The day Ron Dennis told Enrique Bernoldi his fortune

Enrique Bernoldi is probably greatest remembered nowadays as the person Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz favoured when Peter Sauber determined as a substitute to take a punt on Kimi Raikkonen.

Mateschitz subsequently purchased his man a seat at Arrows, and the Brazilian duly made his Grand Prix debut in Australia in 2001 on the exact same day as Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya. Quite a commencement class…

Bernoldi can also be recalled for what occurred later that yr in Monaco, when he discovered himself in entrance of delayed pole place man David Coulthard, who was attempting to make his manner by means of the sector after an issue on the grid.

Coulthard spent over 30 laps attempting to get by, and solely gained the place when Bernoldi lastly pitted – leaving McLaren boss Ron Dennis so pissed off that he manufactured from level of telling the Arrows driver his fortune after the race…

To end first, first it’s a must to start-

Inevitably the 2001 season was all about Michael Schumacher and Ferrari versus McLaren, however with a twist. Double World Champion Mika Hakkinen acquired his yr off to a disappointing begin, and it was his teammate Coulthard who was flying the flag for the Woking outfit, successful in Brazil and Austria.

At the latter race Schumacher was controversially gifted second place and valuable additional factors by teammate Rubens Barrichello on the ultimate lap. He now led the Scot by 42 to 38 – all the pieces was to play for, and as ever qualifying was going to be essential in Monaco.

For as soon as, Schumacher acquired it unsuitable. Traffic pressured him to abort his first run, however that gave him a spare lap that he was ready to make use of proper on the finish with a two-lap ultimate run. However, he clipped the barrier at Portier, joking later that it appeared to have moved, and made the monitor narrower…

Schumacher needed to accept second, his thunder stolen by Coulthard, who deserved full credit score for a effective achievement below monumental stress.

The McLaren ace had clanged the barrier in an earlier apply session, dropping essential monitor time, which made his effort much more spectacular. And beating his teammate Hakkinen of their mutual dwelling city did no hurt to his stature inside the staff.

Earlier races had indicated that the McLaren had an extended gasoline vary than the Ferrari. If Coulthard might keep in entrance initially, he simply needed to maintain going, and hope that he had a transparent run by means of the visitors as soon as Schumacher pitted behind him.

Unless he might get the soar initially Michael’s solely actual likelihood of sneaking forward could be to pit at a time when he was assured an empty monitor that will permit him to run flat out earlier than Coulthard stopped and pull off an undercut.

Practice makes good

David Coulthard

Photo by: DaimlerChrysler

The begin was sophisticated by the presence of launch management, which had lately been made authorized – and given everybody an enormous headache as they tried to good it.

Ferrari was nonetheless a bit of nervous after issues in Austria, the place the grid proved grippier than the pit lane floor on which the system had been tuned.

Practice begins weren’t allowed from the tip of the tight Monaco pitlane, however the for the primary time the FIA correctly launched a brand new process and allowed them on the grid after the chequered flag in every apply session.

Drivers might thus do one on Thursday morning, one on Thursday afternoon, one on Saturday morning, and one after the Sunday warm-up. Ferrari had the added luxurious of going dwelling to Fiorano to mess around on Friday, a day off for everyone else…

McLaren had no apparent issues throughout these periods – however for the fourth time in 2001, the staff had a expensive glitch when it mattered. Hakkinen had beforehand stalled initially correct in each Brazil and Austria, and on each events he had made a mistake, within the first occasion with the clutch, and the second the operation of the complicated traction management system.

In Spain Coulthard had a problem initially of ultimate formation lap – and in Monaco, it occurred once more. The pole man was left stranded as the remainder of the runners drove away and made their manner round to the grid.

Both occasions he was an harmless sufferer of software program not reacting because it ought to to a specific set of circumstances.

In Spain McLaren technical director Adrian Newey had described it thus: “It’s a state of affairs that maybe we hadn’t correctly rehearsed. Something occurred which we hadn’t correctly envisaged, which brought on the issue.

“David did one thing barely in another way, however I’ve to say that the system most likely ought to have coped with it, so there’s no level in allocating blame.”

The downside in Monaco was comparable, however not similar.

“It was nothing to do with David,” Dennis defined after the race. “The system is complicated. A set of parameters manifested themselves initially, and since the system was not in a position to accommodate these parameters, it turned off the engine.

“As is at all times the case when the pc sees a set of circumstances that it doesn’t anticipate to see, then it’s going to flip the engine off, as a result of it’s failsafe. And that’s what occurred.”

Dennis would often by no means criticise a member of his personal staff in public, however surprisingly there was only a trace that he was aggravated with the continuing issues: “It was a repeat efficiency of Barcelona, save for the truth that the precise trigger was totally different.

