The IV Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix, otherwise known as the 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix, was the second round of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, on 17 March 2002. The race would see Williams-BMW claim a one-two victory courtesy of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, despite the latter receiving a controversial drive-through penalty early on.
Qualifying had seen Championship leader Michael Schumacher storm to a familiar pole position, edging out Montoya by a quarter of a second. Their respective teammates Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher shared the second row, while the two McLaren-Mercedes of Kimi Räikkönen and David Coulthard shared the third.
It was right at the start of the Grand Prix itself, however, where the controversy would begin, with Michael Schumacher using his familiar defensive tactic of diving across in front of the man in second. Montoya reacted by jumping on the brakes and heading to the outside of the circuit, allowing Barrichello to briefly get ahead.
However, Montoya would opt to brake later than either of the Ferraris into the first corner, and duly got his nose ahead of Schumacher as the turned into the left-hander. Schumacher subsequently began understeering on the inside of the circuit, and duly smashed his front win on the right front wheel of Montoya, the Colombian having opted to take as tight a line as possible while leaving what he believed to be enough room.
Regardless, their contact would cost both the lead, with Barrichello sweeping into the lead ahead of a wingless Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher. Montoya recovered to fourth ahead of the McLarens, and was duly put back into third when the #1 Ferrari dived into the pits for a new nose.
Yet, just a few laps later Montoya would be slapped with the responsibility, and therefore the penalty, for causing his collision with Schumacher, meaning he had to take a trip through the pitlane. He served the penalty immediately despite widespread confusion about how the collision was Montoya's fault, with even Michael Schumacher himself stating after the race that it was a "harsh" decision.
That left Barrichello leading from Ralf Schumacher and the two McLarens, although both Räikkönen and Coulthard would soon retire with engine issues. Ferrari and Williams-BMW were hence left in a duel for the lead between Barrichello and Schumacher, albeit with Barrichello on a two-stop, while the German racer was on a one-stop.
Their respective strategies were completed on lap 35, with Barrichello falling five seconds behind Schumacher as a result of his additional stop. Yet, it soon became clear that the Brazilian had enough pace to retake the lead, closing in by over a second a lap, only for his engine to fail on lap 39.
That left Schumacher with a huge 30 second margin over Jenson Button in second, although the Brit was being steadily caught by a charging Montoya. The Colombian racer duly claimed the position a few laps from the end, leaving Button en-route to a maiden podium finish, only for his suspension to fail on the final lap.
As Button tried to limp his Renault around Ralf Schumacher flashed across the line to claim victory, almost 40 seconds clear of teammate Montoya to secure Williams' first one-two since the 1996 Portuguese Grand Prix. Button, meanwhile, would be unable to prevent Michael Schumacher from charging past him on the final tour, relegating him to fourth, with Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa claiming the remaining points behind the wounded Renault.
For a third season in succession defending Champion Michael Schumacher opened his title defence with victory in Australia, and hence left the opening round of the season at the head of the field. Juan Pablo Montoya, meanwhile, would start the season with a second place ahead of Kimi Räikkönen, while Eddie Irvine appeared in the top five for the first time since leaving Ferrari. Completing the first round scorers were Mark Webber and Mika Salo.
Ferrari had claimed victory and the Championship lead at the opening round for a fourth successive season courtesy of Schumacher, and hence started the season on ten points. Williams-BMW were next ahead of McLaren-Mercedes, while Jaguar-Ford Cosworth, Minardi-Asiatech and Toyota had also registered points. For Minardi it was also a significant first points score since the 1999 European Grand Prix.
The full entry list for the 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:35.266||—||209.464 km/h|
|2||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:35.497||+0.231s||208.957 km/h|
|3||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:35.891||+0.625s||208.099 km/h|
|4||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:36.028||+0.762s||207.802 km/h|
|5||4||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:36.468||+1.202s||206.854 km/h|
|6||3||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:36.477||+1.211s||206.835 km/h|
|7||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:37.199||+1.933s||205.298 km/h|
|8||15||Jenson Button||Renault||1:37.245||+1.979s||205.201 km/h|
|9||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||1:37.536||+2.270s||204.589 km/h|
|10||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||1:37.694||+2.428s||204.258 km/h|
|11||20||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:37.919||+2.653s||203.789 km/h|
|12||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||1:37.920||+2.654s||203.787 km/h|
|13||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:38.039||+2.773s||203.539 km/h|
|14||8||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||1:38.057||+2.791s||203.502 km/h|
|15||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||1:38.141||+2.875s||203.328 km/h|
|16||21||Enrique Bernoldi||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:38.284||+3.018s||203.032 km/h|
|17||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:38.374||+3.108s||202.846 km/h|
|18||12||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:38.390||+3.124s||202.813 km/h|
|19||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||1:38.959||+3.693s||201.647 km/h|
|20||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:39.121||+3.855s||201.318 km/h|
|21||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||1:39.454||+4.188s||200.644 km/h|
|22||22||Alex Yoong||Minardi-Asiatech||1:40.158||+4.892s||199.233 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:41.935|
- 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|
The full results for the 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||56||+39.700s||2||6|
|5||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||55||+1 Lap||7||2|
|6||8||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||55||+1 Lap||14||1|
|7||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||55||+1 Lap||19|
|8||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||55||+1 Lap||13|
|9||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||54||+2 Laps||15|
|10||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||54||+2 Laps||17|
|11||20||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Arrows-Asiatech||54||+2 Laps||11|
|12||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||53||+3 Laps||10|
|13||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||53||+3 Laps||9|
|Ret||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||30||Hydraulics||20|
|Ret||21||Enrique Bernoldi||Arrows-Asiatech||20||Fuel pressure||16|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- Michael Schumacher claimed the 150th pole position for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Fourth career victory for Ralf Schumacher.
- Williams secured their 108th win as a constructor.
- Maiden points finish for Felipe Massa.
- Juan Pablo Montoya recorded the 120th fastest lap to be set using by a Williams chassis.
Victory had ensured that Ralf Schumacher leapt up the order in the early Championship table, ending the second weekend of the season in third on ten points. That left him four shy of his Championship leading brother Michael, with the German ace himself two ahead of Ralf's teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. Elsewhere, Kimi Räikkönen slipped to fourth ahead of Eddie Irvine and Jenson Button, with ten drivers on the score sheet.
In the Constructors Championship the one-two for Williams-BMW had propelled the Anglo-German alliance to the top of the pack, establishing an eight point lead. Ferrari hence slipped to second on fourteen points, although they still held a significant ten point margin over third placed McLaren-Mercedes. Elsewhere, Renault, Sauber-Petronas and Jaguar-Ford Cosworth were all level on three points, while Minardi-Asiatech and Toyota completed the early score sheet.
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 'Malaysian GP, 2002', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr682.html, (Accessed 13/11/2019)
- ↑ 'Malaysia 2002: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/malaisie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 13/11/2019)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'Malaysia 2002: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/malaisie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 13/11/2019)
- ↑ '2002 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2002/races/721/malaysia/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 13/11/2019)
- ↑ 'Malaysia 2002: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/malaisie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 13/11/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 '2. Malaysia 2002', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/malaisie.aspx, (Accessed 13/11/2019)
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