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Hakkinen wins British GP

2001-07-15 16:21

Silverstone, England - Mika Hakkinen comprehensively out paced all his rivals to win the British Grand Prix in his McLaren-Mercedes ahead of championship leader Michael Schumacher.

Hakkinens win was his first victory of the season and his first for almost a year, while it also prevented Michael Schumacher from claiming a historic 51st career victory.

The Finn beat the German by 33 seconds followed by Rubens Barrichello in the second Ferrari, Juan Pablo Montoya in a Williams-BMW and the two Sauber-Petronases of Kimi Raikkonen and Nick Heidfeld.

The victory was sweet in a bitter season that has seen Hakkinen's car fail to start three times from the starting grid. In the fifth race of the season he was leading the Spanish Grand Prix on the final lap when his clutch blew and he again failed to finish.

A victory would have given Schumacher his 51st career victory, tying him with Alain Prost for the most career wins in F1.

Full race report

1998 and 1999 World Champion Mika Häkkinen blasted back into the forefront of Formula One with a supreme performance at Silverstone on Sunday, claiming his first win of a difficult season and his first since August last year.

So often the words 'Silverstone' and 'rain' seem almost interchangeable but for the start of this year's British Grand Prix the sun shone gently as the grid lined up on for the start of the eleventh round of this year's world championship.

Speculation mounted before the start of the race whether McLaren would command Mika Häkkinen to help David Coulthard's cause û team chief Ron Dennis spouting that he has only issued team orders three times in the past fifteen years. But for the start the McLaren's of Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard lined up behind Michael Schumacher's Ferrari and ahead of the two Jordans of Jarno Trulli and Heinz Harald Frentzen.

As the red lights came on, one by one, David Coulthard had his car pointed to go down the middle of the grid. Michael Schumacher got away cleanly ahead of Mika Häkkinen, but Jarno Trulli got alongside Coulthard into the first corner and the pair had an ever so gentle touch. This was, however, enough to send the Jordan spinning out of the race. Coulthard spun too, being forced to rejoin the race at the back of the field as a result.

At the end of lap one Michael Schumacher lead Häkkinen, Montoya, Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen. David Coulthard was running in 18th position after Olivier Panis in the BAR Honda spun off into the gravel.

Michael Schumacher continued to lead Mika Häkkinen by just 0.3s on lap two with Juan Pablo Montoya a further three seconds adrift. The old rivalry was burning strong as Schumacher and Häkkinen continued to battle at the front û just 0.1s between the pair as disaster struck for David Coulthard - spinning out with a rear suspension failure, undoubtedly as a result of his tangle with Jarno Trulli.

On lap five Michael Schumacher ran wide on the exit of Copse allowing Mika Häkkinen to burrow through on the inside and into the lead. Häkkinen strode away into the distance, pulling out 1.9s to Schumacher who was falling away and into the sights of Juan Pablo Montoya in third. Häkkinen was easily the fastest man on track, setting a lap time of 1m24.2s on lap 6

On lap 7 Luciano Burti's engine suffered a failure while Giancarlo Fisichella showed off his rally skills getting sideways on the exit of Copse and running into the gravel but regaining the track. By lap 8 Michael Schumacher had dropped a massive eight seconds behind Häkkinen and was just 1.5s ahead of Montoya.

Lap 10 and four Ferrari-powered cars were in the top seven û Michael Schumacher second, Barrichello fourth and the two Saubers of Räikkönen and Heidfeld sixth and seventh. Michael Schumacher continued to loose touch with Mika Häkkinen, falling right into the line of Juan Pablo Montoya.

Lap 17 saw Michael Schumacher curiously yield to Juan Pablo Montoya, who was then over twenty seconds behind the race leader. Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen rounded up the top six.

On lap 20 Kimi Räikkönen pitted from sixth position, followed the next time round by fellow Finn Mika Häkkinen û who came in for the first of his scheduled two stops just as he was catching tail-enders. Häkkinen emerged on the track in second place, just behind Juan Pablo Montoya and ahead of Michael Schumacher.

Lap 23 saw Montoya continue to lead in the Michelin shod BMW Williams. Williams had elected to run the harder Michelin tyre compound and looked to be on a one-stop strategy. Ralf Schumacher was down in fifth while Montoya continued to maintain a 1.0s lead over Mika Häkkinen. Montoya however pitted on lap 25 for the first of two stops. Mika Häkkinen was back in the lead on lap 26, 7.7s ahead of Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari. Rubens Barrichello was third ahead of Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve.

A wealth of different strategies had emerged and the big question mark loomed over the Ferrari pit with no one sure when the two Scarlet cars might stop.

Jacques Villeneuve pitted from sixth place on lap 33 in the BAR-Honda, after having first corner contact with teammate Olivier Panis. A scheduled single pit stop carried out cleanly saw Villeneuve emerge in 11th place behind some two-stopping cars. Ralf Schumacher pitted from fourth on lap 35 for his single pit stop of the afternoon and after the fuel hose stuck in the car for an extra couple of seconds, the German got away and emerged in sixth place promoting Räikkönen to fifth. Meanwhile just behind Ralf Nick Heidfeld and Heinz Harald Frentzen battled for seventh position as the Jordan dived up the inside into Abbey but failed to make the move stick.

