2001 Formula One season


2001 Formula One season

F1 season
Previous = 2000
Current = 2001
Next = 2002
The 2001 Formula One season was the 52nd FIA Formula One World Championship season. It commenced on March 4, 2001, and ended on October 14 after seventeen races. Michael Schumacher won the title with a record margin of 58 points, after achieving nine victories and five second places. The season also 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.

Results and standings

Grands Prix

Constructors


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