2002 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Malaysia  2002 Malaysian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 2 of 17 in the 2002 Formula One season
Sepang.svg
Date 17 March 2002
Official name Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
Location Sepang International Circuit
Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Course Permanent racing facility
5.543 km (3.444 mi)
Distance 56 laps, 310.408 km (192.878 mi)
Pole position
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:35.266
Fastest lap
Driver Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW
Time 1:38.049 on lap 38
Podium
First Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW
Second Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW
Third Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari

The 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on 17 March 2002 at the Sepang International Circuit and was the second race of the 2002 Formula One season. The Grand Prix is notable for the first lap collision between Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, which led to the Colombian being given a drive through penalty. This decision led to much criticism for the Malaysian stewards, with the victim of the incident, Schumacher, commenting that the decision was "overly harsh" on Montoya.

The Grand Prix was won by the Williams-BMW of German Ralf Schumacher, who commented that it was "almost a perfect race". Ralf was followed by his teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya and following them in third was Ralf's brother, Michael Schumacher.

The race was followed by a decision by the FIA to give stewards more powers over the punishments of drivers who are involved in incidents which are deemed "avoidable".


Report[edit]

Pre-Race[edit]

Practice[edit]

The Friday morning session saw the two Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello fastest, the closest car to the Ferraris was Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who was over one and a half seconds slower. McLaren got the better of Ferrari for the second session with Kimi Räikkönen fastest and his teammate David Coulthard was just over half a second behind him, while the Ferrari of Schumacher was over a second slower than Räikkönen's McLaren in third.

Like the Friday sessions, the Saturday sessions were split into two separate sessions, although both sessions were held during the morning. The Ferraris were fastest in the first session, although this time the closest non-Ferrari driver, which was Räikkönen, was under a second behind them. The Williams of Montoya was fastest in the final practice session before qualifying with Räikkönen second fastest and Montoya's teammate, Ralf Schumacher, third fastest.

Qualifying[edit]

Qualifying saw Michael Schumacher take his first pole position of the 2002 season, with only the next three drivers being under a second slower than Schumacher's time, the closest being Juan Pablo Montoya who was under a quarter of a second slower. Schumacher's teammate, Barrichello and Montoya's teammate, Ralf Schumacher, were third and fourth respectively.

Race[edit]

Turn One, the location of Montoya and Schumacher's collision.

Before the parade lap, the Arrows of Heinz-Harald Frentzen stalled on the grid for the second time in succession. Fortunately, the German got his car running and managed retain his grid position.

The start of the race saw Michael Schumacher immediately cut Montoya, making the Colombian brake and avoid a collision, this allowed Barrichello to get alongside Montoya coming into the first corner. Montoya however managed to out-brake the Brazilian into the first corner and thus was alongside Schumacher going through the corner. As the Williams and Ferrari travelled through the corner, Schumacher's Ferrari started to experience understeer and went into Montoya's car, taking the Ferrari front wing off. The incident left Montoya going wide and going off the track for a brief moment.

On board with Juan Pablo Montoya during his first lap collision with Michael Schumacher. The graphics in the bottom left show the RPM the BMW engine is producing.

This left Barrichello in the lead with Schumacher Ferrari, minus a front-wing, in second place and his brother Ralf in third. Michael Schumacher came into the pits for a new nose, promoting Ralf to second. The second lap saw a collision between the two Jordans of Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato, when the latter ran into the back of the former. "I am really sorry about what happened," said Sato after the race, "I apologized to Giancarlo immediately after the race and he took it very well which I think says a lot of good things about his character" he added.[1] On lap 7, Montoya was given a drive through penalty which cost the Colombian 20 seconds to Barrichello's lead.

The race at the front was between Barrichello; Ralf Schumacher and the two McLarens of Räikkönen and David Coulthard. The two McLarens soon dropped out, both retirements were due to an engine failure. This left the Ferrari and the Williams to battle for the lead, albeit on different strategies, with Barrichello on two stops and Ralf on one-stop. Barrichello was 21 seconds ahead but rejoined 5 seconds behind after his second stop on lap 35. He then closed in on Ralf at a second a lap, and was just 1.2 seconds behind when his engine failed on lap 39, leaving Ralf over 30 seconds ahead of the field with Jenson Button second, with Montoya and Schumacher third and fifth in their recovery drives, with Nick Heidfeld between them.

Race winner Ralf Schumacher. The German described his win in Malaysia as almost "a perfect race".[1]

Montoya got past Button, despite the Brit's defensive driving and moved up into second behind his teammate. The Williams pair went onto to finish first and second, making it the first Williams 1-2 since the 1996 Portuguese Grand Prix.

