MICHAEL SCHUMACHER - FERRARI
F1 WORLD CHAMPION 2001
THE ENTIRE 2001 F1 GRAND PRIX SEASON
17 FULL RACES ON 17 DVDS
ALL 17 RACES ARE LIVE
40 HOURS OF F1 ACTION
2001 Formula One season summary
Ferrari won the 2001 Formula One World Championship for Constructors
The 2001 Formula One season was the 52nd season of FIA Formula One racing. It featured the FIA Formula One World Championship which commenced on March 4, 2001 and ended on October 14 after seventeen races. Michael Schumacher won the Drivers title with a record margin of 58 points, after achieving nine victories and five second places and Ferrari
won the Constructors award. The season marked the reintroduction of
traction control, with the FIA permitting its use starting at the
Spanish Grand Prix. Traction control had been banned since 1994.
In the form of Minardi’s Fernando Alonso and Sauber’s Kimi Räikkönen, two future world champions were taking to the grid for the very first time at the season opener in Melbourne. Exciting Colombian talent and former CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya was also making his F1 bow at Williams.
There were new beginnings for French companies Renault and Michelin. After four years out of the sport, Renault returned to supply engines to the Benetton team, while Michelin’s comeback as a tyre supplier would provide Bridgestone with competition for the first time since Goodyear left the sport at the end of the 1998 season.
On the other hand though, the sport was to lose some memorable characters at the end of the year. Double world champion Mika Häkkinen
would initially announce his intention to take a one year sabbatical;
but eventually, as expected, this became full-time retirement.
Also racing for the last time was Jean Alesi, who passed the 200 race mark shortly before his final Grand Prix in Japan. It was the end for commentator Murray Walker too; for so long the beloved ‘voice of F1’ in the UK. He gave his final commentary at the United States Grand Prix (which would also turn out to be Mika Häkkinen’s last victory in the sport).
The Prost and Benetton
names would disappear from the sport at the end of 2001; Prost folded
due to a lack of finances while Benetton was rebranded as Renault after the French manufacturer bought the team outright.
The championship was won with ease by Michael Schumacher, who finished a mammoth 58 points clear of David Coulthard in second place. However, while Schumacher may have taken the lion’s share of victories over the course of the season, his Ferrari team were not the only constructor capable of scoring wins in 2001.
Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya would both score their maiden wins in the sport, at San Marino and Italy respectively. The younger Schumacher would also add victories in Canada and Germany,
giving the team four wins in total. After three years in the doldrums,
this was a much better return for the Oxfordshire based team.
On the other hand McLaren
would not enjoy as much success as they had in recent times, but they
would still do enough to also secure four wins. These were shared
equally amongst their drivers; Häkkinen winning in Britain and America, Coulthard triumphing in Brazil and Austria.
But it was not enough to stop the rampant Schumacher, whose haul of
123 points was more than enough for his fourth world championship
(equalling the achievements of Alain Prost). With Michael Schumacher's team mate, Rubens Barrichello, tallying 11 podiums throughout the season, Ferrari also won the Constructor’s Championship at a canter.
Drivers and constructors
The following teams and drivers competed in the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The 2001 season featured several driver lineup changes prior to the
season, and more changes during the season proper, as follows in the
Before the season opener in Australia, the following lineup changes had occurred:
- Olivier Panis left his test position with McLaren to take up a full time drive with BAR.
- Ricardo Zonta lost his BAR drive to Panis, and took up the position of test driver with Jordan.
- Although still on contract to Williams, Jenson Button was "loaned" to Benetton for the 2001 season.
- Button replaced Alexander Wurz at Benetton. Wurz had fallen out of
favour with team boss Flavio Briatore and moved on to become test
driver at McLaren.
- Button's place in the Williams was taken over by Juan Pablo
Montoya. (Montoya had been in a relationship with Williams since 1998,
and had been "farmed out" to the CART series in 1999, where he took the title in his first attempt, and also a victory in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.)
