The 2003 Italian Grand Prix, officially known as the LXXIV Gran Premio Vodafone d'Italia was the fourteenth round of the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship, which took place at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on 14 September 2003.L The race would see Michael Schumacher claim a dominant victory for Ferrari to reignite his title challenge, beating closest challenger Juan Pablo Montoya.
Qualifying had seen Schumacher rediscover some of his early season form, claiming pole position ahead of Montoya. Rubens Barrichello put the sister Ferrari into third ahead of another title challenger in the form of Kimi Räikkönen, while Marc Gené, returning to F1 after a heavy accident for Ralf Schumacher in testing, claimed fifth.
The start saw Schumacher have to go on the defensive into the Rettifilo Chicane, fending off a challenge from Montoya around the outside of the right-left combination. They duly exited the corner still side-by-side, as behind Jarno Trulli leapt up to fourth in the Renault to challenge Barrichello.
The Schumacher/Montoya fight lasted through to the second chicane, with the #1 Ferrari ultimately emerging ahead of the #3 Williams-BMW. Likewise, Barrichello kept Trulli at bay, with the Italian racer's hopes of a podium ended by a hydraulic failure later on during the opening lap.
With that the race soon settled down, with Schumacher and Montoya easing away after a barrage of fastest laps. Barrichello, meanwhile, would work to keep Räikkönen and David Coulthard off the podium, while Gené battled with Olivier Panis.
The first round of stops would see Schumacher manage to establish a small gap back to Montoya, although the Colombian ace would set a series of fastest laps to close the gap back up. However, this came at the expense of having less fuel in the car, and so the the #3 Williams would stop before he even managed to send a lunge at the #1 Ferrari.
The race was therefore effectively over from that moment on, with Schumacher pitting for a second time a few laps later without losing the lead. His only concern would instead be back markers, although the sight of a scarlet Ferrari in their mirrors was usually enough for them to jump out of the way.
Furthermore, the race behind would likewise fizzle out after the second round of stops, with Barrichello easing away from Räikkönen, while Coulthard was out with an engine failure. Panis was another retiree after a brake failure, while Fernando Alonso could only battle his way up to eighth with his Renault proving to be off the pace.
Out front, meanwhile, Schumacher would be able to cruise across the line to claim victory, and extend his meagre Championship lead to three points. Montoya and Barrichello completed the podium ahead of Räikkönen and Gené, with Jacques Villeneuve, Mark Webber and Alonso claiming the rest of the points.
Despite being one of the more dull F1 races in history the 2003 Italian Grand Prix would set a new record as the fastest, having been completed at an average speed of 247.585 km/h (153.842 mph).
Michael Schumacher had seen his title lead obliterated as a result of a poor day in Hungary, leaving the Hungaroring with just a point in hand. Indeed, Juan Pablo Montoya had narrowly missed out on overhauling the German ace, while Kimi Räikkönen had also moved to within two of the title lead. Ralf Schumacher had also gained ground by remained an outside shot for the crown with three rounds left, as was race winner Fernando Alonso.
In the Constructors Championship, meanwhile, Williams-BMW had been the big winners of the battle of Hungary, claiming the lead by eight points. Ferrari made way for them having claimed just a single point, with McLaren-Mercedes sat just six further behind. Renault, meanwhile, had effectively secured fourth in the Championship after Alonso's triumph, with BAR-Honda set to duel with Jaguar-Ford Cosworth and Toyota for fifth.
The full entry list for the 2003 Italian Grand Prix is outlined below:
- * Gené would take over Ralf Schumacher's car after practice.
Free Practice 1
Free Practice 2
Free Practice 3
The full practice results for the 2003 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:21.556||4||1:22.646||5||1:21.468||1||1:21.819||2|
The full qualifying results for the 2003 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:20.656||1:21.014||+0.051s|
|11||14||Mark Webber||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:21.966||1:22.754||+1.791s|
|12||21||Cristiano da Matta||Toyota||1:21.829||1:22.914||+1.951s|
|13||11||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:24.179||1:22.992||+2.029s|
|15||15||Justin Wilson||Jaguar-Ford Cosworth||1:23.609||1:23.484||+2.521s|
|17||19||Jos Verstappen||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||—||1:25.078||+4.115s|
|18||12||Zsolt Baumgartner||Jordan-Ford Cosworth||1:24.872||1:25.881||+4.918s|
|19||18||Nicolas Kiesa||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||1:26.299||1:26.778||+5.818s|
- 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.
- * Schumacher was withdrawn after the first qualifying session.
|______________||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|______________||Cristiano da Matta|
The full results for the 2003 Italian Grand Prix are outlined below:
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Frentzen was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
- 69th career victory for Michael Schumacher.
- 165th win for Ferrari as a constructor and engine supplier.
- Juan Pablo Montoya secured his twentieth podium finish.
Victory for Michael Schumacher saw the German ace leave Italy with an enhanced lead in the Championship, and with the potential to claim a record sixth title if he won in Indianapolis. However, second place for Juan Pablo Montoya in Monza ensured that he remained just three points behind the German, and hence could still entertain hopes of taking the crown in the US. Likewise, Kimi Räikkönen had just kept pace with the title fight, leaving Italy seven off the lead, with those three the only title contenders left in the fight.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had cut the gap to leaders Williams-BMW in half after a double podium on home soil, although they remained four behind. Hence, Williams could win their first Constructors crown since 1997 with a one-two in the United Stats, if Ferrari failed to score more than four points. Behind, McLaren-Mercedes had almost dropped out of the fight, needing two perfect scores in the remaining two rounds to challenge.
Only point scoring drivers are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'Italian GP 2003 - Schumacher retakes initiative.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 13/12/2019), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/47031/1/italian-gp-2003-schumacher-retakes-initiative, (Accessed 13/12/2019)
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- 'Italy 2003: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/italie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 13/12/2019)
- 'Italy 2003: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/italie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 13/12/2019)
- 'Gran Premio Vodafone d'Italia 2003 - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2003/races/750/italy/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 13/12/2019)
- 'Gran Premio Vodafone d'Italia 2003 - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2003/races/750/italy/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 13/12/2019)
- 'Italy 2003: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/italie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 13/12/2019)
- '14. Italy 2003', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2003/italie.aspx, (Accessed 13/12/2019)
|V T E||Italian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Monza (1950 - 1979, 1981 - Present), Imola (1980)|
|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 • 2020 • 2021|
|European Championship Races||1931 • 1932 • 1935 • 1936 • 1937 • 1938|
|Non-Championship Races||1921 • 1922 • 1923 • 1924 • 1925 • 1926 • 1927 • 1928 • 1933 • 1934 • 1947 • 1948 • 1949|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|