Unfortunately for Button, who was now demoted to third, look on course to take his first podium finish of his F1 career, but a suspension problem gave the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher the last podium finish, leaving Button to take fourth place, his first points scoring finish for his new team, Renault. The final two points positions are taken by the two Saubers of Heidfeld and Massa; it was the first points scoring finish for Massa.

Post-Race[edit]

The decision to penalise Montoya was met with a host of criticism, F1 Rejects even gave the Malaysian stewards their 'Reject of the Race' award.[2] The head steward at the event, Nazir Hoosein, had a history of making strange decisions, as he was head steward at the 1998 British Grand Prix, where Michael Schumacher won the race in the pitlane, which led to Hoosein losing his license to be a steward for a year.[1]

Michael Schumacher later commented that he thought it was "overly harsh" on Montoya for the incident,[1] while Montoya himself commented that it was "very unfair" and that he "gave Michael room" and commented that Schumacher "understeered and touched him" before adding that "it was a racing incident".[1]

Championship wise, Michael Schumacher's lead in the Drivers' Championship decreased by two points while the Williams team moved up to take the lead in the Constructors' Championship with 22 points to Ferrari's 14.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:35.266
2 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1:35.497 +0.231
3 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:35.891 +0.625
4 5 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1:36.028 +0.762
5 4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.468 +1.202
6 3 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.477 +1.211
7 7 Germany Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 1:37.199 +1.933
8 15 United Kingdom Jenson Button Renault 1:37.245 +1.979
9 9 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Honda 1:37.536 +2.270
10 24 Finland Mika Salo Toyota 1:37.694 +2.428
11 20 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Arrows-Cosworth 1:37.919 +2.653
12 14 Italy Jarno Trulli Renault 1:37.920 +2.654
13 11 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1:38.039 +2.773
14 8 Brazil Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 1:38.057 +2.791
15 10 Japan Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda 1:38.141 +2.875
16 21 Brazil Enrique Bernoldi Arrows-Cosworth 1:38.284 +3.018
17 17 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Jaguar-Cosworth 1:38.374 +3.108
18 12 France Olivier Panis BAR-Honda 1:38.390 +3.124
19 25 United Kingdom Allan McNish Toyota 1:38.959 +3.693
20 16 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 1:39.121 +3.855
21 23 Australia Mark Webber Minardi-Asiatech 1:39.454 +4.188
22 22 Malaysia Alex Yoong Minardi-Asiatech 1:40.158 +4.892

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 56 1:34:12.912 4 10
2 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 56 +39.700 2 6
3 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 56 +1:01.795 1 4
4 15 United Kingdom Jenson Button Renault 56 +1:09.767 8 3
5 7 Germany Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 55 +1 Lap 7 2
6 8 Brazil Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 55 +1 Lap 14 1
7 25 United Kingdom Allan McNish Toyota 55 +1 Lap 19  
8 11 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 55 +1 Lap 13  
9 10 Japan Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda 54 +2 Laps 15  
10 17 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Jaguar-Cosworth 54 +2 Laps 17  
11 20 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Arrows-Cosworth 54 +2 Laps 11  
12 24 Finland Mika Salo Toyota 53 +3 Laps 10  
13 9 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Honda 53 +3 Laps 9  
Ret 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 39 Engine 3  
Ret 23 Australia Mark Webber Minardi-Asiatech 34 Electrical 21  
Ret 16 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 30 Hydraulics 20  
Ret 22 Malaysia Alex Yoong Minardi-Asiatech 29 Gearbox 22  
Ret 4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 24 Engine 5  
Ret 21 Brazil Enrique Bernoldi Arrows-Cosworth 20 Fuel Pressure 16  
Ret 3 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 15 Engine 6  
Ret 12 France Olivier Panis BAR-Honda 9 Clutch 18  
Ret 14 Italy Jarno Trulli Renault 9 Overheating 12  

Standings after the race[edit]

Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e GP Encyclopedia > Races > 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix GrandPrix.com. Retrieved 20 December 2006
  2. ^ F1 Rejects > 2002 Malaysian GP review F1 Rejects.com. Retrieved 20 December 2006

References[edit]

All Grand Prix results taken from:

  • Official Formula One Website Results Archive > 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix: Formula1.com. Retrieved 20 December 2006
  • Formula One Database > 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix F1db.com. Retrieved 20 December 2006


Previous race:
2002 Australian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2002 season
Next race:
2002 Brazilian Grand Prix
Previous race:
2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
Malaysian Grand Prix Next race:
2003 Malaysian Grand Prix

Coordinates: 2°45′39.2″N 101°44′16.2″E / 2.760889°N 101.737833°E / 2.760889; 101.737833