Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2000

“One day I will pay him back”: Barrichello follows Schumacher home in Canada

2000 Canadian Grand Prix flashback

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Michael Schumacher’s shock retirement while leading in Monaco had closed up the 2000 championship.

From there the teams headed across the Atlantic to Montreal and the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Schumacher continued to the lead the championship from twice-winner David ‘call me DC’ Coulthard and his McLaren team mate Mika Hakkinen, the reigning world champion’s lacklustre start to his title defence having continued in Monaco. While the Ferrari driver had been unlucky in Monaco, mechanical dramas had afflicted all three over the opening rounds.

Several teams had fettled their low-downforce packages for the track in a test at Monza. Ralf Schumacher’s was participation in the race was initially in doubt as he recovered from injuries sustained in his Monaco crash. After free practice the Williams driver decided he was well enough to race on.

F1’s visit 12 months earlier had been one of those incident-filled (read: crash-strewn) affairs which has often made this a lively round. Shunts for Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve prompted the barrier at the final chicane to be dubbed the ‘Wall of Champions’.

By those standards, and those of the season to date, practice was relatively uneventful. Schumacher and the McLarens shared the fastest times as usual, and behind them rookie Nick Heidfeld was one of few to find the barriers.

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2000 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2000
The weather held on Saturday – Schumacher took another pole
In warm, dry conditions which many would remember fondly in 24 hours’ time, Schumacher claimed his third pole position of the season. However his Monaco misfortune had been the 12th race running which the driver who started from pole position failed to win.

Schumacher prevailed in a nip-and-tuck contest with Coulthard, who led the way initially, only for Schumacher to deny him by nine-hundredths of a second with his final effort. Row two followed the same pattern with Rubens Barrichello clear of Hakkinen, the champion unhappy after encountered traffic and would have work to do come race time.

Row three was shared by Jordan’s Heinz-Harald Frentzen and local hero Villeneuve, one of a very select club of drivers to race at circuits named after their father, in the BAR. They were also shadowed by their team mates: Jarno Trulli ahead of Ricardo Zonta.

Further Jos Verstappen hit trouble (specifically, the wall) bringing out the red flags. He took over the spare Arrows and took 13th on the grid. At the back of the pack the Minardis were split by Heidfeld, whose torrid debut season in the Prost continued.

PositionDriverTeamTime
1Michael SchumacherFerrari1’18.439
2David CoulthardMcLaren1’18.537
3Rubens BarrichelloFerrari1’18.801
4Mika HakkinenMcLaren1’18.985
5Heinz-Harald FrentzenJordan1’19.483
6Jacques VilleneuveBAR1’19.544
7Jarno TrulliJordan1’19.581
8Ricardo ZontaBAR1’19.742
9Pedro de la RosaArrows1’19.912
10Giancarlo FisichellaBenetton1’19.932
11Johnny HerbertJaguar1’19.954
12Ralf SchumacherWilliams1’20.073
13Jos VerstappenArrows1’20.107
14Alexander WurzBenetton1’20.113
15Mika SaloSauber1’20.445
16Eddie IrvineJaguar1’20.500
17Jean AlesiProst1’20.512
18Jenson ButtonWilliams1’20.534
19Pedro DinizSauber1’20.692
20Marc GeneMinardi1’21.058
21Nick HeidfeldProst1’21.680
22Gaston MazzacaneMinardi1’22.091

2000 Canadian Grand Prix

Warm but cloudy conditions greeted the race day crowd and drivers. The drama started on the formation lap.

David Coulthard, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2000
A pre-race error ruined Coulthard’s day
DC (David Coulthard, not magician David Copperfield) stalled on the grid, but was restarted by his McLaren mechanics before he was passed by the rest of the field, enabling him to retake his original starting position.

At the lights, Coulthard made the better start, but Schumacher was able to fend him off on the short sprint the first corner. Hakkinen jumped up to third ahead of Barrichello, but not for long as Villeneuve made another flying start was third by the end of the first lap. In a break with tradition, there wasn’t a first corner pile-up, although Eddie Irvine stalled on the grid as was wheeled to the pit lane to be restarted.

