Puneet Varma (Editor)

2000 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Date  March 26, 2000
Course length  4.309 km (2.677 mi)
2000 Brazilian Grand Prix
Official name  XXIX Grande Prêmio do Brasil
Location  Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil
Course  Permanent racing facility
Distance  71 laps, 305.909 km (190.067 mi)

The 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on March 26, 2000 at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo, Brazil. It was the second race of the 2000 Formula One season. The race was the 29th Brazilian Grand Prix and the 19th to be held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. The race was held over 71 laps of the 4.3-kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 306 kilometres.


The race was won by German driver, Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F1-2000. The win was Schumacher's second consecutive win of the season. Schumacher won by 40 seconds over Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella driving a Benetton B200. German driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished third driving a Jordan EJ10.


Qualifying had Mika Häkkinen on pole position with David Coulthard second. Michael Schumacher was third, Rubens Barrichello was fourth, Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth and Eddie Irvine was sixth. The session was stopped three times, on each occasion because an advertising hoarding mounted over the circuit broke off and fell onto the track below. On the third occasion, one of the laminated cardboard hoardings was struck by Jean Alesi's Prost as it fell.


As the race began, Häkkinen and Schumacher both made good starts but Coulthard was slow away and dropped behind Schumacher. Thus, the order was Häkkinen leading Schumacher with Coulthard third, Barrichello fourth, Eddie Irvine fifth and Fisichella sixth. Soon Schumacher was trying to find a way to get round Häkkinen with Barrichello attacking Coulthard. Schumacher dived on the inside of Häkkinen at the Senna S in the second lap while Barrichello did the same on Coulthard. He made a mistake allowing David to get ahead but he recovered and passed Coulthard by the end of the lap. It soon became clear that the two Ferraris were on two stop-strategies and Barrichello was soon at Häkkinen's rear, trying to get round. Schumacher pulled away at a second a lap from Häkkinen.

Behind the leaders, Trulli on a two-stopper dived past Irvine for fifth shortly after Barrichello got Häkkinen for second on lap 15. On lap 20, Schumacher had a 20-second lead on the McLarens and pitted. He rejoined in third place but that became second when Barrichello pitted two laps later. Meanwhile, on lap 21 Irvine crashed but it did not bring the safety car out. Now all attention was on the gap between Häkkinen and Schumacher but it was not closing. It was stabilizing and the case was the same with Coulthard in third and Barrichello in fourth. But in the space of three laps, the race turned upside down as on lap 27, Barrichello in fourth began to trail smoke. Three laps later, Häkkinen came to the pits and it was strange as it was too early for a one-stop and too late for a two-stop. It soon became clear that it was not a scheduled pit stop for Mika, but a stop that signalled his retirement.

After Trulli's pit stop on lap 28, Jos Verstappen was in third place for seven laps in the Arrows but he gave it away to Fisichella when he pitted. The two Williams cars of Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button with Fisichella and Heinz-Harald Frentzen were running close and all of them were on one-stop. At the front, Coulthard and Schumacher were maintaining a similar pace but Schumacher was always comfortable. Ralf and Button went to the pits on lap 44 and 45 respectively in the battle for the final point. But Ralf emerged a few meters ahead of Verstappen while Button came a few meters behind him. In the laps that followed, Ralf was able to pull away while Button was stuck behind Jos until he made a beautiful overtaking manoeuvre on lap 57. Trulli made his second stop on lap 56 and joined in fifth. Ralf was comfortable in sixth ahead of Button. Verstappen and Pedro de la Rosa were eighth and ninth. Meanwhile, the pace began to drop off and the order stayed like that till the finish.


After the race, word came from the scrutineering bay that all of the top six cars except for Fisichella were disqualified because they had problems with their wooden floors. The teams appealed but while the FIA was scrutineering the cars again, they found out that the front wing endplates on Coulthard's car were 7mm lower than they should have been. Thus, the position of everyone except for Coulthard was reinstated and in doing so promoted Jenson Button to sixth earning the young Brit his first World Championship point.

On April 6, 2000, the World Motorsport Council handed out a $100,000 fine to the organisers, after being summoned to Paris due to a safety hoarding falling onto the main straight, narrowly missing Jean Alesi. It was ruled as "exceptional circumstances".


Source (qualifying times):

* The Sauber cars of Pedro Diniz and Mika Salo were later withdrawn and did not start the race due to rear wing failures which had been afflicting the cars. The team decided it was too unsafe to continue.

Championship standings after the race

Note, only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


2000 Brazilian Grand Prix Wikipedia

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