Atlas F1 News Service

Schumacher Takes Easy Win to Clinch Fourth Title

Sunday August 19th, 2001

Schumacher leads at the start of the raceMichael Schumacher cruised to an expected victory at the Hungaroring on Sunday to seal what was an inevitable fourth World Drivers' crown with four races of the season still to go. The German dominated the entire weekend, and despite a couple of mishaps as the pressure piled on, he was unstoppable as he powered to what was a record-equalling 51st Grand Prix win.

For David Coulthard, his only real title challenger, the race was virtually over at the first turn as despite warnings that he would not give an inch, he did not have the chance. A sluggish start left him watching Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello cruise by into second place to provide the perfect cushion to hand Schumacher control of the race.

And with Barrichello bringing home a Ferrari one-two it was an extra special day for the Italian team as they also sealed their third Constructors' title in a row. Schumacher got his jitters out before the race began as he showed the effects of expectation pressure when he had a trip across the gravel at turn 12 after locking his brakes as he headed onto the grid.

But after changing the tyres, which were scuffed in the incident, and replacing the left-hand side bargeboard which had been cracked in the incident, he was ready for action and back in the car. And he showed he was unflustered by the problem as he promptly showed his rivals the way when the lights went out, making the perfect start to soar into the lead.

It proved to be a disastrous start for all the Brits with all three having a tough time of it on the opening lap. Coulthard dropped to third, Eddie Irvine spun his Jaguar into the gravel at the first corner as he tried to overtake a Benetton on the outside, and Jenson Button was penalised for jumping the start with a ten-second stop-go penalty on lap seven.

Luciano Burti became the second retirement when he spun off the circuit at turn 14 on lap 9, and soon after it was Bernoldi's turn to throw his race away as he buried his tyres in the gravel at turn four having completed 11 laps. At the head of the field, Schumacher steadily pulled out a lead as Coulthard trailed around behind Barrichello, with Ralf Schumacher also dropping back out of contention in fourth.

Hakkinen continued to run in sixth, close behind the Jordan of Jarno Trulli, who was not making it easy for the Finn to pass. He had a look on the pit straight several times, but was never close enough. Schumacher briefly lost the lead to team-mate Barrichello at the end of lap 28 after a 8.4-second pit stop which put him out still ahead of his brother Ralf's third-placed Williams.

Barrichello then stayed out as long as possible to hold up Coulthard's second-placed McLaren, before sitting stationary for 9.1 seconds as he pitted for 79 litres of fuel at the end of lap 31.

Schumacher waves at the crowdThe tactic seemed to work as Coulthard could not stay out much longer and he was in the pits one lap later for an 8.7-second stop. However, the McLaren crew were quicker at turning their man around, and Coulthard therefore got the jump on Barrichello, leaving him with a clear track to give him the best chance of chasing down leader Schumacher.

Behind, Schumacher junior remained in fourth once the stops were over, with Hakkinen, still staying out and holding on to fifth. Jenson Button inconveniently parked his Benetton on the pit straight having made a simple driving mistake to retire at the end of lap 36 and Fernando Alonso ruined a weekend of great potential when he spun his Minardi into the gravel at turn one having completed 37 laps.

Schumacher was then able to hold a steady lead ahead of Coulthard until the second pit stops, where a slow stop from the McLaren crew handed second place back to Barrichello and Ferrari. Jarno Trulli became the sixth retirement when he parked his Jordan at the side of the track at turn 12 having completed 53 laps, and six laps later another Honda-powered runner was out when Panis climbed out of his BAR in the pits.

Behind the leaders Hakkinen was piling the pressure on Ralf Schumacher in a battle for fourth, but he could not get past. Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Prost debut came to an early end when he parked the car at the side of the track at turn two having completed 63 laps, and soon after Tarso Marques pulled up his Minardi at turn 12 to possibly end his time Formula One.

Giancarlo Fisichella's race ended in the gravel when he spun off with a smoking engine at the very same turn having completed 67 laps, while Panis returned to the track to test his car after the team made alterations to the electronics. Ralf Schumacher clung onto fourth place with Hakkinen fifth and Heidfeld claiming the final point with sixth.

So, with a 43-point lead on Coulthard, Schumacher became the first Ferrari driver to retain back-to-back titles since Alberto Ascari in 1953, and scarlet-clad Schumacher was clearly ecstatic.

"You have been simply amazing," he said to the team on the radio immediately after the race. "It is so lovely to work with you guys. I love you all. I love you all."


The Hungarian Grand Prix
Hungaroring, Budapest;
77 laps; 305.844km;
Weather: Dry.


Pos  Driver         Team-Engine           Tyres  Time 
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari            (B)  1H41:49.675  
 2.  Barrichello   Ferrari            (B)  +     3.363  
 3.  Coulthard     Mclaren Mercedes   (B)  +     3.940  
 4.  R.Schumacher  Williams BMW       (M)  +  0:49.687  
 5.  Hakkinen      Mclaren Mercedes   (B)  +  1:10.293  
 6.  Heidfeld      Sauber Petronas    (B)  +  1 Lap  
 7.  Raikkonen     Sauber Petronas    (B)  +  1 Lap  
 8.  Montoya       Williams BMW       (M)  +  1 Lap  
 9.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda          (B)  +  2 Laps  
10.  Alesi         Jordan Honda       (B)  +  2 Laps  
11.  de la Rosa    Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  +  2 Laps  
12.  Verstappen    Arrows Asiatech    (B)  +  3 Laps  
Fastest Lap: M. Hakkinen, 1:16.723, lap 51

Not Classified/Retirements:

Driver         Team                On Lap     
Fisichella     Benetton-Renault      67
Marques        Minardi-European      63
Frentzen       Prost-Acer            63
Panis          BAR-Honda             58
Trulli         Jordan-Honda          53
Alonso         Minardi-European      37
Button         Benetton-Renault      34
Bernoldi       Arrows-Asiatech       11
Burti          Prost-Acer             8
Irvine         Jaguar-Cosworth        1      

World Championship Standing, Round 13:

Drivers:                  Constructors:        
 1.  M.Schumacher  94 WC   1.  Ferrari   140 CC
 2.  Coulthard     51      2.  McLaren    72   
 3.  Barrichello   46      3.  Williams   59   
 4.  R.Schumacher  44      4.  Sauber     20   
 5.  Hakkinen      21      5.  BAR        16   
 6.  Montoya       15      6.  Jordan     15   
 7.  Villeneuve    11      7.  Benetton    6   
 =.  Heidfeld      11      8.  Jaguar      5   
 9.  Trulli         9      9.  Prost       4   
 =.  Raikkonen      9     10.  Arrows      1   
11.  Frentzen       6                          
12.  Panis          5                          
13.  Irvine         4                          
 =.  Alesi          4                          
 =.  Fisichella     4                          
16.  Button         2                          
17.  Verstappen     1                          
 =   de la Rosa     1                          

All timing unofficial

Published at 13:55:38 GMT

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