Ferrari and McLaren: The premier league

By winning 10 of the 17 races in 2000, Ferrari had clearly produced the class car of the field. Only one machine came anywhere near it:

Mclaren's MP4-15 (left). That car was the only other winner during the season, Mika Häkkinen scooping four victories, David Coulthard three. Adrian Newey's third McLaren was a clear evolution of his previous designs and was considered the quickest car over one lap — just. But three Merc engine failures for Häkkinen, the last in his crucial Indy battle with Michael Schumacher, blunted the team's challenge.

The gulf to the rest of the Formula One pack was wide in 2000. In 11 of the races Ferrari and McLaren covered the front two rows of the grid. The only team that showed any promise of one day challenging these two was Williams. In its first year with BMW, the dominant force of the 1990s was rising again. But neither Ralf Schumacher nor raw rookie Jenson Button had a realistic hope of ending Williams' fallow years in FW22 (right). The team would need FW23 and the arrival of Juan Pablo Montoya to help change that.