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The 2003 French Grand Prix, officially advertised as the LXXXIX Mobil 1 Grand Prix de France, was the tenth round of the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in Magny-Cours, France, on 6 July 2003.[1] The race would see Ralf Schumacher and Williams-BMW claim their second victory and one-two in a week, courtesy of their superior Michelin tyres.[1]

Indeed, the Michelin shod cars had been the teams to beat during qualifying, with Ralf Schumacher grabbing pole position ahead of teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.[1] Championship leader Michael Schumacher was the lone Bridgestone runner in the top eight after claiming third, with main title rival Kimi Räikkönen claiming fourth.[1]

Michelin's magic would continue through the start, with the two Williams-BMWs immediately streaking off to claim an early lead, while Schumacher just edged out the two McLaren-Mercedes.[1] They were joined in their harassment of the #1 Ferrari by the two Renaults, before Räikkönen slipped past to secure third.[1]

The two Williams soon checked out at the head of the field, while Räikkönen broke clear of Schumacher to run in an increasingly lonely third.[1] Schumacher himself would hence find himself fending off repeated attacks from David Coulthard, Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso, although none of the quartet could make a move stick.[1]

High tyre wear at Magny-Cours meant that several pitstops would be required, with the majority of the field opting for a three-stop plan.[1] In the first round it was McLaren who gained, Räikkönen getting closer to the Williams while Coulthard jumped Schumacher, with the field then remaining stable through the second round.[1]

Into the third round of stops and Montoya tried to undercut his teammate, demolishing the majority of Ralf's lead by pitting a lap earlier than originally planned.[1] Ralf responded and pitted the very next lap, and would have just enough speed to keep the Colombian at bay as the jostled on the brakes into Adelaide.[1]

Behind, McLaren's good day was unravelled, first by Räikkönen getting caught in traffic after he rejoined, before Coulthard had more serious dramas.[1] Indeed, an issue with the refuelling rig forced McLaren to switch to their spare set-up, only for the lollipop man to signal for the Scot to go.[1] Refueller Steve Morrow was knocked over as Coulthard sprinted away and then stopped, although Morrow was quick to confirm that he was alright.[1]

Those two issues for McLaren cost both Räikkönen and Coulthard a handful of seconds, and hence gifted Michael Schumacher third when he stopped five laps later.[1] They were fortunate not to slip further down as Räikkönen picked up a brake issue late on, for the two Renaults had dropped out with engine dramas, almost at the same time.[1]

Out front, meanwhile, Ralf Schumacher would run unopposed through the remaining laps to claim victory, and close the gap to the lead of Championship to just eleven points.[1] Montoya and Michael Schumacher completed the podium ahead of a limping Räikkönen, with Coulthard, Mark Webber, Rubens Barrichello and Olivier Panis completing the points scorers.[1]

BackgroundEdit

With Kimi Räikkönen failing to score it was advantage Michael Schumacher in the Championship hunt after F1's first trip to Germany in 2003, with the German ace leaving the Nürburgring with 58 points. Räikkönen had therefore slipped seven off the lead, while Ralf Schumacher had closed in on both, moving onto 43 points for the campaign with his victory. Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso were also in touching distance, tied on 39 points, with seventeen drivers having registered points.

Ferrari, meanwhile, had surprisingly managed to extend their lead in the Constructors Championship, despite lacking the outright pace in Germany. Indeed, what had started as a strong afternoon for McLaren-Mercedes had ended miserably, meaning they dropped to third behind Williams-BMW after their one-two. The latter partnership hence left Germany thirteen behind the leaders, while McLaren were a further six behind.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 2003 French Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2003-GA Ferrari 052 3.0 V10 B
2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2003-GA Ferrari 052 3.0 V10 B
3 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom BMW Williams F1 Team Williams FW25 BMW P83 3.0 V10 M
4 Germany Ralf Schumacher United Kingdom BMW Williams F1 Team Williams FW25 BMW P83 3.0 V10 M
5 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-17D Mercedes FO 110P 3.0 V10 M
6 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom West McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-17D Mercedes FO 110P 3.0 V10 M
7 Italy Jarno Trulli France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R23 Renault RS23 3.0 V10 M
8 Spain Fernando Alonso France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R23 Renault RS23 3.0 V10 M
9 Germany Nick Heidfeld Switzerland Sauber Petronas Sauber C22 Petronas 03A 3.0 V10 B
10 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Switzerland Sauber Petronas Sauber C22 Petronas 03A 3.0 V10 B
11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ireland Jordan Ford Jordan EJ13 Ford Cosworth RS1 3.0 V10 B
12 Ireland Ralph Firman Ireland Jordan Ford Jordan EJ13 Ford Cosworth RS1 3.0 V10 B
14 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Jaguar Racing Jaguar R4 Ford Cosworth CR-5 3.0 V10 M
15 Brazil Antônio Pizzonia United Kingdom Jaguar Racing Jaguar R4 Ford Cosworth CR-5 3.0 V10 M
16 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 005 Honda RA003E 3.0 V10 B
17 United Kingdom Jenson Button United Kingdom Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR 005 Honda RA003E 3.0 V10 B
18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Italy European Minardi Cosworth Minardi PS03 Ford Cosworth CR-3 3.0 V10 B
19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Italy European Minardi Cosworth Minardi PS03 Ford Cosworth CR-3 3.0 V10 B
20 France Olivier Panis Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF103 Toyota RVX-03 3.0 V10 M
21 Brazil Cristiano da Matta Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF103 Toyota RVX-03 3.0 V10 M
Test Drivers for Free Practice Sessions
44 France Franck Montagny France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R23 Renault RS23 3.0 V10 M
Source:[2]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Q1 ReportEdit

