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Spanish GP 2003 - Schumacher wins, Alonso stars.

Slightly further behind the scrapping duo, Mark Webber held a seemingly comfortable seventh, leaving Firman and the recovering Button to battle of the final point. The BAR driver had done well to claw his way back into contention for the top eight, but Firman had equal claim to the point - which would be his first since joining the grand prix circus in Melbourne - having disposed of team-mate Fisichella - who later retired with another engine failure - and driven consistently inside the top ten. Although Button closed to within spitting distance at one point, the BAR dropped away in the closing stages, leaving a very satisfied Firman to join da Matta and Webber in opening his account.

''This is absolutely brilliant for me and the team,'' he said as he left parc ferme, ''It was a great race from start to finish. It made a big difference knowing the track and being able to work on the set-up right from the first lap, and the car was great from the start. It's still hard getting used to Formula One, but there is still a lot of speed in me yet.''

Michael Schumacher continued the recent trend of giving the latest Ferrari a debut victory, and closed to within four points of Raikkonen's points lead as a result. However, Alonso's showing suggested that the F2003-GA may not be as big a step forward as many envisaged, giving both Renault and McLaren hope of taking the title fight to the wire.



Race result:

1. Michael Schumacher Germany Ferrari-Ferrari 65 laps 1hr 33min 46.933secs
2. Fernando Alonso Spain Renault-Renault +5.716secs
3. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +18.001secs
4. Juan Montoya Colombia Williams-BMW +1min 02.022secs
5. Ralf Schumacher Germany Williams-BMW +1 lap
6. Cristiano da Matta Brazil Toyota-Toyota +1 lap
7. Mark Webber Australia Jaguar-Cosworth +1 lap
8. Ralph Firman Britain Jordan-Ford +2 laps

9. Jenson Button Britain BAR-Honda +2 laps
10. Nick Heidfeld Germany Sauber-Petronas +2 laps
11. Justin Wilson Britain Minardi-Cosworth +2 laps
12. Jos Verstappen Holland Minardi-Cosworth +3 laps

Rtd Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Jordan-Ford 43 laps completed
Rtd Olivier Panis France Toyota-Toyota 41 laps completed
Rtd Heinz-Harald Frentzen Germany Sauber-Petronas 38 laps completed
Rtd David Coulthard Britain McLaren-Mercedes 17 laps completed
Rtd Jacques Villeneuve Canada BAR-Honda 12 laps completed
Rtd Jarno Trulli Italy Renault-Renault 0 laps completed
Rtd Antonio Pizzonia Brazil Jaguar-Cosworth 0 laps completed
Rd Kimi Raikkonen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 0 laps completed

Fastest lap:

Rubens Barrichello Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 20.143secs lap 52





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