2001 brought a repeat of the previous year’s great results. Thanks to an absolutely exceptional car, Schumacher and Ferrari won the Drivers’ and Constructors’ title an incredible three months before the end of the season in a magnificent one-two at the Hungaroring (with Schumacher first and Barrichello second).
It was an extraordinary season with nine wins (Australia, Malaysia, Spain, Monaco, Europe, France, Hungary, Belgium, Japan), 11 pole positions, 19 placings in the points with 15 of those podium positions. Ferrari finished the Championship with a splendid victory at Suzuka and a total of 179 points in the Constructors’ and 123 in the Drivers’ World Championships.
By now Ferrari had decided to design a completely new single-seater each year to keep ahead of the competition, starting with the engine, the Tipo 050, which had the same 90° vee-angle but was lighter at just 100 kg.
In fact, the whole car was lighter and had been tweaked so that the regulation 600 kg minimum weight could be reached with ballast strategically positioned by the engineers around the chassis to suit the track to be raced on. Hence Ferrari’s cars arrived at the track perfectly prepared and the practice sessions were now mainly used to work on the strategy that would be employed on Sunday.