F1 | Brazilian GP 2003: Fisichella wins a crazy race – FormulaPassion.it – ​​History

Race number 700 in the history of Formula 1 is also one of the craziest and most unforgettable ever. The April 6, 2003, at Interlagos, the third round of the world championship took place. After three years of triumphs of the Schumacher-Ferrari duo, the score has been changed and the difference in points between victory and placings has been reduced. From the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system we passed to award points to the first eight (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1) and actually the classification after two GPs showed a reshuffling of the cards: the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard in fact led the ranking with 16 and 10 points, while the Ferraris of Schumacher and Barrichello were still at 8 points, together with the Renault of Trulli and Alonso and the Williams of Montoya.

Between Friday and Saturday the new qualifying system with single lap, introduced at the beginning of the championship, gave emotions and surprises. Ferrari took pole, but did it with Rubens Barrichello, while Michael Schumacher was only seventh. Coulthard completed the front row, with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen ‘only’ fourth, also preceded by Jaguar by Mark Webber. The first four were collected in just 59 thousandths. Trulli and Ralf Schumacher followed in the third row, while Giancarlo Fisichella with Jordan he joined Schumacher senior in fourth place.

The emotions of qualifying, however, were nothing compared to what happens in the race, starting with the usual one Brazilian rain which forced the Race Direction to delay him start 15 minutes and run the first eight laps behind the Safety Car. At the restart, who found himself in crisis was the local idol Barrichello, who crashed in three laps from first to fifth. When on lap 17 the Safety Car returned to the track following a frightening crash between Firman and Panis, the classification saw the two McLarensfollowed by Michael Schumacher, Da Matta on Toyota, Barrichello and Montoya.

The incessant rain, however, made it almost impassable curve Do Solwhich saw Montoya, Pizzonia, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button. Two other Safety Cars to recover the crashed cars, combined with the progressive drying of the track, disrupted the race classification again: on lap 45 Barrichello he resumed command of the race overtaking Coulthard, in turn chased by Raikkonen. Behind them Ralf Schumacher and the Italians Fisichella and Trulli, with Alonso eighth and constantly recovering. On lap 47, however, Rubens saw his dream of a home success vanish due to a problem with the draft of the petrol. For Ferrari it was the first double retirement from Spa 1998.

The pit stops of Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher further changed the situation, which on lap 53 saw Raikkonen leading the group ahead of Fisichella, Alonso and the Scottish driver himself. In that lap, however, Raikkonen made a driving mistake and gave the Roman driver first position. It was the key moment of the race. In fact, a few moments later Webber slammed hard in the fast curves that preceded the finish straight, scattering the track with debris, hit shortly after at full speed by Fernando Alonso. The bang was impressive and the Spaniard was transported to the medical center for examination. The race was suspended with the red flag, but in the Parc Fermé no one knew who had won. On the top step Raikkonen climbed, in front of an embittered Fisichella, while third was even Alonso himself.

During the week, however, the error emerged: the last valid passage on the finish line was the 54th and therefore it was to triumph the Italian pilot. In Imola, in the following GP, the handover was staged, with Raikkonen giving the Jordan rider the trophy of his first career victory.


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