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Sunday, 10 September, 2000, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Irvine crashes out at Monza
Eddie Irvine
Irvine crashes out in the mayhem of the first lap

Eddie Irvine's Italian Grand Prix proved a short affair as he made his exit on the opening corner.

The Northern Ireland driver became entangled with his former Ferrari teammate Mika Salo and his race was over.

The lead cars all made it safely through the tight series of opening bends except for the Jaguar of Eddie Irvine, who became entangled with Mika Salo's Sauber.

The Ulsterman ploughed into the blocks down the escape route, while Salo was able to weave his way through and continue on.

Irvine's Jaguar teammate also Johnny Herbert crashed out on the first lap when he was hit by Pedro de la Rosa.

Dominant victory

It was to be Michael Schumacher's day however, as he revitalised his chances of winning the Formula One world championship with a dominant victory.

Schumacher led from start to finish in front of his Ferrari team's fanatical fans at Monza, beating title rival Mika Hakkinen of McLaren into second place and joining the late Ayrton Senna on 41 GP wins.

Williams-BMW driver Ralf Schumacher was third, consolidating his team's third place in the constructors' championship.

The result marks a dramatic change in fortune for the two teams - Hakkinen had won three of the previous four races.

Schumacher and Hakkinen
Top two in front: Schumacher leads Hakkinen home
But Ferrari, outpaced by McLaren since the French Grand Prix at the end of June, have found a dramatic step forward in performance.

The team brought some new aerodynamic parts to the Italian race in a desperate attempt to claw back lost ground.


Hakkinen retained the championship lead, but Schumacher's victory, his third in five years for Ferrari at Monza, moves him back to just two points behind the Finn with three races still to go.

David Coulthard, who had harboured faint championship hopes before the race, retired on the first lap after Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen triggered a multiple pile-up.

In all, six cars were taken out in incidents on the first lap that had been predicted by the majority of the drivers after changes were made to the first two chicanes for this year's race.

Coulthard wrote off his world title chances after the crash. "Realistically, the championship will be difficult now," he said. "I'll have to try again next year."

Multiple pile-up

The crash also took out Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello, Frentzen, Jordan driver Jarno Trulli and de la Rosa's Arrows.

The Tifosi
Ferrari fans: The Tifosi pay homage to their team
Coulthard and Barrichello were lucky to escape injury after de la Rosa somersaulted through the air and hit both cars. But a race marshal was taken to hospital after the crash.

Coulthard said that the marshal had suffered heart problems.

De la Rosa smashed down on Coulthard's rear wing and came to rest alongside Barrichello.

Race officials brought out the safety car for 11 laps while they cleared up the mess from the crash.

The shunt allowed Dutchman Jos Verstappen to give Arrows its best result of the year with a fourth-place finish.

British rising star Jenson Button crashed out on the lap before the re-start after he was caught out by cars slowing down in front of him.

Calm down

He had to swerve off the track on the straight that leads to the last corner, Parabolica, to avoid the cars in front. He hit the barrier and damaged his Williams-BMW.

Button blamed Schumacher for the incident. "You're supposed to keep the same pace all the time behind the safety car. But Michael decided to slow on the exit of Ascari and then accelerate and then brake again, or whatever he did.

"Everyone spread out and I had nowhere to go."

But Jacques Villeneuve, who also retired from the race, said Button was to blame.

"Michael did what you normally do in that position. The people behind should calm down and take it easier."

Italian Grand Prix result:
  • 1. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari - one hour 27 minutes 31.638 seconds (average speed 210.286 kph)
  • 2. Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren - 3.810 seconds behind
  • 3. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Williams - 52.432
  • 4. Jos Verstappen (Netherlands) Arrows 59.938
  • 5. Alexander Wurz (Austria) Benetton 1.07.426
  • 6. Ricardo Zonta (Brazil) BAR 1.09.292
  • 7. Mika Salo (Finland) Sauber 1 lap behind
  • 8. Pedro Diniz (Brazil) Sauber 1 lap
  • 9. Marc Gene (Spain) Minardi 1 lap
  • 10. Gaston Mazzacane (Argentina) Minardi 1 lap
  • 11. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Benetton 1 lap
  • 12. Jean Alesi (France) Prost 2 laps

    Drivers' championship standings:
  • 1. Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren 80 points
  • 2. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari 78
  • 3. David Coulthard (Britain) McLaren 61
  • 4. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Ferrari 49
  • 5. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Williams 24
  • 6. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Benetton 18
  • 7. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BAR 11
  • 8. Jenson Button (Britain) Williams 10
  • 9. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Germany) Jordan 7
  • 10. Mika Salo (Finland) Sauber 6 Jarno Trulli (Italy) Jordan 6
  • 11. Jos Verstappen (Netherlands) Arrows 5
  • 12. Eddie Irvine (Britain) Jaguar 3
  • 13. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Arrows 2
    Alexander Wurz (Austria) Benetton 2
    Ricardo Zonta (Brazil) BAR 2

    Constructors' championship:
  • 1. McLaren 131 points
  • 2. Ferrari 127
  • 3. Williams 34
  • 4. Benetton 20
  • 5. Jordan 13
    BAR 13
  • 6. Arrows 7
  • 7. Sauber 6
  • 8. Jaguar 3
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    See also:

    10 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
    Schumacher 'deserves to win F1 title'
    10 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
    Pollock facing BAR axe
    10 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
    Brits spin off in warm-up
    09 Sep 00 |  Northern Ireland
    Irvine qualifies only 14th
    08 Sep 00 |  Northern Ireland
    Irvine encouraged by Italian drive
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