7 July 2002
British GP 2002 - Michael's march continues.
Four times World Champion Michael Schumacher continued his march towards his fifth world title today [Sunday] with another dominant win at the British Grand Prix.
Michael started the race from third on the grid, but was promoted to second effectively when his Ferrari team-mate, Rubens Barrichello stalled on the dummy grid and was thus forced to start from the back.
Off the line little of any incident happened at the front and at the end of the first lap Michael Schumacher was second trailing BMW WilliamsF1 driver, and pole sitter, Juan Pablo Montoya. Michael's brother Ralf held third and further down the pack Jenson Button shot up the field when the lights went out, moving from his twelfth place starting position to seventh, behind his team-mate Jarno Trulli.
Brit Allan McNish meanwhile wasn't so lucky he had a clutch problem off the grid and despite the best efforts of the Toyota mechanics was forced to call it day – a hugely disappointing result for the Scot on what was his first ever home grand prix.
Sauber's Felipe Massa also had a miserable start and spinning off at the first corner. Despite re-joining, the Brazilian will have wished his day ended their and then as throughout the afternoon he had a terrible race, spinning off three times in the course of the 60 lap race as conditions varied from being damp, to wet, to damp and then dry. He eventually finished ninth.
To return to the start though and while conditions were mainly dry, rain threatened to turn the race into a lottery at any time. In the earlier laps the battle between Michael and Montoya was fascinating stuff, Montoya defending his position with the usual vigour we have come to expect from the man they call the 'Monster'.
As the minutes ticked by though the skies got greyer and the rain heavier. 12 laps in and the heaven's opened and suddenly the mechanics were frantic in the pits as drivers stopped to change to more appropriate tyres. As cars queued to change 'boots' the race played perfectly into the hands of Ferrari, thanks to Bridgestone and their intermediate tyres. While the Michelin runners had only a straight choice between wets and dries, the Bridgestone guys had the luxury of the intermediate and immediately the pendulum swung further in Ferrari's favour. Michelin has yet to develop a competitive intermediate tyre and now the McLaren's and Renault's, who had been running in the points, were in deep trouble.
At the head of the field it didn't take long for Michael to pass Montoya and around lap 17, the German took the lead and was never to be challenged again. At the end of lap 17 Michael led by 2.458 seconds and two laps later the gap was up to 8.445 seconds and so on, as the invincible Schumacher sailed on to his 60th F1 win and his second at the British GP.
Michael eventually won by 14.578 seconds, with his Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello making it yet another Ferrari 1-2. How many has there been now? More than most would like to remember…
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