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The BBC's Jonathan Legard
"Schumacher hunted Mika Hakkinen like his life depended on it"
 real 28k

Michael Schumacher
"It was very difficult"
 real 28k

Sunday, 21 May, 2000, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Home glory for Schumacher

Schumacher receives the cheers of his pit crew
Michael Schumacher stormed to his fourth win of the season in an absorbing, but rain-soaked European Grand Prix in Germany.

It was a sweet return to racing on home turf for the championship leader, who exchanged the lead with Mika Hakkinen three times before finally relegating the Finn to second place.
The points
1. M Schumacher, Ferrari (10pts)
2. M Hakkinen, McLaren (6pts)
3. D Coulthard, McLaren (4pts)
4. R Barrichello, Ferrari (3pts)
5. G Fisichella, Benetton (2pts)
6. P De la Rosa, Arrows (1pt)

McLaren's David Coulthard, who started in pole, clung onto third with Rubens Barrichello in the other Ferrari bringing up fourth position.

Benetton struggled into fifth courtesy of Giancarlo Fisichella, while Pedro de la Rosa took Arrows' first point of the year with a brave sixth place.

The win extends Schumacher's championship lead to 18 points after six races.

The rain started to come down on lap 10 and stayed for the remainder of the race, making it a tactical battle based on pit-stops and no small measure of luck as cars fought for grip in treacherous conditions.

The race was a ding-dong battle between Ferraris and McLarens from the outset, with Hakkinen brilliantly squeezing between Schumacher and Coulthard on the grid to snatch top spot.
Mika Hakkinen
Hakkinen: Flying start

But the German championship leader was determined not to be denied on home soil, having missed last season's race at the Nurburgring due to injury, and cut inside Hakkinen before the chicane on lap 11 to take the lead.

Coulthard, who qualified in pole position but was forced into third before the first bend, was himself overtaken by Barrichello on lap 12 to slip to fourth.

But Barrichello clearly suffered a problem with his car in the pits and dropped back to eighth. He recovered to place third briefly, but eventually lost his podium place in the pits.

Eddie Irvine had looked like claiming Jaguar Cosworth's first points of the season when he made a dart inside Arrow's Jos Verstappen for sixth place. Their cars touched and the ensuing collision saw Ralph Schumacher depart into a gravel trap.

Irvine recovered from the same trap, but slid out almost immediately after attempting to corner with no left wing and hence no down-force. Verstappen lasted another half-lap before a spectacular crash smashed the front end off his car.
Podium positions
Schumacher leads by 18 points

Johnny Herbert was unable to repeat his heroics of last year when he won for Stewart Ford, but did well to bring his Jaguar up to seventh before a collision with Benetton's Alexander Wurz put him out.

Jenson Button, whose ride with Williams is rumoured to be under threat, was placed seventh after starting 11th on the grid, but he was forced to retire on the penultimate lap.

It was also a poor race for Jordan as both Jarno Trulli and Heinz-Harald Frentzen crashed out before the fourth lap.

Schumacher is the only German to have won at the Nurburgring since the Formula One era started 50 years ago.

Result

1. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari (average speed 179.540 km/h) 1hr 40min 00.307sec
2. Mika Hakkinen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes at 13.8sec
3. David Coulthard (Gbr) McLaren-Mercedes at one lap
4. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Ferrari at one lap
5. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Benetton-Supertec at one lap
6. Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) Arrows-Supertec at one lap
7. Pedro Paolo Diniz (Bra) Sauber-Petronas at two laps
8. Gaston Mazzacane (Arg) Minardi-Ford at two laps
9. Jean Alesi (Fra) Prost-Peugeot at two laps
10. Jenson Button (Gbr) Williams-BMW at five laps
11. Johnny Herbert (Gbr) Jaguar-Cosworth at six laps
12. Alexander Wurz (Aut) Benetton-Supertec at six laps

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See also:

18 May 00 | Motorsport
Injured Coulthard still determined
17 May 00 | Motorsport
Tale of the unexpected
10 May 00 | Motorsport
Coulthard reveals crash injuries
07 May 00 | Motorsport
Hakkinen's day as Ferrari falter
19 May 00 | Motorsport
Button lives up to his billing
20 May 00 | Motorsport
Coulthard rains on Schumi's parade
21 May 00 | Motorsport
Coulthard: "I was slow to react"