The 2002 Belgian Grand Prix, otherwise officially known as the LX Foster's Belgian Grand Prix, was the fourteenth round of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium, on 1 September 2002. The race would see Michael Schumacher claim a record tenth victory of the season, leading home another crushing one-two for Ferrari.
Qualifying would similarly be dominated by the Scuderia, with Schumacher storming to pole position by half a second. However, Kimi Räikkönen would cause a stir by splitting the Ferraris late on in his McLaren-Mercedes, with Rubens Barrichello having to start from third alongside Ralf Schumacher.
Ultimately the fate of the race would be decided at the start, with the two Ferraris expertly charging away off the line to claim the lead. That left Räikkönen under attack from Montoya and a fast starting Jarno Trulli, with the trio diving into the corner three abreast, Räikkönen ultimately managing to hang on.
Come the end of the opening tour it was Michael Schumacher leading by two seconds from Barrichello, with day light between the #2 Ferrari and Räikkönen's McLaren. The Finn himself was at the head of a train of cars including Montoya, David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher, although there was no hope of any overtaking on raw pace alone.
Indeed, the only action of note ahead of the stops would be a dramatic wobble for Räikkönen heading through Stavelot, which allowed Montoya to sweep past for third. However, the Colombian racer was not able to go chasing off the Ferraris, and hence had to produce some defensive moves of his own as Räikkönen glued himself to the #6 Williams-BMW's gearbox.
Out front, meanwhile, Schumacher would make his lone stop of the race on lap sixteen, handing the lead to Barrichello for a lap before the Brazilian made his stop. They duly emerged one-two and had a gentle cruise to the chequered flag, leaving the rest of the field to sort itself out.
Indeed, Montoya's grip on third place would only be secured when Räikkönen had a poor stop, a delay that also allowed Coulthard to pass his teammate, before the Finn's recovery drive was ended by an engine failure. Ralf Schumacher would also lose time courtesy of a spin and hence slip behind Trulli, only for the Renault racer to suffer an engine failure of his own.
With that the race was run, with Michael Schumacher only denied a Grand Chelem as Barrichello had led one lap. Regardless, the German ace moved to within a point of his record points haul from 2001 with three rounds to go, with Barrichello and Montoya little more than footnotes as they completed the podium. The remaining points on offer went to Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and the Jaguar-Ford Cosworth of Eddie Irvine.
Victory for Rubens Barrichello propelled the Brazilian racer up into second in the Championship with four rounds to go, leaving Hungary with 45 points to his name. That left him five clear at the head of the hunt to finish as runner-up to Michael Schumacher, with the German ace himself having moved onto 112 points for the campaign. Behind, Juan Pablo Montoya had slipped back behind teammate Ralf Schumacher, while David Coulthard was eleven behind Barrichello in fifth.
In the Constructors Championship the fight for the crown was officially over, with Ferrari ending the Hungarian weekend on 157 points and with a crushing lead of 77 over second place. Indeed, Williams-BMW were now in a fight to hold onto second for the rest of the campaign, but had enhanced their hopes by extending their advantage over McLaren-Mercedes to 26 points. McLaren themselves were almost guaranteed third in the Championship as Renault failed to score, while Jordan-Honda had inched back towards the top five.
The full entry list for the 2002 Belgian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2002 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:43.726||—||241.664 km/h|
|2||4||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:44.150||+0.424s||240.680 km/h|
|3||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:44.335||+0.609s||240.253 km/h|
|4||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:44.348||+0.622s||240.223 km/h|
|5||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:44.634||+0.908s||239.566 km/h|
|6||3||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:44.759||+1.033s||239.281 km/h|
|7||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||1:45.386||+1.660s||237.857 km/h|
|8||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:45.865||+2.139s||236.781 km/h|
|9||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||1:45.880||+2.154s||236.747 km/h|
|10||15||Jenson Button||Renault||1:45.972||+2.246s||236.542 km/h|
|11||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:46.056||+2.330s||236.354 km/h|
|12||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:46.403||+2.677s||235.584 km/h|
|13||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||1:46.485||+2.759s||235.402 km/h|
|14||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||1:46.508||+2.782s||235.351 km/h|
|15||12||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:46.553||+2.827s||235.252 km/h|
|16||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||1:46.875||+3.149s||234.543 km/h|
|17||8||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||1:46.896||+3.170s||234.497 km/h|
|18||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:47.272||+3.546s||233.675 km/h|
|19||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||1:47.562||+3.836s||233.045 km/h|
|20||22||Anthony Davidson||Minardi-Asiatech||1:48.170||+4.444s||231.735 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:50.987|
- 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.
|6||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|12||Pedro de la Rosa|
The full results for the 2002 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||44||+18.445s||5||4|
|6||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||44||+1:17.370||8||1|
|9||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||43||+1 Lap||13|
|10||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||43||+1 Lap||18|
|11||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||43||+1 Lap||16|
|Ret||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||37||Suspension||11|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Panis was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- 63rd career victory for Michael Schumacher.
- 156th win for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
Michael Schumacher's record tenth victory of the campaign would move the German ace just a point behind his record points haul from 2001, and with three races still to run. Behind the World Champion the fight for second was falling increasingly in Rubens Barrichello's favour, the Brazilian having moved seven points clear. However, with 30 points still in play there was still a fight to be had, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher still within striking distance.
In the Constructors Championship a sixth one-two for Ferrari of the campaign had left the Scuderia on 173 points, more than double that of second placed Williams-BMW. The Anglo-German alliance themselves were having a poor campaign compared to the all conquering Scuderia, although they were on the verge of securing the runner-up spot in Italy. Indeed, McLaren-Mercedes would have to avoid being outscored by Williams by one point in Monza if they were to deny their compatriots second in the Championship, although in truth the fight was already over.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Belgian GP, 2002', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr694.html, (Accessed 20/11/2019)
- 'Belgium 2002: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/belgique/engages.aspx, (Accessed 20/11/2019)
- 'Belgium 2002: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/belgique/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 20/11/2019)
- '2002 Foster's Belgian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2002/races/733/belgium/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 20/11/2019)
- 'Belgium 2002: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/belgique.aspx, (Accessed 20/11/2019)
- '14. Belgium 2002', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/belgique.aspx, (Accessed 20/11/2019)
- '2002 Belgian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2002&gp=Belgian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 20/11/2019)
|V T E||Belgian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Spa-Francorchamps (1950 - 1970, 1983, 1985 - Present), Nivelles (1972, 1974), Zolder (1973, 1975 - 1982, 1984)|
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