Brought to you by TJ13 Editor in Chief Andrew Huntley-Jacobs
Formula One history was created on the 10th of June 2001 in Montreal, when an exciting race concluded with the first ever 1-2 finish from two siblings.
Just five drivers were classified on the lead lap, the other three being Mika Haikkinen, Kimi Raikkonen and Jean Alesi. This was reigning champion, Hakkinen’s, first podium of the year following four retirements in the preceding seven races.
The F1 calendar look very different from today, with Malaysia in just its third year and still the only ‘new’ Asian circuit on the calendar. Ecclestone’s push to recruit races to the east would change this significantly over the next decade.
|1||Australian Grand Prix||04-Mar||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne|
|2||Malaysian Grand Prix||18-Mar||Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur|
|3||Brazilian Grand Prix||01-Apr||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo|
|4||San Marino Grand Prix||15-Apr||Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola|
|5||Spanish Grand Prix||29-Apr||Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona|
|6||Austrian Grand Prix||13-May||A1-Ring, Spielberg|
|7||Monaco Grand Prix||27-May||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo|
|8||Canadian Grand Prix||10-Jun||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal|
|9||European Grand Prix||24-Jun||Nürburgring, Nürburg|
|10||French Grand Prix||01-Jul||Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours|
|11||British Grand Prix||15-Jul||Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone|
|12||German Grand Prix||29-Jul||Hockenheimring, Hockenheim|
|13||Hungarian Grand Prix||19-Aug||Hungaroring, Budapest|
|14||Belgian Grand Prix||02-Sep||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot|
|15||Italian Grand Prix||16-Sep||Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza|
|16||United States Grand Prix||30-Sep||Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis|
|17||Japanese Grand Prix||14-Oct||Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka|
It was the less fancied of the two Schumacher’s who won the race despite the fact the Michael had taken pole position on Saturday.
Once again, engines mattered in Montreal. Ralph’s Williams-BMW was much more powerful than the Ferrari engine, though the car was highly unreliable that year. Ralph and his team-mate Jaun Pablo Montoya retired 18 times between them during the course of just 17 races in 2001. In contrast, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barichello in the Ferrari’s retired just 5 times.
The race in Montreal saw Ralph race his big brother in what a times was an exciting battle. Michael led away from the start, but there was carnage elsewhere on the circuit.
Fisichella broke his suspension running into the back of his team-mate Jenson Button, though the British driver soldiered on until an oil leak ended his race.
The feisty Irishman, Eddie Irvine, clashed with the always ‘unlucky’ Nick Heidfeld, and both were immediately out of the running.
Montoya, the Maldonado of his day, crashed into the wall and Barichello sympathetically spun across the track and into the wall on the other side, whilst trying to avoid the Columbian. This crash led to the safety car being deployed in order to clear the wreckage. (Rubens later blamed his traction control which had failed)
The decisive period of the race came when Ralph delivered a series of eye watering laps following his brother pitting for tyres and fuel. This meant by the time Ralph made his stop and returned to the track, he was a long way ahead of Michael.
As the race drew to a close, it appeared as though Arrows were about to score a vital point due to the high attrition rate. However, Josh Verstappen crashed almost in sight of the chequered flag – later claiming his brakes had failed.
Alain Prost was delirious at end of the race when Jean Alesi brought home his Prost car in 5th place. Alesi caught the sense of the moment and threw his helmet into the crowd. He had done this previously in 1999 when his car broke down at the hairpin. Needless to say the crowd in this French speaking part of Canada, roared their appreciation for their hero.
Ralph Schumacher was rather eclipsed as a racing driver by his brother from the moment he entered Formula One. Ralph earned six race wins which puts him alongside Gilles Villeneuve and Riccardo Patrese together with 27 podium finishes. All this in a career which spanned 11 years and saw the German start 180 Grand Prix.
Michael’s records may never be beaten again. 7 World drivers’ titles, 91 wins and 155 podium finishes. The race victories alone are a staggering 40 more than the next best Alain Prost. Current drivers Vettel (40) and Hamilton (37) may rival Prost for second in the all time F1 win standings, but Michael Schumacher is surely out of even their reach.
The Schumacher brothers went on to complete 1-2 finishes in F1 on four more occasions.