Round 2-Buenos Aires, Argentina
1. Norberto Fontana (Williams BMW)
2. Eddie Irvine (Jaguar Ford)
3. Gil De Ferran (Fittipaldi Renault)
4. Rubens Barrichello (Scuderia Ferrari)
5. David Brabham (Brabham Ford)
6. Johnny Herbert (Jaguar Ford)
7. Adrian Fernandez (Jordan Honda)
8. Michael Schumacher (Scuderia Ferrari)
9. Jacques Villeneuve (Tyrrell-Reynard Honda)
10. Ricardo Zonta (Tyrrell-Reynard Honda)
11. Esteban Tuero (Pacific-Simtek Cosworth)
12. Shinji Nakano (Pacific-Simtek Cosworth)
13. Ralf Schumacher (Brabham Ford)
14. David Coulthard (Mclaren Mercedes)
15. Mika Salo (Sauber Ferrari)
16. Jenson Button (Williams BMW)
17. Jean Alesi (Ligierprost Peugeot)
18. Alexander Wurz (Benetton Renault)
19. Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton Renault)
20. Nick Heidfeld (Ligierprost Peugeot)
21. Toranosuke Takagi (Minardi Fondmetal)
22. Jarno Trulli (Sauber Ferrari)
23. Jos Verstappen (Arrows Cosworth)
24. Pedro De La Rosa (Arrows Cosworth)
25. Mika Hakkinen (Mclaren Mercedes)
26. Jimmy Vasser (Fittipaldi Renault)
27. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan Honda)
28. Gaston Mazzacane (Minardi Fondmetal)
Report: Heavy cloud and a damp track greeted the drivers at the start of the qualifying session at the Autodromo Juan y Oscar Galvez, thanks to rain all through the morning. Only a few drivers decided to take to the track at the start due to the conditions, namely Fontana, Irvine, De Ferran, Tuero, Nakano, Brabham, Herbert and Villeneuve. Despite the cloud there was no rain forecast and so most stayed in expecting it to dry, except the aforementioned who all set just a few laps each, except Villeneuve who struggled around to 1 full lap before returning to the pits.
After half an hour, Fontana was fastest followed by Irvine, De Ferran, Brabham, Herbert, Villeneuve, Tuero and Nakano. By this time there was light rain, and people had begun to realise a relent in the rain was not going to come any time soon, and hence almost everybody decided to take to the track within a minute. Trouble was, as soon as they had done this, the rain started to get harder and soon enough it was a full blown downpour.
The result was no one being able to set a competitive lap, whilst Mazzacane, Frentzen, Vasser and Hakkinen all found themselves in the gravel on their out laps. The rules prevented them from being put back on the track again, and so they would sit out the rest of the session. Removing these cars to the edges of the run off areas as well as the rain caused the session to be red flagged. Only 8 drivers had set a proper lap time, and this was the way it stayed until the rain died down.
By the end of the session, the track was still quite wet but there was no rain, and so everyone was on track trying to get some good laps in. The track was slightly wetter than at the session start, but most just wanted to get themselves a good grid position. The stars of the last five minutes were the Ferraris, Barrichello and Schumacher claiming 4th and 8th respectively. Fernandez did well to grab seventh and the only other driver to beat a time set by the first 8 was Zonta, qualifying 10th. Coulthard struggled as did the Benetton’s, and so Fontana had claimed only his third career pole, in none other than his home country. The massive crowd went wild with the news, as they got set for a fabulous but likely wet again Argentine Grand Prix.
1. Michael Schumacher (Scuderia Ferrari) 72 Laps
2. Gil De Ferran (Fittipaldi Renault) +22.435
3. Adrian Fernandez (Jordan Honda) +29.768
4. Jenson Button (Williams BMW) +32.127
5. Norberto Fontana (Williams BMW) +41.542
6. Rubens Barrichello (Scuderia Ferrari) +42.213
7. Jean Alesi (Ligierprost Peugeot) +49.130
8. Jimmy Vasser (Fittipaldi Renault) +51.269
9. Alexander Wurz (Benetton Renault) +56.004
10. Jarno Trulli (Sauber Ferrari) +58.379
11. Nick Heidfeld (Ligierprost Peugeot) +60.924
12. Johnny Herbert (Jaguar Ford) +1 Lap
DNF Esteban Tuero (Pacific-Simtek Cosworth) (Spun Off) (65 Laps)
DNF Eddie Irvine (Jaguar Ford) (Spun Off) (53 Laps)
DNF Jacques Villeneuve (Tyrrell-Reynard Honda) (Spun Off) (42 Laps)
DNF Shinji Nakano (Pacific-Simtek Cosworth) (Spun Off) (40 Laps)
DNF Ralf Schumacher (Brabham Ford) (Engine) (34 Laps)
DNF David Brabham (Brabham Ford) (Spun Off) (27 Laps)
DNF Mika Hakkinen (Mclaren Mercedes) (Clutch) (25 Laps)
DNF Mika Salo (Sauber Ferrari) (Spun Off) (21 Laps)
DNF Ricardo Zonta (Tyrrell-Reynard Honda) (Spun Off) (20 Laps)
DNF Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan Honda) (Spun Off) (8 Laps)
DNF Gaston Mazzacane (Minardi Fondmetal) (Spun Off) (7 Laps)
DNF David Coulthard (Mclaren Mercedes) (Spun Off) (7 Laps)
DNF Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton Renault) (Collision) (0 Laps)
DNF Jos Verstappen (Arrows Cosworth) (Collision) (0 Laps)
DNF Pedro De La Rosa (Arrows Cosworth) (Collision) (0 Laps)
DNF Toranosuke Takagi (Minardi Fondmetal) (Collision) (0 Laps)
Report: Somehow, it had remained dry until the start of the 2000 Argentine Grand Prix. The massive and loud crowd eagerly awaited the start, for their new hero Norberto Fontana had taken pole. He indeed got a great start to easily lead into turn one, But this was academic as Irvine got a poor start dropping to sixth. Meanwhile Barrichello forced his way into second as the front of the pack were clean at turn 1. However, towards the back all hell broke loose when Takagi missed his braking point after a slow getaway and collected the back of Verstappen, who in turn was spun left into his own team mate, who himself spun and left no where for Fisichella to go who mounted the back of the Arrows. Hakkinen, Vasser and Mazzacane all went into the gravel after trying to avoid the incident but were able to continue.
