2000 Hungarian Grand Prix
The 2000 Hungarian Grand Prix (formally the XVI Marlboro Magyar Nagydíj) was a Formula One motor race held on 13 August 2000 at the Hungaroring, near Budapest, Hungary. It was the twelfth race of the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship and the 18th Hungarian Grand Prix. Mika Häkkinen, driving a McLaren-Mercedes, won the 77-lap race starting from third position. Michael Schumacher finished second in a Ferrari, having started from pole position, with Häkkinen's teammate David Coulthard third.
|2000 Hungarian Grand Prix|
Race 12 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||13 August 2000|
|Official name||XVI Marlboro Magyar Nagydíj|
|Location||Hungaroring, Mogyoród, Hungary|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||3.975 km (2.470 mi)|
|Distance||77 laps, 306.075 km (190.186 mi)|
|Weather||Partially cloudy, very hot, dry|
|Time||1:20.028 on lap 33|
Häkkinen beat Schumacher and Coulthard off the start line and went on to lead every lap, except for the first round of pit stops. The Finn's eventual margin of victory was eight seconds, with Schumacher holding off Coulthard for second. The win, Häkkinen's third of the season, gave him the lead of the Drivers' Championship for the first time in 2000, two points ahead of Schumacher and six ahead of Coulthard, while McLaren took the lead of the Constructors' Championship by one point from Ferrari.
Tyre supplier Bridgestone brought two different tyre compounds to the race; the Soft and the Extra Soft dry compound tyres. Going into the race, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher led the Drivers' Championship with 56 points, ahead of McLaren teammates Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard, who were tied for second on 54 points. Rubens Barrichello was fourth with 46 points while Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth on 18 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari were leading with 102 points, four points ahead of their rivals McLaren in second. Williams on 22 points and Benetton with 18 points contended for third place, while BAR were fifth on 12 points.
Following the German Grand Prix on 30 July, six teams conducted mid-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo from 3–5 August. McLaren test driver Olivier Panis was fastest on the first day, ahead of Häkkinen. Pedro Diniz's Sauber car was afflicted with an oil leak, limiting his team's testing time as the leak was repaired. Coulthard was fastest on the second day. Fisichella set the fastest times on the final day of testing. His teammate Alexander Wurz spun off and collided with the tyre barrier. His car's wishbone struck his right leg and was taken to the circuit's medical center before a transfer to a local hospital. Wurz was passed fit to compete in the race the day after his accident. Ferrari opted to spend five days testing at the Fiorano Circuit and concentrated on car development, practice starts, aerodynamic testing and race distance simulations with their test driver Luca Badoer. He was joined by Barrichello on the second day and Michael Schumacher from the fourth day onwards. Badoer and Michael Schumacher spent two further days at the circuit performing shakedowns of the Ferrari F1-2000 car.
After consecutive retirements in the previous three races which included first lap collisions in Austria and Germany, Michael Schumacher said that his objective in Hungary was to avoid any incidents on the first lap and to finish in a points-scoring position. He was also confident that Ferrari would perform well at the circuit. Barrichello revealed that he received backing from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo to challenge for more victories and the championship despite the latter's comments to the press about Barrichello assisting Michael Schumacher's title aspirations.
Prost's Jean Alesi was passed fit in the days leading up to the race. At the previous race, Alesi had suffered a serious crash which involved a collision with Sauber driver Pedro Diniz, although he escaped uninjured apart from abdominal pains and suffered from dizziness and vomiting. Prost had their test driver Stéphane Sarrazin ready to replace Alesi should the latter had suffered a relapse. Alesi said he felt ready to race again: "It took a few days before I really started to recover, but now I sleep and feel much better".
Some teams made technical changes to their cars for the Grand Prix. McLaren introduced a revised aerodynamic for their MP4/15 chassis, aimed at increasing the amount of downforce, and therefore grip, produced by the bodywork. They also brought revised nose wings. BAR fitted their cars with one-off components that were produced to help optimise the performance of the monocoque's cooling systems. Ferrari introduced an aerodynamic set-up similar to that used at the Monaco Grand Prix, and the team debuted a modified version of the F1-2000's chimneys. Minardi arrived with new radiator intakes and exits to rectify temperature issues with their Fondmetal V10 engines.
Four practice sessions were held before the Sunday race—two on Friday, and two on Saturday. The Friday morning and afternoon sessions each lasted an hour. The third and final practice sessions were held on Saturday morning and lasted 45 minutes. The Friday practice sessions took place in dry conditions. Michael Schumacher set the first session's fastest time, at 1 minute and 20.198 seconds, almost six-tenths of a second faster than teammate Barrichello. Jaguar's Eddie Irvine was third fastest, ahead of Ralf Schumacher, Fisichella and BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve. Jarno Trulli, Diniz, Mika Salo and Jenson Button completed the top ten. In the second practice session, Coulthard set the quickest lap of the day, a 1:18.792; Häkkinen finished with the second fastest time. The two Ferrari drivers were third and fourth—Michael Schumacher ahead of Barrichello. Trulli was running quicker finishing fifth fastest, ahead of Fisichella and Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Button. Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Irvine followed in the top ten. The weather remained dry for the Saturday practice sessions. Barrichello was fastest in the third practice session, with a time of 1:18.268. Coulthard was second fastest and was one thousands of a second off Barrichello's pace. Frentzen continued his strong practice form, setting the third fastest time, ahead of Michael Schumacher, Häkkinen and Ralf Schumacher. Sauber driver Mika Salo, Button, Trulli and Fisichella took the final top ten places. In the final practice session, Michael Schumacher was fastest setting a time of 1:17.395, ahead of Coulthard and Barrichello. Frentzen set the fourth fastest time, narrowly faster than Ralf Schumacher and Häkkinen. Trulli, Fisichella, Salo and Diniz completed the top ten ahead of qualifying.
