2000 Spanish Grand Prix
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (June 2012)|
|Race 5 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season|
|Date||7 May 2000|
|Official name||Gran Premio Marlboro de Espana|
|Location||Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
4.730 km (2.939 mi)
|Distance||65 laps, 307.450 km (191.041 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny, Mild, Dry|
|Time||1:24.470 on lap 28|
The 2000 Spanish Grand Prix (formally the Gran Premio Marlboro de Espana) was a Formula One motor race held on 7 May 2000 at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. It was the fifth race of the 2000 Formula One season. The race, contested over 65 laps, was won by Mika Häkkinen driving for the McLaren team from a second position start. David Coulthard finished second in the other McLaren, with Rubens Barrichello third in a Ferrari car. Häkkinen's win was his first of the season, his third consecutive win in Spain and the race was the second consecutive win for the McLaren team as Coulthard won the preceding British Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher, who started from pole position, led for a majority of the first half of the race until two pit stop errors caused his lead from Häkkinen to erode and eventually be lost. As a result, Schumacher dropped back down to fourth after being passed by Coulthard on the track and later fended off his brother and Williams driver Ralf Schumacher and team-mate Barrichello until Michael was both passed by Barrichello and Ralf resulting in Michael dropping down to fifth, where he finished.
As a consequence of the race, Häkkinen closed the gap to Schumacher in the World Drivers Championship to be 14 points behind, with Coulthard dropping behind Häkkinen, a further 2 points behind. In the World Constructors' Championship, McLaren reduced the deficit to Ferrari to 7 points behind.
Heading into the 5th race of the season, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher was leading the Drivers' Championship with 34 points; ahead of McLaren driver David Coulthard was second on 14 points, and Coulthard's team-mate Mika Häkkinen on 12 points. In the Constructors' Championship, the battle was closer with Ferrari leading on 49 points and McLaren were second on 42 points.
In the week leading up to the race, Coulthard was leasing the Learjet of friend David Murray when the aeroplane developed engine trouble en route to Côte d'Azur International Airport in Nice, and crashed while attempting an emergency landing at Lyon-Satolas Airport, France. Coulthard, his then-girlfriend the American model Heidi Wichlinski and personal trainer/bodyguard Andy Matthews survived; Murray's personal pilot David Saunders and co-pilot Dan Worley died. Coulthard suffered minor injuries in the crash. McLaren spokeswomen Paula Webb later confirmed that Coulthard would compete in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Practice and qualifying
At the start, Schumacher was slightly slower off the line than Häkkinen but moved across to block him and stay ahead. Behind them, Ralf got a good start and went round the inside of Barrichello and the outside of Coulthard to climb up to third. Behind them, Jacques Villeneuve was sixth ahead of Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli. The race was now settled with overtaking quite hard.
It was soon known that the top had divided itself into three groups. Schumacher and Häkkinen were together at the front. Ralf in third was dropping back and was holding both Coulthard and Barrichello. There was another gap back to Villeneuve, Frentzen, Trulli and Jenson Button. It stayed like that until lap 21 when Villeneuve retired with mechanical problems, freeing everyone behind him. Three laps later, Schumacher went into the pits with a 3 second lead. He was at rest for 7 seconds when he was waved away too quickly, causing the refuellor minor injuries. Next lap, Barrichello and Coulthard came into the pits. The Ferrari team reacted fast and there was a replacement refuellor. Coulthard selected second gear as he left the pits and Barrichello's stop was slower than usual. Even then, Barrichello got ahead of Coulthard but that meant Ralf was still ahead of them after his stop. On lap 26, Häkkinen went into the pits. Due to Schumacher's problems, his lead was down to just 0.6 seconds after the stops.
Trulli also had problems in his stop and the battle for sixth was between Button and Frentzen. At the front, Schumacher did not pull away from Häkkinen like in the first stint. Häkkinen was right with him, the lead between 0.4 and 0.8 seconds. Behind them, Barrichello did not make an impression on Ralf, just like Coulthard earlier. The race was the same until lap 39 when Coulthard went into the pits from fifth. Barrichello and Ralf stayed out a lap longer. That lap in which Coulthard was at full speed and Barrichello was in Ralf's wake got Coulthard ahead of both of them. Ralf stayed ahead of a now frustrated Barrichello. Behind them Button had got ahead of Frentzen and began to pull away in sixth. On lap 41, Schumacher and Häkkinen went into the pits together. Schumacher had more problems and he was stuck in the pits for 17 seconds. Häkkinen was 10 seconds ahead and gone.
After the stops, Schumacher was slowing down and fast. Häkkinen was getting away at almost a second a lap and Coulthard was closing in at around a second a lap. On lap 46, Coulthard was right with him, Next lap, he made his move at the first corner, trying to get him on the inside. Schumacher moved to the inside but Coulthard got past him on the outside, like he did on Barrichello in Britain. Within 4 laps, Schumacher fell down toward the battle between Ralf and Barrichello. On lap 51, Ralf made his move but Schumacher blocked him. Both of them lost momentum and Barrichello was ahead of both of them and Ralf was ahead of Schumacher as well. Michael went directly into the pits. The team replaced the left rear tire where air was leaking out, thus reducing his pace. Schumacher rejoined back in fifth. On lap 63, Button's engine failed, giving sixth to Frentzen. Häkkinen got his first win of the year and Coulthard made it a second consecutive 1-2 for the team. Barrichello was third, Ralf fourth and Schumacher fifth. With his 1998 and 1999 victories included, Häkkinen had won the Spanish GP three years in a row, with teammate David Coulthard taking his third consecutive second place in Spain.
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
2000 British Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2000 European Grand Prix
1999 Spanish Grand Prix
|Spanish Grand Prix||Next race:
2001 Spanish Grand Prix