22px-Flag of Belgium (civil)  2000 Belgian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 13 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season
Spa 1996
Spa Francorchamps
Date 27 August 2000
Official name LVIII Foster's Belgian Grand Prix
Location Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Course Permanent racing facility
6.968 km (4.330 mi)</td></tr>
Distance 44 laps, 306.592 km (190.507 mi)</td></tr>
Weather Wet at start, drying, Air Temp: 14°C
Pole position
Driver 22px-Flag of Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:50.646
Fastest lap
Driver 25px-Brazilflag Rubens Barrichello Ferrari
Time 1:53.803 on lap 30
First 22px-Flag of Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
Second Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Third Flag of Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW

The 2000 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on August 27, 2000 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium. It was the thirteenth race of the 2000 Formula One season. The race was the 58th Belgian Grand Prix and the 46th to be held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The race was held over 44 laps of the 6.9-kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 307 kilometres.

The race was won by Finnish driver, Mika Häkkinen driving a McLaren MP4/15. The win was Hakkinen's fourth win of the season and McLaren's seventh. Hakkinen won by 1.1 seconds over German driver Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F1-2000. Schumacher's younger brother Ralf Schumacher, driving a Williams FW22, finished third.

Report Edit

After the disappointment of the Hungarian Grand Prix where they were clearly slower than the McLarens of Häkkinen and Coulthard, Ferrari desperately needed a win at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. In qualifying though, Mika Häkkinen in the McLaren again proved he was the man to beat, Jarno Trulli dragging his Jordan-Mugen Honda onto the front row and with rookie Jenson Button a surprise 3rd quickest in the impressively quick Williams-BMW. Michael Schumacher was struggling in 4th, clearly his Ferrari not up to pace with Häkkinen.

The rain arrived on Sunday, drenching the circuit and forcing race stewards to start the race under the safety car. The start-finish straight is short, leading into a sharp hairpin (La Source) which has been the site of many incidents in past races. Thus, safety concerns were heeded. It was not long before the safety car entered the pits and the race began. The early stage was no contest. Häkkinen was pulling away in the wet conditions, with championship rivals Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard trapped in traffic. However, Schumacher's job was made a lot easier with Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli colliding into La Source, leaving the door open for the German to push up into 2nd. Ralf Schumacher in the other Williams-BMW now inherited 3rd.

However, dry lines started to appear. The front-runners were clearly not prepared to take the gamble and switch to dry tyres, but Jean Alesi in the Prost Peugeot basically had nothing to lose and tried his luck. After his tyre change, he was clearly the fastest driver on the circuit, triggering teams to call their drivers in to do the same. McLaren made a tactical error by not calling Häkkinen and Coulthard into the pits immediately, costing them valuable time and allowing a now charging Michael Schumacher to close the gap. Meanwhile, Alesi's inspired decision had earned him a net 4th place after the pitstops.

These semi-wet conditions obviously suited Michael Schumacher's wet set-up car more than it did Häkkinen's dryer set-up car, and the German started to close the gap to the Finn. Then, Häkkinen had a spin on standing water and allowed Schumacher to take the lead. For the next handful of laps, Schumacher was comfortably extending the gap. ITV commentator Martin Brundle believed that Schumacher's clever use of the remaining wet line from Raidillon to Les Combes to cool his tyres (hence maximise their performance) was playing an integral role in his ability to pull away so easily from Häkkinen. Schumacher pitted at about half distance of the 44 lap race and filled his car with enough fuel to complete the race. Häkkinen kept going for a short while and he too completed his final pitstop.

Schumacher was still comfortably in front, but now obviously faster Häkkinen was clearly closing on the Ferrari. The track was now fully dry and Häkkinen was on a charge. Schumacher had set up his Ferrari for wet conditions due to the morning weather, meaning he had a fairly high downforce setting. He was particularly slow down the straights (notably through Eau Rouge, through Raidillon and up the Kemmel Straight approaching Les Combes). Meanwhile, Häkkinen had a more dry-weather based set-up in anticipation of a primarily dry race. This would prove crucial in the outcome of the battle.

