2000 Italian Grand Prix
|Race 14 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season|
Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Modified in 2000)
|Date||10 September 2000|
|Official name||LXXI Gran Premio Vodafone d'Italia|
|Location||Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
5.793 km (3.600 mi)
|Distance||53 laps, 306.719 km (190.586 mi)|
|Time||1:25.595 on lap 50|
The 2000 Italian Grand Prix (formally the LXXI Gran Premio Vodafone d'Italia) was a Formula One motor race held on 10 September 2000 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza near Monza, Italy. It was the fourteenth race of the 2000 Formula One season. The race, contested over 53 laps, was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher after starting from pole position. Mika Häkkinen finished second in a McLaren car with Ralf Schumacher third for the Williams team.
Michael Schumacher's win was his sixth of the season and Ferrari's seventh. The event was marred by tragedy as a first lap accident claimed the life of a trackside marshal.
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 four different tyre types to the race: two dry compounds, the medium and the hard, and two wet-weather compounds, the intermediate and full wet.
Going into the race, McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen led the Drivers' Championship with 74 points, ahead of Michael Schumacher on 68 points and David Coulthard on 61 points.Rubens Barrichello was fourth with 49 points with Ralf Schumacher fifth on 20 points. In the Constructors' Championship McLaren were leading with 125 points, Ferrari and Williams were second and third with 117 and 30 points, respectively, while Benetton with 18 points and Jordan with 13 points contended for fourth place. Ferrari and McLaren had so far dominated the championship winning thirteen out of the previous thirteen races, with Häkkinen winning the Belgian Grand Prix. Championship competitor Giancarlo Fisichella had gained one second place podium finish, while Ralf Schumacher, Heinz-Harald Frentzen had achieved third place podium finishes.
Following the Belgian Grand Prix on 27 August, the teams conducted a four day testing session at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and concentrated on optimising their car set-ups for low downforce. Jos Verstappen set the quickest times on the first day, ahead of Pedro Diniz. Coulthard was quickest on the second day. Fisichella suffered an high speed crash going into the Ascari chicane, bringing a brief halt to testing. Jacques Villeneuve set the quickest times on the third day as rain shortened the team's running. Minardi's Gaston Mazzacane suffered an high speed accident at the Ascari chicane, forcing testing to be stopped. Ralf Schumacher was fastest on the fourth day. Michael Schumacher's car developed a malfunction and pulled off the race track, limiting Ferrari's testing time as the car's power unit was changed.
Practice and qualifying
Four practice sessions were held before the race; two one hour sessions on Friday and two 45 minute sessions on Saturday. Barrichello set the session's fastest time with a lap of 1:25.057, three-tenths of a second ahead of Jarno Trulli. Michael Schumacher was one-tenth of a second off Trulli's pace, while Coulthard set the fourth fastest time. The two Arrows drivers rounded out the top six; Pedro de la Rosa ahead of Jos Verstappen. In the second practice session, Barrichello was again fastest setting an identical lap time; Michael Schumacher finished with the second fastest time. Trulli set the third fastest time, with the two McLaren drivers fourth and fifth, Häkkinen ahead of Coulthard. Eddie Irvine rounded out the top six. Jean Alesi's Prost car was afflicted by an hydraulic leak; this restricted him to three timed laps, and he was slowest overall. Alexander Wurz suffered an similar problem and set the 18th fastest time.
The Saturday practice sessions were again held in dry and sunny conditions. Michael Schumacher set the fastest time of the session, a 1:24.262. The Williams drivers were running quickly—Jenson Button in second and Ralf Schumacher fifth—they were separated by Coulthard and Barrichello and Fisichella rounded out the top six positions. In the final practice session, Michael Schumacher again set the fastest time, a 1:23.904; Barrichello set the third fastest time. They were separated by Häkkinen with team-mate Coulthard clinching the fourth fastest time. The Williams drivers rounded out the top six; Ralf Schumacher ahead of Button. Mazzacane again suffered problems with his car when his engine ran out of air pressure and was forced to stop on the track.
Saturday's afternoon qualifying session lasted for an hour. 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. Each driver was limited to twelve laps. Michael Schumacher achieved his sixth pole position of the season, his second at Monza, with a time of 1:23.770. He was joined on the front row by Barrichello who was just off his team-mate's pace. Häkkinen qualified third, though he believed he could have set a faster time as he struggled with the handling on his car. Villeneuve qualified fourth, nearly half a second behind Michael Schumacher, and was happy with his performance. Häkkinen's team-mate Coulthard qualified fifth. Trulli, Ralf Schumacher, Frentzen, Fisichella and de la Rosa rounded out the top ten.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2007)|
The conditions for the race were dry with the air temperature 25 °C (77 °F) and the track temperature 37 °C (99 °F). The drivers took to the track at 09:30 (UTC +1) for an 30-minute warm-up session. Zonta set the fastest time of the session, a 1:26.448, six hundredths of a second faster than Häkkinen, in second place. Michael Schumacher had the third fastest time, ahead of Coulthard in fourth and Verstappen in fifth, with Salo rounding out the top six.
