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Olympics2000



David Coulthard
"It's not good for the sport - they should have stopped and restarted."
 real 14k

Heinz-Harald Frentzen on the crash
"I'm quite happy, I only have a bruised knee"
 real 14k

Sunday, 10 September, 2000, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Italian Grand Prix racewatch
Italian GP start
The chaotic start of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix
Italian Grand Prix, Monza

Final positions (53 laps):
1. Michael Schumacher
2. Mika Hakkinen
3. Ralf Schumacher
4. Jos Verstappen
5. Alexander Wurz
6. Ricardo Zonta

The start: Championship leader Mika Hakkinen, on the second row of the grid, makes a great start and roars past Rubens Barrichello into second place behind Michael Schumacher.

But on the second chicane there is a sensational smash and Pedro de la Rosa's Arrows is sent cartwheeling through the air. The crash wipes out Barrichello's Ferrari and David Coulthard's McLaren, as well as a number of other cars.

Debris is strewn all over the track and the safety car is brought on. A fire marshall, who later dies from his injuries, is treated by medical staff beside the track after being hit by debris.

By the end of the first lap the race is already over for Barrichello, Coulthard, de la Rosa, Eddie Irvine, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli.

David Coulthard
Coulthard knows his title hopes are gone
Lap 2: With the safety car still leading the way and preventing any overtaking, Johnny Herbert adds his name to the list of early retirements.

Lap 11: After ten laps behind the safety car, the track is finally cleared and the race restarts.

But Jenson Button, handily placed in sixth position, misjudges the rolling restart and careers into the wall. He attempts to resurrect his challenge, but the damage is too great. All four British drivers are now out of the race.

Lap 14: Jacques Villeneuve, motoring along comfortably in third place, spins out of the contest.

Lap 15: Nick Heidfeld's Prost becomes the 10th car to leave the circuit when he spins off.

Lap 18: Ricardo Zonta, who was fastest in the morning warm-up session, continues to rip through the field as he climbs from 17th on the grid to fourth behind Jos Verstappen, Hakkinen and Schumacher. Zonta and Verstappen are the quickest men on the track right now.

Lap 19: A superb move through the chicane sees Zonta take Verstappen, although the Dutchmen does not give up his podium position without a fight and forces the Brazilian to ride the curbs.

Rubens Barrichello
Barrichello tries to make sense of the pile-up
Lap 21: Zonta comes in for a quick 7.2-second pit stop, which suggests the BAR driver is on a two-stop strategy. Verstappen retakes third place and Mika Salo moves into the points in sixth.

Lap 30: After a dramatic first hour, the Italian Grand Prix settles down. But the respite will last long as the leaders will be coming in for their refuelling stops any minute now. Schumacher leads Hakkinen by eight seconds.

Lap 33: Verstappen, running in third, stops for fuel and fresh tyres and drops out of the points positions.

Lap 35: Schumacher remains eight seconds clear of Hakkinen, but the Finn is 30 seconds clear of third-placed Ralf Schumacher. Little more than ten seconds, however, covers positions three through six.

Lap 37: After a few laps spent passing backmarkers, Schumacher really puts his foot down to stretch his lead to 10 seconds.

Lap 39: Zonta makes his second stop - before Schumacher and Hakkinen have made their first - which brings Verstappen back into the points.

Lap 40: Having built a 10-second lead, Schumacher makes his stop. Hakkinen takes the lead and must now make the most of the next two or three laps before he pits.

Lap 43: Hakkinen makes a quick 6.6-second stop but surrenders first place back to Schumacher with only 10 laps to go.

Lap 44: Fisichella makes a disastrous pit stop when his Benetton gets stuck on the jack. Schumacher, meanwhile, has established a seemingly unbeatable 11-second lead.

Lap 50: Hakkinen reduces Schumacher's lead to eight seconds but looks powerless to prevent the Ferrari driver from taking a crucial 10 points. Schumacher's younger brother Ralf is safe in third place and should complete a memorable day for the family.

Lap 52: With only a lap and a half to go, the final positions look set: Schumacher, Hakkinen, R Schumacher, Verstappen, Wurz, Zonta.

Lap 53: Schumacher coasts home, allowing Hakkinen to reduce the winning margin to five seconds, to delight the Ferrari tifosi and close the championship gap to two points.

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See also:

10 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
Brits spin off in warm-up
09 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
Schumacher heads grid
08 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
Coulthard shrugs off Italy spin
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