"It is a great achievement for the team. They are wonderful guys and we have stuck together through the good and the bad times and I am really in love with all of them," continued an ecstatic Schumacher, whose victory, along with Barrichello's second place, also gave Ferrari their third Constructors' title in a row.

For Coulthard and McLaren, third place was little consolation after being clearly beaten by their rivals most of the year. "There is no question that Michael deserves the Championship, he's been consistently fast and hasn't made any mistakes. We just go back to the drawing board," admitted the Scot.

Worse news for their rivals is that Ferrari can now fully concentrate on 2002, while McLaren and Williams will fight to the last minute to finish behind the Italian team. For Mercedes and BMW is a matter of pride and they will certainly not wish to concede to their rivals. However, Schumacher admitted they are not ready to relax until the end of the season, and the German will most likely surpass Alain Prost's record sometime soon.

The Frenchman, who has nothing to do but watch Schumacher taking his place in the record books, said after the Hungarian Grand Prix that he expects the German to win a lot more before he calls it quit.

"Michael has the qualities to succeed with his talents and his concentration and motivation," said Prost after seeing the German equalling his tally. "That is why I believe he can be a five-times or even a six-times Champion. He and Ferrari are a big force now. I don't know if he can win 60 or 70 races, but there is no reason why not." And who would bet against that?

Race Results


Pos  Driver        Team                    Time        
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari            (B)  1h 41:49.675
 2.  Barrichello   Ferrari            (B)  +      3.363
 3.  Coulthard     McLaren Mercedes   (B)  +      3.940
 4.  R.Schumacher  Williams BMW       (M)  +     49.687
 5.  Hakkinen      McLaren Mercedes   (B)  +   1:10.293
 6.  Heidfeld      Sauber Petronas    (B)  +   1 Lap   
 7.  Raikkonen     Sauber Petronas    (B)  +   1 Lap   
 8.  Montoya       Williams BMW       (M)  +   1 Lap   
 9.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda          (B)  +   2 Laps  
10.  Alesi         Jordan Honda       (B)  +   2 Laps  
11.  de la Rosa    Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  +   2 Laps  
12.  Verstappen    Arrows Asiatech    (B)  +   3 Laps  

Fastest Lap: M. Hakkinen, 1:16.723, lap 52

     Fisichella    Benetton-Renault   (M)   67
     Marques       Minardi-European   (M)   63
     Frentzen      Prost-Acer         (M)   63
     Panis         BAR-Honda          (B)   58
     Trulli        Jordan-Honda       (B)   53
     Alonso        Minardi-European   (M)   37
     Button        Benetton-Renault   (M)   34
     Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech    (B)   11
     Burti         Prost-Acer         (M)    8
     Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth    (M)    1


Drivers:                  Constructors:    
 1.  M.Schumacher  94 WC   1.  Ferrari   140 CC
 2.  Coulthard     51      2.  McLaren    72   
 3.  Barrichello   46      3.  Williams   59   
 4.  R.Schumacher  44      4.  Sauber     20   
 5.  Hakkinen      21      5.  BAR        16   
 6.  Montoya       15      6.  Jordan     15   
 7.  Villeneuve    11      7.  Benetton    6   
 =.  Heidfeld      11      8.  Jaguar      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.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes  (B)  51  1:16.723         
 2.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes  (B)  53  1:17.054  + 0.331
 3.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW      (M)  54  1:17.233  + 0.510
 4.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  51  1:17.274  + 0.551
 5.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  23  1:17.436  + 0.713
 6.  Montoya       Williams-BMW      (M)  34  1:18.030  + 1.307
 7.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Petronas   (B)  50  1:18.165  + 1.442
 8.  de la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth   (M)  51  1:18.186  + 1.463
 9.  Raikkonen     Sauber-Petronas   (B)  28  1:18.216  + 1.493
10.  Trulli        Jordan-Honda      (B)  50  1:18.536  + 1.813
11.  Alesi         Jordan-Honda      (B)  32  1:19.134  + 2.411
12.  Panis         BAR-Honda         (B)  29  1:19.222  + 2.499
13.  Fisichella    Benetton-Renault  (M)  24  1:19.471  + 2.748
14.  Button        Benetton-Renault  (M)  29  1:19.475  + 2.752
15.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda         (B)  75  1:19.494  + 2.771
16.  Frentzen      Prost-Acer        (M)  50  1:20.046  + 3.323
17.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech   (B)  51  1:20.401  + 3.678
18.  Marques       Minardi-European  (M)  51  1:21.379  + 4.656
19.  Alonso        Minardi-European  (M)  18  1:21.533  + 4.810
20.  Burti         Prost-Acer        (M)   8  1:21.912  + 5.189
21.  Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech   (B)   7  1:22.045  + 5.322

