Ferrari 2000-2004: the history of a domination (3)


Schumacher-3_postThe 2001 season is a long red monologue, with Schumacher winning nine races out of 17, reaching almost to double (123 points to 65) the runner-up, the Scottish David Coulthard on McLaren. Even more damning is the domination of Scuderia Ferrari in 2002, the year in which Schumacher, winning the fifth Drivers world title of his career (won six races in advance), will equal the record of the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio. The German takes points in all races, winning 11, while 4 will be victories of his teammate Barrichello. The two Ferrari drivers will reach a record of 221 points combined overall, leaving only crumbs to the opponents (Ralf Schumacher’s victory in Malaysia and that of Coulhard in Monaco).

In 2003 Schumacher gains his six title, overcoming Fangio, but his win, the fourth in a row, comes at the end of a difficult season, where the German leads by just two points to the driver who will become his heir in Ferrari four years later, the Finnish Kimi Raikkonen. The young talent of McLaren, despite winning only in Malaysia, has his strength in the regularity, reaching second place seven times. Schumacher imposes his will in the middle phase of the championship, taking 4 wins out of 5 races, but only in Monza, with three races to go, he manages to place the decisive break, aided by the final win of his teammate Barrichello in Japan.

The difficulties encountered in winning the sixth title seem to foretell the end of Ferrari’s extraordinary winning streak, but the reds silence everyone with a record-breaking season: 13 wins for Schumacher (who captures the seventh title of his legendary career) and 2 for Barrichello out of 17 races, 8 doubles, 11 pole positions and 262 points overall (with the team BAR, runner-up, at 119).

At the end of the 2004 season, to curb the excessive domination of Ferrari, the FIA overturns some technical regulations of Formula 1, inventing some nonsense rules that will be abandoned soon, some while the championship is still in progress, others in the following season. Ferrari is not able to adapt quickly to the changes, and returns to be competitive in 2006, but this is another story. No change of regulations can diminish the legendary five-year span delivered by Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1: five unforgettable seasons studded with 57 victories and 51 pole positions, with five Drivers and Constructors titles (and the sixth Constructors win in 1999). An era that puts Michael Schumacher at the top of Olympus for the distinction of the best drivers of all time, and confirms once more that Ferrari embodies the real essence of motor racing.

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Gianluca Puzzo

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Gianluca Puzzo

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