Q2 ReportEdit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 2003 French Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
Q1 Q2
1 4 Germany Ralf Schumacher United Kingdom Williams-BMW 1:29.327 1:15.019
2 3 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom Williams-BMW 1:28.988 1:15.136 +0.117s
3 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:27.929 1:15.480 +0.461
4 6 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:29.120 1:15.533 +0.514s
5 5 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.937 1:15.628 +0.609s
6 7 Italy Jarno Trulli France Renault 1:29.024 1:15.967 +0.948s
7 8 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 1:29.455 1:16.087 +1.068s
8 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Italy Ferrari 1:27.095 1:16.166 +1.147s
9 14 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Jaguar-Ford Cosworth 1:25.178 1:16.308 +1.289s
10 20 France Olivier Panis Japan Toyota 1:24.175 1:16.345 +1.326s
11 15 Brazil Antônio Pizzonia United Kingdom Jaguar-Ford Cosworth 1:24.642 1:16.965 +1.946s
12 16 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom BAR-Honda 1:24.651 1:16.990 +1.971s
13 21 Brazil Cristiano da Matta Japan Toyota 1:26.975 1:17.068 +2.049s
14 17 United Kingdom Jenson Button United Kingdom BAR-Honda 1:30.371 1:17.077 +2.058s
15 9 Germany Nick Heidfeld Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:24.042 1:17.445 +2.426s
16 10 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 1:26.151 1:17.562 +2.543s
17 11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ireland Jordan-Ford Cosworth 1:28.502 1:18.431 +3.412s
18 12 Ireland Ralph Firman Ireland Jordan-Ford Cosworth 1:23.496 1:18.514 +3.495s
19 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 1:20.817 1:18.709 +3.690s
20 18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 1:19.619 +4.600
Source:[3][4][5]
  • 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.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Ralf Schumacher
Juan Pablo Montoya ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Michael Schumacher
Kimi Räikkönen ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 David Coulthard
Jarno Trulli ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Fernando Alonso
Rubens Barrichello ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Mark Webber
Olivier Panis ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Antônio Pizzonia
Jacques Villeneuve ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Cristiano da Matta
Jenson Button ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Nick Heidfeld
Heinz-Harald Frentzen ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Giancarlo Fisichella
Ralph Firman ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Jos Verstappen
Justin Wilson* ______________
  • * Wilson would start the race from the pitlane.[5]

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 2003 French Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 4 Germany Ralf Schumacher United Kingdom Williams-BMW 70 1:30:49.213 1 10
2 3 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom Williams-BMW 70 +13.813s 2 8
3 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 70 +19.568s 3 6
4 6 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 70 +38.047s 4 5
5 5 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 70 +40.289s 5 4
6 14 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Jaguar-Ford Cosworth 70 +1:06.380 9 3
7 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Italy Ferrari 69 +1 Lap 8 2
8 20 France Olivier Panis Japan Toyota 69 +1 Lap 10 1
9 16 Canada Jacques Villeneuve United Kingdom BAR-Honda 69 +1 Lap 12
10 15 Brazil Antônio Pizzonia United Kingdom Jaguar-Ford Cosworth 69 +1 Lap 11
11 21 Brazil Cristiano da Matta Japan Toyota 69 +1 Lap 13
12 10 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 68 +2 Laps 16
13 9 Germany Nick Heidfeld Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 68 +2 Laps 15
14 8 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 67 +3 Laps 20
15 12 Ireland Ralph Firman Ireland Jordan-Ford Cosworth 67 +3 Laps 18
16 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 66 +4 Laps 19
Ret 7 Italy Jarno Trulli France Renault 45 Engine 6
Ret 8 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 43 Engine 7
Ret 11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ireland Jordan-Ford Cosworth 42 Engine 17
Ret 17 United Kingdom Jenson Button United Kingdom BAR-Honda 23 Out of fuel 14
Source:[6]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Michael Schumacher saw his Championship lead grow to eight points as a result of the French Grand Prix, although in truth the title fight was more open than it had been in recent memory. Indeed, while Kimi Räikkönen had lost ground in France, Ralf Schumacher's second successive win had carried the German into title contention, leaving Magny-Cours just eleven off the lead. Juan Pablo Montoya was a further six behind in fourth, while Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello were tied for fifth on 39 points.

