The XXVIII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix, otherwise known as the 2002 Japanese Grand Prix (XXVIII フジテレビ日本グランプリ in Japanese, was the seventeenth and final round of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan, on 13 October 2002. The race would see Michael Schumacher complete a record breaking season with an eleventh win of the season, setting a new record points tally of 144.
The German ace had dominate the weekend from the first practice session, and would go on to claim pole position in qualifying ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello. Best of the rest proved to be the two McLaren-Mercedes of David Coulthard and Kimi Räikkönen, while the two Williams-BMWs shared the third row.
With Ferrari so dominant in qualifying there seemed to be little hope of them being beaten on race pace, meaning McLaren and Williams would be aiming for their best starts of the season to try and ruin the Scuderia's day. Unfortunately for them it was the two scarlet cars that led the way off the grid, with Schumacher easing ahead of Barrichello to claim an early lead.
Indeed, that meant that the race was effectively over by the first corner, with the #1 Ferrari rocketing away at the head of the field, with the sister car just hanging on. Behind, however, there would be some interesting developments, with Jacques Villeneuve getting elbowed wide at turn one, while home hero Takuma Sato emerged as the best Honda powered runner, moving into seventh.
Coulthard, meanwhile, would emerged at the head of the battle for third, although an electrical glitch caused one bank of cylinders in his Mercedes V10 to misfire. That allowed Ralf Schumacher to sweep through into third, having passed Räikkönen on the opening lap, although by that stage both Ferraris were out of reach.
Indeed, on lap 20 Michael Schumacher was able to make his first stop without slipping behind his brother, although with Barrichello leading for a lap the German ace's hopes of a fourth Grand Chelem were over. Regardless, Barrichello's stop would promote Schumacher back into the lead, with the Brazilian unable to remain ahead of Ralf Schumacher in the #5 Williams.
Once Barrichello got back ahead of the Williams it really was all over, with the Ferraris making their stops later in the race without losing any more ground. Behind, Ralf Schumacher would solidify his grip on third, while Räikkönen battled a throttle issue in his lonely run in fourth, with Coulthard dropping out and Juan Pablo Montoya having an unusually quiet race.
All of the interest was hence being placed on the adventures of Takuma Sato, with the Japanese racer running in sixth place fending off the two Renaults. Indeed, Sato would put on something of a show for his home fans, having to battle back past Jenson Button having slipped behind both of the French cars, only to be put back into sixth as Trulli suffered an engine failure.
That eventually become fifth place, for with just five laps to go Ralf Schumacher's race was concluded by an engine failure. That hence left Räikkönen in third, having overcome his traction issues, Sato in fifth and Button, now dropping off the pack of the #10 Jordan-Honda, into sixth.
Out front, meanwhile, Michael Schumacher would cruise through to claim another dominant victory, his eleventh of the campaign and fifteenth for Ferrari, equalling McLaren-Hondas record for most wins in a single season, set in 1988. Barrichello was half a second behind to make a Ferrari one-two, their fifth in a row, with Räikkönen completing the podium.
The race would prove to be the last for veteran racers Eddie Irvine and Mika Salo, as well as rookies Alex Yoong and Allan McNish, although the Scot was unable to start for Toyota after an accident in qualifying.
Michael Schumacher moved onto 134 points after another podium finish, although that was overshadowed by more PR embarrassment for the German ace. Behind, Rubens Barrichello had secured the runner-up spot with his win, leaving Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard to fight for third. It was the Colombian racer who held the advantage, five ahead of Ralf Schumacher, while Coulthard sat six off third place.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari smashed through the 200 point barrier, ending the weekend on 205 points. Behind, Williams-BMW had been confirmed in second place, albeit with less than half the points of the Scuderia, while McLaren-Mercedes were confirmed in third place. Elsewhere, Renault were almost guaranteed to claim fourth, while BAR-Honda moved level with Jordan-Honda.
The full entry list for the 2002 Japanese Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2002 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:31.317||—||229.482 km/h|
|2||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:31.749||+0.432s||228.401 km/h|
|3||3||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:32.088||+0.771s||227.561 km/h|
|4||4||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:32.197||+0.880s||227.292 km/h|
|5||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:32.444||+1.127s||226.684 km/h|
|6||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:32.507||+1.190s||226.530 km/h|
|7||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||1:33.090||+1.773s||225.111 km/h|
|8||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||1:33.276||+1.959s||224.662 km/h|
|9||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:33.349||+2.032s||224.487 km/h|
|10||15||Jenson Button||Renault||1:33.429||+2.112s||224.294 km/h|
|11||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||1:33.547||+2.230s||224.011 km/h|
|12||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:33.553||+2.236s||223.997 km/h|
|13||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||1:33.742||+2.425s||223.545 km/h|
|14||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:33.915||+2.598s||223.134 km/h|
|15||8||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||1:33.979||+2.662s||222.982 km/h|
|16||12||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:34.192||+2.875s||222.477 km/h|
|17||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:34.227||+2.910s||222.395 km/h|
|18||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||1:35.191||+3.874s||220.143 km/h|
|19||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||1:35.958||+4.641s||218.383 km/h|
|20||22||Alex Yoong||Minardi-Asiatech||1:36.267||+4.950s||217.682 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:37.709|
- 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||18|
- * McNish was unable to start the race due to an accident during qualifying.
The full results for the 2002 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Ralf Schumacher was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- 146th and final Grand Prix start for Eddie Irvine.
- Mika Salo made his 109th and final start.
- Ralf Schumacher started his 100th Grand Prix.
- Nick Heidfeld made his 50th start.
- Final entries for Allan McNish and Alex Yoong.
- 100th Grand Prix for Petronas as an engine supplier.
- 50th pole position for Michael Schumacher.
- Schumacher scored his 64th victory.
- Ferrari claimed their 159th win as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Rubens Barrichello completed a fifth straight one-two for Ferrari.
- Kimi Räikkönen scored the 350th podium finish for McLaren.
- Maiden points finish for Takuma Sato.
With that the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship came to a close, with Michael Schumacher officially declared as Champion with a record 144 points. That left the German ace 67 points clear of teammate Rubens Barrichello in second, while Juan Pablo Montoya secured third on the final day with 50 points. Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard completed the top five, with eighteen drivers having registered points across the season.
In the Constructors Championship it was Ferrari who emerged as the Champions, scoring a daunting tally of 221 points with fifteen race wins. Williams-BMW were their closest "challengers", albeit with a huge 129 point difference between the two teams. McLaren-Mercedes, meanwhile, ended the season in a distant third ahead of Renault and Sauber-Petronas, with all eleven registered teams scoring points in 2002.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Japanese GP, 2002', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr697.html, (Accessed 26/11/2019)
- 'Japan 2002: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/japon/engages.aspx, (Accessed 26/11/2019)
- 'Japan 2002: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/japon/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 26/11/2019)
- '2002 Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2002/races/736/japan/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 26/11/2019)
- 'Japan 2002: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/japon/classement.aspx, (Accessed 27/11/2019)
- '17. Japan 2002', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/japon.aspx, (Accessed 27/11/2019)
- '2002 Japanese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2002&gp=Japanese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 27/11/2019)
|V T E||Japanese Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Fuji (1976–1977, 2007–2008), Suzuka (1987–2006, 2009–present)|
|Races||1976 • 1977 • 1978–1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • 2020|
|See also||Pacific Grand Prix|
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