"I am delighted to be on pole. We came here confident and I hope we will leave here tomorrow with the same confidence. My first target is to finish and then we are in a good position to win. As for the start, I think we have improved after practising last week. But you also need a bit of luck with so much horsepower and a small clutch. Getting it right is a fine edge. This is a demanding circuit to drive with no rest for the driver with the variety of corners and some bumps. This makes it difficult to find the best set up for the race but I am happy with my car in race trim. Qualifying is one thing, but the race is another and I want to get a good result. The real answer will come tomorrow."
Michael Schumacher, commenting on taking pole position.
Saturday's afternoon one hour qualifying session saw each driver was limited to twelve laps, with the starting order decided by their fastest laps. During this session, the 107% rule was in effect, which necessitated each driver set a time within 107 per cent of the quickest lap to qualify for the race. The session was held in dry weather. Michael Schumacher clinched his 28th pole position of his career, and his fourth at the circuit, with a time of 1:17.514. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Coulthard, who was three-tenths of a second off Michael Schumacher's pace. Häkkinen qualified third, and stated that his team made changes to his car's set-up having been unhappy with his car in previous sessions. Ralf Schumacher qualified fourth, and said he was pleased with revisions to his car's aerodynamics. Barrichello struggled with the handling of his car taking fifth position and stated that Coulthard prevented him from setting a faster lap time. Frentzen, Fisichella, Button, Salo and Irvine rounded out the top ten positions. Wurz missed out on qualifying in the top ten by two-tenths of a second. Trulli qualified 12th having struggled with oversteer, ahead of Diniz, Alesi, Arrows driver Pedro de la Rosa and Villeneuve. Johnny Herbert for Jaguar qualified 17th despite spinning late in the session, and was followed by Zonta, Nick Heidfeld and Jos Verstappen. The Minardi drivers qualified last; Marc Gené outqualified his teammate Gastón Mazzacane by two-tenths of a second.
The drivers took to the track at 09:30 Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) for a 30-minute warm-up session. Coulthard maintained his good performance from qualifying and set the fastest time, a 1:19.261. The Ferrari cars were second and third—Michael Schumacher faster than Barrichello. Häkkinen completed the top four, 1.2 seconds behind teammate Coulthard.
The race started before 120,000 people in attendance at 14:00 local time. The conditions on the grid were dry before the race; the air temperature was 32 °C (90 °F) and the track temperature ranged between 34 to 44 °C (93 to 111 °F); conditions were expected to remain consistent throughout the race. Whilst the grid was forming up, Mazzacane's car was afflicted with a gearbox problem and he was forced to start the race with his spare car. Herbert also planned to use his spare car as his regular car developed a leak which was fixed before the start. Häkkinen accelerated faster than Michael Schumacher and Coulthard off the line, getting ahead of both drivers going into the first corner. Coulthard then withstood Ralf Schumacher's attempts to pass him for third position. Heading into the chicane, Villeneuve and de la Rosa collided. Villeneuve pitted for a new front wing followed by Verstappen who pitted for a new left rear tyre. At the end of the first lap, Häkkinen led from Michael Schumacher, Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher, Barrichello, Frentzen, Fisichella, Irvine, Wurz, Salo, Diniz, Trulli, Alesi, Herbert, Zonta, Heidfeld, Verstappen, Gené, Mazzacane, Villeneuve and de la Rosa. Häkkinen began to gradually pull away from Michael Schumacher as the former set consecutive fastest laps.
Fisichella spun off from seventh place on lap eight, losing eight positions and Irvine moved into Fisichella's former position. Alesi pitted on lap ninth and re-emerged at the rear of the field after repairs to his car's steering. Villeneuve passed de la Rosa for 21st position. Two laps later, Alesi drove to his garage and became the first retirement of the race. Fisichella ran wide on lap 12 and was passed by Herbert for 13th. Three laps later, Fisichella made his first pit stop for repairs to his car's brakes and came out in 19th position. Häkkinen's lead over Michael Schumacher was seven seconds by lap 19. Coulthard was a further three seconds behind the Michael Schumacher and was drawing ahead from Ralf Schumacher. Villeneuve moved into 18th position after passing Fisichella and Zonta by lap 20. Heidfeld became the race's second retirement when he stalled after making the first scheduled pit stop on lap 22. Two laps later, Irvine, who had been running seventh, made his first pit stop and dropped to 11th.
