Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report
Timothy Collings' British GP Race Report

Sunday April 23rd, 2000

By Timothy Collings

Briton David Coulthard moved into contention in the drivers' title race on Sunday when he won his home Grand Prix for the second successive year, leading team mate Mika Hakkinen of Finland across the line in a dominant one-two by the McLaren team.

The McLaren pairing won comfortably after taking full advantage of Rubens Barrichello's mid-race retirement after the Brazilian had led in his Ferrari for the opening 36 laps of the 60-lap race.

Coulthard finished 1.4 seconds ahead of defending world champion Hakkinen in one hour 28 minutes and 50.10 seconds at an average speed of 208.266 kph.

His win ended German Michael Schumacher's season-opening streak of three straight wins to keep the scrap for this year's title race alive in front of a bedraggled Silverstone crowd who had braved flooded fields and apalling conditions to attend the race.

Schumacher remains top of the drivers' championship with 34 points, 20 ahead of Coulthard whose victory was the seventh of his career and his first since the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps last year.

The race, run in the first real spell of dry and warm conditions of the entire weekend, was led from the start by Barrichello, who began from pole, until he was passed by Coulthard on lap 31.

Hydraulic Problems

The Scot led for just two laps before he pitted and the Brazilian took over again before, plagued by hydraulics problems, he spun off at Brooklands, drove through wet grass and pools of water back onto the track but then was forced to retire.

The Brazilian's departure left Ferrari team mate Schumacher out in front as his strategy of one pit stop began to promise a pay-off, but after he came in for more fuel, he fell back down the order. Fellow German Heinz-Harald Frentzen in a Jordan, who was on a two stop plan, led for three laps before Coulthard took over.

Both Coulthard and Hakkinen were on a one stop strategy and they were then able to enjoy the luxury of cruising clear of the field as Schumacher settled for third place ahead of his brother Ralf Schumacher and his Williams team mate Briton Jenson Button.

Button's performance was remarkable for a 20-year-old in only his fourth Grand Prix and showed maturity beyond his years as well as a daring courage to race hard for positions.

Italian Jarno Trulli in a Jordan finished sixth, some consolation for the local Silverstone-based team after his team mate Frentzen had retired following a strong showing for much of the race.

Coulthard said: "Yes, its great for me to win this race. But there was a time when I thought I was having a bit of a gearbox problem and was almost in tears! But the car hung together for me and now I am really looking forward to the rest of the season."

Move from the Past

He compared his passing move on Barrichello on Hangar Straight to a famous move made by former British hero Nigel Mansell on Brazilian Nelson Piquet, both Williams teammates, in the 1987 British Grand Prix.

"I remembered that move and I just thought to myself that it must be worth a go and it worked out," he said. "Now I am looking ahead to the rest of the year. We can win in Barcelon again."

Hakkinen was disappointed to finish only second and collect six points. He said his car lacked balance after struggling in the delayed morning warm-up session -- thick fog forced it be postponed for 100 minutes -- and that it was understandable, but frustrating.

Schumacher, who made a powerful start, but elected to try and pass on the grass and ended up losing places, rose from eighth early in the race to finish in a satisfying third.

"I didn't want to have an accident with my brother when we were fighting early on," he said. "So, after being eighth for so long, I was happy to get though and finish third. It is a good result for me.

"I didn't give up and I was lucky to get something out of it in the end. I had a lot of traffic trouble and there were some guys who just did not obey the blue flags.

"Some guys, and one of them is Pedro (Diniz), just did not move at all and that is not the first time that has happened to me, so I was pretty angry."

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