The 2003 German Grand Prix, formally known as the Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland 2003, was the twelfth round of the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, on 3 August 2003. The race would see a first lap crash eliminate several title pretenders, as Juan Pablo Montoya made his bid to join the fight with victory.
Indeed, Montoya and teammate Ralf Schumacher had been the drivers to beat during practice/qualifying, with the Williams-BMWs securing a front-row lockout. Montoya ended up on pole position by 0.018s, while Rubens Barrichello beat Jarno Trulli to third for Ferrari.
Yet, it was the start of the race that ultimately set up a dominant weekend for Montoya, with the Colombian ace sprinting away from the grid to claim an early lead. Teammate Schumacher, meanwhile, would make an awful getaway, and duly sparked the first corner collision that wiped out several title contenders.
Indeed, as Barrichello tied to make a move on the inside of Kimi Räikkönen, Ralf Schumacher moved across to the left to block both from lunging around the outside of him. That move resulted in Barrichello bouncing off the rear of the Williams and into the side of Räikkönen's McLaren-Mercedes, which duly went skating off into the barriers.
With Räikkönen and Barrichello out and Schumacher's Williams limping the rest of the field thundered into the accident with an en-masse dive on the brakes. That resulted in an unsighted Ralph Firman smashing over the back of Heinz-Harald Frentzen having been caught out by the German racer's sudden stamp on the brakes. His bid to avoid the Sauber was not aided by a simultaneous broadside thump from Justin Wilson, who had jinked to avoid a spinning Jacques Villeneuve.
Unsurprisingly the Safety Car was called upon to allow the circuit to be cleared, with Montoya leading from Trulli, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. The race resumed three laps later with Montoya establishing a small lead, although his early hopes of turning that into a big lead were denied by cool tyre temperatures.
Yet, once his Michelin tyres were up to temperature there would be no stopping the Colombian ace, with the two Renaults left to fight Michael Schumacher. Hunting that group down would be David Coulthard in the #5 McLaren, who caught the eye with a daring move around the outside of Mark Webber shortly after the restart.
Yet, having caught the Renault/Ferrari scrap Coulthard would need to use a superior strategy call to gain the upper hand, jumping all three by having a longer second stint. He duly came out from his final stop in fourth behind Trulli, and duly elbowed his way past the Italian for third in the closing stages.
Schumacher, meanwhile, had jumped the Renault's through a better strategy and typically aggressive driving, although his hopes of a podium finish were curtailed by a puncture. He duly limped back to the pits before rejoining in seventh behind the two Toyotas, but ran out of time to make a recovery.
Out front, meanwhile, Montoya had a very lonely cruise to victory, collecting fastest lap as well to secure his maiden Hattrick. Coulthard was next ahead of Trulli to complete the podium, with Alonso, Olivier Panis, Cristiano da Matta, Schumacher and Jenson Button the remaining scorers.
Timetable and weather
|2 August||09:00-09:45||10:00–10:45||Practice 2||Sunny|
|3 August||14:00–16:00||15:00–17:00||Grand Prix||Sunny|
Victory for Rubens Barrichello left the Brazilian racer twenty points off the lead of the Championship with five rounds to go, meaning he was effectively the dark horse for the title alongside Fernando Alonso. Indeed, Championship leader Michael Schumacher had seen his lead chipped away by the chasing pack, with Kimi Räikkönen moving within seven points of him. Behind, Juan Pablo Montoya had also gained ground, a further seven off of Räikkönen, while a pointless run for Ralf Schumacher saw him slip to fourth.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had, in contrast, extended their lead, moving ten points clear after Barrichello's win. Williams-BMW hence lost ground in second, while McLaren-Mercedes had inched closer to their two main rivals, although were still five points shy of the 100 point barrier. Behind, Renault looked to be out of the fight in fourth, but had a lot of space between themselves and fifth placed BAR-Honda.
