The other front runners, particularly the McLaren's, had got off to a poor start and both Renault
drivers moved up to third and fourth in the opening few laps. The net effect was that the McLaren
duo of David Coulthard
and Kimi Raikkonen
were bottled up for the early part of the race, and although DC passed Brit Jenson Button
he couldn't get by Jarno Trulli
until the Italian pitted at mid-distance.
DC eventually finished third, while his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen
went off with three laps to go - the Finn had been running in a safe fourth place. Jenson Button
thus took fourth as his team-mate Jarno Trulli
also retired with what appeared to be an engine failure on lap 60.
At the front, it was Schumacher Vs Schumacher, and try as Ralf did, and he closed the gap from around 2.6 seconds when he came out the pits to 0.588 seconds at the flag he could find no way by his brother and was forced to settle for second best. It was by no means an easy final third to the race though for Michael, and Ralf kept the pressure on lap after lap - the gap decreasing, and then increasing and so on for the final 20 or so laps.
Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya meanwhile, having lost around 19 seconds and dropping to 19th at the end of the first lap, persevered and took fifth spot, and two World Championship points. It was a good recovery from the Colombian to grab something from what looked like a disaster at the start of the race, but was he just being a tad over-exuberant going into turn four? Should he have been more patient? Perhaps yes, but that's the benefit of hindsight.
Sixth taking the final championship point was Mika Salo, the Toyota
outfit again putting in a top performance in what is only their third ever F1 race. His team-mate Allan McNish unfortunately didn't make it to the end, spinning out with 40 odd laps completed.
Just outside the top six points scorers were the two Jaguar's, Eddie Irvine finishing seventh and Pedro de la eighth. Takuma Sato finished another GP, he was ninth for Jordan and fellow Honda powered runner, Jacques Villenuve, was classified tenth for British American Racing - the Canadian forced out with engine failure with one lap to go.
The final three finishers, were Minardi's Mark Webber
and Alex Yoong, 11th and 13th, with Kimi Raikkonen
classified 12th despite spinning off at the end.
Nine drivers were classified as not finishing - including both Sauber and Arrows drivers - Nick Heidfeld, Felipe Massa, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi, Renault's Jarno Trulli, Toyota's Allan McNish, BAR's Olivier Panis, Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello
and Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella.
So Michael Schumacher won his fourth Brazilian GP, maintained his lead in the Driver's Championship and christened the F2002 with a win. One of many still to come - that's for sure....
1. Michael Schumacher
71 laps 1hr 31mins 43.663secs
2. Ralf Schumacher
3. David Coulthard
4. Jenson Button
5. Juan Montoya
6. Mika Salo
7. Eddie Irvine
8. Pedro de la Rosa
9. Takuma Sato
10. Jacques Villeneuve
11. Mark Webber
12. Kimi Raikkonen
13. Alex Yoong
Rtd. Nick Heidfeld
61 laps completed
Rtd. Jarno Trulli
60 laps completed
Rtd. Felipe Massa
41 laps completed
Rtd. Allan McNish
40 laps completed
Rtd. Olivier Panis
25 laps completed
Rtd. Heinz-Harald Frentzen
25 laps completed
Rtd. Enrique Bernoldi
19 laps completed
Rtd Rubens Barrichello
16 laps completed
Rtd. Giancarlo Fisichella
6 laps completed
Juan Pablo Montoya
Williams-BMW 1min 16.079secs