On this day in F1 – Suzuka 2001
Michael Schuamcher rounded off the season with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix but such had been his domination that many were beginning to question if it was good for the sport – by the time he repeated his success in 2002, even the sport’s big guns were having doubts.
“It now seems essential that another driver responds to the challenge to save the sport from its soporific predictability, after another year when its title was settled with the season only three- quarters old,” wrote Ray Matts in the Daily Mail.
“For that reason alone, it was comforting to see Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard alongside Schumacher on the Suzuka podium, representing some kind of viable competition for the future.”
Coulthard has been handed the podium place by McLaren team-mate Mika Hakkinen, taking part in his last grand prix, who moved over five laps from the end.
“By letting him [Coulthard] past I wanted to give him something back for the occasions in the past when he has helped me.”