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Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Legard
"David Coulthard stopped short of accusing Shumacher of dirty tricks"
 real 28k

Sunday, 2 July, 2000, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Coulthard closes gap
David Coulthard passed both Ferraris during the race
David Coulthard passed both Ferraris during the race
French Grand Prix, Magny-Cours

McLaren's David Coulthard won the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours after Michael Schumacher was forced out of the race.

Coulthard passed both Ferraris en route to his third win of the season to close the gap in the drivers' world championship to 12 points.

The Scot recovered from a poor start and had the confidence to attack the Ferraris: "It's one thing believing you have a quick car, it's another thing finding a way past.

"I always knew I had the chance to overtake it was just a question of weighing up the risk."

Coulthard said the result put the team back in contention in the championship and he was confident of further narrowing the gap in the Austrian Grand Prix.


David Coulthard celebrates with Mika Hakkinen
David Coulthard celebrates with Mika Hakkinen
His McLaren team-mate Mika Hakkinen was second and Rubens Barrichello was third.

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve of Canada was fourth in a BAR, Ralf Schumacher fifth in a Williams and Italy's Jarno Trulli sixth for Jordan.

The 29-year-old Scot started second on the grid but was forced back to third by the first corner by Barrichello to allow Schumacher open up a seven second lead.

Outbraked

But Coulthard got past Barrichello on the 22nd lap and then outbraked Schumacher on lap 39 to move into the lead.

Schumacher had just been relegated to third by Hakkinen when he slowed and then pulled off the track on lap 58 with a blown engine.

Once the Scot had got past Schumacher he opened up a sizeable gap to win comfortably.

Buffer

Barrichello, starting third on the grid, had raced past Coulthard at the start to give Schumacher a handy buffer.

The German took no time to open up a sizeable gap as he attempted to win his 41st race and equal Ayrton Senna's total.

But Coulthard got past Barrichello in the hairpin and then repeated the dose to pass Schumacher at the same spot.

He had attempted the same manouevre four laps earlier and touched the wheels of the Ferrari.

Casualty

An early casualty was Ricardo Zonta in his BAR who left the track and hit a tyre wall on lap 17. He walked away unaided from his car.

Jaguar's Johnny Herbert was forced to retire on lap 20 with gearbox problems and was followed out of the race by Jos Verstappen in his Arrows.

Others not to finish were Gaston Mazzacane, Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa.

The next race is the Austrian Grand Prix on 16 July.

French Grand Prix results:
1. David Coulthard (Gbr) McLaren-Mercedes 1hr 38min 05.538sec
2. Mika Hakkinen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes at 14.748sec
3. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Ferrari 32.409
4. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BAR-Honda 1:01.322
5. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Williams-BMW 1:03.981
6. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Jordan-Mugen Honda 1:15.604
7. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Ger) Jordan-Mugen Honda at one lap
8. Jenson Button (Gbr) Williams-BMW one lap
9. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Benetton-Supertec one lap
10. Mika Salo (Fin) Sauber-Petronas one lap
11. Pedro Paolo Diniz (Bra) Sauber-Petronas one lap
12. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Prost-Peugeot one lap
13. Eddie Irvine (Gbr) Jaguar-Cosworth two laps
14. Jean Alesi (Fra) Prost-Peugeot two laps
15. Marc Gene (Spa) Minardi-Ford two laps

Drivers' championship:
1. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari 56 points
2. David Coulthard (Britain) McLaren 44
3. Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren 38
4. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Ferrari 32
5. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Benetton 18
6. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Williams 14
7. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BAR 8
8. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Jordan 6
9. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Germany) Jordan 5
10 Jenson Button (Britain) Williams 3
10 Mika Salo (Finland) Sauber 3
10 Eddie Irvine (Britain) Jaguar 3
13 Jos Verstappen (Netherlands) Arrows 2
14 Ricardo Zonta (Brazil) BAR 1
14 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Arrows 1

Constructors' championship:
1. Ferrari 88 points
2. McLaren 82
3. Benetton 18
4. Williams 17
5. Jordan 11
6. BAR 9
7 Sauber 3
7 Jaguar 3
7 Arrows 3

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See also:

02 Jul 00 | Motorsport
Schu tactics under attack
01 Jul 00 | Motorsport
Schumacher grabs front spot
28 Jun 00 | Motorsport
Schumacher eyes Senna landmark
01 Jul 00 | Motorsport
Jordan: Schumacher is unstoppable
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