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2001 Belgian Grand Prix 
Fan Reviews and Comments  

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A number of readers have sent in their reviews and comments about the race and we have decided to publish some. 
You can send your review to [email protected] 

Yaman from India writes:

The Belgian GP-:

It was not surprising when Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher lined up their Williams on the front row at Spa. It was a very interesting qualifying session and it certainly sent a message hinting at an interesting race. The two McLaren's only qualified 7th and 9th with the surprise of the session being Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the Prost qualifying 4th just behind Michael Schumacher!

The race was not as good for the German though. Frentzen stalled on the start after all the cars had made in through the formation lap unscathed. The race was stopped and Frentzen was relegated to the back of the grid. The drama was only beginning. On the start of the second formation lap 'Pole Man' Montoya stalled on the grid. The Colombian's bad luck has matched Mika Hakkinen's this year and it wasn't getting any better. So, anyway the second start was good for Ralf and Michael and the two Benetton's who were looking very fast. On the Camel straight Michael made a move on Ralf who was being tailed closely by Rubens Barrichello. Hakkinen made it to 4th and David Coulthard slotted behind him. 

Michael soon had opened a 6+ second gap over Ralf and Barrichello, but a few laps on disaster struck. Luciano Burti came together with Eddie Irvine on the entry to Blanchimont, a fast speed corner and the Brazilian unable to control the car at a speed of about 200 miles an hour crashed into the tyre wall in a horrifying impact. Irvine spun off and bounced off the tyre wall, causing damage to only his car, but Burti had it worse. He had to be removed from his car by the safety marshals and taken to the trackside emergency ward where he was later diagnosed with a concussion. 
Meanwhile the race was stopped and scheduled for a restart 25 minutes later with 35 odd laps to be raced. Williams were having a bad day and it didn't get any better when Ralf stalled his car on the third formation lap. He had to start from the back. All these retirements meant that the two McLaren's made a drastic charge up the dummy grid. Hakkinen was 3rd in front of Coulthard. On the third start, Hakkinen literally crawled off the line and by the time he had made it through the La Source hairpin, he found himself in 6th place behind Jenson Button in a Benetton! The other Benetton of Fisichella had climbed up the order too. The Italian had made it to 2nd place!! 
Michael ran away from the rest leaving Fisichella, Coulthard, Hakkinen and Barrichello to actually fight for positions. Fisichella managed to beat everybody out of the pits and keep his second place, after even leading the race while Michael made his stop. Hakkinen overtook Barrichello on the straight and took over 4th spot. A lot off effort saw Coulthard slingshot Fisichella late in the race to take 2nd from the man in Blue who hadn't changed his front tyres during the entire race! Michael totally dominated the race and won a record 52nd win beating Alain Prost's 8 year old record. Coulthard deserved second and Fisichella more than deserved his 3rd place. Hakkinen finished in a disappointing 4th ahead of Barrichello and Jean Alesi who just managed to hold off Ralf who had fought from the back (to his credit) for 6th place, earning the Frenchman his first point at Jordan. A weekend which had begun so well for Williams finished in the worst possible way with both cars unable to score points. Montoya retired with an engine failure labelling it another DNF for the Colombian.

The Italian GP will be held on the 16th of September at the Monza Autodromo, the fastest track on the calendar. Williams will be favourites but don't write McLaren or Ferrari of yet!

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