2000 Hungarian Grand Prix
|Race 12 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season|
Hungaroring (pre-2002 circuit)
|Date||13 August 2000|
|Official name||XVI Marlboro Magyar Nagydíj|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
3.975 km (2.470 mi)
|Distance||77 laps, 306.069 km (190.186 mi)|
|Weather||Partially cloudy, very hot, dry, Air; 32 °C (90 °F), Track 34–44 °C (93–111 °F)|
|Time||1:20.028 on lap 33|
The 2000 Hungarian Grand Prix (formally the XVI Marlboro Magyar Nagydíj) was a Formula One motor race held on 13 August 2000 at Hungaroring, near Budapest, Hungary. It was the twelfth race of the 2000 Formula One season and the 18th Hungarian Grand Prix. The race, contested over 77 laps, was won by McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen after starting from third position. Michael Schumacher finished second in a Ferrari with Häkkinen's team-mate David Coulthard third.
Michael Schumacher started alongside Coulthard on the front row of the grid. Going into the first corner, Häkkinen accelerated faster than Michael Schumacher and Coulthard off the line and overtook both drivers for the lead. He managed to maintain his lead until his first pit stop on lap 31. As his team-mate Coulthard made his pit stop one lap later, Häkkinen regained the lead which he held to win his third win of the season. Michael Schumacher fended off Coulthard, who challenged him in the later stages despite losing time lapping backmarkers, to take second.
Häkkinen's victory promoted him into the lead of the Drivers' Championship for the first time in the 2000 season, two points ahead of Michael Schumacher and six ahead of Coulthard. Häkkinen and Coulthard's strong finishes promoted McLaren into the lead of the Constructors' Championship, one point ahead of Ferrari and 88 ahead of Williams with five races of the season remaining.
The Grand Prix was contested by eleven teams, each of two drivers. The teams, also known as constructors, were McLaren, Ferrari, Jordan, Jaguar, Williams, Benetton, Prost, Sauber, Arrows, Minardi and BAR. 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 team-mates 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. McLaren and Ferrari had so far dominated the championship, winning the previous eleven races. Championship participants Fisichella and Barrichello had each gained second place podium finishes while Ralf Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen had each achieved third place podium finishes.
Following the German Grand Prix on 30 July, six teams conducted mid-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo from August 3–5. 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 team-mate 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.
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 replapse. 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". On 11 August, the day the event's first free practice sessions took place, Benetton confirmed that Fisichella would be retained for the 2001 season.
Practice and qualifying
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, a 1:20.198, almost six-tenths of a second faster than team-mate 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. 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.
Saturday's afternoon qualifying session lasted for an hour. Each driver was limited to twelve laps, with the grid order decided by the drivers' fastest laps. During this session, the 107% rule was in effect, which necessitated each driver set a time within 107% of the quickest lap to qualify for the race. The session was held in dry weather; the air temperature ranged from 30–31 °C (86–88 °F) and the track temperature was between 42–43 °C (108–109 °F). 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 qualifed 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 team-mate Gaston Mazzacane by two-tenths of a second.
The conditions on the grid were dry before the race; the air temperature was 32 °C (90 °F) and the track temperature ranged between 34–44 °C (93–111 °F); conditions were expected to remain consistent throughout the race. The drivers took to the track at 09:30 CEST (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 team-mate Coulthard.
The race started at 14:00 local time. 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 McLaren driver set consecutive fastest laps.
Fisichella spun off from 7th place on lap 8 losing eight positions and Irvine moved into Fisichella's former position. Alesi pitted on lap 9 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 7 seconds by lap 19. Coulthard was a further 3 seconds behind the Ferrari driver 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 7th position. Barrichello pitted one lap later. Race leader Häkkinen took his pit stop on lap 31 and came out behind team-mate Coulthard. Häkkinen regained the lead after Coulthard made his pit stop on lap 32, who came out in 3rd 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 the Arrows driver. 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 abeit one lap behind the race winner. Villeneuve, Verstappen, Zonta, Gené and de la Rosa were the last of the classified finishers.
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 the President of Ferrari Luca 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 an 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.
Standings after the race
- Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
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2000 German Grand Prix
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2000 Belgian Grand Prix
1999 Hungarian Grand Prix
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2001 Hungarian Grand Prix