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Australia  2000 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season
Albert Park Circuit
Albert Park Circuit
Date March 12, 2000
Official name LXV Qantas Australian Grand Prix
Location Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia
Course Temporary street circuit
5.303[1] km (3.295 mi)
Distance 58 laps, 307.574[2] km (191.101 mi)
Weather Sunny, Hot[2]
Pole position
Driver Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:30.556[3]
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari
Time 1:31.481 on lap 41[2]
Podium
First Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Second Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari
Third Germany Ralf Schumacher BMW-Williams

The 2000 Australian Grand Prix (officially known as the LXV Qantas Australian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on March 12, 2000 at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne. It was the first race of the 2000 Formula One season.[4] The race, contested over 58 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher for the Ferrari team after starting from third position. Schumacher's new team-mate for the 2000 season, Rubens Barrichello finished second in the other Ferrari, with Ralf Schumacher third for BMW-Williams.[5 ]

Mika Häkkinen started on pole position in a McLaren, with team-mate David Coulthard alongside him, but both retired with pneumatic valve failures.[6] Three drivers made their Grand Prix debut: Jenson Button in a BMW-Williams, Nick Heidfeld in a Prost and Gastón Mazzacane in a Minardi. Mazzacane and Button retired from their debut race, while Heidfeld finished ninth, two laps behind.[5 ][7]

Contents

Report

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Background

Heading into the first race of the 2000 Formula One season, many were tipping Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher and McLaren driver, the 1999 Drivers' Champion, Mika Häkkinen as the main contenders to win the 2000 Drivers' Championship.[8] Schumacher, however, was favourite to win the Championship by the bookmakers and by some former Formula One drivers.[9][10] Schumacher's team-mate from the 1999 season, new Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine tipped Schumacher to win the Championship.[11] The last person to win the Drivers' Championship for Ferrari in the 1979 season, Jody Scheckter also tipped Schumacher to win the Championship.[12]

Out of the 11 teams and 22 drivers on the starting grid, three drivers made their debut. Nick Heidfeld joined the Prost team alongside Jean Alesi.[13] The two replaced Prost's 1999 season line-up of Olivier Panis, who moved to McLaren as test driver and Jarno Trulli, who moved to Jordan alongside Heinz-Harald Frentzen following Damon Hill's retirement.[14][15] At the Minardi team, Gastón Mazzacane replaced Luca Badoer, who opted to continue as Ferrari test driver, a role he began in 1997.[16] The third rookie driver in the 2000 driver line-up was Jenson Button, who replaced Alessandro Zanardi at Williams. Button, at the time, became the youngest British driver ever to start a Formula One race.[17] Many observers and fellow drivers alike had differing opinions of Williams' choice to take Button on. Sauber driver Mika Salo stated that because of Button's inexperience, he could "hurt himself or somebody else".[18]

Practice and qualifying

Race

21 of the 22 cars started on the grid, with Prost driver Alesi the only car to start from the pit lane.[19] Häkkinen converted his pole position from qualifying to lead into the first corner at the start of the race. Coulthard and Schumacher remained in second and third place respectively, but Barrichello was overtaken by Frentzen into turn one, dropping him down to fifth place. Trulli rounded out the top six places at the end of lap 1.[19] At the back of the field, Button gained six positions, moving from 21st to 15th position.[20 ][21] This was partially due to a collision between Minardi driver Marc Gené and rookie Heidfeld, which left Gené last in the order as he had to pit for repairs.[1]

Jaguar driver Johnny Herbert was the first person to retire, retiring with clutch problems on lap two. By lap 4, the two McLaren's of Häkkinen and Coulthard, along with Schumacher, were already pulling away from Frentzen's Jordan, who was five seconds behind Schumacher. On lap 7, the front suspension on the Arrows car of Pedro de la Rosa failed, sending him into a tyre barrier. Herbert's team-mate, Irvine spun trying to avoid the Arrows car. Irvine couldn't get the Jaguar going again as it suffered an engine failure.[19] Both retired from the race. The safety car was deployed to slow the other cars down so the marshalls could clear up the wreckage.[20 ][22]

When the green flag was given at the end of lap ten, Coulthard slowed dramatically and came in for a pit stop with engine problems. Coulthard resumed back onto the track, but the problem continued, and Coulthard retired on lap 11. Schumacher was now promted to second, with Frentzen in third place. Barrichello was in fourth place, with Trulli fifth. Behind the top five, BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve was in sixth place, heading a queue of cars down to 12th place Button.[19] Häkkinen retired on lap 18, with the same problem as his team-mate.[20 ] With Häkkinen's retirement, Schumacher led by 16.5 seconds from Frentzen in second. Schumacher made his one and only pit stop on lap 29, giving Frentzen the lead. Schumacher rejoined the track in third, just in front of Trulli.[19][22] Barrichello was the next driver of the front running cars to pit on lap 33, but the Ferrari team switched him to a two stop strategy so that he could move ahead of Frentzen.[22]

Trulli retired his Jordan car on lap 36 with gearbox problems. The retirements and pit stops moved Button up the order, putting the Williams driver in third place before his pit stop on lap 36.[19][20 ] Frentzen also made a pit stop on lap 36, but the Jordan mechanics experienced problems while refuelling the car, costing Frentzen over ten seconds in the stop. Frentzen rejoined the track in sixth, but retired three laps later with gearbox problems.[20 ][22] Barrichello took the lead on lap 45, overtaking team-mate Schumacher before making his second pit stop. Barrichello rejoined the track second.[22]

