Team McLaren Mercedes 2000s



Model: MP4/15

Engine: 3.0 Mercedes V10

Drivers: Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard

They certainly didn’t rest on their laurels in 2000, but a combination of problems, a disqualification, mechanical failures and an occasional mistake saw the team relegated to second places in both championships.

Once again, team, engine builder and drivers retained stability, the driver pairing becoming the longest ever in Grand Prix racing during the year. There was no doubt that speed was there, with the drivers and test driver Olivier Panis frequently showing fastest in testing.

With Mika Hakkinen on pole for the first three races, and teammate Coulthard alongside him in the first two, that was certainly never in doubt, but both drivers failed to finish in Australia due to pneumatic valve failure. Hakkinen suffered engine failure in the second race, and Coulthard was disqualified, so with Michael Schumacher leading the two McLarens home in the third race, the Ferrari driver had a huge advantage.

But then the advantage turned: Coulthard won in England, Hakkinen in Spain, Coulthard in Monaco and then again in France. In Austria, Hakkinen began the fight back, leading home his teammate, while Hakkinen won in Hungary and superbly in Belgium where he took the championship lead.

Unfortunately, a mechanical failure at Indianapolis virtually ended his chances. A superb race to second in the damp of Japan wasn’t enough, but Coulthard’s late race challenge in Malaysia could not make up for two penalties in the last three races. Second was the best in both Championships.

Drivers’ Championship: 2nd, Hakkinen, 89 pts; 3rd, Coulthard, 73pts
Constructors’Championship: 2nd, 152 pts


Model: MP4-16

Engine: 3.0 Mercedes-Benz V10
Drivers: Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard,
Alex Wurz

In 2001, the Team McLaren Mercedes pairing of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard were joined by Alexander Wurz, who was announced as the team’s third grand prix driver.

Michael Schumacher won the first two races of the season, however Coulthard fought back in Brazil and a few days after his 30th birthday scored his first season win, however Hakkinen had a problem on the start grid and did not compete in the race.

In San Marino, Coulthard and Hakkinen lined up on the front row of the grid, marking the team’s 50th one-two qualifying result, while Coulthard finished on the second step of the podium with Hakkinen fourth. At the Spanish Grand Prix, Hakkinen retired on the final lap of the race with mechanical failure.

Coulthard scored his second win of the season in Austria, while Hakkinen had to wait until the British GP, one of the Team McLaren Mercedes teams’ home races, to taste the victor’s champagne.

At the Italian Grand Prix in September, Hakkinen announced that he would be taking a year’s sabbatical from Formula 1 in a career which included a pair of drivers’ championship in 1998 and 1999, 20 grand prix victories, 26 pole positions, 25 fastest laps and 420 points. The Finn won the following race at Indianapolis, which would ultimately be the final win of his Formula 1 career.

Coulthard finished his season with two podium positions – third in the US and Japan and secured second position in the drivers championships. Hakkinen finished the season fifth.

Drivers’ Championship: 2nd, Coulthard 65 pts; 5th, Hakkinen, 37pts
Constructors’ Championship: 2nd, 102 pts

Model: MP4-17

Engine: 3.0 Mercedes-Benz V10
Drivers: David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen,
Alex Wurz

David Coulthard and Alex Wurz were joined at Team McLaren Mercedes in 2002 by young Finnish star and new signing, Kimi Raikkonen, who made an immediate impression by scoring his first podium position at the season’s first race, third at the Australian Grand Prix.

David finished third in Brazil, the Scot moving up to fourth place overall in the Drivers’ World Championship after scoring another six points for third place at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, Spain proved to be a disappointing weekend for Kimi who retired.

David finished sixth in Austria, then came the highlight of the year, the Monaco Grand Prix which secured David his 12th Formula 1 career victory, and the celebratory champagne for Team McLaren Mercedes. Fastest during free practice in Canada, David finished second, with Kimi finishing fourth, after the Finn made an excellent overtaking manoeuvre on Ralf Schumacher at turn one.

Kimi returned to the podium at the next race, the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring securing third place, the only Team McLaren Mercedes finisher after David retired on lap 37 following an incident with Juan Pablo Montoya at the first corner.

Kimi scored the highest finish of his career at the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix, driving a superb race to finish second overall, with David standing alongside him on the podium having finished third.

David finished fifth at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix and the next race in Hungary, with Kimi fourth at the Hungaroring.

The Team McLaren Mercedes pairing ended the year upbeat with a pair of third places, David at the SAP US GP and Kimi at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Drivers’ Championship: 5th, Coulthard 41 points, 6th, Raikkonen 24 pts
Constructors’ Championship: 3rd, 65 pts


Model: MP4-17D

Engine: 3.0 Mercedes-Benz V10

Drivers: David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa

The 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship began with the introduction of new rules, a new qualifying procedure, and ended in a nail biting climax at Suzuka.

