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.
Coulthard 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.
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.
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
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:
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