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The Season So Far - Part 3  
Michael Schumacher almost unstoppable  
Monaco - Canada - Europe - France  

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With 10 races completed, Michael Schumacher leads the drivers' championship by a massive 31 points thanks to his amazing consistency and the lack of reliability of his main rivals. With just 7 races to go and a maximum of 70 points available, it is very unlikely that any other driver will be able to stop him from winning his 4th World Title.
David Coulthard in second has so far proven his consistency however his car has failed him a number of times. Ralf Schumacher has managed to move ahead of Rubens Barrichello following 2 wins and is 47 points behind his brother in the lead while Barrichello appears to have lost some of the motivation he had at the start of the season showing no real signs of determination to win.
Juan Pablo Montoya is in 5th place although his record compared to his team-mate is not that impressive. 2 finishes from 10 starts is not acceptable by any Formula 1 team let alone a team like Williams. 

In the constructors' championship, Ferrari have a massive 52 lead over McLaren with Williams only 13 points behind. With a maximum of 112 points available remaining in the season, it appears that Ferrari will win their 11th World Title with relative ease while William could catch McLaren if the latter continues giving away points. Sauber is in 4th with 16 points a single point ahead of Jordan who are 3 points ahead of BAR. With the top 3 teams most likely to win the majority of the remaining points of the season, the fight for 4th will be intense. Jaguar in 7th have managed to improve compared to the first 6 races of the season and so did Prost. 

Monaco - GP Page

Following his win at Austria, David Coulthard was determined to score the maximum available points and he showed that by qualifying on Pole for the race. However his car stalled on the formation lap forcing him to start from the back of the grid and his chances of winning were over before the race even started. 
Michael Schumacher went on to win the race with relative ease as all his main competitors dropped one by one. 
Qualifying for the Monaco GP saw Coulthard ahead of Michael Schumacher with Hakkinen and Barrichello making the front 2 rows. Ralf Schumacher was 5th with Eddie Irvine an impressive 6th. Montoya was 7th ahead of Trulli in the first of the Honda powered teams while Villeneuve was 9th and an impressive Fisichella made the top 10.
With David Coulthard starting from the back due to his car stalling at the start of the formation lap, Michael Schumacher led at the start and his only real threat was from Mika Hakkinen but that threat disappeared when Hakkinen slowed down as a result of a steering problem and later retired due to that problem. Barrichello moved up to second but was never a threat to his team-mate. Ralf Schumacher running in 3rd since Hakkinen's retirement also retired due to an electrical problem. This moved Eddie Irvine to 3rd. David Coulthard who started at the back managed to crawl his way back and despite being stuck behind Bernoldi in the Arrows for over 40 laps, he managed to get into the points and finished in 5th place. 
Michael Schumacher won the race ahead of Barrichello and Irvine. Villeneuve finished 4th ahead of Coulthard while Alesi scored the first point for himself and the Prost team in over a year!
Only 10 cars where classified as finishers although Kimi Raikkonen was 5 laps behind in 10th place. Only 4 cars were on the same lap.

The Drivers' Championship: Michael Schumacher leads David Coulthard by 12 points - 52 to 40 points
The Constructors' Championship: Ferrari lead McLaren - 76 to 44 points

Canada - GP Page

While Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari dominated qualifying his brother Ralf and his Williams dominated the race thanks to the superiority of the Michelin tyres on this track.
Michael Schumacher was over half a second faster than his brother in 2nd place in qualifying. David Coulthard was 3rd while Jarno Trulli impressively put his Honda powered Jordan in 4th. Barrichello was back in 5th in the Ferrari with Olivier Panis in the BAR in 6th out-qualifying his team-mate Villeneuve on his home track.
The impressive Kimi Raikkonen continued his strong showing qualifying ahead of his countryman Mika Hakkinen who certainly had a superior car to Raikkonen while Villeneuve was in 9th ahead of Montoya. The 2 were certainly distracted by on and off track clashes.

In the race, Michael Schumacher managed to keep his brother behind him with David Coulthard in 3rd. A few laps into the race and it was apparent that Coulthard was not on the pace and that was due to a front suspension problem. Ahead of him Ralf Schumacher was all over his brother Michael but couldn't find a way past him until the pit stops. Ralf Schumacher on a heavier fuel load managed to stay out for several more laps than Michael and put in some very fast laps enabling him to pass Michael through the pits. Once ahead of his brother, Ralf increased the gap and went on to win the race over 20 seconds ahead. Michael Schumacher finished 2nd with Mika Hakkinen in 3rd. Kimi Raikkonen was 4th ahead of Alesi and de la Rosa.
Heinz Harald Frentzen didn't participate in the race after he crashed on Friday and didn't feel well enough to race. Ricardo Zonta took his seat and managed to finish in 7th place.
Rubens Barrichello retired from the race after Juan Pablo Montoya crashed (his 3rd retirement in a row) in front of him and in an attempt to avoid Montoya he crashed as well. David Coulthard not only had a front suspension problem but his engine blew forcing him into retirement. This was Coulthard's first retirement of the season.
11 cars were classified as finishers although Jos Verstappen and Jarno Trulli both retired a few laps from the end. The top 5 cars finished on the same lap.

The Drivers' Championship: Michael Schumacher leads David Coulthard by 18 points - 58 to 40 points.
The Constructors' Championship: Ferrari lead McLaren - 82 to 48 points

Europe - GP Page

Following the superiority of the Michelin tyres in Canada, all eyes were on the Williams in race trim and whether they would be able to repeat their performance. Qualifying was similar to Canada where Michael Schumacher managed to qualify on pole ahead of his brother. Montoya was in 3rd with Barrichello in 4th. The 2 McLaren's were 5th and 6th showing signs that Ferrari and Williams were creeping ahead. Trulli and Frentzen were 7th and 8th while the Sauber pair of Raikkonen and Heidfeld made the top 10.

