The 2001 European Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the XLV Warsteiner Grand Prix of Europe, was the ninth round of the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany, on 24 June 2001. The race would see Michael Schumacher sweep to victory for Ferrari, albeit after his brother Ralf was penalised for straying over the white line exiting the pitlane as they tussled for the lead.
Qualifying had seen the former Schumacher claim pole position at the wheel of the #1 Ferrari, beating Ralf by a quarter of a second. Ralf's teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, meanwhile, would beat Michael's teammate Rubens Barrichello to third, with the two McLaren-Mercedes sharing the third row.
Ahead of the race Michael Schumacher elected to start in his spare car, only for a failure on a reconnaissance lap to see him abandon the car halfway around the lap, hike back to the pits, and switch back to his race car. There was more drama on the formation lap as Tarso Marques stalled, although as the Brazilian was at the back of the field there was no change to the overall order.
When the race did get underway it was an all Schumacher scrap for the lead, with Michael aggressively squeezing his brother towards the pitwall on the run to the first corner. That allowed Montoya to look at passing the pair of them around the outside of the first corner, before deciding to back off as they hit the brakes.
As the top three held station Barrichello found himself getting mugged by the two McLarens, while Jos Verstappen rocketed up from nineteenth to fourteenth. The rest of the field would start without issue, although Barrichello would lose another place to Jarno Trulli in the first corner.
The early stages saw the Schumacher brothers ease clear of Montoya, with the Colombian racer fending off David Coulthard for third. Out front, meanwhile, the two Schumacher's would exchange several minor blows, before both settled down to let their respective strategies come into play.
Yet, both Ferrari and Williams-BMW had opted for the same two-stop strategy, meaning both the #1 Ferrari and the #5 Williams came in on lap 28, with the elder Schumacher inadvertently running his brother onto the grass as they entered the pitlane. They duly came out of their pitboxes nose-to-tail, Michael ahead, prompting Ralf to try an aggressive move as the emerged back onto the circuit.
In a bid to attack his brother and remain ahead of a one-stopping Coulthard, Ralf shot to the left hand side of the circuit, crossing the white line that marked pit-out from the race circuit. That resulted in an immediate ten-second stop-go penalty on safety grounds, which resulted in the younger Schumacher dropping back to fourth when he served it.
That, ultimately, left Michael with command of the race, cruising home unopposed in the second half of the race to claim victory from Montoya. Coulthard was a distant third to complete the podium ahead of Ralf Schumacher, with Barrichello and Mika Häkkinen claiming the remaining points.
Michael Schumacher extended his lead in the World Championship to eighteen points as the season rapidly headed towards its halfway point, leaving North America with an eighteen point lead. David Coulthard had retained second, and remained sixteen clear of Rubens Barrichello in third, while Ralf Schumacher had made ground in fourth, victory moving him two behind the Brazilian. Elsewhere, Mika Häkkinen was finally threatening the top five, moving level with Nick Heidfeld on eight points, although the Finn was effectively out of the title hunt already.
In the Constructors Championship it had been a quiet day at the head of the field, with Ferrari ending the weekend with a largely unchanged 34 point lead. McLaren-Mercedes had lost a little ground to their Italian rivals in second, while Williams-BMW had inched closer to their compatriots, leaving Canada twenty behind the Anglo-German alliance. Elsewhere, Sauber-Petronas had moved back into the top five ahead of Jordan-Honda with Minardi-European still the only non-scorers.
The full entry list for the 2001 European Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2001 European Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:14.960||—||218.805 km/h|
|2||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:15.226||+0.266s||218.031 km/h|
|3||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:15.490||+0.530s||217.269 km/h|
|4||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:15.622||+0.662s||216.889 km/h|
|5||4||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:15.717||+0.757s||216.617 km/h|
|6||3||Mika Häkkinen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:15.776||+0.816s||216.448 km/h|
|7||12||Jarno Trulli||Jordan-Honda||1:16.138||+1.178s||215.419 km/h|
|8||11||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Jordan-Honda||1:16.376||+1.416s||214.748 km/h|
|9||17||Kimi Räikkönen||Sauber-Petronas||1:16.402||+1.442s||214.675 km/h|
|10||16||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:16.438||+1.478s||214.574 km/h|
|11||10||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:16.439||+1.479s||214.571 km/h|
|12||18||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:16.588||+1.628s||214.154 km/h|
|13||9||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:16.872||+1.912s||213.362 km/h|
|14||22||Jean Alesi||Prost-Acer||1:17.251||+2.291s||212.316 km/h|
|15||7||Giancarlo Fisichella||Benetton-Renault||1:17.378||+2.418s||211.967 km/h|
|16||19||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:17.627||+2.667s||211.287 km/h|
|17||23||Luciano Burti||Prost-Acer||1:18.113||+3.153s||209.973 km/h|
|18||15||Enrique Bernoldi||Arrows-Asiatech||1:18.151||+3.191s||209.871 km/h|
|19||14||Jos Verstappen||Arrows-Asiatech||1:18.262||+3.302s||209.573 km/h|
|20||8||Jenson Button||Benetton-Renault||1:18.626||+3.666s||208.603 km/h|
|21||21||Fernando Alonso||Minardi-European||1:18.630||+3.670s||208.592 km/h|
|22||20||Tarso Marques||Minardi-European||1:18.689||+3.729s||208.436 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:20.207|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
|Juan Pablo Montoya||4|
|______________||Pedro de la Rosa|
The full results for the 2001 European Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Prost was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Olivier Panis made his 100th Grand Prix start.
- Ralf Schumacher entered his 75th race.
- 49th career victory for Michael Schumacher.
- This was also the 100th win for a car using #1 as its race number.
- Ferrari claimed their 140th win as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Shell secured their 200th victory as a lubricant supplier.
- Juan Pablo Montoya recorded his maiden fastest lap.
Victory moved Michael Schumacher a huge 24 points clear of his closest challenger in the Drivers Championship, passing the halfway point with 68 points to his name. David Coulthard therefore had some serious work to do in the second half of the campaign, although he had solidified his grip on second, moving eighteen clear of Rubens Barrichello. Behind, Ralf Schumacher had inched closer to the Brazilian in fourth, while Juan Pablo Montoya broke into the top five for the first time.
In the Constructors Championship it had been another strong day for Ferrari, leaving Germany just six points shy of the 100 point mark. That also resulted in a 41 point lead over second placed McLaren-Mercedes, while Williams-BMW had inched closer to their compatriots in third once again, ending the weekend sixteen behind. Otherwise, there had been little change after the European Grand Prix, with the top three having been the only scorers.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'European GP, 2001', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr672.html, (Accessed 07/11/2019)
- 'Europe 2001: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2001/europe/engages.aspx, (Accessed 07/11/2019)
- 'Europe 2001: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2001/europe/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 07/11/2019)
- '2001 Warsteiner Grand Prix of Europe - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2001/races/711/europe/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 07/11/2019)
- 'Europe 2001: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2001/europe/classement.aspx, (Accessed 07/11/2019)
- '9. Europe 2001', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2001/europe.aspx, (Accessed 07/11/2019)
- '2001 European GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2001&gp=European%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 07/11/2019)
|V T E||European Grand Prix|
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