The early stages saw a tense battle between Schumacher and Coulthard, the pair trading fastest laps as they tried to pull clear of the rest of the field. Villeneuve held onto third, providing future inspiration for Trulli by holding up a train of cars behind him.

The excitement at the front was punctured as McLaren were informed that DC (David Coulthard, not nineties zeitgeist author Douglas Coupland) would have to serve a 10-second stop-and-go-penalty as work had been done on his car within 15 seconds of the start of the formation lap. After serving his penalty on lap 14, Coulthard rejoined in 10th place.

Giancarlo Fisichella, Benetton, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2000
Fisichella rose through the field for a podium
This left Schumacher with a handy advantage, while some way behind him Villeneuve, Hakkinen and Barrichello disputed second. This battle soon became complicated as light rain started to fall making the surface slippery. The tricky conditions caught out Coulthard who lost a further three places spinning on oil left by Verstappen’s Arrows.

Finally on lap 25 Barrichello moved clear of Villeneuve. He started to gradually close in on his team mate, although the likelihood of Ferrari allowing him to pass Schumacher was somewhere between zero and slightly less than that.

Hakkinen continued his efforts to pass Villeneuve, eventually making a move stick on lap 35. Frentzen’s race had ended two laps earlier with broken brakes, leaving Trulli the next threat to the BAR.

Villeneuve had given Schumacher enough of a lead that the Ferrari driver held first place when he made his first pit stop on lap 34. The team tweaked his wing settings to reflect the changing conditions. The remaining front runners made their stops in the three laps around lap 40, but all were back in soon afterwards when the rain suddenly intensified.

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By then Barrichello had closed to within 15 seconds of Schumacher. Having lost time waiting a lap to pit in the rain at the Nurburgring, he opted to follow his team mate into the pits, despite the extra time it would inevitably cost him. By the time he resumed the pair were separated by half a minute and Giancarlo Fisichella’s Benetton.

Barrichello picked up second place in short order, then from lap 56 began slashing into Schumacher’s lead, taking over two seconds off him on some laps. Schumacher had a brake problem, which at one point sent him through the run-off area at turn one.

Michael Schumacher, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2000
Schumacher took his fifth win of the year
By lap 68 Barrichello was within four second, but Schumacher was in no real danger. Barrichello had already been ordered by the team to keep his position. He followed the leading Ferrari home, the pair crossing the line just a tenth of a second apart.

The challenging conditions provoked drama behind them. Villeneuve, who’d starred early in the race, woefully misjudged a move on Ralf Schumacher, wiping out their pair of them. He apologised for his error. The two Pedros – de la Rosa and Diniz – tangled, putting the Arrows driver out with a broken wheel.

But de la Rosa’s team mate Verstappen atoned for his Saturday crash with a superb drive through the field to fifth, beating Trulli and DC (David Coulthard, not Swiss skier Didier Cuche).

Schumacher’s fifth win from the first eight races meant he regained the ground he had lost in Monaco as the two McLaren drivers failed to capitalise. And thanks in no small part to his compliant team mate. “He is a good man and one day I will pay him back,” said Schumacher.

But over the coming races, Schumacher’s grip on the championship leader would come under serious pressure.

2000 Canadian Grand Prix result

PositionDriverTeamLapsTime / laps / reason
1Michael SchumacherFerrari691:41’12.313
2Rubens BarrichelloFerrari690.174
3Giancarlo FisichellaBenetton6915.365
4Mika HakkinenMcLaren6918.561
5Jos VerstappenArrows6952.208
6Jarno TrulliJordan691.687
7David CoulthardMcLaren692.216
8Ricardo ZontaBAR6910.455
9Alexander WurzBenetton6919.899
10Pedro DinizSauber6954.544
11Jenson ButtonWilliams68+1 lap
12Gaston MazzacaneMinardi68+1 lap
13Eddie IrvineJaguar66+3 laps
14Ralf SchumacherWilliams64Collision
15Jacques VilleneuveBAR64Collision
16Marc GeneMinardi64Spun off
17Pedro de la RosaArrows48Collision
18Mika SaloSauber42Electrical
19Jean AlesiProst38Electrical
20Nick HeidfeldProst34Engine
21Heinz-Harald FrentzenJordan32Brakes
22Johnny HerbertJaguar14Gearbox

