Scotland Wales Northern Ireland

You are in: You are in: Motorsport: Formula One  
Front Page 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Formula One 
World Rally 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

banner Sunday, 18 March, 2001, 13:17 GMT
Schumacher races to victory
It was a masterful performance by the world champ
Michael Schumacher survived an early mistake in the rain-hit Malaysian GP to win his sixth consecutive victory and eclipse Nigel Mansell's record.

At one stage Schumacher slipped out of the top 10 following an error.

1. M Schumacher
2. R Barrichello
3. D Coulthard

But he recovered to pull away from the field and set a modern day record.

It was a masterful display of driving in a rain-drenched race packed with drama and confusion.

The German took just ten minutes to charge his way from 11th to first as his rivals slipped and slithered on the Sepang circuit.

The victory left him only three short of Alberto Ascari's all-time record of nine straight wins.

He has taken a maximum 20 points from the first two Grand Prix of the season and was followed home by team-mate Ruebens Barrichello, securing a one-two for Ferrari.

But the day started badly for the reigning world champion.

He was forced to start in the spare car - which had been set up for Barrichello - but adjusted well and went on to dominate on a wet and wild race.

After an aborted start caused by Giancarlo Fisichella's inability to take up his correct starting position on the grid, all drivers got away cleanly.

Rain in Malaysia
Bad weather took its toll
But the weather soon wreaked havoc.

Ralf Schumacher, who had made a swift start, spun at the first corner and slipped back to the rear of the field.

Then, with the rain beginning to fall heavily, his elder brother made a rare mistake and slid into the gravel on lap three.

In a bizarre turn of events, second-placed Barrichello followed him off the circuit, losing control at exactly the same corner.

Both drivers regained control, but lost positions.

The rain, which now claimed several victims in quick succession, drove the survivors to the pits for a tyre change and brought out the safety car.

When normal business resumed on lap 10, only 15 cars remained and the McLarens had surprisingly leapt to the fore.

They had not qualified well, but David Coulthard, who had started in 8th place, found himself at the front.

Tyre choices crucial

Team-mate and twice world champion Mika Hakkinen lay in fourth but McLaren's joy was short-lived.

Rallying from 11th position, Michael Schumacher - widely recognised as the rain master - sliced through the field and had fought his way back into the lead by lap 15.

He was assisted by the clever choice of intermediate tyres when most others were driving wets.

On similar tyres, Barrichello followed Schumacher once more to regain second spot.

Barrichello survived a scare to place second
And that was pretty much that.

The rain came and went again. Pit-stops were made. But no one could catch the Ferraris.

It was a disappointing day for McLaren. Early leader Coulthard gave up the chase and had to settle for third.

Hakkinen could only manage sixth.

The two were separated by Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan and Ralf Schumacher's Williams BMW.

Jos Verstappen, who had surged to second in his Arrows could eventually manage only seventh place.

Despite concerns that the Grand Prix would be poorly attended, there was a good crowd on hand.

They were rewarded with an eventful race and another impeccable display by the world's premier driver, Michael Schumacher.

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Formula One stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Formula One stories

^^ Back to top