F1 2000 Championship

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In 2000, Villeneuve stayed for his second year in B.A.R. which was powered by HONDA this season. Despite the still lack of victories or podium finishes, improvements inside the team were great. The operation of the new wind tunnel at BAR’s headquarters in Brackley helped resolving the previous season aerodynamic problems. As a consequence, the car became more stable helping Villeneuve to score 17 from 20 team's points and B.A.R. to be ranked amazingly 5th in the constructor's championship.




The first race of the season, the "Qantas Australian Grand Prix" in Albert Park, was a salvation for Villeneuve and the B.A.R. team as a whole, after a struggling 1999 season. Villeneuve finished 4th and his teammate Ricardo Zonta 6th, providing their team with its first ever F1 points.



At the "Warsteiner Grand Prix di San Marin" in Imola, Villeneuve qualified 9th but after a tough race he succeeded in finishing 5th scoring 2 valuable points.


At "Grand Prix Air Canada", Villeneuve proved his driving skill and competitiveness against superior racing combinations.
Starting form the 6th place he earned 3 positions at the start of the race and kept behind him Ruben Barrichello's Ferrari and Mika Hakkinen's McLaren Mercedes for several laps reaching up to 2nd during the first half of the race. Unless he had wrongly chosen dry tyres while rain has started few laps later after his pitstop, Villeneuve might had managed a great performance at his home Grand Prix.







During the free practice session at the "Grosser A1 Preiss von ╬čsterreich" in A1-Ring, Villeneuve had an amazing 360" spin.



At the "Gross Preis von Deutchland", Villeneuve pushed hard for a good result in the race. But after an unfortunate collision with his teammate Ricardo Zonta, and the mixed weather conditions during the race, Villeneuve finished back in 8th position. The winner was Rubens Barrichello who celebrated his first ever F1 victory of his career with tears during the podium ceremony.



Villeneuve's greatest chance to achieve a podium finish was at the "Gran Premio Campari d' Italia" where the Honda engine proved both its power but weakness. Jacques qualified 4rth in the grid among the Ferrari and McLaren cars and maintained a 3rd position following an accident that killed an Italian marshal. But after the restart of the race, Villeneuve was forced to retire due to failure of his engine.



Another great performance of Villeneuve was at the inaugural "SAP United States Grand Prix" in Indianapolis where Villeneuve won the historical Indy 500 race some years ago. In fact he was the only current driver in the grid with racing experience in an oval circuit.
On lap 35 he had a spectacular spin at turn 5, while the following Rubens Barrichello avoided a contact with the spining car in the very last second. Michael Schumacher who was leading the race, had a similar spin almost at the same point of turn 5 with 4 laps to the finish but without any further consequences.




In fact, Villeneuve's spin might had caused him losing the 3rd position of the race. Unfortunately, he failed to overtake Heinz Harald Frenzen's Jordan during the last laps of the race and finished 4rth.



As Villeneuve explained after the race "...I wasn't really close enough to pass Frentzen, but I just decided there was no sand trap and no tire wall, so I'd take a chance. I lost track of where the corner was, and as soon as I touched the brakes I knew I was not going to be able to stop."





Many observers believe that Villeneuve’s performances during the 2000 season had been even better than those that had won him the 1997 World Championship.