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Ben Evans
Motorsport commentator Ben is RaceFans' resident bookworm. Look out for his verdict on the latest motor racing publications on Sundays....

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34 comments on ““One day I will pay him back”: Barrichello follows Schumacher home in Canada”

  1. “and he paid back by squeezing Barrichello against a concrete wall while being passed during his comeback at Mercedes”
    Such a tough world.

    1. Or maybe by letting barrichello past at indianapolis 2002, although I believe that was payback for austria 2002.

  2. These memories was why if Hamilton does get the seven i will rate him higher than Schumy. Yes Schumy was very complete especially on experiementation of new techniques and team building, things Hamilton also have a record of, but as racer he had an easier life.

    1. Because Bottas has never had to do some team-orders when it was perfectly clear he wouldn’t win the championship?

      1. Correct me if I am wrong, but the only time that I can remember team orders being implemented at Mercedes was after Ferrari started kneecaping Lecler in order to give the advantage to Vettel.

        1. Bahrain 2017 & Russia 2018 are 2 races that come to mind where Mercedes used team orders.

          And there were examples when it was Rosberg alongside Hamilton. Rosberg was asked not to pass Lewis at Malaysia in 2013 despite been a bit faster towards the end for example.

          1. @stefmeister Russia was ridiculous yes, but strategy differences and “hold station” messages are a completely different thing from what is considered “team orders”.

            There are plenty of “orders” from the team. Don’t crash into each other. Do you want to count those too?

            Or when they asked Bottas to let Hamilton through and that he would give the place back if the attack didn;t work. Which Hamilton did even while Bottas was so much slower that Hamilton had to almost stand still and wait.

            The benefits they constantly gave Schumacher (and Vettel for that matter) are of an entirely different nature and you know it.

          2. @f1osaurus
            can you give an example of where Vettel’s teammate moved out of his way and gifted him a race win?

          3. @kingshark

            The benefits they constantly gave Schumacher (and Vettel for that matter) are of an entirely different nature and you know it.

            Can you given an example of where I wrote that that happened? But there are examples if you must. For instance Hungary 2017. Or Turkey 2010, although Vettel completely messed that up. Hilariously Marko explained that they should have just told Webber to move over rather than to tell him to safe fuel and tell Vettel that he had 3 laps to overtake a slower driving Webber. But then such orders to move over were not allowed. Until Ferrari blatantly did it.

            Either way, the constant #1 treatment they received is where the real difference lies. Not one or two races. Always the best strategy. You often could/should have wondered if Ferrari even knew they had a second car driving around after that car was used as a pawn to help MSC/VET. Always the newest parts first. Always the car designed to their liking.

            And it goes even further. For instance talking about Schumacher, Herbert once explained that he set a faster lap than Schumacher in a Monaco session and after that he was not allowed to see his telemetry anymore let alone Schumacher’s.

            Or the front wing incident with Webbed in Silverstone and then after that Webber kept on being “annoyingly competitive, he was clearly made the #2 and then suddenly he could never compete anymore.

            Or how Raikkonen was sacrificed over and over with an early stop to try and pull away a Mercedes from Vettel. That actually also gave Vettel a win in Australia.

