Sunday May 27th, 2001
Michael Schumacher headed a Ferrari one-two at the Monaco Grand Prix as the German surged to his 48th career win after main title rival David Coulthard suffered once again with launch control at the start of the formation lap. Schumacher coasted to his fifth win in Monte Carlo as he got to the opening corner first after Coulthard misfortune and went on to take the chequered flag and extend his lead in the series.
After the retirement of McLaren's Mika Hakkinen through a steering problem on lap 17, Ferrari's Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello brought success to the Italian marque as Coulthard bravely battled back to maintain his record of finishing in the points in every race with fifth place.
Eddie Irvine secured Jaguar's first-ever podium as he trailed the two Ferrari's home, and Jacques Villeneuve added to British American Racing's points haul with fourth place. Coulthard remarkably ended fifth after being hindered by the Arrows of Enrique Bernoldi for most of the race. A late pit-stop by Jean Alesi allowed him to move ahead, although sixth place handed Prost their first points of the season.
Coulthard was left frustrated after he stalled his McLaren at the start of the formation lap and he was forced to start the race from the back of the grid. Michael Schumacher got off to a good start and headed Hakkinen into the first corner as the expected problems on the grid failed to materialise.
Sauber's Nick Heidfeld was a first lap casualty as he was nudged into the barriers at Portier, as Schumacher led Hakkinen at the end of the opening lap with Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher, Montoya and Irvine in the top-six. Montoya crashed out of the race on lap three when he entered the swimming pool section wide and collided with the barriers. Hakkinen closed in on Schumacher with a series of fastest laps to reduce the Ferrari driver's advantage to one second.
But Hakkinen was passed by Barrichello on lap 13 after the McLaren driver suffered steering problems. He pitted unexpectedly but returned to the track after mechanics worked on his car. Panis retired after entering the pits for a second time on lap 15 and Hakkinen joined him on the sidelines when he admitted defeat to the gremlins hampering his McLaren's performance.
Sauber's Kimi Raikkonen returned to the race, albeit four laps down on leader Schumacher, after pitting because of engine difficulties. Jaguar driver Pedro de la Rosa was a retirement on lap 19 when he parked his car up an escape route at Tabac. Prost's Luciano Burti pulled off the track at Sainte Devote on lap 24, and Coulthard, who was still stuck behind Bernoldi, allowed leader Schumacher to lap him.
Jordan's Jarno Trulli joined the list of retirements on lap 32 when he abandoned his flaming EJ11 at Rascasse after it had unexpectedly burst into flames. Four laps later Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella collided with the barriers at Sainte Devote, but managed to keep his car going and the impact failed to end his race as he remained in sixth. Schumacher then extended his lead over team-mate Barrichello with a new lap record on lap 40.
Fisichella, however, repeated his indiscretion on lap 44 when he collided with the barriers at Sainte Devote, but this time the impact ended his race and cost him a potential points finish. Coulthard posted the quickest lap of the race after Bernoldi pitted to leave the track free in front of him as he reduced his average lap time by almost 4.5 seconds.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen joined the growing list of retirements on lap 51 when he carried too much speed out of the tunnel and crashed into the barriers. His Jordan came to a stop alongside the barriers at the chicane and Fernando Alonso exited the race in his Minardi three laps later.
Ralf Schumacher coasted into the pit-lane with an engine problem on lap 59 as Irvine moved ahead of him and into a podium position for Jaguar and the Williams driver jumped out of the cockpit after discussions with his team.
Marques walked into the pit-lane on lap 63 after abandoning his Minardi, and Coulthard finally pitted two laps later and emerged from the pit-lane ahead of Benetton's Jenson Button to remain sixth to score an unexpected point for McLaren.
Alesi was denied fifth place when he had to pit for a second time on lap 69 and he failed to exit the pit-lane before Coulthard passed him, as the leading Ferrari duo went on to take the plaudits.
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS
The Monaco Grand Prix
Monte Carlo, Monaco;
78 laps; Weather: Dry, sunny.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Time
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1h 18:50.345
2. Barrichello Ferrari (B) + 0.431
3. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth (M) + 30.698
4. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) + 32.454
5. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (B) + 1 Lap
6. Alesi Prost Acer (M) + 1 Lap
7. Button Benetton Renault (M) + 1 Lap
8. Verstappen Arrows Asiatech (B) + 1 Lap
9. Bernoldi Arrows Asiatech (B) + 2 Laps
10. Raikkonen Sauber Petronas (B) + 5 Laps
Fastest Lap: D.Coulthard, 1:19.424, lap 68
Driver Team On Lap
R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 58
Marques Minardi European (M) 57
Alonso Minardi European (M) 55
Frentzen Jordan Honda (B) 50
Fisichella Benetton Renault (M) 44
Trulli Jordan Honda (B) 31
Burti Prost Acer (M) 25
de la Rosa Jaguar Cosworth (M) 19
Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes (B) 16
Panis BAR Honda (B) 14
Montoya Williams BMW (M) 3
Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1
World Championship Standing, Round 7:
1. M.Schumacher 52 1. Ferrari 76
2. Coulthard 40 2. McLaren 44
3 Barrichello 24 3. Williams 18
4. R.Schumacher 12 4. Jordan 13
5. Heidfeld 8 5. Sauber 12
6. Trulli 7 = BAR 12
= Villeneuve 7 7. Jaguar 4
8. Montoya 6 8. Benetton 1
= Frentzen 6 = Arrows 1
10. Panis 5 = Prost 1
11. Irvine 4
= Raikkonen 4
= Hakkinen 4
14. Fisichella 1
= Verstappen 1
= Alesi 1
All timing unofficial