The 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the XXXI Grosser A1 Preis von Österreich, was the sixth round of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the A1 Ring in Spielberg, Austria, on 12 May 2002. The race would see Ferrari make one of the biggest PR blunders in F1 history, after ordering Rubens Barrichello to hand victory to Championship dominating teammate Michael Schumacher.
Indeed, Barrichello had been the stronger of the Ferrari drivers across the weekend, having claimed pole position during qualifying. Ralf Schumacher, meanwhile, would get his Williams-BMW ahead of brother Michael in the #1 Ferrari, with Juan Pablo Montoya completing the top four.
The start proved even further that Barrichello had the best pace in the field, with the Brazilian ace sprinting away to claim the lead. He hence left teammate Michael Schumacher to charge past Ralf Schumacher in the #5 Williams, followed by Nick Heidfeld in the Ferrari engined Sauber-Petronas.
Elsewhere, Felipe Massa was put onto the grass while fighting with Kimi Räikkönen and Montoya, while Enrique Bernoldi smacked into the back of his Arrows-Ford Cosworth teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Further around the lap Frentzen was on the receiving end of a whack from an out of control Jacques Villeneuve, sending the German racer for a bounce across a gravel trap.
Out front, meanwhile, Barrichello established himself at the head of the field dragging teammate Schumacher with him as they disappeared from Heidfeld. Heidfeld, in his bid to stay with them, would run wide at the Castrol Kurve on lap two and allowed both the Williams cars through, but remained clear of the two McLaren-Mercedes behind.
With that the race for victory was effectively over for anyone not driving a Ferrari, for Barrichello and Schumacher were able to increase their lead by almost two seconds a lap. Fortunately, there would be action further down the field, with Villenenuve barging his way up the order, albeit aided by retirements for Räikkönen and Massa.
On lap 24 hopes of a Ferrari defeat were briefly enhanced by an appearance for the safety car, with Ferrari calling in both Barrichello and Schumacher for the their first stops. Williams, on a one-stop, stayed out with Ralf Schumacher splitting the Ferraris as they rejoined, with the race restarting on lap 28 with Barrichello still in the lead.
The Brazilian aced the restart to leave the Schumachers to fight amongst themselves, only for Heidfeld to ruin his race with a rear lock-up, which sent his Sauber skating backwards down towards Remus. The German race duly careened into the side of Takuma Sato, having narrowly missed Montoya, and left both cars with heavy damage. Fortunately, both Heidfeld and Sato, who both needed outside help to get out of their cockpits, would escape with only minor leg injuries.
The race resumed after a twenty minute spell behind the safety car, with Barrichello again acing the restart to begin building his lead again on lap 36. He duly left the Ralf Schumacher to fend off his brother Michael, which the German racer duly managed until making his only stop of the day on lap 47.
Barrichello and Michael Schumacher made their stops on laps 61 and 62 respectively, at which point Ferrari team principal Jean Todt ordered Barrichello to allow his German teammate to pass. Barrichello refused in-spite of an oblique threat to his contract with the team, with the Brazilian managing to prevent Schumacher from closing to within a second of him during the final laps.
Indeed, it was only on the run to the line that Barrichello finally relented, slamming on the brakes just metres from the chequered flag to gift Schumacher the win. That prompted en-masse booing from the crowd as Montoya swept across the line to complete the podium. Behind him came Ralf Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella and David Coulthard.
The podium ceremony saw the Austrian fans make their displeasure known, prompting Schumacher to swap places with Barrichello and hand him the winner's trophy. Ferrari were subsequently slapped with a $1,000,000 fine for that podium violation, with the FIA later banning "team orders" for the 2003 season onward.
With less than a third of the season completed it already looked as if the title fight was over, for another dominant victory for Michael Schumacher had moved the German ace onto 44 points out of a maximum 50. That left him a daunting 21 clear of second placed Juan Pablo Montoya, the Colombian racer himself having moved ahead of Schumacher's brother Ralf in Spain. Behind, David Coulthard had moved into fourth ahead of Jenson Button, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen had become the thirteenth scorer of the campaign.
