Continuing the series celebrating 70 years of Formula 1, Autosport picks out the 12 moments that defined the 2000s, with the help of the extensive Motorsport Images archive
The 2000s was arguably the most dramatically controversial decade of Formula 1 history, and is the latest subject of our look at the defining moments with the aid of the Motorsport Images archive.
It was the era of media attaching the word '-gate' onto the end of anything that had a whiff of scandal, and there were rich pickings, with the 2005 US Grand Prix tyre fiasco, the McLaren/Ferrari spying drama of 2007, and the deliberate crash in the 2008 Singapore GP.
At least it got F1 back into the headlines, from which it had been slipping following a non-stop period of utter domination by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari in the first half of the decade. The parallel rise of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso at least set the tone for the second half. Joining them would be Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, a new and short-lived force in the form of Brawn, and two of the most dramatic F1 title deciders of all time...
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Respect between two titans of the sport. Mika Hakkinen won the 1998 and 1999 world championship titles for McLaren, but Ferrari finally gets it right in 2000, allowing Schumacher to battle the Finn for the first crown of the 21st century.
Schumacher beats Hakkinen by 1.8 seconds in the penultimate round, the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, to put the title beyond reach with one round still to come, in Malaysia. The rest are over a minute adrift.
It's the start of an incredible run for Schumacher and Ferrari. They will be unbeaten in the 2000-04 championships, with Schumacher winning 48 of the 85 races during that period.
Williams has given British new boy Jenson Button a promising debut F1 season in 2000, but has an exciting newcomer lined up for 2001. While Button moves to Benetton, 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya slides in alongside Ralf Schumacher.
Third time out in the Brazilian Grand Prix, the fearless Colombian has the temerity to take on his team-mate's brother Michael in a no-holds-barred battle. He wins that fight, but is taken out of the race when Jos Verstappen bungles his braking point while being lapped and smashes his Arrows into the Williams-BMW. Still, his point is made.
Heavy rain follows, Schumacher's Ferrari has the wrong set-up, and David Coulthard wins for McLaren.
It's the sixth round of the 2002 world championship. Michael Schumacher has won four of the first five races and has almost double the points of his closest rival Montoya.
There are still 11 races to go after this, the Austrian Grand Prix, yet somehow the Jean Todt-led Ferrari squad believes that Schumacher needs the assistance of team orders. Sure enough, Rubens Barrichello moves over on the run to the finish line to allow team-mate Schumacher to win.
The emotions are clear to see on the podium, where Schumacher insists on Barrichello taking the top step. The episode results in several years of well-meant but impossible-to-police rules banning team orders; a typical saga of F1 tying itself up in knots.
Michael Schumacher continues around the final banked corner at Indianapolis on his way to the startline at the end of the parade lap for the 2005 United States Grand Prix, while the bulk of the field takes to the pitlane to withdraw.
The race is boycotted by the teams on Michelin tyres (comprising 14 of the 20-strong field) on safety grounds, following a spate of failures during practice. Moves to alter the track layout to reduce the stress of the banked 'Turn 1' on the tyres fall foul of regulatory red tape. The crowd jeers as just six Bridgestone-shod cars take the start.
Fortunately, all finish, with Schumacher scoring Ferrari's only victory of a miserable season ahead of Barrichello and the lapped Jordan-Toyotas of an elated Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan. Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher score the final points for the Minardi team before its takeover by Red Bull for 2006, when the much-loved Italian team changes its name to Toro Rosso.
Renault's brilliant young talent Alonso chases seven-time champion Michael Schumacher in the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix. At the previous race in Brazil Alonso clinches the first of his two back-to-back titles.
Two weeks later, the Spaniard pulls off an astonishing pass on Schumacher on the outside of the 130R kink on his way to third at Suzuka, while closest rival Raikkonen - who has started from 17th after a rain-interrupted qualifying session - wins for McLaren after ambushing Alonso's team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella on the last lap.
Alonso will double up in 2006, this time after defeating a soon-to-retire Schumacher, who suffers a major set-back with a rare Ferrari engine failure while leading in the penultimate round at Suzuka. That gives Alonso a 10-point buffer heading to the Brazil finale where, despite a puncture, Schumacher finishes fourth in what everybody expects to be his final F1 race.
Robert Kubica destroys his BMW Sauber during his spectacular cartwheel in the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal. As a result, he will sit out the next race, at Indianapolis, handing a one-off F1 race debut to BMW protege Vettel.
One year later, Kubica will return to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve just six points adrift of the top of the table. The Pole goes on to take his and his team's maiden F1 victory, leading home team-mate Nick Heidfeld in a 1-2 finish after Hamilton and Raikkonen are both eliminated in a bizarre pitlane accident.
The result gives Kubica the championship lead, but BMW's bizarre edict to focus on development of the 2009 contender results in Kubica dropping to fourth by the end of the season. That car proves a failure, and BMW withdraws from F1.
Hamilton leads McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Alonso out of the pits during qualifying at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix. It looks innocuous enough, but scandal is brewing.