Likewise, the Constructors Championship seemed to be getting more exciting as the season wore on, with just three points separating the top two teams. Ferrari still led the way, but the second straight one-two for Williams-BMW had left the Anglo-German effort well within striking range of the Scuderia. Behind, McLaren-Mercedes were still a major threat and had made a little ground, with Renault seemingly out of the fight in fourth with almost half the points of Ferrari.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 Germany Michael Schumacher 64
2 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 56
3 Germany Ralf Schumacher 53
4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 47
5 Spain Fernando Alonso 39
6 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 39
7 United Kingdom David Coulthard 29
8 Italy Jarno Trulli 13
9 Australia Mark Webber 12 ▲2
10 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 10 ▼1
11 United Kingdom Jenson Button 10 ▼1
12 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen 7
13 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 3
14 Brazil Cristiano da Matta 3
15 France Olivier Panis 2 ▲1
16 Germany Nick Heidfeld 2 ▼1
17 Ireland Ralph Firman 1
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 103
2 United Kingdom Williams-BMW 100
3 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 85
4 France Renault 52
5 United Kingdom BAR-Honda 13
6 United Kingdom Jaguar-Ford Cosworth 12 ▲2
7 Ireland Jordan-Ford Cosworth 11 ▼1
8 Switzerland Sauber-Petronas 9 ▼1
9 Japan Toyota 5
10 Italy Minardi-Ford Cosworth 0

Only point scoring drivers are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 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 'French GP, 2003', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr707.html, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
  2. 'Europe 2003: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/europe/engages.aspx, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
  3. 'Mobil 1 Grand Prix de France 2003 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2003/races/746/france/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
  4. 'Mobil 1 Grand Prix de France 2003 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2003/races/746/france/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
  5. 5.0 5.1 'France 2003: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/france/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
  6. 'France 2003: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/france/classement.aspx, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 '10. France 2003', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/france.aspx, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
  8. '2003 French GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2003&gp=French%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
V T E 2003 Formula One Season
Teams Ferrari • Williams • McLaren • Renault • Sauber • Jordan • Jaguar • BAR • Minardi • Toyota
Engines BMW • Cosworth • Ferrari • Ford • Honda • Mercedes • Petronas • Renault • Toyota
Drivers M. Schumacher • 2 Barrichello • 3 Montoya • 4 R. Schumacher • 4 Gené • 5 Coulthard • 6 Räikkönen • 7 Trulli • 8 Alonso • 9 Heidfeld • 10 Frentzen • 11 Fisichella • 12 Firman • 12 Baumgartner • 14 Webber • 15 Pizzonia • 15 Wilson • 16 Villeneuve • 16 Sato • 17 Button • 18 Wilson • 18 Kiesa • 19 Verstappen • 20 Panis • 21 Da Matta
Other Drivers Badoer • Beretta • Bruni • Davidson • De la Rosa • Lotterer • Massa • McNish • Montagny • Paffett • Wurz • Zonta
Cars Ferrari F2003-GA • Williams FW25 • McLaren MP4-17D • Renault R23 • BAR 005 • Sauber C22 • Jaguar R4 • Toyota TF103 • Jordan EJ13 • Minardi PS03
Tyres Bridgestone • Michelin
Races Australia • Malaysia • Brazil • San Marino • Spain • Austria • Monaco • Canada • Europe • France • Britain • Germany • Hungary • Italy • United States • Japan
See also 2002 Formula One Season • 2004 Formula One Season • Category
V T E France French Grand Prix
Circuits Reims (1950–1951, 1953–1954, 1956, 1958–1961, 1963, 1966)
Rouen-Les-Essarts (1952, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1968)
Charade Circuit (1965, 1969–1970, 1972)
Bugatti Circuit (1967)
Circuit Paul Ricard (1971, 1973, 1975–1976, 1978, 1980, 1982–1983, 1985–1990, 2018-present)
Dijon-Prenois (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984)
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (1991–2008)
PR Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 12.15.31 AM
Races 195019511952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964196519661967196819691970197119721973197419751976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009–2017201820192020
European Championship Races 193119321933–193719381939
Non-Championship Races 1906190719081909–19111912191319141915–192019211922192319241925192619271928192919301931–1932193319341935193619371938–1946194719481949
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