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2000 Spanish GP News
5 - 7 May 2000  

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Practice 1
- Practice 2

Practice 1 - Practice 2  Qualifying


Drivers Championship Constructors Championship
Spanish GP Practice timed results
Spanish GP Qualifying and Race  timed results

Spanish Grand Prix Preview

At Silverstone we saw a McLaren 1-2 but that was due to Rubens Barrichello retiring and Michael Schumacher suffering from a his worst first lap in recent memory.

Testing at Barcelona had Michael Schumacher top the times in the 3 days he tested there while McLaren were close they certainly did not show their potential.

Michael Schumacher will want to ensure that the lead he has does not diminish further, Rubens Barrichello needs to get a bit of luck on his side, David Coulthard feels that he too can do the job and Mika Hakkinen wants to prove to himself and everyone that he still has that winning touch. The race should be an exciting one.

McLaren: They achieved the 1-2 finish at Silverstone that David Coulthard promised, a few would have predicted that it would be David Coulthard who finishes first but he certainly deserved it. At Spain, David Coulthard will have the winning momentum and could score his second win in succession while Mika Hakkinen will be out to prove that he is still a contender. We have seen Mika Hakkinen in the past bounce back from difficult situations.

Ferrari: Perhaps Michael Schumacher's struggle on the first lap had something to do with his accident last year, last year he went off trying to recover a position from his teammate Eddie Irvine, this year he lost several positions, the last one being to his brother Ralf Schumacher and while he fought for it, he backed off and settled in his position. I would be surprised to see something similar at Spain because that was not the Michael Schumacher we all know. His starts are a worry though although at Silverstone, he had a great start but since he started from the 3 row, he couldn't go anywhere. This could be the first pole for Michael Schumacher and if he has a good start and his car survives, we could see him win his 4th race of the season. Rubens Barrichello must be puzzled why his car fails and Michael Schumacher's car doesn't, driving style, different equipment, bad luck ? Rubens is still adamant that he will not play second fiddle to Michael but if the gap between them keeps increasing, he will have to. Let us hope that he gets the car setup to his liking and survives the race without problems, then we can see how good he is.

Jordan: They tested new gearbox electronics at Barcelona last week and it seems that they have fixed the gearbox gremlins that they have faced since the start of the season. They will still be behind McLaren and Ferrari as the only reason Frentzen was able to stay with Barrichello and the 2 McLaren's was he was running with less fuel. If the reliability problems are fixed, both could finish in the top 6..

Jaguar: They might have the reliability sorted out but will continue to struggle with the pace. At the testing in Barcelona last week, they demonstrated strong reliability, now they have to go faster and that only happens gradually. Irvine has been qualifying very well so expect him in the top 10 on the grid and possibly in the race. Johnny Herbert has to have better luck.

Williams: Both Williams managed to finish in the points at Silverstone and that was a great achievement for the team. Ralf Schumacher has been impressive this season as well as last season so that was expected but Jenson Button is also very impressive and he only lost out to his teammate as a result of the pit stop. He managed to stay with the top group and not commit any mistakes. Provided the reliability holds, then they will be fighting with Jordan for 5th and 6th place unless one or more drivers at McLaren or Ferrari fails to finish.

Benetton: The team appears to be struggling at all the medium speed circuits which is the norm at the modern Formula circuit. Don't expect much to change for them this season but Fisichella will again try his best while Wurz will have to prove himself as when replacement rumors start, the simply means perform or else.

Sauber: They did not perform well at Silverstone, they will be competitive with the midfield runners and depending on how their car is suited to the circuit we could see them close to the front just behind the Williams and the Jordan.

Prost: They appear to be getting the reliability sorted out, just like Jaguar but their pace is even worse. They could last at Spain but they will be fighting with Minardi and any other team that is struggling, Benetton and Jaguar possibly. We have seen some flashes of brilliance from Jean Alesi but the car is not helping while we have yet to see how good Nick Heidfeld is.

Arrows: I am puzzled by the big difference in the testing results and the race results they achieve. At Silverstone, Verstappen was able to stay close behind Michael Schumacher until he started to suffer electronics problems. At Barcelona last week they ran the most laps so one must assume that they have sorted out their problems. Will this reflect in the race ? I am not willing to bet on it.

Minardi: They have been testing a new gearbox and tossing up the idea of using it in the race. How much of an effect will that have on moving them past the last 2 positions on the grid remains to be seen.

BAR: The car is not yet fast but it appears that it is not due to the lack of power but to chassis and aerodynamics. The BAR with Villeneuve set the fastest first sector in qualifying at Silverstone but struggled around the corners, it also set the fastest speed at the start-finish lane. If they get the setup correct, they will be fighting with Williams and Jordan and with Jacques Villeneuve you are almost ensured an impressive start. Villeneuve has been suffering severe back pain recently and he missed one day of testing last week because of that but I am sure that this would not be the case come race day. Ricardo Zonta didn't really need to spin off at Silverstone, that has just added more pressure on him and he does not need it. He needs to get closer to Jacques Villeneuve if he is to stay with the team.

The weather should be dry so the top two teams will fight it out, as mentioned in my introduction, each one will be out to prove something, but only one could win !

Friday Practice Report
Saturday Qualifying and Practice Report
Race Report
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