In the Constructors Championship, meanwhile, Ferrari had managed to inch away from Williams-BMW, leaving Spain with an enhanced lead of seven points. Those two were in a class of their own at the head of the field, with Williams holding a 30 point advantage over third placed McLaren-Mercedes. The Anglo-German alliance itself had managed to ease away from Renault after the latter's late demise, although remained just five clear of the returning French effort.
The full entry list for the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:08.082||—||228.748 km/h|
|2||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:08.364||+0.282s||227.804 km/h|
|3||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:08.704||+0.622s||226.677 km/h|
|4||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:09.118||+1.036s||225.319 km/h|
|5||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:09.129||+1.047s||225.283 km/h|
|6||4||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:09.154||+1.072s||225.202 km/h|
|7||8||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||1:09.228||+1.146s||224.961 km/h|
|8||3||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:09.335||+1.253s||224.614 km/h|
|9||12||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:09.561||+1.479s||223.884 km/h|
|10||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||1:09.661||+1.579s||223.563 km/h|
|11||20||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:09.671||+1.589s||223.531 km/h|
|12||21||Enrique Bernoldi||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:09.723||+1.641s||223.364 km/h|
|13||15||Jenson Button||Renault||1:09.780||+1.698s||223.181 km/h|
|14||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||1:09.818||+1.736s||223.060 km/h|
|15||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||1:09.901||+1.819s||222.795 km/h|
|16||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||1:09.980||+1.898s||222.544 km/h|
|17||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:10.051||+1.969s||222.318 km/h|
|18||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||1:10.058||+1.976s||222.296 km/h|
|19||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:10.553||+2.471s||220.736 km/h|
|20||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:10.741||+2.659s||220.150 km/h|
|21||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||1:11.388||+3.306s||218.154 km/h|
|22||22||Alex Yoong||Minardi-Asiatech||1:12.336||+4.254s||215.295 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:12.848|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
|______________||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Pedro de la Rosa||20|
The full results for the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||71||+17.730s||4||4|
|11||20||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||69||+2 Laps||11|
|12||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||69||+2 Laps||21|
|Ret||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||44||Fuel pressure||16|
|Ret||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||38||Hydraulics||20|
|Ret||21||Enrique Bernoldi||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||2||Collision||12|
|Ret||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||0||Throttle||19|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Villeneuve was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- 100th Grand Prix entry for Mika Salo.
- Michael Schumacher claimed his 58th career victory.
- Ferrari claimed their 149th win as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Schumacher recorded the 150th fastest lap for both a Ferrari chassis and engine.
Regardless of whether the late Ferrari had been completely necessary in the wider-scope of the Championship, it did have an immediate effect on the table as the F1 field left Austria. Indeed, controversial victor Michael Schumacher would leave Spielberg with double the points of second place Juan Pablo Montoya, moving onto 54 points with his fifth win of the campaign. Behind, Ralf Schumacher had enhanced his grip on third ahead of Rubens Barrichello, with David Coulthard completing the top five.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari's one-two ensured that they scored maximum points in Austria, and hence opened out a healthy sixteen point lead. Indeed, it meant that second placed Williams-BMW were more than a race's worth of points behind them, with the Anglo-German alliance set to be the Scuderia's only threat. Behind, McLaren-Mercedes had continued to inch away from the midfield in third, while BAR-Honda had been left as the only non-scorers as Jordan-Honda collected their first points.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 'Austrian GP, 2002', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr686.html, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- ↑ 'Austria 2002: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/autriche/engages.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'Austria 2002: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/autriche/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- ↑ 'Grosser A1 Preis von Österreich 2002 - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2002/races/725/austria/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 'Austria 2002: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/autriche/classement.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- ↑ '2002 Austrian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2002&gp=Austrian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 '6. Austria 2002', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/autriche.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
|V T E||Austrian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Zeltweg Airfield (1963–1964), Red Bull Ring (1970–1987, 1997-2003, 2014-present)|
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|Red Bull Ring was previously called Österreichring and A1-Ring.|
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