Archive for Monday, October 1, 2001

Hakkinen going out as winner

Driver overcomes Schumacher for victory in Indianapolis

October 1, 2001


— If Mika Hakkinen is determined to leave Formula 1 racing, he'll leave a winner.

Hakkinen won the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday, the 20th victory of his career. The world champion in 1998 and '99 announced two weeks ago that he was taking a year-long "sabbatical" from racing.

"This was one of the highlights of the season for me," he said. "Winning the British Grand Prix was something to put in my book, and Indianapolis was the other."

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher finished second.

Hakkinen's McLaren-Mercedes teammate, David Coulthard, benefited from heavy attrition and finished third. Jarno Trulli driving for Jordan finished fourth. Eddie Irvine of Jaguar and Nick Heidfeld of Sauber rounded out the points-paying slots.

About 175,000 people attended the race on a course that combines portions of Indy's famous oval with a newly constructed 12-turn infield section. The 17th and final race of the year is two weeks from now in Japan.

In the first half of the race, it looked like it would be a Ferrari one-two finish.

Rubens Barrichello set a blistering pace early on and led until a round of pit stops about midrace.

Hakkinen, who had been pushed back on the grid from second to fourth because of a driving infraction during morning practice, passed Barrichello and sparred with him until the Ferrari's engine let go only laps from the checkered flag.

Hakkinen said the team was obviously pleased with its strategy.

"We were confident with the car, that we can carry the fuel," the Flying Finn said.

"We were confident with the tires that they can take it. And it worked out fantastically."

Notes: Many of the cars ran without their traditional cigarette sponsorship because of advertising restrictions, and instead are sporting American flags or other tributes to the individuals killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In the quaint history department, motor sports journalism pioneer Chris Economacki still files his daily stories written on an old manual Olympia typewriter. He still sounds as if he gargles with gravel.

With this track configuration, drivers are running full throttle for 20 seconds, the longest single stretch of full acceleration of any of the seventeen Formula 1 tracks.

Asked if he ever considered racing at the Indy 500, Michael Schumacher said: "I simply don't see the point in it. I Feel it's too dangerous in my view.

"The second point is I feel that Formula 1 is the highest challenge you can have in motor racing. I'm doing well here and I don't see a point to prove anything in an Indy race."

Lap length: 2.606 miles

1. Mika Hakkinen, Finland, McLaren Mercedes, 1 hour, 32 minutes, 42.840 seconds.

2. Michael Schumacher, Germany, Ferrari, 11.046 seconds behind.

3. David Coulthard, Scotland, McLaren Mercedes, 12.043.

4. Eddie Irvine, Ireland, Jaguar, 1:02.434.

5. Nick Heidfeld, Germany, Sauber Petronas, 1:12.996.

6. Jean Alesi, France, Jordan Honda, 1 lap behind.

7. Giancarlo Fisichella, Italy, Benetton Renault, 1 lap.

8. Jenson Button, England, Benetton Renault, 1 lap.

9. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Germany, Prost Acer, 1 lap.

10. Olivier Panis, France, BAR Honda, 1 lap.

11. Pedro De La Rosa, Spain, Jaguar, 1 lap.

12. Enrique Bernoldi, Brazil, Arrows Asiatech, 1 lap.

13. Tomas Enge, Czech Republic, Prost Acer, 1 lap.

14. Rubens Barrichello, Brazil, Ferrari, 2 laps.

Did Not Finish

Jacques Villeneuve, Canada, BAR Honda, 28 laps.

Jos Verstappen, Netherlands, Arrows Asiatech, 29 laps.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombia, Williams BMW, 35 laps.

Alex Yoong, Malaysia, European Minardi, 35 laps.

Ralf Schumacher, Germany, Williams BMW, 37 laps.

Fernando Alonso, Spain, European Minardi, 37 laps.

Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, Sauber Petronas, 71 laps.

Driver Standings (After 16 of 17 races): Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 113 points (clinched title); David Coulthard, McLaren, 61; Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 54; Ralf Schumacher, Wiliams, 48; Mika Hakkinen, McLaren, 34;. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 25;. Nick Heidfeld, Sauber, 13;. Jacques Villeneuve, BAR, 12;. Kimi Raikkonen, Sauber, 9; Jarno Trulli, Jordan, 9; Giancarlo Fisichella, Benetton, 8; Eddie Irvine, Jaguar, 7; Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Prost, 6; Jean Alesi, Jordan, 6; Olivier Panis, BAR, 5; Pedro De La Rosa, Jaguar, 3; Jenson Button, Benetton, 2;. Jos Verstappen, Arrows, 1.

Contructors Standings: Ferrari, 167 (clinched title); McLaren Marcedes, 95; BMW Williams, 73; Sauber Petronas, 22; BAR Honda, 17; Jordan Honda, 17; Benetton Renault, 10; Jaguar, 10; Prost Acer, 4; Arrows, 1; European Minardi, 0.

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