On 2nd September 2001, Michael Schumacher won the Belgian Grand Prix. The Scuderia arrived in Belgium having already made sure of both Championship titles in Hungary, two weeks earlier, but the will to win was as strong as ever.
Having dominated qualifying, placing both its cars on the front row, the Williams-BMW squad then did the Ferrari men an unprompted favour: before the start, Montoya stalled his engine and had to start from the back of the grid and then Ralf Schumacher was passed by his brother at Les Combes. But that wasn’t the end of it. The race was interrupted after four laps, because of a scary accident that befell Luciano Burti, who ended up in the barriers at Blanchimont.
At the time of the restart, Ralf’s Williams was still up on jacks on the grid and so the German also had to start from the back of the grid. Michael’s main rivals had therefore been dispensed with and he quickly built up a considerable lead over Fisichella, only slowing towards the end when there was no need to continue pressing on. As he took the chequered flag, the newly crowned five times world champion had a 10 second advantage over Coulthard, which was actually a much smaller gap than the story told on track.
This was Michael’s fifty second win, thus making him the most successful driver in the history of Formula 1 (breaking the four-time world champion Alain Prost’s all-time record of 51 wins), in what was his tenth year of competition in the highest category of motor racing, which began right here in Spa-Francorchamps: talk about coincidence…
Michael also took his fifth win at the Circuit de-Spa Francorchamps to equal the triple world champion Ayrton Senna’s record number of wins at the track.
F1 2001 Belgium Grand Prix Highlights