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2001 Monaco Grand Prix 
Fan Reviews and Comments  

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Back to the main Monaco GP Page

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 Monaco GP

The street circuit of Monaco is loved by all motorsport fans. Maybe that can't be said about the drivers though. It is a handling circuit that needs precision and patience while driving. So when the drivers began crashing and sliding during practice not many where surprised. Qualifying proved to be an amazing session with David Coulthard on his last lap grabbing pole just ahead of Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen who had done very well during the practice sessions. Rubens Barrichello with a new Ferrari contract under his belt was very impressive in 4th place ahead of Ralf Schumacher in a Williams with none other than Eddie Irvine who drove an amazing few qualifying laps making the top 6. Montoya was 7th just short of Irvine's time. So, things looked good for Coulthard in his chase for the championship.

But things couldn't go worse for the man sitting on pole when he failed to get his car started on the formation lap. The team mechanics eventually did but it meant that he had to start from dead last on the grid. while Michael effectively took pole on the starting grid ahead of Hakkinen. At Go, everybody made a clean start with the launch control systems working without a hitch. Michael made a good start and kept his 1st place ahead of Hakkinen. Montoya re-enforced his reputation of being the fastest starter in F1 with another superb start which put him in 5th place ahead of Irvine. Coulthard was still dead last. On the very first lap the yellow flags were waved. Nick Heidfeld trying to avoid Bernoldi crashed into the barriers and was out of the race. A few laps later the next casualty, that of Juan Pablo Montoya who lost his rear and crashed. Montoya notched up his sixth non-finish in seven races started. Another driver having trouble was Olivier Panis the 1996 winner of this GP. He had car trouble and was forced to retire. Hakkinen was beginning to come to terms with his car and was setting the fastest laps of the race but suffered and setback when he found that his car was sliding towards the right and finding the situation unsafe he made a retirement. It was his 5th non-finish in 7 starts. So now the order was in favour of Ferrari with Michael the race leader ahead of team-mate Barrichello. Ralf Schumacher was third ahead of Irvine in fourth. Coulthard meanwhile was having troubles of his own. He was stuck behind the much slower Arrows of Enrique Bernoldi who just would not let him pass. In fact Bernoldi managed to keep Coulthard behind him until he the former made his pit-stop during which Michael, Barrichello, Ralf and Irvine lapped them. As is said, catching is one thing while passing is another. After being freed by Bernoldi, Coulthard responded with fastest laps of the race one after the other and managed to drive his way up the order.

The Monaco GP is known for the rather high percentage of retirements and that legacy continued this year with cars retiring at regular intervals right from the start. The two Jordans retired and so did Fisichella, Burti and Pedro de la Rosa. Michael led convincingly ahead of Barrichello and the world champion looked good to win his fifth GP at Monaco. The same could not be said about his brother Ralf though who was in 3rd place. The only remaining Williams hope retired on lap no.57. This meant the Eddie Irvine who had finished fourth here last year for Jaguar moved up one position to third. This would be the first podium position for Jaguar, but it wasn't going to be easy because Jacques Villeneuve was fast catching up with him. Jean Alesi was in fifth and he was looking to give Prost a hard earned first couple of points for the season but after a late pit-stop Coulthard who had driven very hard to reach sixth jumped the Frenchman and took over fifth. From there on the order remained the same for the remaining few laps and Michael Schumacher kept his cool and took the chequered flag in 1st place ahead of Barrichello. This was the first 1-2 finish for Ferrari since the Malaysian GP. Irvine did give Jaguar their first podium while Villeneuve had to be satisfied with 4th place. A very frustrated Coulthard took fifth place ahead of Alesi who gave Prost a well deserved point.

So, Michael now has a 12 point cushion at the head of the table with 52 pts ahead of Coulthard who has 40. Barrichello is doing well in third place with 24 points, but Hakkinen is having a very, very bad year. He remains way down the order with just 4 pts. Now its a two horse race for the drivers championship while in the constructors championship Ferrari have amassed a massive 32 point lead. The sun is shining on Ferrari at the moment. Yes, it sure is.

The Canadian GP is next. Montreal shall be the location race. It's the home GP for Jacques Villeneuve and he must be hoping for a good result in front of his home crowd. Michael will go for gold and so will Coulthard while Hakkinen shall just hope for an ounce of luck!

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