The retirements of the McLaren and Jordan team cars elevated Ralf Schumacher, Button's Williams' team-mate, into third position. Villeneuve was fourth, Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth in the Benetton, with Button sixth.[19] With 11 laps remaining Button retired from the race with an engine failure.[21] Ricardo Zonta, in a BAR, was promoted to sixth, but was overtaken by Salo with a few laps remaining.[19] Schumacher won the race after 58 laps in a time 1:34:01.987, twelve seconds ahead of second placed Barrichello second, completing a Ferrari one-two finish. Ralf Schumacher was classified third, with Villeneuve close behind in fourth, giving BAR their first ever points in Formula One.[22] Fisichella finished fifth, with Salo initially classified as sixth in the Sauber. However, a few hours after the race, Salo was disqualified from the race for a bodywork infringement, promoting Zonta into sixth position.[19]

Post-race

After the race, Michael Schumacher said:

I was driving pretty easily from the beginning, I was saving my tyres, saving my fuel, ready for the final moments when the pit stops came and I had to attack. Unfortunately the two guys in front of me broke down. I would have preferred to race them to the end, to prove how good we really are.[22]
Formula One Website

[5 ] [7]

Telegraph.co.uk

[6] [23] [24]

Guardian.co.uk

[18] [21] [22] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29]

[1]

GrandPrix.com

[1]

Atlas F1 (P)review

[4] [19]

Atlas F1 Grapevine

[10] [30]

Atlas F1 Other!

[8] [31] [32] [33] [34]

Atlas F1 News Archive

[35]

Books

[36] [37]

Classification

Qualifying

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 1 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.556
2 2 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.910 +0.354
3 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:31.075 +0.519
4 4 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:31.102 +0.546
5 5 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:31.359 +0.803
6 6 Italy Jarno Trulli Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:31.504 +0.948
7 7 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 1:31.514 +0.958
8 22 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1:31.968 +1.412
9 11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 1:31.992 +1.436
10 17 Finland Mika Salo Sauber-Petronas 1:32.018 +1.462
11 9 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1:32.220 +1.664
12 18 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Arrows-Supertec 1:32.323 +1.767
13 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Arrows-Supertec 1:32.477 +1.921
14 12 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 1:32.775 +2.219
15 15 Germany Nick Heidfeld Prost-Peugeot 1:33.024 +2.468
16 23 Brazil Ricardo Zonta BAR-Honda 1:33.117 +2.561
17 14 France Jean Alesi Prost-Peugeot 1:33.197 +2.641
18 20 Spain Marc Gené Minardi-Fondmetal 1:33.261 +2.705
19 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas 1:33.378 +2.822
20 8 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Jaguar-Cosworth 1:33.638 +3.082
21 10 United Kingdom Jenson Button Williams-BMW 1:33.828 +3.272
22 21 Argentina Gastón Mazzacane Minardi-Fondmetal 1:34.705 +4.149

Race

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 58 1:34:01.987 3 10
2 4 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 58 +11.415 4 6
3 9 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 58 +20.009 11 4
4 22 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 58 +44.447 8 3
5 11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 58 +45.165 9 2
6 23 Brazil Ricardo Zonta BAR-Honda 58 +46.468 16 1
7 12 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 58 +46.915 14  
8 20 Spain Marc Gené Minardi-Fondmetal 57 +1 Lap 18  
9 15 Germany Nick Heidfeld Prost-Peugeot 56 +2 Laps 16  
DSQ 17 Finland Mika Salo Sauber-Petronas 58 Disqualified 10  
Ret 10 United Kingdom Jenson Button Williams-BMW 46 Engine 21  
Ret 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas 41 Transmission 19  
Ret 21 Argentina Gastón Mazzacane Minardi-Fondmetal 40 Gearbox 22  
Ret 5 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen-Honda 39 Hydraulics 5  
Ret 6 Italy Jarno Trulli Jordan-Mugen-Honda 35 Engine 6  
Ret 14 France Jean Alesi Prost-Peugeot 27 Hydraulics 17  
Ret 1 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 18 Engine 1  
Ret 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Arrows-Supertec 16 Suspension 13  
Ret 2 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 11 Engine 2  
Ret 18 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Arrows-Supertec 6 Suspension 12  
Ret 7 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 6 Spun off 7  
Ret 8 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Jaguar-Cosworth 1 Clutch 20  

Standings after the race

Note, only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Drivers' Championship standings[20 ]
Pos Driver Points
1 Germany Michael Schumacher 10
2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 6
3 Germany Ralf Schumacher 4
4 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 3
5 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 2
Constructors' Championship standings[20 ]
Pos Constructor Points
1 Italy Ferrari 16
2 United Kingdom Williams-BMW 4
3 United Kingdom BAR-Honda 4
4 United Kingdom Benetton-Playlife 2
5

References

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  2. ^ a b c "Michael Schumacher Wins the Australian GP". Atlas F1 and Reuters (Haymarket Publications). 2000-03-12. http://atlasf1.autosport.com/news/2000/mar/2128.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
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  10. ^ a b The F1 Rumours Team. "The Grapevine - Rumours and speculation in the world of Formula One". Atlas F1 (Haymarket Publications). http://atlasf1.autosport.com/2000/aus/preview/grapevine.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
  11. ^ Allsop, Derick (2000-03-01). "Irvine provides new spin on McLaren rival". The Independent (Independent News and Media). http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/irvine-provides-new-spin-on-mclaren-rival-722975.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
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1999 Japanese Grand Prix
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2000 Brazilian Grand Prix
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