The XXXI SAP United States Grand Prix, otherwise known as the 2002 United States Grand Prix, was the sixteenth and penultimate round of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana, USA, on 29 September 2002. The race would see Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher attempt to stage a dead-heat victory for Ferrari, with the Brazilian ultimately emerging ahead by 0.011s.
The race was Ferrari's, and Schumacher's, to lose right from the start of practice, with the German ace claiming pole position in qualifying by a quarter of a second. Barrichello made it a front row lock-out ahead of David Coulthard, two-thirds of a second behind, with the Scot just ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya.
Furthermore, it was formation flying from the Ferraris at the start, with Schumacher leading Barrichello unopposed into the first corner. Behind, Coulthard consolidated third place, while Ralf Schumacher managed to scramble ahead of teammate Montoya to claim fourth.
With that the Ferraris were away, Schumacher dragging Barrichello clear, while Coulthard ran without trouble from the two Williams-BMWs. Indeed, the two Williams would instead exchange a series of blows during the opening two laps, culminating in a collision at the start of lap three that left Ralf Schumacher with a broken rear wing.
The action at the head of the field soon tailed off, with the only interest coming in how the various pit stop strategies, two-stop for Bridgestone runners and one-stop for the Michelin mob, would play out. Indeed, it was only when the two Ferraris swept in for their stops that some outside of a scarlet Ferrari led the race, Coulthard inheriting a brief lead.
Once Coulthard stopped the race lead was handed back to Schumacher, who duly stopped for a second time without losing the lead later on. Behind, Barrichello was a secure second, trailing his teammate by a couple of seconds, while Coulthard's superior strategy left him within sight of the Ferraris, but with no hope of catching them, let alone beating them.
Elsewhere, Montoya's race was ruined when he misinterpreted his pitboard, coming in for his stop ten laps earlier than planned. Kimi Räikkönen, meanwhile, would spend most of the race on nine and a half cylinders, his McLaren-Mercedes limping around until it finally failed on lap 50, promoting Jarno Trulli and Jacques Villeneuve into the points.
With that the race seemed to be over, with Barrichello unable to get within a second of Schumacher, and neither of the Ferraris particularly pushing. However, as they came around the final banked curve to complete the final lap, Schumacher did the unexpected and pulled wide, opening the door for Barrichello to sweep inside.
Barrichello briefly hesitated, unsure whether he should take the opportunity or not, resulting in the two Ferraris sweeping across the line side-by-side, although with no-one sure whom was ahead of whom. The timesheets soon revealed that Barrichello was the victor by 0.011s, although there were plenty of scarlet faces blossoming in the Ferrari pitbox as Coulthard swept across the line to complete the podium.
Indeed, speculation about why Schumacher had moved aside was rampant, with many concluding that he had moved aside to gift Barrichello the win as a thank you to the Brazilian for doing so in Austria. This was countered by Schumacher who stated that he had wanted to stage a dead-heat finish, while Barrichello was simply confused.
Officially the 2002 United States Grand Prix, had the second smallest winning margin in F1 history, and the smallest timed to a thousandth of a second. It was also the closest ever finish to any race staged at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the narrowest winning margin for the US Grand Prix. The race was also noted as one of the rare times in which Bernd Mayländer was unable to drive the Safety Car, resulting in Damien Faulkner taking over the role for one race.
Victory for Rubens Barrichello left the Brazilian racer in a clear second place in the Championship with two races to go, meaning he could secure the runner-up spot in the United States. Indeed, as teammate Michael Schumacher smashed the record for most points scored in a single season, the Brazilian racer would need just three points in Indianapolis to secure a one-two for Ferrari in the Drivers Championship. Furthermore, only Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher could now mathematically deny Barrichello, David Coulthard having fallen out of the fight.
