2000 British Grand Prix
|Race 4 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season|
|Date||April 23, 2000|
|Official name||LIII Foster's British Grand Prix|
|Location||Silverstone, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, England|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
5.140 km (3.194 mi)
|Distance||60 laps, 308.400 km (191.640 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny, mild, dry, Air Temp: 10°C|
|Time||1:26.217 on lap 56|
The 2000 British Grand Prix (formally the LIII Foster's British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire on April 23, 2000. It was the fourth race of the 2000 Formula One season. The race was held over 60 laps of the 5.14-km (3.194-mile) circuit for a total race distance of 308.4 km (191.6 miles).
The race was won by British driver David Coulthard in front of his home crowd driving a McLaren MP4/15. The win was Coulthard and McLaren's first win of the season and the first race not won by eventual 2000 world champion Michael Schumacher. Coulthard's Finnish team-mate Mika Häkkinen was second, 1.4 seconds behind. Schumacher, driving a Ferrari F1-2000 finished third.
In a controversial move, the FIA decided to stage the 2000 running of the British Grand Prix in April instead of the event's traditional mid-July date, with the race taking place on Easter Sunday. No specific reason was given for the move, though the reinstatement of the Belgian Grand Prix (initially excluded from the calendar due to problems concerning the country's tobacco advertising laws) and the return of the United States Grand Prix were suggested as possible reasons.
Qualifying produced several surprises as Rubens Barrichello took pole position in his Ferrari with Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan alongside him on the front row, just 0.003 seconds behind, while home driver Jenson Button, in only his fourth Grand Prix, took sixth in his Williams and Jos Verstappen took eighth in his Arrows. Mika Häkkinen, missing out on pole for the first time this season, was 0.038 seconds behind Barrichello in third, with McLaren team-mate David Coulthard alongside him on the second row. Championship leader Michael Schumacher was fifth, followed by Button, Ralf Schumacher in the second Williams, Verstappen, Eddie Irvine in the Jaguar and Jacques Villeneuve in the BAR.
Before the race, traffic jams stretched up for 15 miles forcing some of the spectators to walk. Reports were that queues paced at one mile in a minute which reached backed to the M40 and M1 motorways. As a result, only 15,000 attended qualifying compared with 60,000 the year before.
There was heavy fog in the morning of the race. Fortunately, it cleared before the beginning of the race. When the lights went out, Barrichello started well from pole position and Frentzen slotted in behind him. Coulthard had also got by Häkkinen at the first corner. Behind them, Schumacher had been pushed into the grass, and Jacques Villeneuve went around Eddie Irvine, Jos Verstappen and Ralf Schumacher. Schumacher had lost places to Jenson Button, Villeneuve and Ralf. Thus the order was Barrichello, Frentzen, Coulthard, Häkkinen, Button, Villeneuve, Ralf, Schumacher, Verstappen and Irvine. On the second lap, Ralf blasted past Villeneuve at Stowe.
The top six were separated by around 10 seconds but they were pulling way from the next group consisting of Villeneuve, Schumacher and Verstappen. It stayed until Jos retired on lap 22. On lap 24, Frentzen went into the pits from second and Ralf came up behind him. They rejoined in seventh and eighth. Next lap, Button went into the pits. He had a minor wheelnut problem which cost him a second and a half and thus rejoined behind his teammate. At the front, Barrichello was slowly pulling away from Coulthard and Häkkinen until lap 28 when he got informed by his team that there was a hydraulic problem with his car.
On lap 29, Barrichello made a mistake and lost 3 seconds, putting Coulthard right with him. Next time around, Barrichello was slow out of Chapel Curve, allowing Coulthard to get level with him on the Hangar straight. Barrichello had the inside line for Stowe but Coulthard went round the outside of him and took the lead. His explanation was: "Remembering Nigel Mansell's move on Nelson Piquet, I just decided to give it a try." It worked and Coulthard built a lead as Häkkinen pitted on lap 31. Next time around, Coulthard pitted from the lead, giving it back to the fading Barrichello. Rubens held around until lap 35 when the effect of the problem took its toll as Barrichello spun at Luffield. When he rejoined and pitted, he found that his team were not ready for him. It did not matter, for when the stop was completed, Barrichello had trouble restarting the car. That was enough and he decided to call it a day.
All this left Schumacher at the front (Villeneuve having pitted) and set two consecutive fastest laps before he pitted on lap 38. He rejoined ahead of Villeneuve. The order was: Frentzen, Coulthard, Ralf, Button, Häkkinen and Schumacher. Soon the attention was on Frentzen on whether he would come out ahead of or behind Schumacher after their stops. But he was lapping at the same pace as Häkkinen and Schumacher, and after his stop on lap 44, he came out behind Schumacher. Ralf and Button pitted on laps 46 and 48 respectively, rejoining in fifth and sixth. Coulthard and Häkkinen were first and second, Häkkinen closing up on Coulthard and Schumacher lapping at Häkkinen's pace. On lap 54, Frentzen's gearbox failed, putting Villeneuve up to sixth. He lasted there only for two laps when he faced the same problem, thus allowing Jarno Trulli to take the last point.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
2000 San Marino Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2000 Spanish Grand Prix
1999 British Grand Prix
|British Grand Prix||Next race:
2001 British Grand Prix