2003 Austrian Grand Prix
|Race 6 of 16 in the 2003 Formula One season|
|Date||May 18, 2003|
|Official name||XXVII A1 Grand Prix of Austria|
|Location||A1-Ring, Spielberg, Austria|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
4.326 km (2.684 mi)
|Distance||69 laps, 298.494 km (185.196 mi)|
|Time||1:08.337 on lap 41|
The 2003 Austrian Grand Prix (formally the XXVII A1 Grand Prix of Austria) was a Formula One race held on 18 May 2003 at the A1-Ring. It was the sixth round of the 2003 Formula One season. The race, contested over 69 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari car after starting from pole position. Kimi Raikkonen finished second driving for McLaren with Rubens Barrichello third in the other Ferrari. It was the last Austrian Grand Prix to be held until it returned to the renamed Red Bull Ring in 2014.
Qualifying was interesting, as there was no knowledge of what the weather would be for the race, making tyre and fuel strategy critical. Michael Schumacher qualified on pole despite a huge slide on his best qualifying lap. Championship leader Kimi Räikkönen qualified second, and was given special dispensation from the FIA to change his cracked valve, without incurring the usual penalty for changing an engine.
Fernando Alonso chose to start from the pitlane in the team car, and Mark Webber chose to start from the pitlane in his regular car. This meant Webber could not change tyres or add fuel until the race started, whereas Alonso could. His Jaguar broke this rule, and so Webber received a 10-second stop/go penalty. Regardless, he managed to finish in 7th, earning 2 points.
Cristiano da Matta had a faulty launch control, which caused 2 aborted starts, reducing the race to 69 laps. On the third (and final) formation lap, Heinz-Harold Frentzen's Sauber did not start, and he did not have time to set up the team car.
At the start, Jos Verstappen's launch control broke, and he retired. This caused the safety car to be deployed. After the safety car, Schumacher sped away from the rest of the field.
After 11 laps, it started to rain, initially lightly, although eventually people needed to pit for wet tyres. On lap 23, Schumacher pitted, and there was a problem with his refueller, possibly caused by the fact that the team had used it to fill up Rubens Barrichello's car. The fuel nozzle had problems coming out, and when it did, this caused a large fire. The fire was extinguished quickly, and Schumacher continued in the race, losing about 15–20 seconds of time, and putting him in third place.
On lap 32, everything changed. Räikkönen was having engine-related performance problems, and this allow Schumacher to catch and eventually pass him. A few hundred yards ahead, leader Juan Pablo Montoya's engine blew up, and he retired, giving Schumacher the race lead, a lead which he held for the rest of the race.
After the second round of pitstops, Barichello closed up on second-place Räikkönen, but was unable to pass him, despite his car being clearly faster.
|Pos||No||Driver||Constructor||Q1 Time||Q2 Time||Gap|
|3||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||1:08.839||1:09.391||+0.241|
|10||4||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||No Time||1:10.279||+1.129|
|13||21||Cristiano da Matta||Toyota||1:10.370||1:10.834||+1.684|
|20||19||Jos Verstappen||Minardi-Cosworth||1:10.894||No Time|
- This was the last Austrian Grand Prix until 2014 at the same track (although renamed the Red Bull Ring).
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "AUSTRIAN GP - SUNDAY - RACE REPORT". 19 May 2003. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
2003 Spanish Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2003 Monaco Grand Prix
2002 Austrian Grand Prix
|Austrian Grand Prix||Next race:
2014 Austrian Grand Prix