            Within Mercedes it’s the complete opposite. They made Hamilton drive with the brake material that Rosberg liked. After Rosberg complained he had issues with the start system, they changed the start system. The start system which had worked perfectly before for Hamilton then suddenly gave them many unpredictable starts. Both drivers had issues with it, but Hamilton more.
            When Hamilton beat Bottas in Silverstone by going long on his first stint, Mercedes worried that they had created a shadow of a doubt that they might have helped Hamilton beat Bottas and then never allowed Hamilton from ever taking a different strategy again. Basically locking in the positions after lap one instead of giving him a fighting chance to use his better race pace. To the detriment of the team because then Hamilton also had to focus more on Q3 like Bottas did and then they both suffered with race pace and tyre issues.

          4. @f1osaurus
            You completely dodged my question. Can you name an example where Vettel’s teammate was ordered to give up a win for Vettel?

            Hungary 2017 does not count. Vettel took pole on merit and was leading on merit until a mechanical problem developed on his car. It made perfect sense for Kimi to stay behind him.

            Turkey 2010 is not even relevant to the question because there were no team orders.

            Again, please give an example of where Vettel was gifted a win directly due to team orders like Hamilton was at Russia 2018.

          5. @kingshark I did not. I gave 3 examples.

            Hungary does count. They did not allow Raikkonen to attack a car he could have easily passed
            Turkey does count, becuse they DID give the order. Only in sneaky way.
            Australia also counts since they sacrificed Raikkonen and took his lead away which Vettel picked up.

            Either way, YOU are the one trying to dodge the issue. The constant driver preference is the problem. That that make extra team orders less needed is irrelevant to the claim that they were helped.

          6. @f1osaurus
            1. Did Vettel have a mechanical problem at Hungary 2017? Yes or no?
            If yes, then it does not count.

            2. Telling a driver to save fuel is not a team order. Please provide evidence that Webber was told to move out of the way at Turkey 2010, and even if he was, he certainly didn’t listen.

            3. Australia 2018? Really? The race where Vettel got lucky with a VSC? I’ll be the first to admit that Vettel got lucky that race, but that was not a team order. Unless you think that Bottas received team orders at Silverstone 2019 when Hamilton got lucky with the SC?

            Again, please provide an example where Vettel’s teammate takes pole position, leads the race, and then is asked to move out of the way.

          7. @kingshark
            1) It counts BECAUSE he had the issue and they still told Raikonen to stay behind. EXACTLY like with Hamilton and Bottas in Russia which you make such a big deal of
            2) Telling a driver to save fuel when he doesn’t need to and at the same time tell the other driver that he has a 3 lap window to take the position is a team concerted effort to get the other driver ahead. EXPLICIT TEAM ORDERS WERE NOT ALLOWED. Even though Marko insisted they should have given those to prevent Vettel’s blunder.
            3) Yes really. It’s one of the many many many examples how they sacrificed Raikkonen to help Vettel get ahead. In this case he won two places by these team orders. It’s a team order and it got Vettel ahead. What more do you want?

            Again, I gave you the examples, but the only point that really matters is the constant benefits that Vettel and Schumacher were given over their teammates. Not those few races were more direct orders were given.

            Schumacher getting telemetry and Herbert not is much much worse than telling Herbert to cede a position in a single race where it might be prudent to help the driver with the most points. Yet not giving him telemetry makes him slower and Schumacher faster. That creates the illusion that Schumacher is beating his team mates, but in fact they were holding back his team mates and people didn’t even get to see that at the time. That is just disgusting. Same happened with Webber after Silverstone of 2010.

            Stop dodging the real issue with your pedantic and already answered question and face the fact that Vettel needs to be supported as the #1 driver. Much more se than Schumacher even really. We have clearly seen that when Vettel loses that protection he gets destroyed by his team mate.

            He finished ahead of Ricciardo only 3 times over a whole season. And a rookie like Leclerc, who isn’t really that good to begin with, beat him quite badly too. Even a mediocre driver like Webber often beat him until he was demoted to #2 status.

          8. @f1osaurus

            It counts BECAUSE he had the issue and they still told Raikonen to stay behind. EXACTLY like with Hamilton and Bottas in Russia which you make such a big deal of

            Nope. There were no technical problems in Russia. Bottas was told to let Hamilton through for no other reason than because Hamilton is the designated number 1 driver. Nothing like Hungary 2017.

