2000 Canadian Grand Prix
|Race 8 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season|
|Date||18 June 2000|
|Official name||XXXIIX Grand Prix Air Canada|
|Location||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Course length||4.421 km (2.747 mi)|
|Distance||69 laps, 305.049 km (189.549 mi)|
|Weather||Cloudy and raining; Air 17 °C (63 °F), Track 21 °C (70 °F)|
|Time||1:19.049 on lap 37|
The 2000 Canadian Grand Prix (formally the XXXIIX Grand Prix Air Canada) was a Formula One motor race held on 18 June 2000 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was the eighth round of the 2000 Formula One season and the 38th Canadian Grand Prix. The 69-lap race was won by Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher after starting from pole position. His teammate Rubens Barrichello finished second with Giancarlo Fisichella third for the Benetton team.
Michael Schumacher started from pole position alongside McLaren driver David Coulthard. Barrichello began from third, alongside Coulthard's teammate Mika Häkkinen. The front two of Michael Schumacher and Coulthard battled for first place until Coulthard served a ten-second stop-go penalty on lap 14 as his mechanics worked on his car 15 seconds before the race began. Just before half distance, Michael Schumacher made an early pit stop allowing Barrichello to take the lead until his own pit stop on lap 43. By this time rain began to fall causing drivers to make the switch to wet-weather tyres. Michael Schumacher retained his lead throughout and took the victory 0.1 seconds ahead of Barrichello.
The victory was Michael Schumacher's fifth of the season, his fourth at the circuit, and the result meant that he extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship to twenty-two points in front Coulthard, with Häkkinen a further two points behind. Ferrari also extended their lead in the Constructors' Championship, eighteen points ahead of McLaren. Benetton, on 18 points, pushed their rivals Williams down to fourth place, with nine 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 types to the race; the Soft and the Medium dry compounds.
Going into the race, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher led the Drivers' Championship with 46 points, ahead of David Coulthard on 34 points and his teammate Mika Häkkinen on 29 points. Rubens Barrichello was fourth with 22 points and Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth on 14 points. In the Constructors' Championship Ferrari were leading with 68 points ahead of their rivals McLaren on 63 points. Williams with 15 points and Benetton on 14 contended for third place and Jordan were fifth on 9 points. Ferrari and McLaren had so far dominated the championship, winning the previous seven races. Championship participants Barrichello and Fisichella had each gained second place podium finishes while Ralf Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen had both achieved third place podium finishes.
In the weeks leading up to the event, the Société de Transport de la Communauté Urbaine De Montréal (STCUM) announced that they would held strikes over pension fund contributions during the Grand Prix weekend. STCUM chose those dates due to the event's high-profile status as public transport was classified as an essential service over the weekend. It would also result in the road leading to the circuit being blocked off to spectators. STCUM appeared before Essential Services Council on 9 June to discuss producing a contingency plan to ensure spectators would attend the Grand Prix with full services running. An agreement was reached on 13 June with 60% of transport workers voting in favour of improved pay and pension, allowing the race to go unaffected.
Following the Monaco Grand Prix on 4 June, the teams conducted testing sessions at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza between 6–8 June to prepare for the Canadian Grand Prix. Barrichello set the first day's fastest times, ahead of McLaren test driver Olivier Panis. Testing was halted when Nick Heidfeld and Luciano Burti both experienced engine and electronic failures respectively. Häkkinen was fastest on the second day. BAR's Ricardo Zonta lost control of his car and crashed into the barriers at the Parabolica corner, limiting his testing time as repairs were made to his car. Jenson Button for Williams was quickest on the third day. Ferrari undertook additional testing at their private facility, the Fiorano Circuit, with their test driver Luca Badoer who performed practice pit stops and starts, utilising different car set-ups, testing new car components and ran on an artificially wet track.
Ralf Schumacher was passed fit in the days leading up to the race. At the previous race, he had suffered a serious crash at the Sainte Devote corner and he sustained a three-inch gash on his left calf which required stitches. The Williams team had their test driver Bruno Junqueira ready to replace Ralf Schumacher should the latter have been not ready to race. Ralf Schumacher said that he would decide after the event's first free practice sessions whether he would compete.
