/2001 - Michael Schumacher

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2001

ABOUT THIS SEASON

2001 The Fourth Star

Once the Ferrari juggernaut is on the move, stopping it is not an easy matter. Michael’s third World Championship title was a long time coming but his fourth, and the second for Ferrari, comes quite rapidly.

As early as the 13th race of the season in Budapest, he duly defends his title with a win. In his first year at Ferrari, he had already indicated that the World Championship trophy may only be technically on loan but now it was going to stay where it belongs for a good few years.

Boredom stands no chance

All the same, Michael’s 2001 season is far from routine. It delivers a few dramatic moments, the first of which is during free practice in Melbourne. Michael loses control of the rear end of his F2001, spins out over the grass verge and the gravel trap and rolls over several times. Undismayed, he goes on to take pole position and to win his first victory of the season. Eight more are to follow this year, equalling his 1995 tally.

He also wins convincingly in the second race in Malaysia, this time despite the rain and having to queue behind his team-mate Rubens Barrichello during a pit stop while the crew frantically search for a fourth wheel. In Brazil he comes second behind David Coulthard. Juan Pablo Montoya causes a sensation when he surprises Michael by overtaking him in Senna S. “I thought I could fight him off but he had already got past me,” Michael admits.

The lead is growing

At Imola of all places, essentially a home race for Ferrari, Michael has to retire for the first time with technical problems. His brother Ralf takes the chequered flag. But by the next race in Spain, Michael is right back on the top rung once more. He is back on the podium again in Austria, although only as runner-up. This second place is handed to him by his team-mate in the last few metres of the race. During the next race, Michael leads from the front entirely on his own merit, wins for the fourth time in this season and already tops the championship table with a 12-point lead over David Coulthard.

The following race sees the duel between Michael and his brother Ralf take centre stage once again. In Canada, both brothers stand side by side on the podium – Ralf as winner and Michael as runner-up. At the Nürburgring, they are both jockeying for the lead from the start; Michael stays out in front and wins, as he does again in the next race in France.

Two shocking moments

Drama follows in the form of a double bill at Monza and Hockenheim. In Monza, Michael emerges from a high-speed accident during practice completely unscathed. “It was simply brutal, a massive impact,” he says. “I just lost control. Looking back, I have to say that I was incredibly lucky.” In the next race in Germany, another crash: at the start he fails to get his Ferrari into gear, and Prost driver Luciano Burti first collides with the rear end of the F2001 and then uses it as an improvised ski-jump. Even in the T car, Michael’s luck fails to improve and he has to retire with a defective fuel pump.

But only two weeks later, on 19th August, none of this matters any more. In Budapest, Michael wins not only the race and the World Championship title ahead of time; he also secures the constructor’s title for Ferrari and equals Alain Prost’s record of 51 Grand Prix wins. “It’s a bit too much for me coming all at once,” he admits. At the next race, on his favourite track at Spa-Francorchamps, he sets a new record for the highest number of Formula One victories ever.

The Ferrari Era

Journalists want to know what drives him on to so many records, victories and titles, what goals does he still have? “I just want to keep on driving and winning for as long as I can. We always said that we wanted to establish a kind of ’Ferrari Era’.” But this is only just the beginning. “It is competition that grips me. I’ve got enough fire in my belly to keep driving me on.” And in the coming years, there are plenty of races and titles still to be won…

Courtesy by motorsport-magazin.com

STATS

2001 Saison Figures

1

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP

9

GRAND PRIX WINS

14

PODIUM POSITIONS

123

POINTS TOTAL

3

FASTEST LAPS

11

POLE POSITION

THE CAR

Ferrari F2001

F2001

ALL GRAND PRIX

The races of 2001

MELBOURNE

04.03.2001

MELBOURNE

Australia

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

SEPANG

18.03.2001

SEPANG

Malaysia

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

SAO PAULO

01.04.2001

SAO PAULO

Brazil

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 2

IMOLA

15.04.2001

IMOLA

San Marino

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 4

Rennen DNF

BARCELONA

29.04.2001

BARCELONA

Spain

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

SPIELBERG

13.05.2001

SPIELBERG

Austria

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 2

MONTE CARLO

27.05.2001

MONTE CARLO

Monaco

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 1

MONTREAL

10.06.2001

MONTREAL

Canada

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 2

NÜRBURGRING

24.06.2001

NÜRBURGRING

EUROPEAN GP

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

MAGNY-COURS

01.07.2001

MAGNY-COURS

France

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 2

Rennen 1

SILVERSTONE

15.07.2001

SILVERSTONE

Great Britain

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 2

HOCKENHEIM

29.07.2001

HOCKENHEIM

GERMANY

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 4

Rennen DNF

BUDAPEST

19.08.2001

BUDAPEST

Hungary

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

02.09.2001

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

Belgium

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 3

Rennen 1

MONZA

16.09.2001

MONZA

Italy

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 3

Rennen 4

INDIANAPOLIS

30.09.2001

INDIANAPOLIS

USA

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 2

SUZUKA

14.10.2001

SUZUKA

Japan

PLATZIERUNG

Quali. 1

Rennen 1

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