            Telling a driver to save fuel when he doesn’t need to and at the same time tell the other driver that he has a 3 lap window to take the position is a team concerted effort to get the other driver ahead.

            Nope. An explicit team order would be what happened in Hockenheim later that year (for which neither Ferrari or Alonso was not punished in any meaningful way btw). The fact that Vettel actually had to make the overtake stick on Webber proves that there were no team orders involved. Did Webber lift off the gas and deliberately let Vettel through at Turkey 2010? Yes or no? If no, then there’s no team orders.

            Yes really. It’s one of the many many many examples how they sacrificed Raikkonen to help Vettel get ahead. In this case he won two places by these team orders. It’s a team order and it got Vettel ahead. What more do you want?

            You are really dense if you think that a lucky strategy call is the same as a team order. Vettel was destined to finish third that race until a lucky VSC intervened. Nothing to do with team orders.

            Again, please give an example of Vettel’s teammate giving him victory when his teammate takes pole and was leading race on merit. Please give an example of Vettel’s equivalent to Russia 2018.

            While you’re at it, please give an example of Hamilton gifting his teammate victory through team orders like Vettel did for Webber at Brazil 2011.

          9. @kingshark Hamitlon did have issues with the car in Russia. That’s why they asked Bottas to cover him from the rear.

            Explicit team orders were not allowed. That doesn’t mean they didn’t do the exact same thing. Stop pretrending that you are that stupid.

            You have to be really dense to think Australia was a lucky strategy call. They did this over and over. They would put Raikkonen on the poorer strategy and hope to take at least one Mercedes down with him. In Australia it worked.

            Again, please explain how you r question is relevant? Are you really THAT desperate to not see the truth that you must insist on ignoring it?

            I get it though. Must be difficult to be a fan of a driver that fails so miserably when he does not get the help you want to pretend he didn’t get.

            It’s funny that you keep harping on Russia. Hamilton stated that he wasn’t happy with it anyway. He didn’t need it. Even with Hamilton nursing his car home, Vettel would sooner put his car in a wall than that he would be able to mount any semblance of an attack. Or how Hamilton actually gave the position back in Hungary. That just shows confidence and fair play.

            That’s the difference. Vettel is completely lost when he doesn’t get full support from the team and a team mate forced to throw himself on the sword for Vettel every other race. Vettel actually goes hysterical when his team mate gets fair treatment. That’s why we got multi21 nonsense, Turkey 2010, Monza 2019, another bout of multi21 in Russia 2019 and Brazil 2019. It’s so embarrassing.

            And that’s only his poor character. Add on top of that the constant blundering. He crashes out of the points in so many races it’s staggering how much better his car needs to be for him to be a contestant for the championship.

            That’s why Hamilton is a nominee for GOAT and Vettel just a decent qualifier (yet poor racer) who got lucky with an outstanding car plus a team mate who qualified slightly slower and was not allowed to overtake him.

          10. @ f1osaurus
            Bottas outqualified Hamilton in Russia and outraced him until a team order. That is something that Vettel has never benefited from.

            At Russia 2018, Bottas moved off the racing line and lifted to let Hamilton through. At Turkey 2010, Webber defended his position. Not even remotely the same thing.

            Australia 2018 has nothing to do with team orders and you are just dense. Vettel was on the inferior strategy but he got lucky with the VSC. That’s like saying Silverstone 2019 were team orders (you never responded to this counterpoint by the way).

            Once again I am asking you:

            1. Name an example of Vettel’s teammate moving out of the way from the lead and gifting him the win.
            2. Name an example of Hamilton gifting his own teammate the win like Vettel did at Brazil 2011.

  3. one of a very select club of drivers to race at circuits named after their father

    Struggling to think of another?

    1. @frood19 surely you remember Albert Park’s son, Rupert…

      Honestly, I cannot think of another F1 driver racing in a track bearing his father’s name.

