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No room in F1 for April Fools in 2001

MIchael Schumacher (Ferrari), Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) - 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix

Although the Formula 1 season is typically well underway by this point of the year, the sport has usually been unwilling to risk venturing out on April Fool's Day.

One exception to that rule was the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2001. It was the third race of that year's world championship. Michael Schumacher already had a ten point lead in the standings over his Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello and McLaren's David Coulthard.

It was an all-Schumacher front row for the start of the race. Michael was on pole with brother Ralf alongside him for Williams. When the race got underway there was an immediate safety car after Mika Hakkinen stalled on the grid.

The restart allowed Juan Pablo Montoya to jump Michael Schumacher for the lead. It was only the third race of the Colombian's F1 career at Williams. He led for half the race, only to be denied victory when Arrows' Jos Verstappen piled into the back of his car on lap 38.

That should have teed up Michael for the win, but the weather then mixed things up. Wet conditions from rain and thunderstorms led to him spinning twice, and Coulthard went on to take victory instead. Schumacher settled for second with Nick Heidfeld joining them on the podium for Sauber.

It hadn't been a good day for local hero Rubens Barrichello, who suffered car trouble on his way to the grid. This was in the days when 'T' cars were allowed, so he jumped into the spare car and started the race. Unfortunately he lasted just two laps before ignominiously rear-ending Ralf Schumacher.

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari  - 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and David Coulthard (McLaren) - 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix

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