Pit-Stops Times

Pos  Driver        Team                    Time   Lap
 1.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes  (B)   26.2   71
 2.  Fisichella    Benetton-Renault  (M)   28.1   21
 3.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes  (B)   28.4   56
 4.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes  (B)   28.6   38
 5.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes  (B)   29.5   32
 6.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Petronas   (B)   29.5   27
 7.  Raikkonen     Sauber-Petronas   (B)   29.6   26
 8.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Petronas   (B)   29.7   51
 9.  Button        Benetton-Renault  (M)   29.8   27
10.  Panis         BAR-Honda         (B)   30.0   27
11.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)   30.1   53
12.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)   30.2   28
13.  Frentzen      Prost-Acer        (M)   30.2   18
14.  Montoya       Williams-BMW      (M)   30.4   49
15.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech   (B)   30.4   53
16.  Frentzen      Prost-Acer        (M)   30.5   52
17.  Montoya       Williams-BMW      (M)   30.6   32
18.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)   30.7   31
19.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)   30.7   52
20.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda         (B)   30.9   49
21.  de la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth   (M)   30.9   53
22.  Panis         BAR-Honda         (B)   31.2   53
23.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW      (M)   31.2   30
24.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda         (B)   31.2   30
25.  Marques       Minardi-European  (M)   31.5   26
26.  Raikkonen     Sauber-Petronas   (B)   31.5   46
27.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes  (B)   31.6   54
28.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech   (B)   31.7   24
29.  Marques       Minardi-European  (M)   31.7   52
30.  Alesi         Jordan-Honda      (B)   32.0   52
31.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW      (M)   32.0   52
32.  Alesi         Jordan-Honda      (B)   32.0   30
33.  Alonso        Minardi-European  (M)   32.2   20
34.  Trulli        Jordan-Honda      (B)   32.3   48
35.  de la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth   (M)   32.5   30
36.  Fisichella    Benetton-Renault  (M)   33.6   45
37.  Button        Benetton-Renault  (M)   33.7    6
38.  Trulli        Jordan-Honda      (B)   34.7   29

The Hungarian Grand Prix, Lap by Lap

During the recognition laps before the cars lined up on the pre-grid, Michael Schumacher runs wide across a gravel trap but the Ferrari mechanics are able to get most of the stones out of the car and change the barge boards to make sure that nothing is loose. The rest of the stones come out when Michael brakes during the final parade lap.

Lap 1: At the start of the race Barrichello gets away faster than Coulthard and moves into second place behind Michael Schumacher. Ralf Schumacher retains his fourth place with holding on to fifth after a bump with Nick Heidfeld's Sauber. Mika Hakkinen is sixth with Heidfeld seventh, Montoya eighth, Kimi Raikkonen ninth and Olivier Panis 10th. In the midfield Eddie Irvine and Giancarlo Fisichella clash and the Jaguar spins into retirement at the first corner. Also going off in the course of the first lap was Tarso Marques in his Minardi. There is an investigation into a jumped start by Jenson Button and the Benetton driver is later given a 10-second stop-go penalty.

Lap 2: Michael Schumacher's lead over Barrichello is 1.3 seconds while Coulthard is just a few tenths behind the Brazilian. A gap quickly grows between these three and Ralf Schumacher.

Lap 6: Michael's lead is still only 1.4 seconds with Barrichello and Coulthard duelling behind him. Button stops for his stop-go penalty and drops to the tail of the field.

