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Formula 1

Bring Back V10s: How Ferrari rattled then toppled McLaren

by Jack Cozens
1 min read

Formula 1’s 2000-04 seasons are now generally thought of as a period of Ferrari domination, and in straightforward statistical terms its 1-2 finish in the 2000 season-opening Australian Grand Prix was absolutely the start of that.

But at the time, it certainly didn’t feel like the obvious start of an unstoppable run of titles.

Mika Hakkinen had taken the previous two titles with McLaren and though its double non-finish in Melbourne meant it started 2000 on the back foot, the seismic power balance shift F1 was about to experience certainly wasn’t obvious in that moment.

Maybe the degree to which McLaren was unnerved by that Australia result, and even the bizarre war of words team boss Ron Dennis got into with ex-Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine over 1999 talks about him joining McLaren, were signs the top team of the past two seasons was rattled.

In the latest episode of our Bring Back V10s podcast, Mark Hughes – who began his stint as Autosport Grand Prix Editor at that very race – and Matt Beer – whose contribution to the media coverage of that race was rather scruffier – join Glenn Freeman to reminisce about everything that happened that weekend and what it meant for the season ahead.

Among the many, many other topics tackled are Jaguar’s arrival on the F1 grid, new signing Rubens Barrichello’s naive hope of taking on Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, the start of BMW’s F1 comeback with Williams and the huge impression 20-year-old, straight-from-F3 rookie Jenson Button made on F1 as he made his debut in one of those Williams-BMWs.

ASK US ANYTHING! (about 1989-2005 F1) – Submit your questions for our end-of-series episode using the hashtag #BringBackV10s on Twitter, or you can email bringbackv10s@the-race.com.

Bring Back V10s is available through all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

And if you want early access to every single episode, join The Race Members’ Club.

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