“And that’s fairly irritating, as a result of the engineers chargeable for that trawled by means of all the assorted parameters to attempt to keep away from it taking place once more. So I’m positive they’ll be fairly uncomfortable…”

He additionally admitted what was by now manifestly apparent. The McLaren system was not solely troublesome for the drivers to function (though Hakkinen had no issues in Monaco), it was unnecessarily complicated and delicate.

Schumacher gifted pole

The start

The begin

Photo by: Ferrari Media Center

With Coulthard out of the best way, Schumacher was successfully ranging from pole from his second spot. The Ferrari launch management labored effectively this time, so he was in a position to keep forward of third qualifier Hakkinen.

“Obviously we were relieved to have one of them out of the way,” stated Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn, “though we knew we’d have a protracted, laborious race.

“Launch management labored very effectively, though we expect our aspect of the grid was not as grippy as the opposite aspect, from the apply begins we’ve carried out.”

Schumacher pushed laborious for just a few laps, after which eased off – to avoid wasting essential gasoline – when he realised that he was not getting away from the Finn. The hole to Hakkinen went as excessive as 2.6s on lap 5, after which fell to simply 1.0s on lap 12.

Brawn defined what was taking place: “With Mika pushing, we had been simply deciding whether or not to preserve our tyres and gasoline after which try to construct a niche later, or try to construct a niche then.

“They had been form of jousting, weren’t they? One would push and the opposite one would push. They had been attempting to guage who might go the quickest, as a result of they each began on new tyres that took some time to quiet down. And then Mika dropped out…”

On the very lap after he’d minimize the hole to a second, Hakkinen slowed dramatically, and got here into the pits. After an additional exploratory lap he was again in for good. There was discuss of a mysterious steering subject, nevertheless it later emerged that on that weekend the Finn had first confronted the doubts that will lead him to retire from the game.

McLaren’s hopes now rested with Coulthard. Overtaking may be laborious in Monaco, however from a pit lane begin a pole man ought to in principle be capable to minimize by means of backmarkers. However, nearly instantly he discovered himself caught behind the Arrows of Bernoldi, who had certified 20th of the 22 starters.

This is how the early laps performed out:

Coulthard’s progress earlier than catching Bernoldi

Enrique Bernoldi, Arrows A22 Asiatech leads David Coulthard, Mclaren MP4-16

Enrique Bernoldi, Arrows A22 Asiatech leads David Coulthard, Mclaren MP4-16

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Lap 1: Last from again of grid

Lap 2: Passes Burti (Prost), who slowed with a damaged wing.

Lap 3: 0.1s behind Marques (Minardi)

Lap 4: Passes Marques. 2.8s behind Verstappen (Arrows)

Lap 5: 1.6s behind Verstappen

Lap 6: 0.6s behind Verstappen

Lap 7: 0.5s behind Verstappen

Lap 8: 0.4s behind Bernoldi (Arrows), who had been handed by Verstappen.

Coulthard now had Bernoldi in his sights. By this time he was already 34.1s behind chief Schumacher, and 13.1s behind the BAR of Jacques Villeneuve, the person who ultimately completed forward of him in fourth.

For some time Bernoldi stayed in contact with teammate Verstappen, however he had an issue that pressured him to change to a conservative gasoline map, and thus he misplaced a bit of velocity. And but nonetheless Coulthard couldn’t get previous.

Between laps Eight and 25 the hole between Coulthard and chief Schumacher grew from 34.1s to 78.8s. Then the Ferrari driver lapped the McLaren, and any likelihood DC had of getting a critical serving to of factors was clearly gone.

Bernoldi was helped to a level by his weight benefit – he was carrying gasoline for simply 43 laps, whereas with a full tank Coulthard was ultimately in a position to go to 65, having saved a bit of additional gasoline when caught behind the Arrows.

When Bernoldi lastly pitted on that lap 43, he and Coulthard had been lapped by everyone all the way down to Villeneuve, who was at that stage operating fifth. With Bernoldi out of the best way, David’s lap occasions improved by round 3s, and he quickly unlapped himself from Villeneuve.

Coulthard’s progress after passing Bernoldi

David Coulthard

David Coulthard

Photo by: DaimlerChrysler

Lap 42: 12th (Bernoldi pits)

Lap 43: 11th (Verstappen pits)

Lap 44: 10th (Fisichella crashes)

Lap 46:  9th (Passes Alonso’s Minardi)

Lap 49: 7th (Button pits and Frentzen crashes)

Lap 57: 6th (Ralf Schumacher retires)

Lap 65: Coulthard pits and maintains sixth.