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 morning and afternoon practice sessions took place in dry and hot weather conditions. Michael Schumacher set the quickest time of the first practice session, at 1 minute and 21.304 seconds, almost one-tenth of a second faster than teammate Barrichello. The two McLaren drivers were third and fourth respectively; Coulthard ahead of Häkkinen. Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine was fifth fastest, in front of Johnny Herbert. Jos Verstappen, Fisichella, Jacques Villeneuve and Marc Gené completed the top ten fastest drivers in the session. Nick Heidfeld damaged his left front suspension in a crash early in the session. In the second practice session, Coulthard was fastest with a time of 1:20.602, the quickest of the day. Michael Schumacher and Barrichello ended with the second and third quickest times. Herbert was running quicker and set the fourth fastest time. Häkkinen was fifth quickest. Jarno Trulli, Mika Salo, Irvine, Fisichella and Villeneuve followed in the top ten.
The weather conditions became more breezy but remained hot in the Saturday morning practice sessions. Häkkinen was fastest in the third practice session with a time of 1:19.115. Barrichello was second quickest, recording a lap time 0.089 seconds slower than Häkkinen. Michael Schumacher was third fastest, two-tenths of a second in front of Trulli, Ralf Schumacher and Villeneuve. Frentzen, Fisichella, Verstappen and Herbert completed the top ten. Coulthard did not set a lap during the third session as his team changed his engine as it developed an electrical problem. In the final practice session, Coulthard had a trouble-free session and was fastest with a time of 1:18.654. Michael Schumacher and Barrichello maintained their pace from Friday and were second and third fastest. Häkkinen was fourth quickest and was unable to improve his time as he passed an area with waved yellow flags. Trulli was fifth fastest, in front of Ralf Schumacher who was running quicker after set-up changes. Villeneuve, Frentzen, Salo and Fisichella 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 and sunny conditions. Michael Schumacher clinched his third pole position of the season, his fifth at the circuit, with a time of 1:18.439. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Coulthard who qualified 0.098 seconds behind Michael Schumacher's time having battled the Ferrari driver for grid position throughout the session. Barrichello qualified in 3rd position and was happy with his Ferrari. Häkkinen encountered traffic during his qualifying runs and managed fourth. Frentzen, who qualified 5th, had to overcome heavy gusts at the L'Epingle hairpin where he found it difficult to find his braking spot. Villeneuve was sixth with teammate Zonta in eighth. Trulli split them for seventh position. Pedro de la Rosa in an Arrows car and Fisichella completed the top ten fastest qualifiers. Herbert missed out on qualifying in the top ten by two hundredths of a second though he said that he was happy with his car. Ralf Schumacher set the 12th quickest time despite his Williams suffering a lack of mechanical grip. He was ahead of Verstappen who crashed his car at turn 4 which caused a temporary suspension to qualifying. The resultant damage caused him to use his team's spare monocoque. Wurz, in the second Benetton, lost time when he caught the aftermath of Verstappen's collision and was 14th fastest. Salo battled with his rear wheel locking on downshifts and took 15th. He started in front of Irvine in the slower of the two Jaguars. Jean Alesi's Prost qualified 17th despite an engine failure, ahead of Button and Diniz. The Minardi drivers qualified at the back of the grid, covering positions 20 to 22 with Heidfeld splitting them for 21st.
The drivers took to the track at 09:30 Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4) for a 30-minute warm-up session. It took place in cloudy and windy weather conditions. Both Ferrari drivers maintained their good pace from qualifying; Michael Schumacher had the fastest time, a 1:18.932. Barrichello finished with the second quickest time. The McLaren drivers rounded out the top four fastest drivers; Häkkinen in front of Coulthard. Amongst the slower runners, Heidfeld had a worrying moment when his engine cover was shed from the chassis on the main straight.