Lap 9: The order is unchanged. There is a big queue of cars behind fifth placed Trulli with Hakkinen, Heidfeld, Montoya and Raikkonen all being held up. Luciano Burti goes off at the final corner and retires his Prost.

Lap 10: Montoya has an off onto the grass but manages to rejoin still ahead of Raikkonen. Further back Jean Alesi overtakes Pedro de la Rosa to grab 12th place.

Lap 12: The gap between Schumacher and Barrichello begins to grow dramatically with Coulthaard blocked behind the second Ferrari. Seventeenth-placed Enrique Bernoldi spins off in his Arrows.

Lap 13: Button catches and passes Marques at the tail of the field.

Lap 18: The gap between Schumacher and his pursuers has grown to six seconds. Seventeenth-placed Heinz-Harald Frentzen becomes the first runner to stop. He retains his place.

Lap 19: Barrichello and Coulthard begin to close the gap on Schumacher.

Lap 20: Sixteenth placed Fernando Alonso pits and drops two places.

Lap 21: Schumacher wins back time in traffic so his gap goes back to nearly seven seconds. Further back Fisichella stops and drops from 14th to 15th.

Lap 24: Barrichello slows again and Michael Schumacher pulls away and his lead goes to nearly 10 seconds. Jos Verstappen drops from 14th to 16th during his first pit stop.

Lap 26: Raikkonen is the first of the top 10 to stop for tyres and fuel. He drops from ninth to 10th.

Lap 27: Heidfeld, Panis and Button all pit. This allows Villeneuve to move up to eighth place.

Lap 28: Michael Schumacher pits, handing the lead to Barrichello. Michael rejoins in third place.

Lap 29: Fifth-placed Trulli stops and falls back to 10th.

Lap 30: The pit stops continue with fourth-placed Ralf Schumacher stopping but holding on to his position. Villeneuve, Alesi and de la Rosa also stop.

Lap 31: Barrichello stops and Coulthard goes into the lead. In the midfield Raikkonen has an off but rejoins without losing a place.

Lap 32: Coulthard pits and falls to second behind Michael Schumacher but ahead of Barrichello. Also stopping is sixth-placed Montoya. Down at the back of the field Button passes Alonso to take 17th place.

Lap 33: The order is set with Michael 14 seconds ahead of Coulthard and Barrichello third. There was then a big gap back to Ralf Schumacher with Mika Hakkinen, who had not pitted, was fifth. Raikkonen was sixth having got ahead of Montoya and Heidfeld during the pit stop sequence.

Lap 35: Button spins out.

Lap 38: Coulthard has brought the gap down to 11 seconds but is then not able to close further. Hakkinen pits but holds on to his fifth place. At the back of the field Alonso spins into retirement.

Lap 45: Thirteenth-placed Fisichella stops for the second time and falls behind de la Rosa.

Lap 46: Raikkonen is the first of the frontrunners to stop for a second time and drops behind Heidfeld and Montoya.

Lap 52: Schumacher stops and falls behind Coulthard and Barrichello. Ralf Schumacher also stops and falls behind Hakkinen.

Lap 53: Barrichello pits and rejoins behind Michael Schumacher.

Lap 54: Coulthard stops and Barrichello is able to get back into second place. Further back Trulli retires with a mechanical problem.

Lap 56: Hakkinen stops for a second time and drops from fourth to fifth, just behind Ralf Schumacher.

Lap 57: Tenth-placed Olivier Panis gos into the pits to retire. He re-emerges 10 laps later and does one exploratory lap before parking the car again.

Lap 64: Thirteenth placed Frentzen spins into retirement.

Lap 67: Marques retires with a mechanical problem.

Lap 68: Fisichella retires with an engine failure.

Lap 71: Hakkinen stops for a surprising third stop for a dash of fuel. He drops away from Ralf Schumacher but retains fifth place.

Lap 77: Schumacher wins and in doing so wins his 51st World Championsship victory and a fourth World title. Rubens Barrichello's second place gives Ferrari the Constructors' title.