Team McLaren Mercedes started the season with the appointment of new test driver Pedro de la Rosa, to supplement the work done by David, Kimi and Alex, and the team made a strong start in Australia, David scoring his 12th win for the team, followed by Kimi scoring his first Formula One victory in Malaysia, and taking the lead of the Drivers’ World Championship table.

The incident packed Brazilian Grand Prix saw Kimi eventually taking second place, with Giancarlo Fisichella awarded the victory. As the European season began, Kimi secured another podium in San Marino, with David finishing in fifth place. Spain however was disappointing for both drivers, ending in a double retirement.

In Austria, Kimi was second, with David finishing fifth, having moved up the field from 14th on the grid. There was another second place for Kimi in Monaco, while David finished sixth. The Scot retired in Canada with transmission failure, while Kimi finished sixth, having started from the pitlane after a mistake in Saturday qualifying.

The back-to-back European and Mobil 1 French Grands Prix, saw Kimi secure his first Formula 1 pole position (European GP), although the race ended in retirement for both drivers. David had a particularly difficult race in France, fuel rig failure on his second pitstop costing him time and dropping him down the race order. He finished fifth.

Kimi and David finished third and fifth respectively at the British Grand Prix, while David finished in a well-deserved second place at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix.

Hungary, Italy, and the US Grands Prix gave Kimi another valuable 20 Drivers’ World Championship points, with fifth place the best result for David at the Hungaroring. Kimi was lying second in the Championship, nine points behind Michael Schumacher going into the final race of the season.

Kimi knew to become the Drivers’ World Champion he had to win in Japan, with Michael Schumacher finishing out of the points. Both Team McLaren Mercedes drivers drove fantastic races, and while they could not catch eventual race winner, Rubens Barrichello, two podium positions rounded off the end of what had been a fantastically close season.

Drivers’ Championship: 2nd, Raikkonen 91 pts, 7th, Coulthard 51 points
Constructors’ Championship: 3rd, 142 pts


Model: MP4-19 & MP4-19B

Engine: 3.0 Mercedes-Benz V10

Drivers: David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa

The 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship began with the introduction of new regulations, which included the bottom five teams from the previous years championship being able to run a third car during Friday practice sessions. In addition there was a change to the qualifying format, which meant that the two qualifying sessions would be held back to back on a Saturday for the duration of the season. In addition the 2004 calendar saw the inclusion of two new races in Bahrain and China, 18 races in total. Three sets of back to back grands prix, Monaco and Europe, Canada and the USA and France and Britain were scheduled over an eight week period.

The start of the season was a disappointing one for Team McLaren Mercedes. David finished eighth for the team in Australia and then sixth in Malaysia. An unsatisfactory inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix followed for the team with David and Kimi both retiring from the 57 lap race.

The first four European races saw Team McLaren Mercedes score only one point with Kimi finishing sixth at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Canada saw a turnaround in fortunes for the MP4-19 where Team McLaren Mercedes came away with a fifth place for Kimi and sixth place for David. The team moved on to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway one week later for the second back-to-back race of the season where Kimi and David finished the 73-lap incident filled United States Grand Prix in sixth and seventh positions respectively, scoring five points in the Constructors’ Championship.

The second half of the season saw an improvement in the competitiveness of Team McLaren Mercedes with the introduction of the revised 2004 car, the MP4-19B in France, where David achieved the third fastest time in qualifying and David and Kimi finished the 70-lap Mobil 1 French Grand Prix in sixth and seventh place respectively.

At the following race, the British Grand Prix, Kimi scored the third pole position of his career, finishing the race in second place. In addition David scored a further two points for the team with seventh place. The team scored five points at Hockenheim two weeks later with a fourth place for David and while Kimi set a new lap record and the fastest lap of the race; he was forced to retire with a rear wing failure.

Belgium returned to the calendar after a year’s absence, with the usual difficult weather conditions affecting running over the weekend. Qualifying took place in wet conditions that were constantly changing over the two hour period. As a result Team McLaren Mercedes drivers David and Kimi qualified in fourth and tenth positions respectively. However the race saw Kimi score his second Formula One career win after a superb performance and secured the team’s first victory of the season.

The following four races saw Team McLaren Mercedes accumulate a further 20 points with Kimi returning to the podium on two more occasions; at the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix he finished third and in Brazil where he came a very close second to 2005 team mate Juan Pablo Montoya with a gap of under one second. Brazil also marked the last race for David as a Team McLaren Mercedes driver, having competed in 150 races, with 12 wins and seven pole positions for the Woking based squad.

Drivers’ Championship: 7th, Raikkonen 45 pts, 9th, Coulthard 24 pts
Constructors’ Championship: 5th, 69 pts

* David Coulthard was a Team McLaren Mercedes driver until the end of the 2004 season