The race started at 14:00 local time. The conditions on the grid were dry and cloudy before the race. The air temperature was 17 °C (63 °F) and the track temperature 21 °C (70 °F). Coulthard's McLaren stalled as the drivers began the formation lap. His team's mechanics restarted his car and Coulthard took his grid position before the entire field passed him. Coulthard accelerated faster than Michael Schumacher off the line though the Ferrari driver defended his position going into the first corner. Häkkinen, meanwhile, withstood Barrichello's attempts to pass him for third. Villeneuve made the best start in the field moving from 6th to 3rd at the end of the first lap, while Verstappen made up the same number of. Häkkinen was forced wide by Villeneuve's manoeuvre and Barrichello passed him for fourth position into turn 2. Further down the field, Irvine stalled on the grid and was pushed by marshals to the pit lane exit. At the completition of the first lap, the order was Michael Schumacher, Coulthard, Villeneuve, Barrichello, Häkkinen, de la Rosa, Frentzen, Zonta, Trulli, Fisichella, Verstappen, Herbert, Ralf Schumacher, Wurz, Alesi, Salo, Diniz, Heidfeld, Button, Gené, Gastón Mazzacane and Irvine.
Coulthard set a fastest lap of the race, a 1:21.335 on lap 2 as he gained on Michael Schumacher's early start advantage. de la Rosa claimed sixth position from Frentzen on the same lap. Michael Schumacher started to trade fastest laps with Coulthard on lap four as Villeneuve maintained third position but was holding up the drivers in the next four positions who were behind him. Button's engine began to develop problems as Fisichella was passed by Verstappen for tenth on the same lap. As Michael Schumacher and Coulthard continued their battle up front, the stewards informed the McLaren team that Coulthard would serve a ten-second stop-go penalty as his mechanics worked on his car 15 seconds before the formation lap begun. On the 13th lap, Ralf Schumacher overtook Herbert to take 12th position. Coulthard took his penalty on lap 14 and rejoined in tenth place. Herbert made a pit stop with an gearbox issue on the same lap and became the first retirement of the race. Häkkinen attempted to pass Barrichello on lap 16 although he overshot the manoeuvre.
de la Rosa became the first of the two stopping drivers to make a pit stop on lap 20. He remerged in 15th position. Michael Schumacher had extended his lead over Villeneuve to 22 seconds by the 22nd lap, who in turn continued to contest Barrichello and Häkkinen for second place. Frentzen was a further 1.9 seconds behind the three battling drivers. Coulthard, meanwhile, was lapping one second slower than the race leader. Light rain began to fall on lap 23 and the circuit started to become slippery. Trulli passed Zonta for sixth place one lap later. Coulthard spun off after he ran on oil dropped from Verstappen's car at turn 12 and lost three positions. Villeneuve lost second position when he was overtaken by Barrichello on lap 25 and the Brazilian started to gradually close the gap to Michael Schumacher. Two laps later, Trulli overtook teammate Frentzen to take sixth position. Both Ferrari drivers were trading fastest laps by lap 29. Häkkinen, meanwhile, began to mount a challenge to pass Villeneuve for third place. Further down, Zonta managed to pass Frentzen for sixth position. Frentzen reported problems with his car's brakes on lap 33 and drove to his garage into retirement.
Michael Schumacher took an early pit stop on lap 34 and his team inspected his rear of his car as well as an adjustment to his front wing angle. He rejoined behind Barrichello, but ahead of Häkkinen who overtook Villeneuve on lap 35. Heidfeld pulled off to the side of the track with an engine failure on the previous lap after he made a pit stop. Alesi in the other Prost stalled at his pit stop and emerged in front of Irvine. Trulli became the first front runner to make a scheduled pit stop on lap 39. Alesi retired when his engine failed on lap 40. Häkkinen, Ralf Schumacher, Barrichello, Zonta, Coulthard, Villeneuve and Fisichella made their pit stops over the next three laps. Salo pulled into retirement after his engine failed on lap 42. All of the drivers changed from dry to wet-weather tyres as rain began to fall from lap 42 onwards. Häkkinen was the final driver to pit on lap 46. Fisichella lost second position to Barrichello on the 47th lap after running wide.
