Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

David Coulthard Wins the French GP

Sunday July 2nd, 2000

Briton David Coulthard won the French Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday in a McLaren one-two that cut the championship lead of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher to 12 points.

the podiumCoulthard then blasted the Ferrari driver, who had led but failed to finish due to engine failure, for his "unsporting" conduct during the race.

The Scot said McLaren's victory was all the sweeter because "we did it in a more sporting way".

"I won the race and I'm delighted about that. I just don't think Michael's very sporting in the way he drives on the track," said Coulthard.

World champion Mika Hakkinen of Finland was second, also in a McLaren, with Ferrari's Brazilian Rubens Barrichello crossing the line in third place.

Former champion Jacques Villeneuve of Canada was fourth in a BAR, Ralf Schumacher fifth in a Williams and Italy's Jarno Trulli sixth for Jordan.

Schmacher has 56 points, Coulthard 44 after nine races of the 17-race season. It was the ninth victory of Coulthard's career and third of the year and put him right back in the thick of the title contest.

Schumacher, with Barrichello taking Coulthard at the start and tucking in behind his team mate, had made a perfect getaway from pole position on a hot afternoon.

He led for 40 laps before the Briton forced his way past. The two cars touched with Coulthard's McLaren wobbling briefly before he accelerated away.

Raised Fist

Six laps before that, the Briton had shaken his fist and raised a finger at the German after Schumacher closed the door on another attempt to get past.

"I have to apologise for my hand gesture," said Coulthard. "It was not at all in keeping with the sport but, as you can understand, my emotions were running high.

"I knew that to be in a position to battle for the championship I needed to win here today.

"I felt I had a clean run at Michael on the outside and equally I felt he drove me wide.

"You could say he had the right to do that because he had the track position but I think a deliberate gesture in driving someone wide ... made me very angry.

"Trying to drive people off the circuit is not within the rules," Coulthard added.

Schumacher then went out on the 59th lap.

The German hit trouble while braking into the Adelaide hairpin, allowing Hakkinen through.

Schumacher slowed and cut across the chicane, coming to a halt on the grass with blue smoke coming from the engine of his Ferrari.

"They told me Michael had a failure in the engine," commented Barrichello later, adding that Ferrari also advised him to back off as a result.

Had Schumacher won the race, he would have equalled the 41 wins notched up by the late Ayrton Senna.

The one-two finish was McLaren's perfect reply to Ferrari's similar result at the last race, the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hakkinen said the McLarens had been the quickest cars on the track and he had not pushed Coulthard.

"When I saw Michael going off, he had a problem or whatever, I realised David was so far away. I thought, hold on a second, we are first and second here."

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The French Grand Prix
Magny Cours, Nevers;
72 laps; 305.886km;
Weather: Dry, windy.

Classified:

Pos  Driver         Team                             
 1.  Coulthard      McLaren Mercedes      1h 38:05.538
 2.  Hakkinen       McLaren Mercedes       +    14.748
 3.  Barrichello    Ferrari                +    32.409
 4.  Villeneuve     BAR Honda              +  1:01.322
 5.  R.Schumacher   Williams BMW           +  1:03.981
 6.  Trulli         Jordan Mugen-Honda     +  1:15.604
 7.  Frentzen       Jordan Mugen-Honda     + 1 Lap    
 8.  Button         Williams BMW           + 1 Lap    
 9.  Fisichella     Benetton Playlife      + 1 Lap    
10.  Salo           Sauber Petronas        + 1 Lap    
11.  Diniz          Sauber Petronas        + 1 Lap    
12.  Heidfeld       Prost Peugeot          + 1 Lap    
13.  Irvine         Jaguar Cosworth        + 2 Lap    
14.  Alesi          Prost Peugeot          + 2 Lap    
15.  Gene           Minardi Fondmetal      + 2 Lap    

Fastest Lap: D.Coulthard, 1:19.479 (192.548 km/h), lap 28

Not Classified/Retirements:

Driver         Team                On Lap  Reason         
M.Schumacher   Ferrari               59    engine      
de la Rosa     Arrows Supertec       46    transmission
Wurz           Benetton Playlife     35    spun off    
Mazzacane      Minardi Fondmetal     32    spun off    
Verstappen     Arrows Supertec       26    transmission
Herbert        Jaguar Cosworth       21    clutch      
Zonta          BAR Honda             17    brakes      


World Championship Standing, Round 9:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  M.Schumacher  56        1.  Ferrari             88
 2.  Coulthard     44        2.  McLaren             82
 3.  Hakkinen      38        3.  Benetton-Playlife   18
 4.  Barrichello   32        4.  Williams-BMW        17
 5.  Fisichella    18        5.  Jordan-Mugen Honda  11
 6.  R.Schumacher  14        6.  BAR-Honda            9
 7.  Villeneuve     8        7.  Jaguar               3
 8.  Trulli         6        =   Arrows               3
 9.  Frentzen       5        =   Sauber               3
10.  Button         3                                  
 =   Irvine         3                                  
 =   Salo           3                                  
13.  Verstappen     2                                  
14.  Zonta          1                                  
 =   de la Rosa     1                                  

All timing unofficial


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