F1 »

Spanish GP 2001 - Schumacher inherits Barcelona.

Michael Schumacher took the Spanish Grand Prix win he always appeared capable of - but only after race-long rival Mika Hakkinen broke down on the last of the 65 laps.

Under surprisingly leaden skies, the German made the best of the first traction control start for almost ten years to hold his pole position advantage into the first corner, while behind him the pack sorted itself out with a little bumping and barging.

Principal casualty of the frenetic action was Schumacher's co-leader in the drivers' championship, David Coulthard - but the Scot should never really have been in a position to hamper his own race. His problems began even before the race, with a stall as the grid moved off on its formation lap. Forced to start the event proper from the rear of the field, Coulthard then made contact with a slower rival on the run down to turn one, and required an early pit-stop to replace a badly damaged front wing.

The McLaren's absence from the second row allowed San Marino winner Ralf Schumacher to take a run at the cars in front of him heading into the tight first corner and, as his brother and fellow front row man Hakkinen made a break, Ralf briefly got ahead of the second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello.

Further back - and a possible cause of Coulthard's wing problem - there was much congestion as the field took evasive action to avoid the stalled Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Waiting until almost everyone had passed him before setting off, the German found himself down in 17th place, but with others around him cursing their luck at having been hit or forced to concede ground because of the stricken Jordan.

The question of traction control had been a hot topic all weekend, and no more so than when the teams considered whether or no it would actually be a benefit in the race. The suspicion was that Williams, amongst others, would decline to implement the new electronics and, if this was the case, the ploy worked as both Schumacher Jr and team-mate Juan Montoya made lightning starts. While Ralf was ultimately repassed by Barrichello for third in the first turn, Montoya rocketed from a lowly twelfth on the grid to take sixth at the end of the lap - a position that would serve him well in the light of events to come...

Right at the front, Michael Schumacher was wasting no time in trying to break the resistance of three-time Barcelona winner Hakkinen. Fastest lap followed fastest lap over the opening few tours, although the gap back to the Finn remained constant as Hakkinen upped his pace accordingly to keep the Ferrari in sight.

With Barrichello sitting pretty in third, the lead duo gradually pulled away from the rest of the pack, if not from one another, and it was not until the first round of pit-stops that any semblance of a gap opened between first and second.

Schumacher had already ducked into the 1min 21secs bracket before he made his first call for fuel and tyres on lap 23, but Hakkinen was close enough to have a chance of sneaking the lead with a couple of quick laps immediately before his own first stop. Emphasising his ability to match the champion's pace, Hakkinen promptly banged in a new lap record as Schumacher rejoined, but it was not quite enough for him to emerge in front after stopping on lap 27.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Schumacher wins the Spanish GP 2001
26.03.2015 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
26.03.2015 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
26.03.2015 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
26.03.2015 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
26.03.2015 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
26.03.2015 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30.
26.03.2015 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
26.03.2015 - Mechanics Red Bull Racing work on the car
15.03.2015 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 race winner
15.03.2015 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 race winner
15.03.2015 - Race, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
15.03.2015 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 race winner
15.03.2015 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
15.03.2015 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW37
15.03.2015 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
15.03.2015 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
15.03.2015 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.