2000 – Scot swears to take fight to Schumacher

David Coulthard famously swore at Michael Schumacher mid-corner as he led home a McLaren one-two which kept his Championship bid on track at the French Grand Prix.

The 29-year-old Scot started second on the grid but was forced back to third by the first corner by Barrichello and Schumacher opened up a seven second lead.

But Coulthard got past Barrichello lap 22 and then sought after the lead Ferrari.

The McLaren driver made several attempts into the Adelaide hairpin but the Ferrari driver continued to block Coulthard and following contact the fiery Scot gestured his middle-finger towards the German in disgust.

“I am delighted to have won this race because I don’t think he is very sporting in the way he drives,” said Coulthard after scoring McLaren’s first win at Magny-Cours.

“This is a sport isn’t it? And yet Michael tried to drive me off the circuit. Under the circumstances we deserved it more.”

“You have to be able to trust the people you are racing,” he said.

“Unless something is done the only option is not to slow down and then there could be an accident. Then it is in the lap of the Gods.”

Schumacher failed to finish because his Ferrari engine failed. Remarkably it would be his last engine failure until the Japanese Grand Prix in 2006 which would cost him a record eighth world title – and sixth in the seven years that followed this race.

 

“It was a good fight,” said Schumacher. “I believe that’s racing and if I am in front of him then I could choose the line.

“He tried to overtake me and naturally I tried to make it very difficult and to be fair he was never really in front anyway.

“He’s done the same to me in the past anyway.”

The incident was the latest in a long line of battles between the pair including the Argentinean and Belgian Grand Prix of 1998 – when Schumacher tried to punch the Scot.

Much to Coulthard’s delight on lap 39 he outbraked Schumacher to move into the lead.

The German had just been relegated to third by Hakkinen when he slowed and then pulled off the track on lap 58.

The Finn wound up second ahead of Rubens Barrichello.

The 1998 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was fourth for an increasingly competitive BAR. Ralf Schumacher was fifth for Williams and Jordan’s Jarno Trulli sixth.

Coulthard was 12 points behind Schumacher in the championship after the race but his charge was stunted as the season went on.

In the end it was a battle between Hakkinen and Schumacher for the title but the German prevailed at the penultimate race in Japan to end Ferrari’s 21-year wait for a world champion.

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