Lap 69: 5th (Alesi pits with puncture)

There was no formally revealed hole, however Coulthard was nonetheless round a minute behind fourth-placed Villeneuve on the flag. He had set quickest lap and picked up two factors – higher than a retirement, however poor reward on a day when Schumacher was gifted victory and picked up 10.

Bernoldi in the meantime ultimately crossed the road in ninth place. It was instantly after the race {that a} pissed off Dennis, accompanied by Mercedes boss Norbert Haug, accosted him.

There’s an understanding between staff bosses that it’s unhealthy kind to talk on to drivers from rival camps in such circumstances – it’s as much as a driver to hunt out a colleague with whom he has a grudge. This state of affairs was a bit of like an offended guardian at a junior kart assembly accosting a nine-year-old who’d dared to punt little Johnny off the monitor.

“They wouldn’t have done that to Michael or Jacques or someone with balls,” one driver told me with a smile. What would he have carried out if he’d been verbally accosted by Dennis and Haug, I requested? “Told them to **** off!”

Ron’s response was maybe comprehensible. McLaren had endured a horrible day, with a technical downside stranding Coulthard initially, and Hakkinen retiring a seemingly wholesome automotive. Both males had a bone fide likelihood of beating Schumacher, not least due to the MP4-16’s capacity to go longer on gasoline, and but the possibility was squandered.

His perspective was that Bernoldi ought to have made manner for Coulthard, just because the latter was a World Championship contender.

Dennis hit the rev limiter after Bernoldi told him that he was simply following orders. Ron immediately smelled a conspiracy to deprive his staff of victory, when actually Bernoldi was merely stating that the McLaren was on the identical lap, and he was thus below no obligation to let it by means of.

Ron Dennis

Ron Dennis

Photo by: Brousseau Photo

“It’s true I spoke to Bernoldi afterwards,” Dennis admitted. “I felt that the driving force contending 15th place, who was chopping throughout the entrance of a driver that was contesting the World Championship, at present mendacity second, I believe it’s acceptable for a time period.

“But I believe the size of time it took was unacceptable. I told him I believed his behaviour was unsporting, and never reflective of the perspective {that a} younger growing driver ought to be placing into his profession.

“His response was that he had been instructed to take action by the staff. All I’m saying is what he stated. If that staff is so determined for tv that it has to resort to these methods, you then considerably query the behaviour of the staff as a complete.

“I’ve no issues with Arrows or with drivers, however on the finish of the day we’re all fiercely aggressive. We need to method it as a sport, and through the course of the race one has to have a sporting behaviour…”

When he discovered in regards to the dialog, Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw was incensed. He understood that Dennis and Haug had told his hapless driver that they might “end his career,” though different variations of the story instructed that the precise wording was alongside the strains of “you won’t last long in F1 if you drive like that again,” which appeared rather less harsh.

If nothing else Dennis had efficiently diverted consideration away from the issue on the grid, and certainly Hakkinen’s mysterious retirement, though Walkinshaw wasn’t fooled.

“He should take his anger out on himself,” he thundered. “Rather than venting it on everyone else…”

Enrique Bernoldi

Enrique Bernoldi

Photo by: Brousseau Photo

Most neutrals took Bernoldi’s aspect – he was racing for place. It was additionally value noting that in Austria Dennis was upset when a driver (Barrichello) moved over for one more automotive (Schumacher). In Monaco he was upset when any individual else didn’t transfer over!

At the identical time we had been being told that the title state of affairs was not but clear when it comes to who acquired precedence at McLaren, and thus there have been no staff orders within the Woking camp. So one way or the other an Arrows was anticipated to wave a McLaren previous – and but Hakkinen wasn’t obliged to help his personal teammate.

The irony was that no matter manner you probably did the maths, Coulthard wouldn’t have carried out higher than fifth even when he had not turn into caught behind Bernoldi. And it might solely have been sixth had Jean Alesi not had an additional pit cease with a late puncture.

Let’s suppose that on the very first lap that Bernoldi noticed the McLaren he had determined to let it although. Then think about the fellows who Coulthard would then have needed to go on monitor simply to get inside putting distance of Villeneuve, the person who in the end completed fourth.

Can you actually think about that the likes of Jos Verstappen, Jenson Button, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Alesi and Giancarlo Fisichella would carried out what Dennis needed, and moved out of the best way?

The solely constructive was that Coulthard didn’t panic and didn’t injury his nostril (as had occurred when he was delayed in Spain), and he got here dwelling with these two essential factors.

Nevertheless on that day McLaren handed victory to Schumacher on a plate – and thereafter he pulled away to win the title by a snug margin.   

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