Ralf Schumacher took his first pit stop on lap 28, emerging in seventh position. Barrichello pitted one lap later. Race leader Häkkinen took his pit stop on lap 31 and came out behind teammate Coulthard. Häkkinen regained the lead after Coulthard made his pit stop on lap 32, who came out in third position. Fisichella retired with further brake problems on lap 32. Häkkinen set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:20.028 on lap 33, as he continued to stretch his lead over Michael Schumacher. Coulthard, who was on fresh tyres, gradually began to close the gap to Michael Schumacher by lap 39. Michael Schumacher increased the gap when Coulthard lost two seconds; the result of being held up by Genè who was later issued a 10-second stop-go penalty. Barrichello pitted for the second time on lap 47. Michael Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher made their pit stops on lap 50, one lap ahead of Coulthard.
Häkkinen pitted on lap 53 and remained in the lead, having built a 20-second lead over Michael Schumacher. Frentzen became the last driver to make a scheduled pit stop on lap 56. At the end of lap 57, with the scheduled pit stops completed, the running order was Häkkinen, Michael Schumacher, Coulthard, Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher, Frentzen, Button, Trulli, Diniz, Irvine, Salo, Wurz, Herbert, Villeneuve, Verstappen, Zonta, Gené, Mazzacane and de la Rosa. Herbert spun while battling for 13th position with Villeneuve. Diniz retired from the race when his engine failed on lap 63. Herbert came under pressure from Verstappen on lap 67 and suffered his second spin, losing the position to Verstappen. Herbert retired on lap 69 as the result of gearbox problems. Mazzacane pulled off the track on lap 70 and retired because of an engine failure.
Trulli managed to close the gap to Button and passed him for seventh on lap 74, while Button lost another position to Irvine one lap later. Häkkinen crossed the finish line on lap 77 to win his third victory of the season in a time of 1'45:33.869, at an average speed of 108.097 miles per hour (173.965 km/h). Michael Schumacher finished second 7.9 seconds behind, ahead of Coulthard in third, Barrichello in fourth, Ralf Schumacher in fifth with Frentzen rounding out the points scoring positions in sixth. Trulli, Irvine, Button, Salo and Wurz filled the next five positions albeit one lap behind the race winner. Villeneuve, Verstappen, Zonta, Gené and de la Rosa were the last of the classified finishers.
"I knew that the start would be crucial, because it's almost impossible to overtake on this circuit. Normally the perfect start doesn't happen more than once a year and after my get away two weeks ago at Hockenheim I thought that my quota had been used up. Once I took the lead I was comfortable throughout the race and the entire team has done a fantastic job the whole weekend to optimise the car. I'm extremely happy to win and also to take the lead in the World Championship."
Mika Häkkinen, speaking after the race.
The top three drivers appeared on the podium to collect their trophies and in the subsequent press conference. Häkkinen stated that his good start was instigated by modifications made to his car's engine. His win was praised by the Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Norbert Haug. "Mika had a great race," he said. "His victory may have looked easy, but it was tough to achieve and in my view this was one of his best drives ever." Michael Schumacher said that although he was unable to catch Häkkinen, he was happy to finish in second position. Coulthard said that he believed that his car's suffered from balance issues before taking his first pit stop which accounted for his lack of pace. He also added that spending time behind back-markers during the second stint hindered his attempts to overtake Michael Schumacher but admitted that third position was his best possible result.
After Ferrari's victory at the previous race, their team's technical director Ross Brawn said that "Our pitstops and our race strategy went well, but we just weren't quick enough.", while di Montezemolo urged the mechanics and engineers of Ferrari to concentrate on rectifying the issue of wheel-spin and also praised Häkkinen for his recent trend of good starts. Barrichello said that he blamed his poor qualifying performance for his fourth-place finish. Ralf Schumacher and Frentzen were pleased to finish in fifth and sixth places respectively. Fisichella, who retired from the race from a brake problem, said that the reoccurring problem caused damage to his car and forced his later retirement. Gené placed blame upon faulty radio communication to his team as the reason for his stop-go penalty and said that he did not receive the blue flag until the last moment. Jaguar's technical director Gary Anderson was angry with Gené after the race as he believed the Spaniard's driving cost Irvine the chance to take a points-scoring position. "I don't understand why the blue flags weren't waved because it was plain for all to see." said Anderson.
As a consequence of the race, Häkkinen moved into the lead of the Drivers' Championship, on 64 points, taking the championship lead for the first time in the 2000 season. Michael Schumacher lost the lead of the Drivers' Championship, falling two points behind Häkkinen. Coulthard maintained third place with 58 points, nine points ahead of Barrichello and forty-one in front of Fisichella. In the Constructors' Championship, McLaren took over the lead of the Constructors' Championship with 112 points, pushing Ferrari on 111 points to second place. Williams increased the gap to Benetton to 6 points, with Jordan jumping ahead of BAR for fifth on 12 points. Despite McLaren taking the lead of both championships, their team principal Ron Dennis acknowledged that he expected both his drivers would have the advantage in the most of the five remaining races although he believed that being complacent would reduce McLaren's chances of success.
Drivers who scored championship points are denoted in bold.
Championship standings after the raceEdit
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
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