The full entry list for the 2003 German Grand Prix is outlined below:
|4||14||Mark Webber||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:16.887||+0.813||48|
|5||11||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:16.983||+0.909||37|
|6||12||Ralph Firman||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:17.518||+1.444||42|
|7||18||Justin Wilson||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:17.742||+1.668||49|
|8||19||Jos Verstappen||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:18.518||+2.444||29|
|9||36||Zsolt Baumgartner||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:18.912||+2.838||44|
|10||18||Nicolas Kiesa||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:19.413||+3.339||39|
|11||39||Gianmaria Bruni||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:19.865||+3.791||31|
The full qualifying results for the 2003 German Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:14.673||1:15.167||—|
|9||21||Cristiano da Matta||Toyota||1:16.450||1:16.550||+1.383s|
|11||14||Mark Webber||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:15.030||1:16.775||+1.608s|
|12||11||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:15.968||1:17.169||+1.664s|
|16||15||Justin Wilson||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:15.373||1:18.021||+2.854s|
|18||12||Ralph Firman||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:17.044||1:18.341||+3.174s|
|19||19||Jos Verstappen||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:17.702||1:19.023||+3.856s|
|20||18||Nicolas Kiesa||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||—||1:19.174||+4.007s|
- 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||2|
|Cristiano da Matta||10|
The full results for the 2003 German Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- Debut race for Nicolas Kiesa.
- Justin Wilson's first race Jaguar.
- Juan Pablo Montoya claimed the 30th pole position for a BMW engine.
- Last front-row lock-out for Williams until the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix.
- Third victory for Montoya.
- 112th win for Williams as a constructor.
- BMW claimed their eighteenth victory as an engine supplier.
The first corner accident at the Hockenheimring may well have proved to b the key moment in the Championship hunt, as Kimi Räikkönen, Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello all failed to score. That hence allowed Michael Schumacher to extend his lead to six points, while Juan Pablo Montoya moved into second ahead of Räikkönen to become the German ace's closest threat. Behind, Fernando Alonso had also gained a little ground on those ahead, although he would have to win all four remaining races, and see Schumacher fail to score.
In the Constructors Championship, meanwhile, it had been a very good afternoon for Williams-BMW, as they slashed the lead at the top of the Championship to just two points. Ferrari had therefore just managed to hang onto the lead courtesy of Schumacher's points, while McLaren-Mercedes had kept pace to ensure it would be a three horse race for the foreseeable future. Renault were next but effectively out of the hunt, while BAR-Honda headed the rest of the field in fifth
Only point scoring drivers are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'German GP, 2003', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr709.html, (Accessed 12/12/2019)
- https://web.archive.org/web/20030812222547/http://www.formula1.com:80/race/timetable/29.html, (Accessed 11/11/2021)
- 'Europe 2003: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/europe/engages.aspx, (Accessed 11/12/2019)
- 'German 2003: Friday Testing', pitpass.com, (Pitpass, 2003), https://web.archive.org/web/20211104045521/https://www.pitpass.com/src/seasons/2003/gp/germany/times/fri_test.html, (Accessed 04/11/2021)
- 'Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland 2003 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2003/races/748/germany/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 12/12/2019)
- 'Grosser Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland 2003 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2003/races/748/germany/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 12/12/2019)
- 'Germany 2003: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/allemagne/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 12/12/2019)
- 'Germany 2003: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/allemagne/classement.aspx, (Accessed 12/12/2019)
- '2003 German GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2003&gp=German%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 12/12/2019)
- '12. Germany 2003', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/allemagne.aspx, (Accessed 12/12/2019)
|V T E||German Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Nürburgring (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960–1969, 1971–1976, 1985, 2008–2013*), AVUS (1959), Hockenheimring (1970, 1977–1984, 1986–2006, 2008–2014*, 2016, 2018–2019)|
|Races||1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 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|
|* Nürburgring and Hockenheimring alternated between each other during these years.|
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