In the final stages of the race, Häkkinen was using his straight-line speed advantage to good effect as he aimed a move up the inside of Schumacher up the Kemmel Straight approaching Les Combes. In typically robust fashion, Schumacher was going to have none of this and almost forced Häkkinen onto the grass at over 200 miles an hour. The Finn was unimpressed with that manoeuvre. He would not have to wait long for payback, in fact the very next lap at the same spot. As he and Schumacher were about to lap Ricardo Zonta, Schumacher went around the BAR driver to the left but Häkkinen went around Zonta's right and outbraked Schumacher into Les Combes. Michael Schumacher put in a good drive but in the end, he could not contain a simply faster Häkkinen. Ralf Schumacher also put in a great performance to take the final step of the podium, outracing David Coulthard in the second McLaren.

Häkkinen now led the championship with 74 points, with Schumacher 6 points behind.

Classification Edit

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 22px-Flag of Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 44 1:28:14.494 1 10
2 3 Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 44 +1.104 4 6
3 9 Flag of Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 44 +38.096 6 4
4 2 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 44 +43.281 5 3
5 10 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button Williams-BMW 44 +49.914 3 2
6 5 Flag of Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen-Honda 44 +55.984 8 1
7 22 25px-Canadaflag Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 44 +1:12.380 7  
8 8 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Jaguar-Cosworth 44 +1:27.808 9  
9 17 22px-Flag of Finland Mika Salo Sauber-Petronas 44 +1:28.670 18  
10 7 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 44 +1:31.555 12  
11 16 25px-Brazilflag Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas 44 +1:34.123 15  
12 23 25px-Brazilflag Ricardo Zonta BAR-Honda 43 +1 Lap 13  
13 12 22px-Flag of Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 43 +1 Lap 19  
14 20 22px-Flag of Spain Marc Gené Minardi-Fondmetal 43 +1 Lap 21  
15 19 22px-Flag of the Netherlands Jos Verstappen Arrows-Supertec 43 +1 Lap 20  
16 18 22px-Flag of Spain Pedro de la Rosa Arrows-Supertec 42 +2 Laps 16  
17 21 25px-ARGENntina Gastón Mazzacane Minardi-Fondmetal 42 +2 Laps 22  
Ret 4 25px-Brazilflag Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 32 Fuel pressure 10  
Ret 14 22px-Flag of France Jean Alesi Prost-Peugeot 32 Fuel pressure 17  
Ret 15 Flag of Germany Nick Heidfeld Prost-Peugeot 12 Engine 14  
Ret 11 22px-Flag of Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 8 Electrical 11  
Ret 6 22px-Flag of Italy Jarno Trulli Jordan-Mugen-Honda 4 Collision 2  

Standings after the race Edit

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
Drivers' Championship standings
Pos Driver Points
1 22px-Flag of Finland Mika Häkkinen 74
2 Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher 68
3 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom David Coulthard 61
4 25px-Brazilflag Rubens Barrichello 49
5 Flag of Germany Ralf Schumacher 20
Constructors' Championship standings
Pos Constructor Points
1 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 125
2 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari 117
3 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Williams-BMW 30
4 22px-Flag of Italy Benetton-Playlife 18
5 22px-Flag of Ireland Jordan-Mugen-Honda 13
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References Edit

"2000 Belgian GP: Qualification". Retrieved 2007-08-03. 

"2000 Belgian Grand Prix". The Official Formula 1 Website. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 

"2000 Belgian GP: Classification". Retrieved 2007-08-03. 

Previous race:
2000 Hungarian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2000 season
Next race:
2000 Italian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1999 Belgian Grand Prix
Belgian Grand Prix Next race:
2001 Belgian Grand Prix
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