Spa 2000

Spa 2000, the scene of one of the greatest F1 overtakes of all-time. Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher was still comfortably in front, but an obviously faster Mika Häkkinen was closing in on him. The track was bone dry and Häkkinen was on a charge. Schumacher had set up his Ferrari for wet conditions due to the morning weather, meaning he had a fairly high downforce setting. He was particularly slow down the straights (notably through Eau Rouge, through Raidillon and up the Kemmel Straight approaching Les Combes). Meanwhile, Häkkinen had a more dry-weather based set-up in anticipation of a primarily dry race. This would prove crucial in the outcome of the battle.

Hakkinen vs Schumacher at Spa,2000
Hakkinen vs Schumacher at Spa 2000

In the final stages of the race, Häkkinen was using his straight-line speed advantage to good effect as he aimed a move up the inside of Schumacher, up the Kemmel Straight approaching Les Combes. In a typically robust fashion, Schumacher was going to have none of this and almost forced Häkkinen onto the grass at over 200 miles an hour. The Finn was unimpressed with that manoeuvre. He would not have to wait long for payback though, in fact it would be the very next lap at the same spot, as he and Schumacher were about to lap Ricardo Zonta, Schumacher went around the BAR driver to the left but Häkkinen went around Zonta’s right and outbraked Schumacher into Les Combes. Michael Schumacher put in a good drive but in the end, he could not contain a simply faster Häkkinen.

Hakkinen would go on the win the race ahead of Michael Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher. Meanwhile, 12th placed Zonta probably pulled out a tub of popcorn when the 2 leaders swept past him. With that win, the Flying Finn extended his lead to 6 points from Schumacher. However, all that effort would go in vain in the end as Schumacher sealed the title.

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