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2001 San Marino Grand Prix 
Fan Reviews and Comments  

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Back to the main San Marino 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 

Yaman from India writes:

The San Marino GP:

For the first time this season a McLaren was starting from the front row of the starting grid . In fact both of them were. Coulthard, fresh from victory in Brazil grabbed pole just two tenths of a second behind was his team-mate Mika Hakkinen. Ralf Schumacher upstaged older brother Michael and was third 1 place ahead of the latter. Rubens Barrichello was off the pace once again at 6th place. It looked very good for McLaren and it looked as if they would be able to make it a 1-2 for them in the race too. Jean Todt expressed unhappiness at the poor result of their two drivers during qualifying. This race was the clearest signal that Ferrari had been caught up with not by just McLaren, but by Williams too.

At GO, Mika Hakkinen tried to stop Michael Schumacher from going down the inside of the McLaren. He was successful in that attempt but, Jarno Trulli who had qualified at fifth was able to overtake him. But, that was not the major change in order. Ralf Schumacher had a perfect start and he went down the inside of Coulthard. Over the next few laps Schumacher was able to open a gap of around 2 seconds over the Brit. Lower down the order his elder brother was having problems. Michael was bogged down from the start and it was pretty obvious that he was not comfortable in his car. Juan Montoya and Olivier Panis managed to get past him and a few laps later  Barrichello also passed him. The first six by the end of ten laps were in the order of, Ralf Schumacher, David Coulthard, Jarno Trulli, Mika Hakkinen, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ruben Barrichello. After a rather early pitstop by Trulli, Barrichello occupied 5th place. Meanwhile Ralf was really flying in his Williams. He was setting faster laps by the minutes. Hakkinen was meanwhile holding Montoya and the two Ferrari's who had managed to overtake the BAR of Panis. But in the 24th lap Michael had a setback. His front left tyre was punctured and as a result of that he had to pit for a change of tyres and thus lost as many as ten places. When he rejoined the race he found his car brakes were not functioning desirably and he was forced to make a retirement. It was the first time he had to retire from a GP since Germany last year where he was rear ended by Giancarlo Fisichella in a Benetton. As his car was being pushed into the garage one could see the look of extreme disappointment on his face. Hakkinen had to pit and Barrichello took over 3rd place, and when the latter went in for his scheduled pitstop a couple of laps later he was able to come out ahead of the Finn. This was a disappointment for Hakkinen as he was looking to finish on the podium for the first time this year. Ralf who was by now well ahead of Coulthard was able to pit and come out ahead of the Brit after the latter had made pitstop a couple of laps back, with ease. It was looking good for the German and he was well on the way to winning a GP for the first time and also to driving a Williams to the chequered flag in first place for the first time since Nurburgring in 1997 when Jacques Villeneuve drove Williams to victory. Michelin to would have a reason to celebrate, as they were well on the way to winning their first race since 1984!

Montoya was unlucky though when a mechanical failure kept him sitting in the pits for more that a minute. He was in fifth place with Frentzen in sixth but due to his retirement the second Jordan driven by Jarno Trulli took over sixth while Frentzen improved to fifth. The second pit-stops saw no dramatic change in the order. In all 12 cars were left running with nearly all the middle field retiring due to some mechanical or other failure.

Towards the end Coulthard drove a few fast laps but could do nothing much to threaten Ralf as the German held on a steady pace and took his Williams to his maiden F1 victory. Coulthard held on to second and Barrichello came in third followed by a frustrated Mika Hakkinen and Trulli and Frentzen in the two Jordan's respectively. On his victory lap the expression on Ralf's face was that of extreme happiness. In the Williams pits the victory celebrations had just started and it was pretty clear that they would continue for a long time. Michael Schumacher was the first to congratulate his triumphant brother.

A happy and very proud Ralf took the top step on the podium for the first time in his F1 career and was given a shower of champagne by both Coulthard and Barrichello (no love lost between him and Ralf).

So, a maiden victory for Ralf and it seems that Williams might just be the third team to challenge for this years honours. With one of their drivers winning one shall have to look out for Juan Pablo Montoya in the next few races.

Barcelona comes next. It should be an extremely enthralling race.

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