At the conclusion of lap 47, with the scheduled pit stops completed, the race order was Michael Schumacher, Barrichello, Fisichella, Häkkinen, Trulli, Wurz, Verstappen, Ralf Schumacher, Coulthard, Villeneuve, Zonta, de la Rosa, Gené, Button, Mazzacane and Irvine. On lap 48 Michael Schumacher spun on the wet track though he retained a half minute lead over Barrichello. de la Rosa and Diniz were battling for 12th position and both drivers made contact on the same lap. de la Rosa went to his garage to retire with a broken wheel. Verstappen and Wurz went off the track on lap 52 while duelling for sixth place. The Arrows driver managed to pass the Benetton five laps later. On lap 60, Verstappen continued to move up the field as he overtook Wurz for fifth. Gené spun onto the grass and stalled forcing his retirement on lap 63. Villeneuve made an attempt to pass Coulthard for eighth into turn 10 on the 64th lap but overshot the manoeuvre. On the next lap, it began to rain more heavily as Villeneuve performed the same pass although he collided into Ralf Schumacher, causing both drivers to retire. Coulthard made contact at turn one with Wurz on lap 67 and the Austrian made a pit stop for repairs. Barrichello began to decrease the gap to Michael Schumacher in the final laps of the Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher held off Barrichello at the start/finish line to clinch his fifth victory of the 2000 season in a time of 1'41:12.313, at an average speed of 111.878 miles per hour (180.050 km/h). Barrichello finished second 0.1 seconds behind his teammate, with Fisichella taking the final podium position in third. Häkkinen followed in fourth, Verstappen in fifth and Trulli rounded out the points scoring positions in sixth. Coulthard, Zonta, Wurz and Diniz filled the next four positions, with Button, Mazzacane and Irvine finishing at least one lap behind the race winner. Ralf Schumacher, Villeneuve and Gené were the last of the classified runners despite not managing to cross the start/finish line because of their retirements.
The top three drivers appeared on the podium to collect their trophies and in the subsequent press conference. Michael Schumacher revealed that his early pit stop was down to a possible sensor failure which caused his team to receive misinformation. He also added that the wet-weather conditions forced him to change the entire brake balance towards the front of his car. Barrichello said that he informed Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn that it would be quicker to make an extra pit stop had it rained for ten more laps. Nevertheless, he stated that he trusted his team in their judgement and revealed his car developed an clutch issue during the Grand Prix. Fisichella stated that he was driving a conservative race as he was on a one-stop strategy. Additionally, he praised the team for their achieving a continued run of consistent podium position finishes at the circuit.
Häkkinen said that his race was "over" when the rain started to fall having not managing to achieve a higher finishing position. Jos Verstappen scored points for the first time since the 1996 Argentine Grand Prix. Verstappen said that was pleased with the result and praised his team for switching to wet tyres as he kept in contact with his mechanics. Trulli remarked that he had "never had to work so hard for one point" after the amount of pressure he came under in the race. Coulthard said that he lost the chance of victory when he stalled his car and admitted it was his mistake. On the other hand, he criticised his penalty as Coulthard believed that the race stewards should have been given more freedom by Formula One's governing body, the FIA, to decide whether a driver gained an advantage. After the race, Villeneuve and Diniz were penalised 25 seconds–which were added to their total race times–for their collisions with Diniz and de la Rosa respectively.
The result of the race meant Michael Schumacher extended his points tally in the Drivers' Championship to 56 points, twenty-two in front of second-placed Coulthard. Häkkinen remained in third position, two points behind his teammate, while Barrichello in fourth reduced Häkkinen's point advantage to four points. Fisichella's third-place finish saw him retain fifth on 18 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari's one-two result saw them extend their advantage over McLaren to eighteen points. Benetton moved in front of their rivals Williams for third, while BAR retained fifth position, with nine races of the season remaining. Despite the extended points advantage that Michael Schumacher and Ferrari had, Coulthard maintained his view that his main rivals could be caught in the season's nine remaining races saying "There's still a long way to go in the championship and anything can happen."
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
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