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BBC Sport Front Page
Sports Review of the Year 2001
INTRO | REVIEW BY SPORT | GALLERY | VOTE | LEGENDS REMEMBERED | 2002 CALENDAR
FOOTBALL
CRICKET
HORSE RACING
MOTORSPORT
TENNIS
GOLF
RUGBY UNION
RUGBY LEAGUE
ATHLETICS
US SPORT
SNOOKER
CYCLING
BOXING
SAILING
Rugby League

By Andrew Benson

When Michael Schumacher won his first world drivers’ title for Ferrari, he talked about creating a “Ferrari era” in Formula One.

After winning a second consecutive title, the German seems well on the way to realising his dream.

Schumacher equalled his own record of nine wins in a season and wrapped up the title earlier than at any time since 1992.

Yet Schumacher and Ferrari did not have things all their own way.

Williams-BMW came on increasingly strong as the season developed, allowing new-boy Juan Pablo Montoya to prove that he will be a star of the future.

Once Montoya found his feet, he outshone team-mate Ralf Schumacher, even though the German won three races to Montoya’s one.

Ferrari’s arch-rivals McLaren-Mercedes had a disastrous year by their lofty standards. But four wins split between Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard underlined that they remain a major force.

The rest, frankly, were nowhere.

In motorcycling’s blue-riband MotoGP series, Italian Valentino Rossi won his first title for Honda as easily as Schumacher in F1, despite the best efforts of compatriots Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi.

Troy Bayliss, meanwhile, won the World Superbike Championship in its first season without its superstar, Carl Fogarty.

The World Rally Championship provided much of the year’s unpredictability - four drivers headed into the final round contesting the title.

The man who won was England’s Richard Burns, who promptly proved that driving fast does not mean you can manage your career with wisdom – he had signed to race for two teams in 2002.

After a suitable pay-off, Subaru backed down and he was free to move to Peugeot.

Elsewhere, motorsport was falling apart, one-sided, or both.

Audi won a second Le Mans without breaking sweat.

Gil de Ferran took a second consecutive Cart title for Penske, only for the team, the category’s best, to announce that it will race in the rival Indy Racing League in 2002.

And touring cars were in chaos. England’s Jason Plato won the once-competitive British Touring Car Championship, where only Vauxhall proved capable of running a competitive car.

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Schumacher wraps up F1 championship
Montoya claims first F1 win
Rossi breezes to 500cc title
Bayliss crowned king of Superbikes
Burns takes World Rally title
Burns settles contract row
Audi cruise to Le Mans win
Second consecutive Cart title for de Ferran
Penske quit Cart for rival championship
Plato grabs Touring Cars title