In the Constructors Championship it had been another impressive day for Ferrari, with a seventh one-two moving them to within touching distance of the 200 point mark. Furthermore, their 189 point tally was 103 more than second placed Williams-BMW, with the Anglo-German squad set to finish a distant second. Indeed, McLaren-Mercedes were fast running out of time to close the gap, and would now required two one-twos in the final races just to get back on terms with their compatriots.
The full entry list for the 2002 United States Grand Prix is outlined below:
Free Practice 1Edit
Free Practice 2Edit
The full practice results for the 2002 United States Grand Prix are outlined below:
|6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:15.632||16||1:11.992||7||1:14.223||11|
|16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:14.123||2||1:11.688||3||1:13.898||7|
|17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:15.304||11||1:12.679||12||1:14.844||17|
The full qualifying results for the 2002 United States Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:10.790||—||213.183 km/h|
|2||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:11.058||+0.268s||212.379 km/h|
|3||3||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||1:11.413||+0.623s||211.323 km/h|
|4||6||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:11.414||+0.624s||211.320 km/h|
|5||5||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||1:11.587||+0.797s||210.809 km/h|
|6||4||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:11.633||+0.843s||210.674 km/h|
|7||11||Jacques Villeneuve||BAR-Honda||1:11.738||+0.948s||210.365 km/h|
|8||14||Jarno Trulli||Renault||1:11.888||+1.098s||209.927 km/h|
|9||9||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Honda||1:11.902||+1.112s||209.886 km/h|
|10||7||Nick Heidfeld||Sauber-Petronas||1:11.953||+1.163s||209.737 km/h|
|11||8||Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Sauber-Petronas||1:12.083||+1.293s||209.359 km/h|
|12||12||Olivier Panis||BAR-Honda||1:12.161||+1.371s||209.132 km/h|
|13||16||Eddie Irvine||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:12.282||+1.492s||208.782 km/h|
|14||15||Jenson Button||Renault||1:12.401||+1.611s||208.439 km/h|
|15||10||Takuma Sato||Jordan-Honda||1:12.647||+1.857s||207.733 km/h|
|16||25||Allan McNish||Toyota||1:12.723||+1.933s||207.516 km/h|
|17||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:12.739||+1.949s||207.471 km/h|
|18||23||Mark Webber||Minardi-Asiatech||1:13.128||+2.338s||206.367 km/h|
|19||24||Mika Salo||Toyota||1:13.213||+2.423s||206.127 km/h|
|20||22||Alex Yoong||Minardi-Asiatech||1:13.809||+3.019s||204.463 km/h|
|107% Time: 1:15.745|
- 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 United States Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- Jenson Button made his 50th Grand Prix start.
- 50th Grand Prix appearance for Jaguar as a constructor.
- 50th Grand Prix start for Nick Heidfeld.
- Michael Schumacher secured the 200th pole position for Shell as a lubricant supplier.
- Rubens Barrichello claimed his fifth career victory.
- This was also the second smallest winning margin in F1 history - 0.011s.
- Ferrari claimed their 158th win as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Schumacher set a new record for most point scoring finishes in a single season - 16.
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.
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 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 'United States GP, 2002', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr696.html, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
- ↑ 'USA 2002: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/etats-unis/engages.aspx, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'USA 2002: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/etats-unis/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
- ↑ '2002 SAP United States Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2002/races/735/united-states/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
- ↑ 'USA 2002: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/etats-unis/classement.aspx, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 '16. USA 2002', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2002/etats-unis.aspx, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 '2002 United States GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2002&gp=United%20States%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 21/11/2019)
|V T E||United States Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Sebring (1959), Riverside (1960), Watkins Glen (1961–1980), Phoenix (1989–1991), Indianapolis (2000–2007), Austin (2012–present)|
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|Non-F1 races||1908 • 1909 • 1910 • 1911 • 1912 • 1913 • 1914 • 1915 • 1916 • 1917–1957 • 1958|
|See also||United States Grand Prix West • Indianapolis 500 • Detroit Grand Prix • Caesars Palace Grand Prix • Dallas Grand Prix • Questor Grand Prix|
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