2003 Japanese Grand Prix
|Race 16 of 16 in the 2003 Formula One season|
|Date||12 October 2003|
|Official name||XXIX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix|
|Location||Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Mie, Japan|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.807 km (3.608 mi)|
|Distance||53 laps, 307.771 km (191.224 mi)|
|Weather||Cloudy, Air: 22 °C (72 °F), Track 25 °C (77 °F)|
The 2003 Japanese Grand Prix (formally the XXIX Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 12 October 2003 at the Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Mie, Japan. It was the sixteenth and final round of the 2003 Formula One season as well as the 29th Japanese Grand Prix. The 53-lap race was won by Rubens Barrichello driving for Ferrari after starting from pole position. Kimi Räikkönen, who started the race from eighth position, finished second in a McLaren car, with David Coulthard third in the other McLaren.
Barrichello's win saw Ferrari clinch their 13th Constructors Championship title, the team's fifth title in a row, with Barrichello's team-mate Michael Schumacher finishing eighth to secure his record-breaking 6th World Driver's Championship surpassing the record set by Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957. This was also Schumacher's fourth consecutive World Driver's title.
Heading into the final race of the season, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher was leading the World Driver's Championship standings with 92 points; McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen was second on 83 points, 9 points behind Schumacher. A maximum of 10 points were available, which meant that Räikkönen could still win the title. Schumacher only needed an eighth-place finish to become Driver's Champion even if Räikkönen won the race. Räikkönen needed to win and Schumacher not to score a single point in order for him to become Driver's Champion.
There was one driver change heading into the race. Having been a driver for the BAR-Honda team for most of the season, Jacques Villeneuve pulled out of the Grand Prix after asking to be released by the team and was replaced by the team's test driver Takuma Sato. Sato had been confirmed as a driver for the team for the 2004 season in the days running up to the race and would drive alongside Jenson Button.
|7||21||Cristiano da Matta||Toyota||53||+56.794||3||2|
|12||4||Ralf Schumacher||Williams-BMW||52||+1 Lap||19|
|13||15||Justin Wilson||Jaguar-Cosworth||52||+1 Lap||10|
|14||12||Ralph Firman||Jordan-Ford||51||+2 Laps||15|
|15||19||Jos Verstappen||Minardi-Cosworth||51||+2 Laps||17|
|16||18||Nicolas Kiesa||Minardi-Cosworth||50||+3 Laps||18|
|Ret||11||Giancarlo Fisichella||Jordan-Ford||33||Out of fuel||16|
|Ret||3||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW||9||Hydraulics||2|
- Takuma Sato finished 6th in his one and only race of the season.
- Ralf Schumacher spun 3 times in this race, once with his brother Michael.
- This was the last time to date that the Japanese Grand Prix was the final round of the season.
- Last race for Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jos Verstappen, Justin Wilson, Nicolas Kiesa and Ralph Firman.
Championship standings after the race
- Bold text indicates the World Champions.
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "Japanese GP - Sunday - Race Notes". grandprix.com. 12 October 2003. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Deciding the World Championship". grandprix.com. 7 October 2003. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Villeneuve pulls out of Japan's GP". CNN International. 9 October 2003. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Sato replaces Villeneuve". BBC Sport (BBC). 7 October 2003. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "2003 Japanese Grand Prix". Formula1.com. Formula1.com Limited. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
2003 United States Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2004 Australian Grand Prix
2002 Japanese Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix||Next race:
2004 Japanese Grand Prix