2003 European Grand Prix

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Germany  2003 European Grand Prix
Race details
Race 9 of 16 in the 2003 Formula One season
The Nürburgring
The Nürburgring
Date June 29, 2003 (2003-06-29)
Official name Allianz Grand Prix of Europe
Location Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany
Course Permanent racing facility
5.148 km (3.2 mi)
Distance 60 laps, 308.88 km (192 mi)
Pole position
Driver Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:31.523
Fastest lap
Driver Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:32.621
Podium
First Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW
Second Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW
Third Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari

The 2003 European Grand Prix (formally the Allianz Grand Prix of Europe) was a Formula One motor race held on June 29, 2003 at the Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany. It was the ninth race of the 2003 Formula One season. The race, contested over 60 laps, was won Ralf Schumacher driving in a Williams car. Juan Pablo Montoya, also driving for Williams finished second, with Rubens Barrichello third in a Ferrari.


Race report[edit]

For 25 laps of the European Grand Prix, Kimi Räikkönen looked set to win from his first pole position and regain his championship lead. Then his McLaren’s Mercedes engine broke down and instead it was Ralf Schumacher who came through to score his first win of the year.

Having taken pole, Räikkönen soon built a lead over Ralf Schumacher. He was nine seconds clear when he made his first refuelling stop on the 16th lap, with Michael Schumacher another ten seconds further back. Ralf led briefly for Williams and ran until lap 21 before pitting, but this was still insufficient to keep Räikkönen out of the lead. Ralf Schumacher was still 4.8 seconds behind when the Räikkönen's Mercedes engine blew up, making him the first retirement of the race.

On the 43rd lap Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher collided while fighting for second place. Montoya had gradually reeled in Schumacher until they were side-by-side on the rundown to the Dunlop Kurve. Schumacher ran up the kerb and tagged Montoya’s Williams as it passed the German's Ferrari for second place. As Schumacher spun and sat stranded, his Ferrari’s rear wheels spinning in the gravel, Montoya continued. By the time three marshals and fireman pushed the Ferrari from its dangerous spot on the corner’s apex, Schumacher was down to sixth.

“Michael was quick on the straights, but in the corners he was very slow,” said Montoya. “He was on the inside and I was on the outside. I thought I gave him plenty of room. I wasn’t going to give him all the track, but I thought it was all right.”[citation needed]

Schumacher agreed that Montoya had given him enough room and after a stewards’ enquiry, no action was taken. Ferrari’s Ross Brawn was not content with the situation, but Williams technical director Patrick Head remarked that, had Montoya been penalised, it would effectively have been a declaration that overtaking was no longer allowed in Formula One racing.[citation needed]

Then, on the 57th lap, McLaren's David Coulthard suddenly had to swerve around Fernando Alonso approaching the chicane, and spun into retirement. “Alonso braked ten metres earlier than he had the lap before,” said Coulthard. “He was dealing inconsistently with problems, as his rear tyres looked completely worn out. But I just got caught out.”[citation needed] The Spaniard continued, and was very nearly caught on the final lap by the recovering world champion.

Williams’ haul of points from a race in which McLaren went home with none moved them up into second place in the constructors’ championship. Sir Frank Williams was careful to play down talk of a championship challenge for his team. But with Ferrari only 13 points ahead, everyone within the team believed that they had a chance of challenging before the season was over.

Classification[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 4 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 60 1:34:43.622 3 10
2 3 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 60 +16.821 4 8
3 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 60 +39.673 5 6
4 8 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 60 +1:05.731 8 5
5 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 60 +1:06.162 2 4
6 14 Australia Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 59 +1 Lap 11 3
7 17 United Kingdom Jenson Button BAR-Honda 59 +1 Lap 12 2
8 9 Germany Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 59 +1 Lap 20 1
9 10 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas 59 +1 Lap 15  
10 15 Brazil Antônio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth 59 +1 Lap 16  
11 12 Republic of Ireland Ralph Firman Jordan-Ford 58 +2 Laps 14  
12 11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Ford 58 +2 Laps 13  
13 18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Minardi-Cosworth 58 +2 Laps 19  
14 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth 57 +3 Laps 18  
15 5 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 56 Spin 9  
Ret 21 Brazil Cristiano da Matta Toyota 53 Engine 10  
Ret 16 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 51 Gearbox 17  
Ret 7 Italy Jarno Trulli Renault 37 Fuel pressure 6  
Ret 20 France Olivier Panis Toyota 37 Spin 7  
Ret 6 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 25 Engine 1  

Standings after the race[edit]

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


Previous race:
2003 Canadian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2003 season
Next race:
2003 French Grand Prix
Previous race:
2002 European Grand Prix
European Grand Prix Next race:
2004 European Grand Prix

Coordinates: 50°20′08″N 6°56′51″E / 50.33556°N 6.94750°E / 50.33556; 6.94750