F1 » 15 September 2002
Italian GP 2002 - Rubens does the 2002 hatrick.
As for JPM's race it was pretty much compromised following the exit of Ralf. First he lost the lead to Barrichello, and then seemingly flustered the Colombian pushed beyond his limits going off the track and across the gravel trap. Although he could continue, Michael Schumacher soon passed him and by lap six the two Ferraris were 1-2.
To make matters worse the off had caused considerable aerodynamic damage and the Colombia's pace suffered as a result. For the next few laps a solid podium place looked likely, yet even this consolation prize was to be denied. 18 laps from the end JPM pulled off with front suspension damaged, perhaps caused by his earlier off, ending a dreadful race that had had such potential.
Former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine completed the podium celebrations, the Jaguar driver completed a brilliant weekend for 'The Cat' and gave the team only their second ever podium finish. Jaguar had been on the pace all weekend and this is now further proof, following the team's performance at the Belgium Grand Prix, that the outfit is on the up.
Renault duo Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button also had a storming GP, Trulli going especially well after starting from the back of the grid. The Italian had qualified 11th, but was forced to start behind the Minardi's after his Renault R202, failed to engage first gear before the field left for the warm-up lap. His team-mate, Button also went well to claim fifth, and like Trulli started right down the field, the Brit having only qualified 17th.
BAR's Olivier Panis took the final points scoring position, while his team-mate Jacques Villeneuve came home ninth. David Coulthard was seventh, and the only McLaren to finish. His race was spoiled after he damaged his front wing on the opening lap, the Scot was thus forced to fight his way back up the field from the back and try as he did, he couldn't break into the top six and a points scoring position. His team-mate, Finn Kimi Raikkonen went out around mid-distance, a blow up again ending his chances while running in a strong points scoring position.
Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella was forced to settle for eighth and despite running in the top six at times, never really looked likely to score a point. Takuma Sato had a quiet race in the second EJ12 and brought the car home an unremarkable 12th.
Sauber's dip in form continued, and following on from a poor qualifying performace, Nick Heidfeld had to make do with tenth. At least he finished though, his team-mate Felipe Massa retired after a coming together with Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa. The Jaguar suffered broken front suspension in the incident, while Massa's compromised the Sauber's back suspension - a day to forget for all three drivers.
Toyota had an encouraging race even if the final results fail to reflect it. Allan McNish looked set to at least score his first F1 point and in the early laps was running a strong sixth on a one-stop strategy keeping ahead of the two-stopping BAR of Olivier Panis. It was not to be however and McNish was the first retirement of the day, front suspension problems leaving the Scot on the sidelines after only 13 laps.
His team-mate Mika Salo also looked set to score a point or two, however exciting the pits following his fuel-tyre stop the Finn crossed the white line separating the pit exit from the racing line, his 10 second penalty dropped him down the order to his eventual 11th place finish.
As for the Minardis, Mark Webber retired on lap 20 and his team-mate Alex Yoong finished 6 laps down after a technical problem delayed him in the pits.
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