The 2002 Spanish Grand Prix, also officially known as the XLIV Gran Premio Marlboro de España, was the fifth round of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, which took place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, on 28 April 2002. The race would see Michael Schumacher sweep to his third career Grand Chelem, having led every lap en-route to claiming pole position, fastest lap and victory.
Unfortunately such was Schumacher's dominance that the Spanish Grand Prix would not be considered a classic, with the German ace sweeping to pole by a third of a second over Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello. The two Williams-BMWs came closest to providing a threat, but were a second off the ultimate pace, with the two McLaren-Mercedes split by Jenson Button's Renault behind.
Raceday saw Minardi-Asiatech decide to withdraw from the race weekend, after several wing failures including a scary accident for Mark Webber when his rear wing blew apart during qualifying. Their withdrawal was followed by a gearbox failure for Barrichello on the grid, with the Brazilian unable to take the spare Ferrari which had been setup for his teammate.
Barrichello's demise made it all the more easy for Schumacher at the start, with the German ace blasting into an unopposed lead. Behind, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya scrapped for second, the German racer emerging ahead, while the two McLarens fought with Button for fourth.
The opening stages saw surprisingly little action of note, with the #1 Ferrari streaking away out front, while Ralf Schumacher and Montoya tried to keep with it in the Williams. Behind, Kimi Räikkönen became an early retirement when his rear wing failed on lap four while fighting with Button, with David Coulthard and Jarno Trulli moving up as well.
Beyond that there was no major drama at the head of the field, until Ralf Schumacher destroyed his hopes of a podium finish by running onto the grass on lap 29, demolishing his front wing and bargeboards. This resulted in the German racer having to make an unplanned pitstop for a new wing, only for a miscalculation on the setup of the wing to leave the #5 Williams with a very unresponsive front end.
There would be further chaos for Williams when Montoya made his planned stop, with chief mechanic and lollipop man Carl Gaden signalling for the Colombian to go, only to belatedly realise that the #6 Williams was still being refuelled. Montoya reacted quickly having initially gone to launch away, only to stop right on Gaden's foot as the rest of the pitcrew were bowled over. Fortunately there were no major injuries or issues, with Montoya released after only a few seconds of delay.
Behind, Button and Coulthard's fight would last until they made their stops, with the Scot ultimately emerging ahead of the Englishman, before Button's hydraulics failed late on. Trulli hence inherited fourth only for his engine to fail, putting the two Sauber-Petronas' and Heinz-Harald Frentzen up the order, albeit with Ralf Schumacher bearing down after a second nose replacement.
Out front, meanwhile, Michael Schumacher was able to cruise through the second half of the race to claim a dominant victory, and his first Grand Chelem since the 1994 Canadian Grand Prix. Montoya and Coulthard completed the podium ahead of Nick Heidfeld, Felipe Massa and Frentzen, after Ralf Schumacher's engine failed on the penultimate lap.
Victory moved Michael Schumacher further ahead in the Drivers Championship after the fourth round of the season, the German ace leaving Imola with a fourteen point advantage. Ralf Schumacher remained his closest challenger, sat on twenty points, with Juan Pablo Montoya keeping in touch with his teammate, just three further back. Next up was Jenson Button on eight ahead of Rubens Barrichello, whose first points score of the season made him the twelfth different point scorer of the campaign.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had retaken the lead after a two-race absence, establishing a three point advantage. Williams-BMW had been forced to make way for the Scuderia, although they remained the most likely challengers to the Italian squad in-spite of the former's dominance in Imola. Behind, McLaren-Mercedes lost more ground, and just avoided slipping behind Renault, with the field otherwise unchanged.
The full entry list for the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:16.364||—||222.985 km/h|
|2||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:16.690||+0.326s||222.037 km/h|
|3||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:17.277||+0.913s||220.350 km/h|
|4||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:17.425||+1.061s||219.929 km/h|
|5||4||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:17.519||+1.155s||219.662 km/h|
|6||15||Jenson Button||Renault||1:17.638||+1.274s||219.326 km/h|
|7||3||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:17.662||+1.298s||219.258 km/h|
|8||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:17.851||+1.487s||218.726 km/h|
|9||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||1:17.929||+1.565s||218.507 km/h|
|10||20||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:18.121||+1.757s||217.970 km/h|
|11||8||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||1:18.139||+1.775s||217.919 km/h|
|12||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||1:18.291||+1.927s||217.496 km/h|
|13||12||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:18.472||+2.108s||216.995 km/h|
|14||21||Enrique Bernoldi||Arrows-Ford Cosworth||1:18.515||+2.151s||216.876 km/h|
|15||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:18.847||+2.483s||215.963 km/h|
|16||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:18.885||+2.521s||215.859 km/h|
|17||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||1:18.897||+2.533s||215.826 km/h|
|18||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||1:19.002||+2.638s||215.539 km/h|
|19||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||1:19.025||+2.661s||215.476 km/h|
|20||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||1:19.802||+3.438s||213.378 km/h|
|21||22||Alex Yoong||Minardi-Asiatech||1:21.415||+5.051s||209.151 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:21.709|
|EXC*||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:18.779||+2.415s||216.149 km/h|
- 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.
- * Irvine was excluded from the results of qualifying after his fuel sample was found to contain different fuel than the team had submitted for pre-weekend scrutineering.
|______________||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|______________||Pedro de la Rosa|
- * Barrichello was unable to start the race due to a gearbox failure on the formation lap.
- † The two Minardis of Webber and Yoong were withdrawn on safety grounds after wing failures in practice and qualifying.
The full results for the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Trulli, Ralf Schumacher and Button were all still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- † Barrichello was unable to start the race due to a gearbox failure on the formation lap.
- ‡ The two Minardis were withdrawn from the race on safety grounds.
- 57th career victory for Michael Schumacher.
- It was also Schumacher's third career Grand Chelem.
- 148th win for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
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.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Spanish GP, 2002', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr685.html, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- 'Spain 2002: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/espagne/engages.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- 'Spain 2002: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/espagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- 'Gran Premio Marlboro de España 2002 - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2002/races/724/spain/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- 'Spain 2002: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/espagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
- '5. Spain 2002', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/espagne.aspx, (Accessed 15/11/2019)
|V T E||Spanish Grand Prix|
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