In the race, the excitement of the 2 Schumacher brothers fighting it out only lasted for the first third of the race with Michael Schumacher leading and his brother challenging him, however Ralf Schumacher commits a mistake exiting the pits after his first pit stop as he drives over the white line at the exit of the pits, he gets a harsh 10 second stop-go penalty eliminating him from challenging for the win. Michael Schumacher went on to win the race comfortably ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. David Coulthard finished 3rd ahead of Ralf Schumacher while Rubens Barrichello finished 5th after spinning while trying to catch Ralf; Mika Hakkinen finished in 6th place. This was the first race this season that the first 6 qualifiers occupied the top 6 positions at the end of the race. 
15 cars were classified as finishers with 7 cars on the same lap.
It was Montoya's 2nd finish in 9 races (both times he finished 2nd!) while Jean Alesi's string of crossing the line at every race this season ended as he spun 3 laps from the finish, he was still classified as a finisher though!

The Drivers' Championship: Michael Schumacher leads David Coulthard by 24 points - 68 to 44 points.
The Constructors' Championship: Ferrari lead McLaren - 94 to 53 points

France - GP Page

With only a week between the European GP and the French GP, the teams would find it hard to improve on their cars between the 2 races so it was expected to be a race between Ferrari and Williams with McLaren slightly behind. 
Qualifying was the closest we have seen so far this season with Ralf Schumacher grabbing his first ever Pole just 0.01 seconds ahead of his brother Michael. David Coulthard wasn't too far behind in 3rd with Mika Hakkinen in 4th. Jarno Trulli continues to show his impressive form in qualifying putting his Jordan in 5th ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya who opted for the harder compound Michelin tyres. Frentzen was 7th while Barrichello only managed 8th!
In the race, Ralf Schumacher managed to stay in the lead at the start while Michael Schumacher almost lost 2nd place to Coulthard. The gremlins continue to haunt McLaren as Mika Hakkinen stalls on the formation lap (the 5th stall for a McLaren this season at the formation or start lap!).
Given the strong performance of the Michelin tyres in the last 2 races, it was expected that Ralf Schumacher would start building a gap to Michael Schumacher but that was not the case here!. Ralf only had 2 over Michael before the first pit stop and it was Michael who managed to get ahead of Ralf through the pits. Things got even worse for the Williams driver as his second set of soft compound Michelins were pretty bad that he lost a lot of time on his second stint. 
David Coulthard had a chance of challenging Michael however a 10 second stop-go penalty due to pit lane speeding ruined that chance and Michael went on to win his 6th race of the season with Ralf Schumacher in 2nd and Rubens Barrichello in 3rd. Coulthard was 4th ahead of Trulli and Heidfeld.
Montoya retired for the 8th time this season although this time he suffered an engine failure. 
17 cars were classified as finishers although Button and Alonso retired a few laps from the end. Only 5 cars were on the same lap.

The Drivers' Championship: Michael Schumacher leads David Coulthard by 31 points - 78 to 47 points.
The Constructors' Championship: Ferrari lead McLaren - 108 to 56 points

So where do we go from here ?
4 races ago and David Coulthard was only 4 points behind Michael Schumacher. Since then Michael Schumacher has won 3 races and finished second in 1 while Coulthard retired in 1 and finished 3rd, 4th and 5th in the other 3 leaving him 31 points behind the Ferrari driver. 
In the last 4 races McLaren were not as fast nor as reliable as Ferrari, this has resulted in the points gap blowing to 31. David Coulthard needs to win races if he is to have any hope of catching Michael and while that is possible, it is unlikely as even if Michael and Ferrari falter for a race or two (and that looks very unlikely at this stage), Williams will be there to challenge Coulthard. It will be very hard and Coulthard needs to continue his consistent form if it was even just to maintain 2nd as Ralf Schumacher is only 16 points behind.
McLaren's chances in the constructors' title don't fair any better and they have only themselves to blame. Just counting the 5 start problems they've had this season shows how many points they would have scored and possibly taken away from Ferrari. Add to that Mika Hakkinen's terrible season with only 9 points from 10 races and one can see that things are not working well at McLaren. It is much more likely that Williams could take 2nd away from them as the superiority of the Williams BMW engines will play a major role at the Hockenheim and Monza circuits in particular. 

Behind the top 3 teams, Sauber are slightly ahead of the 2 Honda powered teams and this is a major achievement for them as they use an older specification Ferrari engine. The might of Honda should be stronger than a 1 year old Ferrari engine however supplying 2 teams could have had a negative impact. With 7 races to go and just 4 points separating 4th from 6th the situation could be reversed in a single race if the top 3 teams fall into problems. The fight between Sauber, Jordan and BAR will be intense. 

Behind the top 6, it is another learning year for Jaguar, Prost and Benetton, each having their own problems with Jaguar and Prost finally starting to show some results. Benetton however are still struggling with their revolutionary engine and chassis and have yet to prove that they are moving in the right direction. 
Arrows don't have the stability of an engine supplier as they have dropped AsiaTech for next year while Minardi lack the funding to move them up to within striking distance of a point scoring position.

The next three races are Britain, Germany and Hungary and both championships could be decided by then unless Coulthard and McLaren find something extraordinary!

2001 F1 Drivers' Championship

2001 F1 Constructors' Championship

Drivers' Championship Table - Full

Drivers' Qualifying Table

The Season so far

Part 1
(Australia - Malaysia - Brazil)

Part 2
(San Marino - Spain - Austria)

Part 3
(Monaco - Canada - Europe - France)

Part 4
(Britain - Germany - Hungary - Belgium)

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