The safety car duly came out as the top 10 order was Fontana, Barrichello, De Ferran, Herbert, Brabham, Schumacher, Fernandez, Irvine, Zonta, and Tuero. Villeneuve had found himself at the back of the pack after a spin at turn 7. Everyone remained on dries as this appeared like the correct thing to do, but just a lap after the restart the rain started to come down hard. The first major casualty of the race came within the next lap, as David Coulthard slid off and out of the race at turn 11. Just seconds later, Mazzacane slid sideways into retirement at the same point, as countless others aquaplaned on from the same corner through the gravel.
The drivers were sliding and spinning left right and centre, and Frentzen found himself wide at turn 10, sliding into the barrier and out. To remove the stricken Mclaren, Minardi and Jordan the safety car came out yet again. During the chaos Schumacher had fought his way past Brabham and Herbert and found himself in 4th. Mika Hakkinen meanwhile was already 14th from 25th on the grid. After the restart, Schumacher the ‘rain master’ did his work, Taking De Ferran and his own team mate in quick succession as the rain relinquished.
Just a few laps later, he was in the lead much to the disappointment of the Argentine fans, after diving down the inside at turn 14. He would not let the lead slip for the rest of the race as he brilliantly drove away in the wet conditions. As this had been happening the Pacific-Simteks had fallen down the order, while Button had fought his way into the top 10. Zonta, who had already had a spin at the restart after the second safety car, Spun off at turn 1. Salo then ended his race after spinning into the gravel at turn 9. Clearly, the conditions were challenging for everyone except the Ferrari drivers, as Barrichello soon followed his team mate through past Fontana. Hakkinen, who was storming through the field soon found himself in anger after a clutch failure on his Mclaren. Brabham, who had taken Hakkinen’s 9th place after the Finn’s clutch failure following a spin 3 laps earlier dropping him down the order, spun again and out of the race on lap 27. His team mate Ralf Schumacher would be out 7 laps later with Engine failure.
At the half way point it was Michael Schumacher leading from Barrichello, Fontana, De Ferran, Herbert, Fernandez, Irvine, Button, Vasser, and Alesi in the top 10. The second round of pit stops, (the first being as it started to rain) came about as people started to change from wets to intermediates, and much to the disappointment of the home crowd, Fontana had a major delay in the pit stop thanks to a problem with the air gun on his front right wheel. It left him in 6th position, and a full 360 degree spin on his out lap did not help his cause, as his chances for a second successive podium finish looked slim.
Both Jaguars’ then found themselves half spinning at the same point, but both were able to continue after a large delay. Barrichello was now starting to close on Schumacher, but found himself in major problems when Villeneuve, who was being lapped, spun right in front of the Brazilian’s eyes at turn 1. Barrichello swerved left to avoid him, but Villeneuve continued backwards into the gravel, forcing the Ferrari driver to take a long, cross country trip to successfully avoid hitting the Tyrrell-Reynard and then return to the track. This lost him time and a place to the brilliantly composed Gil De Ferran, and soon after he came into the pits for the third time with damage to the bottom of his car. This lost him more time and his chances of second position.
And so remarkably Jenson Button found himself in third position in his second ever F1 race, with Fernandez, who the young Brit had leap frogged in the pit stops, in close company. Not bad considering he’d started 16th. Eddie Irvine became yet another casualty of the conditions on lap 53, and this left Trulli in the top ten. Barrichello fought his way back past Vasser and Alesi and was now following Fontana in 5th, who himself had done a similar thing on the aforementioned two.
Soon after Fernandez grabbed 3rd from Button, who was stunned to see himself overtaken by the Mexican and ran wide, letting any chance of himself being able to fight back slip away. Tuero was the last retirement of the race on lap 65, spinning off in front of his home fans at turn 3. Schumacher cruised to the end, followed by De Ferran, Fernandez, Button, Fontana and Barrichello. Alesi, Vasser, Trulli and Wurz rounded out the top 10, with the only other runners being Heidfeld and Herbert. The Austrian got past Trulli with two laps to go, by which time the track was nearly dry after having not rained since a brief light shower on lap 55. This was the way an enthralling, chaotic, incident filled race finished, with Schumacher taking another 10 points and the Mclarens again failing to score. The silver cars are going to have to fight back in Brazil.
Championship Standings after Round 2:
1. Michael Schumacher 20 points
2. Norberto Fontana 8 points
3. Gil De Ferran 6 points
4. Adrian Fernandez 4 points
5. Heinz-Harald Frentzen 4 points
6. Jenson Button 3 points
7. Jacques Villeneuve 3 points
8. Giancarlo Fisichella 2 points
9. Ricardo Zonta 1 point
10. Rubens Barrichello 1 point
1. Scuderia Ferrari 21 points
2. Williams BMW 11 points
3. Jordan Honda 8 points
4. Fittipaldi Renault 6 points
5. Tyrrell-Reynard Honda 4 points
6. Benetton Renault 2 points
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