Schumacher shines in the rain

Michael Schumacher's fourth win of the year has put the Ferrari driver 18 points clear of Mika Hakkinen. The German didn't put a wheel wrong in the difficult wet conditions, heading home Hakkinen, who was the only other driver on the lead lap

Schumacher shines in the rain

Schumacher dominated the race after passing Hakkinen for the lead on lap 10, and then stopping shortly after to change to wet tyres as the rain got heavier. McLaren ran a slightly different two-stop strategy, but traffic slowed Hakkinen enough for Schumacher to retain his lead after the second round of stops .

"It was a tough decision over when to stop," said the German. "None of us wanted to stop because it wasn't clear if you go slower. It was not heavy rain, so it was a tough decicion. Some took on wet tyres, and the teams watched their performances, and as soon as they were faster we came in."

Second place for Hakkinen came after a lightning start which saw him rocket from third place on the grid into the lead. "I enjoyed the start, as I knew that it was a great possibility to make a start and improve positions, especially after the disappointment with qualifying. The traffic hurt us. We could have got close to Michael, although overtaking? I don't know."

Coulthard, in third, was a little mystified at his lack of pace relative to the first two. "I don't know what the problem was, aerodynamics or mechanical, but we struggled with the behaviour of the car, which got worse with the drizzle and worse again with rain. In the circumstances, I'm happy with third. I missed the start, I was just slow to react to the lights."

Coulthard and Barrichello in fourth were both lapped by their team mates, a peculiar three stop strategy costing Rubens time, but a late race charge helped by traffic saw the Brazilian pressurise Coulthard.

Giancarlo Fisichella took fifth for Benetton, the Italian in the thick of the action all the way through, while Pedro de la Rosa collected the final point for Arrows after a storming drive that saw him run in the top three at one point.

It was again a disappointing day for Jordan and Jaguar. Jarno Trulli was knocked out of the race on the run to the first corner, while team-mate Frentzen's engine blew on the second lap.

Irvine crashed out after a collision trying to pass Jos Verstappen's Arrows for seventh place, which also ended Ralf Schumacher's race.

Jaguar's misery continued as Johnny Herbert was taken out by Alex Wurz as they also battled for seventh in the closing stages.

Results
1, Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), 67laps
2, Mika Hakkinen (McLaren), 67 laps
3, David Coulthard (McLaren), 66 laps
4, Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari), 66 laps
5, Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton)
6, Pedro de la Rosa (Arrows)
7, Pedro Diniz (Sauber)
8, Gaston Mazzacane (Minardi),
9, Jean Alesi (Prost)


R, Jenson Button (WilliamsF1) 62 laps - stopped
R, Johnny Herbert (Jaguar), 61 laps - accident
R, Alex Wurz (Benetton) 61 laps - accident
R, Ricardo Zonta (BAR), 51 laps - spin
R, Marc Gene (Minardi), 47 laps - stopped
R, Jacques Villeneuve (BAR), 46 laps - stopped
R, Eddie Irvine (Jaguar), 29 laps - accident
R, Jos Verstappen (Arrows), 29 laps - accident
R, Ralf Schumacher (WilliamsF1), 29 laps - accident
R, Mika Salo (Sauber), 27 laps - spin
R, Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan), 2 laps -engine
R, Jarno Trulli (Jordan), 0 laps - accident

World Championship standings after six rounds

1, M Schumacher, 46pts
2, Hakkinen, 28
3, Coulthard, 24
4, Barrichello, 16
5, Fisichella, 10
6, Frentzen, 5
7, Villeneuve, 5
8, Trulli, 4
9, Button, 3
10, Zonta, 1
11, Salo, 1
12, De la Rosa 1





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