On lap 36 Juan Pablo Montoya was right behind Rubens Barrichello and fighting for third position with 23 laps of the 60 lap race remaining. Both Ferraris had yet to stop. But there was drama for Williams on lap 37 as Ralf Schumacher ground to a halt with a mechanical failure.

Mika Häkkinen pitted from the lead for his second scheduled pit stop on lap 39 as Michael Schumacher followed into the pits to make his one scheduled pit stop. He emerged behind Barrichello and Montoya. Häkkinen continued to lead Barrichello, Montoya, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Räikkönen and Nick Heidfeld on lap 40 as Juan Pablo Montoya had yet to make his second pit stop and Rubens Barrichello had yet to stop at all.

Montoya pitted on lap 42, for what was a poor stop from the Williams mechanics. Nick Heidfeld also pitted from sixth and Frentzen from seventh as Rubens Barrichello came in from second place for an 8 seconds pit stop. He and emerged ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya into third position. Meanwhile sole Minardi rider Fernando Alonso lost the front left wheel off his car and dived into the pits as the tyre into the tyre bounced into the wall.

As the 2001 British Grand Prix ground to a close, Mika Häkkinen continued to stretch his lead over Michael Schumacher by around 0.5s per lap. As the chequered flag came out for him to take his first victory of the year and his first win since Hungary 2000, he was over 33 seconds ahead of Schumacher.

So, Mika Häkkinen has blasted back into the forefront of Formula One with a peerless drive û finishing ahead of Michael Schumacher who had to settle for second position and an extra six points over Championship rival David Coulthard. Rubens Barrichello brought home an extra four points for Ferrari with a strong drive from sixth to third ahead of the BMW Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya. The two Saubers of Kimi Räikkönen and Nick Heidfeld bring home a further three points for the startling Swiss team.

Results of the British Grand Prix, Sunday July 15, 2001:

Pos. Driver û Team-Engine û Time
1. M. Häkkinen û McLaren-Mercedes - 1:29.945
2. M. Schumacher - Ferrari - 33.6
3. R. Barrichello - Ferrari - 59.2
4. J-P. Montoya û Williams-BMW - 68.7
5. K. Räikkönen û Sauber-Petronas - 1 lap
6. N. Heidfeld û Sauber-Petronas - 1 lap
7. H-H. Frentzen - Jordan-Honda - 1 lap
8. J. Villeneuve - BAR-Honda - 1 lap
9. E. Irvine û Jaguar-Cosworth - 1 lap
10. J. Verstappen û Arrows-Asiatech - 2 laps
11. J. Alesi - Prost-Acer - 2 laps
12. P. de la Rosa û Jaguar-Cosworth - 2 laps
13. G. Fisichella û Benetton-Renault- 2 laps
14. E. Bernoldi û Arrows-Asiatech - 2 laps
15. J. Button û Benetton-Renault - 2 laps
16. F. Alonso û Minardi-European - 3 laps

Did not finish

17. R. Schumacher û Williams-BMW
18. L. Burti - Prost-Acer
19. D. Coulthard û McLaren-Mercedes
20. O. Panis - BAR-Honda
21. J. Trulli - Jordan-Honda

Did not start

22.. T. Marques û Minardi-European - DNQ

Drivers' Championship

Pos. Driver û Team-Engine - Points
1. M. Schumacher - Ferrari - 84
2. D. Coulthard û McLaren-Mercedes - 47
3. R. Barrichello - Ferrari - 34
4. R. Schumacher û Williams-BMW - 31
5. M. Häkkinen û McLaren-Mercedes - 19
6. J-P. Montoya û Williams-BMW - 15
7. N. Heidfeld û Sauber-Petronas - 10
8. J. Trulli û Jordan-Honda - 9
= K. Räikkönen û Sauber-Petronas - 9
10. J.Villeneuve û BAR-Honda - 7
11. H-H. Frentzen û Jordan-Honda - 6
12. O. Panis û BAR-Honda - 5
13. E. Irvine û Jaguar-Cosworth - 4
14. J. Alesi û Prost-Acer - 3
15. G. Fisichella û Benetton-Renault - 1
= J. Verstappen û Arrows-Asiatec - 1
= P. de la Rosa û Jaguar-Cosworth - 1

Constructors' Championship

Pos. Team - Points
1. Ferrari - 118
2. McLaren-Mercedes - 66
3. Williams-BMW - 46
4. Sauber-Petronas - 19
5. Jordan-Honda - 15
6. BAR-Honda - 12
7. Jaguar Cosworth - 5
8. Prost-Acer - 3
9. Benetton-Renault - 1
= Arrows-Asiatec - 1