31 March 2002
Brazilian GP 2002 - Michael gives F2002 debut win.
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 Germany Ferrari-Ferrari 71 laps 1hr 31mins 43.663secs
2. Ralf Schumacher Germany Williams-BMW +00.588secs
3. David Coulthard Britain McLaren-Mercedes +59.109secs
4. Jenson Button Britain Renault-Renault +1min 06.883secs
5. Juan Montoya Colombia Williams-BMW +1min 07.564secs
6. Mika Salo Finland Toyota-Toyota +1 lap
7. Eddie Irvine Britain Jaguar-Cosworth +1 lap
8. Pedro de la Rosa Spain Jaguar-Cosworth +1 laps
9. Takuma Sato Japan Jordan-Honda +2 laps
10. Jacques Villeneuve Canada BAR-Honda +3 laps
11. Mark Webber Australia Minardi-Asiatech +3 laps
12. Kimi Raikkonen Finland McLaren-Mercedes +4 laps
13. Alex Yoong Malaysia Minardi-Asiatech +4 laps
Rtd. Nick Heidfeld Germany Sauber-Petronas 61 laps completed
Rtd. Jarno Trulli Italy Renault-Renault 60 laps completed
Rtd. Felipe Massa Brazil Sauber-Petronas 41 laps completed
Rtd. Allan McNish Britain Toyota-Toyota 40 laps completed
Rtd. Olivier Panis France BAR-Honda 25 laps completed
Rtd. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Germany Arrows-Cosworth 25 laps completed
Rtd. Enrique Bernoldi Brazil Arrows-Cosworth 19 laps completed
Rtd Rubens Barrichello Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 16 laps completed
Rtd. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Jordan-Honda 6 laps completed
Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1min 16.079secs
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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