Hamilton, supported by McLaren boss Ron Dennis since his karting days, has been the sensation of the season, his pace preventing Alonso from claiming what he feels is his right to be number one on his arrival at the team from Renault.
In these days of 'fuel-burning' laps, it is Alonso's turn to lead the way on track at the Hungaroring, but, as the picture shows, Hamilton breaks the agreement. Alonso retaliates by deliberately impeding Hamilton at the final pitstop, preventing the Briton from completing his final flying lap. Alonso claims pole, but is given a grid penalty for holding up Hamilton.
A row breaks out between Dennis and Alonso, and the latter reveals emails to the FIA concerning McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan receiving 780 pages of information on the Ferrari from disenchanted Ferrari chief mechanic Nigel Stepney.
The 'spy scandal' results in the FIA excluding McLaren from the 2007 constructors' championship and fining the team $100million.
With two rounds to go in the 2007 world championship, Ferrari's Raikkonen is 17 points (with 20 available) adrift of Hamilton and five behind Alonso. The turnaround that results in Raikkonen clinching the title at the Brazilian Grand Prix is one of the most remarkable in the sport's history.
McLaren gaffes at the Chinese Grand Prix by leaving Hamilton out too long on worn intermediates, and he makes a crucial error entering the pits that leaves him stuck in a thin slither of gravel. Raikkonen's win from Alonso closes the gap and another off for Hamilton at Interlagos, followed by a gearbox glitch, duly scuppers his hopes, while Alonso is left trailing by Ferrari pair Felipe Massa and Raikkonen.
Ferrari uses pit tactics to promote Raikkonen into the lead he requires to become champion, and his victory crowns him as king of 2007 - just a point ahead of the warring McLaren duo.
A wet weekend at Monza ends in Vettel winning the 2008 Italian Grand Prix for Toro Rosso, the 21-year-old becoming the youngest driver ever to score an F1 World Championship race victory. The record will stand until Max Verstappen takes the flag in the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
It's a wild race, with Vettel starting from pole after wet qualifying and defying expectations by staying fully in control to lead home McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen - who pipped Vettel to become the 100th world championship race winner three races before at the Hungarian Grand Prix - and Kubica. At an average age of 23 years, 11 months and 16 days, it remained the youngest podium in F1 history until the 2019 Brazilian GP.
Remarkably, Vettel's triumph also means that Red Bull's junior team beats the senior squad to a maiden F1 win by nine months - an emotional moment for those former Minardi staffers who had spent years fighting for scraps. Vettel is promoted to the top squad over the winter, and takes its first victory in the 2009 Chinese GP.
After the US GP tyre fiasco in 2005 and the 2007 spy scandal, the last thing F1 needs in the last knockings of the decade is another blemish on its image - but that's exactly what it's about to get.
When Nelson Piquet Jr crashes his Renault out of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, in one of the few places where there are no cranes to winch cars out of the way, it triggers a safety car.
Team-mate Alonso - back with Renault after his unhappy McLaren stint - has been running a lowly 11th in the early laps, before making a pitstop. The timing of the safety car is perfect for the Spaniard, his pitstop already taken, and he wins the race.
Amid murmurs that Renault is considering its F1 future, plus the timing of the shunt and its inaccessible location, some intuitive members of the paddock believe something fishy is afoot; the majority pass it off as a lucky outcome from a Piquet mistake.
That is until Piquet is fired from Renault in the middle of a lacklustre 2009 campaign, and dobs in the team, implicating managing director Flavio Briatore and executive director of engineering Pat Symonds. Both serve bans, while Piquet is exonerated for his part in being an informant - but is pretty much unemployable by now in F1 anyway.
McLaren chief Dennis embraces Hamilton after the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, where a last-minute pass on the Toyota of Timo Glock has enabled the Briton to gain the extra point he needs to become world champion. At the time of Hamilton's overtaking manoeuvre, title rival Massa has already crossed the Interlagos finish line.
Amid a late shower of rain, Toyota has kept Glock on dry-weather tyres, with the majority of the field switching to intermediates. Glock, in fourth place, starts the final lap 13 seconds in front of Hamilton, who is sixth, behind Vettel's Toro Rosso.
But that large cushion is eradicated - Vettel and Hamilton both pass Glock on the run to Juncao, the final proper corner, giving the McLaren man the fifth place he requires to become champion.
Brawn - F1's ultimate one-hit wonder. Honda's return to F1, rebranding the former BAR team in its name from 2006-08, has been a disaster, save for an inspired win against the run of play for Jenson Button on a wet track in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Team principal Ross Brawn has had his crew - incorporating staff from the defunct Super Aguri Honda 'B' team - working on an all-new 2009 challenger when Honda pulls the plug.
Somehow a deal is pulled together for the team to continue under Brawn's name, along with a last-minute Mercedes engine supply.
The Brawn BGP 001, complete with the contentious double diffuser, wins six of the first seven races in Button's hands. Red Bull's Vettel erodes the gap, but the Briton is crowned with one race to spare, before the team is taken over by Mercedes...
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