We’re half way through the week, and the F1 season is edging ever nearer, so to continue our theme of Formula 1 icons, today I’ve selected the first of the Ferrari’s that Michael Schumacher steered to championship glory in the year 2000. It was the turn of a millennium and a vital shift in power in Formula 1.
The Beginning of Dominance
Previous championship glories had been largely dominated by Williams and McLaren – since the year 1980 they had won 16 titles between them whilst Ferrari hadn’t even won one. However, the year 2000 marked the moment that Ferrari began to dominate the sport. By all accounts they did not have a dominant season in 2000, but in terms of future championship glories with Schumacher at the wheel, there was only one team in it for 5 straight years.
Schumacher went on to win back to back titles from 2000-2004 marking him as the most successful F1 driver of all time with 7 world titles which made him, arguably, the greatest driver of all time. Many people would, however, still put Senna as number one. Ferrari’s F1 dominance was also translated to their production cars as sales increased, which saw an increasing number of wealthy owners looking for the correct car insurance on some exclusive, rare models.
What was so brilliant about the 2000 season was that it was so close for most of the season; going into the Italian Grand Prix, McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen led Schumacher by 6 points. Schumacher then went on to win the final 4 races of the season, beginning at Monza to collect 40 points whilst Hakkinen simply could not keep up and the World Championship crown was finally brought back to the prancing horse for the first time since 1979.
The 2000 season also saw some thrilling moments, including Hakkinen’s pass up the inside of Schumacher at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium whilst the pair went either side of Ricardo Zonta. One of the most iconic moments in F1 history.
Hakkinen and Schumacher had a fierce rivalry on the circuit for many years, with Hakkinen winning the ’98 and ’99 seasons before Schumacher finally broke his Ferrari championship duck in 2000 in the legendary, and aptly named, Ferrari F1-2000.