The XLVI Allianz Grand Prix of Europe, otherwise known as the 2002 European Grand Prix, was the ninth round of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany, on 23 June 2002. The race would see Rubens Barrichello claim victory ahead of teammate Michael Schumacher, after Ferrari opted against swapping their drivers as they controversially had done in Austria just a month before.
Qualifying had seen Williams-BMW take the fight to Ferrari once again with their superior "quali"-Michelin tyres, with Juan Pablo Montoya beating Ralf Schumacher to pole. The two Ferraris hence lined up on the second row, Michael Schumacher ahead of Barrichello, while the two McLaren-Mercedes and the Renaults, locked out the next two rows.
The start would see Ralf Schumacher make a bid for the lead, drawing alongside teammate Montoya before seizing the lead with the outside line through turn one. Behind, David Coulthard got a barnstorming start to sprint ahead of the two Ferraris, only to run wide at the reprofiled first corner and slip back behind the pair of them.
Barrichello, however, would also manage to get ahead of Schumacher, before taking Montoya as the Colombian racer was compromised through the rest of the first complex of corners. He duly hunted down Ralf Schumacher on the run to turn eight and slipped into the lead, leaving the German racer to watch his mirrors as his brother Michael battled for third with Montoya.
Barrichello quickly set about building a lead during the early stages, as teammate Michael fought past first Montoya and then Ralf Schumacher to make it a Ferrari one-two by the end of lap three. The two Williamses were soon left on their own in third and fourth, with Coulthard also running in a lonely fifth place ahead of Kimi Räikkönen.
Michael Schumacher would steadily catch Barrichello as the race wore on, and duly moved into striking position behind his teammate on lap ten. However, with no clear opportunities to pass the German ace held fire, prompting most to wait for the dreaded radio call telling the Brazilian to move aside.
Yet, no call would come, with Barrichello able to lead through to his first pitstop and rejoin at the head of the field. Furthermore, Schumacher would make a rare mistake and spin while chasing his teammate at turn ten, effectively allowing Barrichello to build a ten second lead.
With that the race for victory looked to be over, although Schumacher steadily closed in on Barrichello after the two scarlet cars completed their second stops. Behind, Ralf Schumacher was left to his own devices for most of the race, only to lose out to Kimi Räikkönen on a different pit strategy mid-race, while Coulthard and Montoya took each other out while fighting for fourth.
Into the closing stages as the #1 Ferrari was back tucked underneath the wing of the sister car, with many once again awaiting the call to Barrichello from team principal Jean Todt. Indeed, given their call in Austria, that points for their lead driver was the priority, it would seem incredulous not to let Schumacher past, although it would come at the cost of more PR devistation.
Ultimately, however, there would be no call, leaving Barrichello to fend off a couple of half-hearted lunges from Schumacher to claim victory, only his second since transferring to the Scuderia. Behind, Räikkönen came through to finish a lonely third for McLaren, with Ralf Schumacher, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa surviving to claim the remaining points.
Michael Schumacher moved onto 70 points for the campaign with his sixth win of the season, just ten points shy of a maximum score. That also meant that he left Canada with a 43 point advantage over his nearest challengers, with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya having both failed to score. Behind, David Coulthard was just point behind the duo after his podium finish, with Rubens Barrichello completing the top five.
In the Constructors Championship, Ferrari had enjoyed another strong day, once again able to increase their lead as they hit 86 points. That meant they moved 32 ahead of second placed Williams-BMW, with the Anglo-German alliance now being slowly caught by McLaren-Mercedes as the season came to its halfway point. However, the latter squad were still some 21 points shy of their compatriots, with an identical margin over fourth placed Renault.
The full entry list for the 2002 European Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2002 European Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:29.906||—||205.975 km/h|
|2||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:29.915||+0.009s||205.955 km/h|
|3||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:30.035||+0.129s||205.680 km/h|
|4||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:30.387||+0.481s||204.879 km/h|
|5||3||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:30.550||+0.644s||204.510 km/h|
|6||4||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:30.591||+0.685s||204.418 km/h|
|7||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||1:30.927||+1.021s||203.662 km/h|
|8||15||Jenson Button||Renault||1:31.136||+1.230s||203.195 km/h|
|9||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:31.211||+1.305s||203.028 km/h|
|10||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||1:31.389||+1.483s||202.633 km/h|
|11||8||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||1:31.733||+1.827s||201.873 km/h|
|12||12||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:31.906||+2.000s||201.493 km/h|
|13||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||1:31.941||+2.035s||201.416 km/h|
|14||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||1:31.999||+2.093s||201.289 km/h|
|15||20||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:32.144||+2.238s||200.972 km/h|
|16||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:32.281||+2.375s||200.674 km/h|
|17||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:32.510||+2.604s||200.177 km/h|
|18||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||1:32.591||+2.685s||200.002 km/h|
|19||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:32.968||+3.062s||199.191 km/h|
|20||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||1:32.996||+3.090s||199.131 km/h|
|21||21||Enrique Bernoldi||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:33.360||+3.454s||198.355 km/h|
|22||22||Alex Yoong||Minardi-Asiatech||1:34.251||+4.345s||196.480 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:36.199|
- 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||2|
|______________||Pedro de la Rosa|
The full results for the 2002 European Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- 100th Grand Prix start for Giancarlo Fisichella.
- 250th individual entry for a Renault engine.
- Second career victory for Rubens Barrichello.
- Ferrari claimed their 151st win as a constructor and engine supplier.
Michael Schumacher had established a huge tally of 76 points at the halfway point of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, leaving German with a 46 point advantage. Ralf Schumacher now occupied a clear but vulnerable second place, three ahead of teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, while race winner Rubens Barrichello was up into fourth. The Brazilian himself had moved ahead of David Coulthard on countback as a result of his win, with fifteen different scorers.
In the Constructors Championship there was little surprise that Ferrari led the way at the halfway mark, ending the ninth race weekend having broken the 100 point barrier. Furthermore, they had opened out a 45 lead over Williams-BMW in second, meaning they could afford to miss two whole race weekends and still retain a healthy lead. Behind, McLaren-Mercedes had inched closer to Williams in third, leaving Germany twenty behind, with all bar BAR-Honda on the score board with eight rounds to go.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'European GP, 2002', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr689.html, (Accessed 17/11/2019)
- 'Europe 2002: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/europe/engages.aspx, (Accessed 17/11/2019)
- 'Europe 2002: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/europe/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 17/11/2019)
- '2002 Allianz Grand Prix of Europe - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2002/races/728/europe/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 17/11/2019)
- 'Europe 2002: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/europe/classement.aspx, (Accessed 18/11/2019)
- '9. Europe 2002', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/europe.aspx, (Accessed 18/11/2019)
- '2002 European GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2002&gp=European%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 18/11/2019)
|V T E||European Grand Prix|
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