|Race 17 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season|
|Date||22 October 2000|
|Official name||II Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix|
|Location||Sepang International Circuit
|Course||Permanent racing facility
5.543 km (3.44 mi)
|Distance||56 laps, 310.352 km (192.64 mi)|
|Weather||Overcast, Very hot, Dry|
|Time||1:38.543 on lap 34|
The 2000 Malaysian Grand Prix (formally the II Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 22 October 2000 at the Sepang International Circuit, in Sepang. It was the 17th and final race of the 2000 Formula One season. The race, contested over 56 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher for the Ferrari team, from a pole position start. David Coulthard finished second in a McLaren, with Rubens Barrichello third in the other Ferrari.
Schumacher's win was his ninth of the season, matching the record set by himself in 1995, and Nigel Mansell in 1992. Ferrari was confirmed as Constructors' Champions as McLaren could not pass its points total in the final race. The Grand Prix was Johnny Herbert's final race; the Englishman retired after 160 race starts.
The Grand Prix was contested by 22 drivers, in eleven teams of two. The teams, also known as constructors, were Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Benetton, BAR, Jordan, Arrows, Sauber, Jaguar, Minardi and Prost.
Heading into the final race of the season, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher had already won the season's Drivers' Championship, having clinched the title at the previous race, the Japanese Grand Prix. Schumacher led the championship with 98 points; McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen was second on 86 points. A maximum of 10 points were available for the remaining race, which meant Häkkinen could not catch Schumacher. Although the Drivers' Championship was decided, the Constructors' Championship was not. Ferrari were leading on 156 points, and McLaren were second on 143 points, with a maximum of 16 points available.
Four practice sessions were held before the Sunday race—two on Friday, and two on Saturday. The Friday morning and afternoon sessions each lasted an hour. The third and final practice sessions were held on Saturday morning and lasted 45 minutes. The first Friday practice session was held in overcast conditions, having rained hours before the session, making the track moderately slippery. Schumacher set the session's fastest time, with a lap of 1:40.290, eight-tenths of a second quicker than his team-mate Rubens Barrichello. The McLaren drivers were third and fourth; Coulthard ahead of Häkkinen. Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert set the fifth and eighth fastest times respectively; they were separated by Jacques Villeneuve and Giancarlo Fisichella. Their team-mates Olivier Panis and Benetton driver Alexander Wurz, completed the top ten.
In the second practice session, Häkkinen set the quickest lap time of the day, a 1:40.262; Coulthard finished with a third-fastest time—although both drivers were using a new set of tyres, improving their performance. Schumacher and Barrichello slipped to second and fourth, their best times two-tenths of a second apart. Jarno Trulli took fifth place, ahead of Ralf Schumacher, Ricardo Zonta, Fisichella, Wurz and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
Saturday's weather was again cloudy for the third and final practice sessions. In the third practice session, Wurz set the fastest lap time, a 1:38.318, narrowly faster than both McLaren drivers. Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine and Barrichello rounded out the top six. In the final practice session, Coulthard was fastest with a time of 1:38.109, narrowly faster than Michael Schumacher. Wurz set the third fastest lap time, despite going off into the gravel during the session. Häkkinen, Barrichello and Herbert rounded out the top six.
Saturday's afternoon qualifying session lasted for an hour. During this session, the 107% rule was in effect, which necessitated each driver set a time within 107% of the quickest lap to qualify for the race. Each driver was limited to twelve laps. Michael Schumacher clinched his ninth pole position of the season, with a time of 1:37.397. He was joined on the front row by Häkkinen, who was nearly half a second behind. Coulthard qualified third, though his car suffered a minor fire and catching fuel in his eye, as a result of a fuel rig becoming detached after a pitstop. Barrichello qualified fourth, having battled the McLaren for time during the late stages of qualifying and was suffering from flu.
The conditions for the race were dry and cloudy with the air temperature 32 °C (90 °F) and the track temperature 35 °C (95 °F). The drivers took to the track at 10:30 MST (GMT +8) for a 30-minute warm-up session. Zonta set the fastest time, a 1:40.032. Both McLaren drivers maintained their good pace from qualifying—Häkkinen was second, just off Zonta's pace; Coulthard had the fourth-fastest time. They were separated by Michael Schumacher.
The race started at 15:00 local time. At the start in a very hot and humid race, Michael Schumacher was again beaten away by Mika Häkkinen as at the previous race, however later it was proved that Häkkinen had moved before the lights went out.
At the first corner there were problems when Nick Heidfeld, Pedro Diniz and Pedro de la Rosa collided putting all three out on the spot, with debris on the track the safety car was deployed, with Häkkinen out in front.
However soon after the safety car came in, Häkkinen was given a stop and go penalty leaving his team mate David Coulthard out in the lead. Häkkinen would in the end fight back up to 4th place.
Coulthard had to pit earlier than planned due to running off track and collecting dirt in the radiators. This left Michael Schumacher out in front, with Coulthard now second ahead of the flu-ridden Barrichello in third place.
Johnny Herbert's last race ended with him being helped out of the car when his suspension failed, causing him to have a big accident.
Michael Schumacher cruised home first for his 9th win of the season, equalling a record he jointly held with Nigel Mansell (1992)
The top three drivers appeared on the podium to collect their trophies, and in the subsequent press conference. During the press conference David Coulthard apologised for some of his comments about the German throughout the season.
Despite his accident, Herbert suffered no physical injuries, except for a bruised knee. Herbert left Formula One after 12 years with 161 race starts and 3 wins. Herbert continued to participate in motor racing in 2001 driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series.
|14||18||Pedro de la Rosa||Arrows-Supertec||1:39.443||+2.046|
|107% time: 1:44.214|
|8||17||Mika Salo||Sauber-Petronas||55||+1 Lap||17|
|9||11||Giancarlo Fisichella||Benetton-Playlife||55||+1 Lap||13|
|10||19||Jos Verstappen||Arrows-Supertec||55||+1 Lap||15|
|11||14||Jean Alesi||Prost-Peugeot||55||+1 Lap||18|
|12||6||Jarno Trulli||Jordan-Mugen-Honda||55||+1 Lap||9|
|Ret||18||Pedro de la Rosa||Arrows-Supertec||0||Collision||14|
2000 Japanese Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2001 Australian Grand Prix
1999 Malaysian Grand Prix
|Malaysian Grand Prix||Next race:
2001 Malaysian Grand Prix