- Marc Gené lost his seat at Minardi due to sponsorship problems. (Telefonica
had been backing Gené financially and therefore helped fund the
struggling Minardi team.) Gené signed a contract to become test driver
at Williams where he remained until the end of 2004.
- Gastón Mazzacane also moved away from Minardi for 2001, and started
the season with the Prost team where he took over for the Sauber-bound
- Minardi's first signing of the new season was Fernando Alonso, who took over from Marc Gené.
- Tarso Marques returned to Minardi to fill the second seat there
after several seasons racing in America. (Marques had driven for
Minardi in 1996 and 1997.)
- Nick Heidfeld left Prost to join the Sauber team for 2001. He
replaced Mika Salo who signed up with the Toyota team to perform
- Pedro Diniz did not return as a driver for Sauber, but instead
purchased 40% of the Prost team and served in a management role there
in 2001. (Diniz and Alain Prost had a major falling out during the
season. Diniz then sold his share of Prost and returned to South
America where he became a motorsport promoter.)
- Kimi Räikkönen was signed to Sauber for a full drive from near
obscurity. He had performed some testing for Sauber in late 2000 after
dominating the British Formula Renault series, and so impressed Peter
Sauber that he was given the full time drive next to Nick Heidfeld.
(There were concerns that Räikkönen was too inexperienced for F1, and
his superlicence granting was somewhat controversial during the off
- Johnny Herbert decided to leave the Jaguar team in an attempt to
secure a drive in American Champ Cars. The deal did not work out, and
he was forced to sign on with Arrows as a test driver for 2001.
- Luciano Burti stepped up from test driver to fill Herbert's slot at Jaguar.
- Pedro de la Rosa lost his drive at Arrows to Enrique Bernoldi and signed on as a reserve drive with Prost.
During the season even more changes occurred:
- Management at Prost quickly reached the conclusion that Gastón Mazzacane was not right for their team and he was released.
- Luciano Burti left Jaguar to take over Mazzacane's seat at Prost.
- Pedro de la Rosa then left his reserve seat at Prost for a full drive at Jaguar.
- Jean Alesi quit his Prost drive. This left Prost with none of their starting drivers from the season opener.
- Heinz-Harald Frentzen suffered injuries after a crash and was replaced for the Canadian GP by reserve driver Ricardo Zonta.
- After returning from his injuries, Frentzen's contract was
terminated by Jordan after the British GP. The split was not a happy
one, and the matter ended in court before the season's end. Zonta took
over Frentzen's drive for the German GP.
- Frentzen was then signed to Prost to take over from Alesi.
- Alesi was also signed by Jordan to take over from Frentzen. This
meant the Prost and Jordan had simply swapped drivers mid-season.
- Alex Yoong was granted his FIA super-licence during the 2001
season, and replaced Tarso Marques in the Minardi starting lineup.
Marques moved into a reserve/test role for the rest of the season.
- Luciano Burti suffered serious injuries during a crash in the
Belgian GP. He was forced to sit out the rest of the 2001 season and
was replaced by Czech driver Tomáš Enge for the remaining races. This
left Prost in the incredible position of having five starting drivers during 2001.
- Tomas Scheckter was sensationally fired from his testing position at Jaguar after being convicted on charges of "kerb crawling". This left Jaguar with no test drivers for 2001 after Burti's earlier departure.
There were no team changes from 2000.
Formula One 2001 race schedule
Results and standings
Points towards the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship for
Drivers were awarded on a 10-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the top six finishers
at each event.
Non-classified finish (NC)
|Purple||Did not finish (Ret)|
|Red||Did not qualify (DNQ)|
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
|White||Did not start (DNS)|
|Race cancelled (C)|
|Light blue||Practiced only (PO)|
|Friday test driver (TD)|
(from 2003 onwards)
|Blank||Did not practice (DNP)|
|Did not arrive (DNA)|
|Withdrew entry before the event (WD)|
Points towards the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship for
Constructors were awarded on a 10-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the top six
finishers at each event.