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German Grand Prix
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Race Report - Results
Ralf Schumacher wins his 3rd race of the season (and his career) over 45 seconds ahead of Rubens Barrichello. Jacques Villeneuve manages to finish in 3rd ahead of the 2 Benettons (Fisichella and Button) with Jean Alesi in 6th.
Ralf Schumacher benefited from Juan Pablo Montoya's misfortunes as Montoya was first delayed in the pits on his first pit stop with a fuel hose problem and then retired with an engine failure. Rubens Barrichello was the only driver in the top 6 to go for a 2 stop strategy and he benefited from the retirements of Michael Schumacher and the 2 McLarens while Villeneuve found himself in third after his direct competitors all retired (Heidfeld, Raikkonen, de la Rosa, Irvine and Trulli!).
Only 10 cars managed to cross the finish line with 7 cars finishing on the same lap.
It was drama from the start with both
Minardi's starting from the pit lane. At the start of the race Michael
Schumacher started fine but then he slowed dramatically and had what
appeared to be a gearbox failure. Luciano Burti smashed into the back of
his resulting in Burti's car flying in the air and landing upside down
almost on top of Bernoldi's car. Both drivers were fine but the race was
While Montoya starts building a gap to Ralf and Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello on a lighter fuel load manages to get past David Coulthard and then Mika Hakkinen
By lap 10 Montoya has a gap of 6 seconds to
Ralf while Barrichello passes Michael as he is on a different strategy.
Meanwhile Ricardo Zonta retires as a result of touching Jos Verstappen.
Rubens Barrichello makes his first pit stop
on lap 17 and rejoins behind Coulthard but soon manages to overtake him.
Montoya in the meantime continues to build his gap at the front to 9
On lap 22 Montoya pits for his first (and
his only pit stop) where he suffered a big delay due to a fuel hose
problem. He rejoins in 4th place behind Michael Schumacher.
Ralf Schumacher pits and rejoins in the lead with Rubens Barrichello in second, Montoya pushes to reduce the big gap but his engine fails him and he retires as well.
On lap 28 David Coulthard pits for his tyre and fuel stop but when he puts the power down on his out lap his engine fails and he too is out of the race.
With Hakkinen, Michael, Montoya and Coulthard out of the race, Villeneuve finds himself in 3rd place while the 2 Benettons of Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button are 4th and 5th. Olivier Panis in the second BAR was 6th but he was on a 2 stop strategy and after his second pit stop loses 6th place to Jean Alesi.
On lap 33 Rubens Barrichello makes his second pit stop and he too suffered from a delay with the fuel hose, despite that he rejoined in 2nd place as the gap to Villeneuve was around a minute.
The race then settled down with the drivers wanting to finish the race in their positions. Jean Alesi tried to take 5th from Button without success while Jos Verstappen was trying hard to pass his team-mate Enrique Bernoldi in 8th without success.
And so the race finishes with Ralf Schumacher winning ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Jacques Villeneuve. Giancarlo Fisichella was 4th ahead of Jenson Button and Jean Alesi. Panis finishes in 7th with Bernoldi, Verstappen and Alonso making the top 10 and all the finishers!.
So Ralf Schumacher retakes 3rd place in the
Drivers Title and helps Williams close in on McLaren now only 10 points
Overall, in the Drivers' Title, Michael Schumacher retains the 37 point advantage to David Coulthard as they both retired while Ralf Schumacher closes the gap and to both of them and keeps his mathematical chances alive. He is now 43 points behind Michael Schumacher with 50 points remaining in the season. Both Coulthard and Ralf will need a miracle. It is more likely that Coulthard, Ralf and Barrichello will fight for 2nd place in the championship with only 7 points separating them.
In the Constructors Title, Ferrari increase
their lead over McLaren 58 points while Williams are now just 10 points
behind and with a maximum of 80 points remaining it looks more of a fight
between McLaren and Williams for second place.
Formula 1 takes a compulsory break from testing and racing for three weeks in accordance with the new FIA regulations introduced for this season. The next race is the Hungarian GP from Hockenheim on the 19th of August.