As the cars approached the recently redesigned first chicane on the first lap, Eddie Irvine's Jaguar collided with both Saubers, causing Irvine's car to stall and force his retirement from the race. A more significant accident was triggered at the second chicane when the Jordans of Jarno Trulli and Heinz-Harald Frentzen made heavy contact with each other and struck the cars of Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard from behind. All four cars came to rest in the gravel runoff area. They were then joined by the Arrows of Pedro de la Rosa, who had struck the rear of Johnny Herbert's Jaguar with enough force to tear off the Jaguar's left rear wheel and send the Arrows into the air. As it entered the runoff area, de la Rosa's car clipped Coulthard's McLaren and landed immediately adjacent to Barrichello's Ferrari.
The five stranded drivers were able to climb from their cars without physical injury. Herbert's car avoided the gravel and he returned to the pits on the three remaining wheels. However, the right front wheel from Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan had been propelled towards the Armco barrier and struck 33 year old fire marshal Paolo Ghislimberti in the chest and head. Ghislimberti was given a heart massage at the scene, but later died, becoming the first death in Formula One since Ayrton Senna in the 1994 season. He was survived by his pregnant wife, who received financial assistance from an auction of the drivers' racing overalls.
The race stewards chose not to stop the race, but to lead the remaining cars behind the safety car. This upset many drivers, Coulthard among them, who said the race should have been stopped given the seriousness of the fire marshal's situation. The safety car period continued for eleven laps, with Michael Schumacher leading and Mika Häkkinen in second position. Both had been just ahead of the accident when it happened.
Schumacher and Häkkinen both used one-stop strategies, with Schumacher staying ahead of the Finn to the end of the race, winning the Italian Grand Prix for the third time in six years. It was his 41st career victory, putting him into a tie for the second highest number of career victories with the late Senna. Häkkinen took second, with Ralf Schumacher placing third. In the remaining points-scoring places, Jos Verstappen scored Arrows best result of the season with fourth place, 7.5 seconds behind Ralf Schumacher, Alexander Wurz scored his only points finish of the year in fifth place and Ricardo Zonta finished sixth for British American Racing.
During the televised post-race press conference, Schumacher broke into tears when asked if matching Senna's number of wins meant a lot to him. He did not answer further questions during the interviews as he tried to regain his composure, and has never spoken about the cause of the outburst. As a result of Ghislimberti's death, wheel tethers were introduced to stop flying tyres being a danger to the drivers, safety officials and fans. In 2004 a safety fence was placed at the Variante Della Roggia.
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.
- "Formula One Teams and Drivers (2000)". FIA.com. Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. Archived from the original on 5 June 2000. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
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- Righetti, Tom (30 August 2000). "Formula One: Fisichella crashes in Monza testing". The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Rain Shortens Monza Testing - Day Three". Atlas F1 (Haymarket Publications). 31 August 2000. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Ralf Schumacher quickest in Friday testing at Monza". GrandPrix.com (Inside F1, Inc.). 1 September 2000. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "2000 Formula One Sporting Regulations". FIA.com. Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 24 January 2000. Archived from the original on 24 August 2000. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Friday First Free Practice - Italian GP". Atlas F1 (Haymarket Publications). 8 September 2000. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Friday Second Free Practice - Italian GP". Atlas F1 (Haymarket Publications). 8 September 2000. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Saturday First Free Practice - Italian GP". Atlas F1 (Haymarket Publications). 9 September 2000. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Saturday Second Free Practice - Italian GP". Atlas F1 (Haymarket Publications). 9 September 2000. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Schumacher heads grid". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 9 September 2000. Archived from the original on 17 April 2001. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Schumacher on Pole; Qualifying Results - Italian GP". Atlas F1 (Haymarket Publications). 9 September 2000. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- Reuters (10 September 2000). "Sunday Warm-Up - Italian GP". Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "2000 Italian GP - Qualification". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "2000 Italian Grand Prix". Formula1.com. Formula One Management. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
2000 Belgian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2000 United States Grand Prix
1999 Italian Grand Prix
|Italian Grand Prix||Next race:
2001 Italian Grand Prix