    2. @frood19 I think that you are right and that he might be the only one – the only similar example I can think of where a family member has raced at a circuit named after a relation would be Pedro Rodriguez racing at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, which was named after his brother when Ricardo was killed practising for the 1962 non-championship Mexican Grand Prix.

    3. Not sure if Nelsinho Piquet ever raced at Jacarepagua, but wasn’t that track was named officially Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet? That’s the only other example I can recall.

  4. I was a Fisichella fan. And I never understood why he was always so good at Montreal…

  5. I’m guessing Rubens lets other men sleep with his wife as well. Guy was born to be Schumy’s bottom.

    1. @darryn The #2 drivers always had those clauses in their contract. Herbert, Verstappen, etc. All of them had to accept that only Schumacher mattered for the team.

      1. @f1osaurus Barrichello said in his podcast there were no clauses in his contract.

        1. He also said that there were

    2. Just like Bottas mr wingmen… for Lewis. Hungary and Monza 2018 he fought like a real #2 for Lewis WDC victory with Vettel & Kimi regardless of his score and position.

      Rubens has never done anything like this, I only remember DC in 1998 did something similar.

  6. It’s easy to look back & complain about Ferrari using team orders to favor Michael…. However been realistic while Rubens had his moments you can’t deny that Michael was simply faster more often & more consistently over a season.

    And in this specific instance Rubens was only faster as Michael had a problem & the 2000 championship fight was very close between Michael & Mika while Rubens wasn’t in contention so it made perfect sense to ensure Michael got the maximum points score, Especially given how desperate they were to finally win the championship.

    1. @stefmeister I can’t remember much about the reaction from fans back then, but it made total sense for Ferrari to favour Schumi over Irvine or Rubens (or Massa later on). Neither were fast and consistent enough to put a Ferrari on top of a championship. Sure, they could’ve won more races while being Schumi’s team mates, but that’s the price you pay…

      However, I think the 2002 and 2004 seasons (and 2001 to some extent), where Ferrari were just beyond the capabilities of the competition, is where most people complain about Barrichello not having a fair chance. They didn’t need to impose orders a lot of the times, and they did. Specially Austria 2002…

      1. Yes, but it wouldn’t have been a competition either, they just weren’t at the same level.

        1. Not sure if it was on this site or elsewhere but there is telemetry from…the Mugello I seem to remember, for both Ferraris from around 2000.

          It was pretty shocking considering they were both veteran drivers at that point, yet Rubens absolutely never seemed to left-foot brake which accounted for a massive chunk of pace difference. You’d think these drivers would be more adaptable…

          1. Aaa123, I don’t think that it was a case of never using it, but that it was during a period when he found it uncomfortable to use left foot braking.

            He switched to mostly left foot braking in 1994-1995 when at Jordan, but found that he wasn’t especially comfortable with it and then reverted back to mainly right foot braking. He did then move towards making some use of left foot braking in the early 2000s, but only made partial use of it because there were times when he felt it made him slower, since he couldn’t quite modulate the brake pedal in the way he was used to with his right foot.

            That said, there are interviews from him in 2004 that indicate he was making more extensive use of left foot braking, and in later years it does seem that Rubens moved towards using his left foot more often. However, it seems that the style he grew accustomed to made use of both left and right foot braking, using the left for some braking zones but using the right when he wanted finer modulation of the brake pressure, as that was more natural for him.

      2. When they did use team-orders in 2001, Schumacher was barely ahead of Coulthard in the championship, so it made sense, as Barrichello was already a long way down. In 2002 it was absolutely useless.

      3. The Voice of reason at last.

  7. I believe Benetton had the biggest fuel tank of all cars in 2000 and it paid massively in this race. IIRC Fisichella and Wurz were only drivers who were able to switch to wets on their first stop while most others had to make fuel stop and fill the car to the finish and then another stop for wet tyres. I don’t remember how those who had planned two-stoppers were able to do.

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