2001 Alternate Formula One season
|2001 Formula One season|
|Ralf Schumacher followed the steps of his older brother Michael and became the World Champion|
|Start date||4 March|
|Start Event||Qantas Australian Grand Prix|
|End date||14 October|
|End Event||Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix|
|Driver's Champion||Ralf Schumacher|
|Previous season||Next season|
The 2001 Formula One season was the 52nd season of the Formula One World Championship. Michael Schumacher entered the season as the defending Drivers' champion, as McLaren held the Constructors' Championship. Despite challenges from Ferrari and McLaren it was Williams who would emerge on top, reaping the rewards of BMW's involvement in the team and their powerful engines. Ralf Schumacher would move into the championship lead thanks to the greater consistency but worse reliability of Williams team-mate Rhys Davies and the fast but error prone Michael Schumacher, the latter of whom would go on to describe the year as his annus horribilis. The championship went down to the wire heading into the final race of the season at the Japanese Grand Prix with all three drivers in contention for the title, albeit with Michael Schumacher and Rhys Davies needing to win with Ralf Schumacher retiring from the race. Early on, Michael was eliminated after spinning on some dropped oil, leaving Rhys Davies to battle with Ralf Schumacher for the lead. Ralf had the upper hand, but it would not matter as both Davies and Ralf would retire, handing Ralf Schumacher his first World Championship and Mika Häkkinen the final victory of his career.
Teams and drivers
- 1 James James Davies was injured in a crash before the Canadian Grand Prix. He would be replaced by Jordan test driver Kimi Räikkönen.
- 2 James James Davies collided with Eddie Irvine at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix. He would miss the rest of the season, and would again be replaced by Kimi Räikkönen.
- 3 Jarno Trulli was replaced for the Japanese Grand Prix by another Jordan test driver Ricardo Zonta, after the former failed to score points for 10 consecutive races.
- 4 Marc Gené was replaced by Alex Yoong at Minardi for the final three races of the season.