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2003 San Marino Grand Prix 
Race Report  

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Race Report - Results

Under difficult circumstances Michael Schumacher wins his first race of the season ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Rubens Barrichello. Ralf Schumacher, David Coulthard, Fernando Alonso, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jenson Button make the top 8.

Earlier today, Michael and Ralf Schumacher's mother Elisabeth Schumacher passed away and the FIA exempted both drivers from participating in any pre or post race ceremonies. Our condolences go to the Schumacher family. May their mother rest in peace. 

In the race and despite the tragedy facing him, Michael Schumacher proved his dominance at this track and won the race convincingly. The gap to Raikkonen was under 2 seconds at the end of the race but that was mainly due to him slowing down. 

Jos Verstappen who went off in qualifying had to start from the pit lane and so did Ralph Firman who didn't make it to the grid.

At the start of the race, Ralf Schumacher takes the lead from Michael Schumacher. Barrichello keeps third ahead of Montoya. 
Webber had a very slow start while Pizzonia failed to start and was pushed to the pits and managed to rejoin.

Order after the second lap: Ralf Schumacher, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Olivier Panis and David Coulthard

By lap 3 Michael started pushing Ralf Schumacher for the lead. Barrichello and Montoya start catching up to the 2 leaders

By lap 6 the top 3 were within a second and Michael Schumacher had a couple of tries at passing without success.

On lap 10 the order remained Ralf Schumacher, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Olivier Panis and David Coulthard

Panis stops at the end of lap 10 from 7th. Heidfeld and da Matta stop on lap 12. Alonso pits on lap 14. Webber pits on lap 15 as does Trulli.
Ralf Schumacher pits on lap 16 and so does Button. Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya pit on lap 17. Michael Schumacher pits on lap 18. Villeneuve and Frentzen pit on lap 18.

All appear on track for a 3 stop strategy.

On lap 19 the order was: Kimi Raikkonen, David Coulthard (both yet to stop), Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Villeneuve retires with a mechanical problem on lap 20 while Mark Webber receives a drive thru penalty for speeding in the pits.

Coulthard makes his first stop on lap 21 and Raikkonen follows on the next lap. The 2 are on track for a 2 stop strategy explaining their lack of pace in Qualifying. Raikkonen rejoins in 4th while Coulthard in 6th.

Justin Wilson retires in the pits on lap 24.

Olivier Panis pits on lap 28 for his second pit stop. da Matta pits on lap 29.
Juan Pablo Montoya makes his second stop on lap 30 while Ralf Schumacher pits a lap later.

Montoya returns to the pits on lap 32 due to a refuelling problem. 
Barrichello pits on lap 33 for his 2nd stop and Michael Schumacher pits a lap later

On lap 38 the order was: Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Ralf Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Fernando Alonso, Juan Pablo Montoya and Heinz Harald Frentzen.

Verstappen retires on lap 39.

Kimi Raikkonen makes his second stop on lap 44 and rejoins in 5th while David Coulthard pits a lap later.

Ralf Schumacher makes his 3rd stop on lap 48. Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya pits for the 3rd time on lap 49. 
Michael rejoins in the lead just ahead of Barrichello but lets him thru as he tries to put in a fast lap to try and pass Ralf thru the pits. Barrichello pits on lap 50 for his final stop and gets delayed due to a problem with his right front tyre. He rejoins behind Ralf Schumacher!.

Firman retires with an engine problem on lap 52.

On lap 53 Ralf makes a small mistake and Barrichello capitalises and manages to take 3rd.

Webber retires in the pits on lap 55

Fisichella retires with an engine failure on lap 58

Michael Schumacher has over a 10 second lead over Kimi Raikkonen towards the end of the race and drops his pace and goes on to  win his first race of the season. Kimi Raikkonen and Rubens Barrichello make the top 3. Ralf Schumacher, David Coulthard, Fernando Alonso, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jenson Button makes the top 8.

So Michael Schumacher proved his dominance at this track driving almost flawlessly (he had a moment in the race when he put a wheel on the grass but recovered). Kimi Raikkonen has now finished on the podium 4 times in a row. McLaren have yet again got their strategy right opting for a 2 stopper and improving on their qualifying positions.
Williams couldn't match the Ferrari pace here however Ralf Schumacher drove his best race so far this season while Montoya had to make an extra pit stop due to a re-fuelling problem.
Fernando Alonso drove a superb race into 6th despite the fact that the Renault wasn't suited to this track while Trulli continued to struggle this weekend. The Renaults were also on a 2 stop strategy but it didn't appear to benefit them as it did to McLaren.
BAR managed to score a point thanks to Jenson Button while Villeneuve suffered another mechanical failure.
Olivier Panis finally made it to the end of the race this season but just outside the points.

While the attrition rate was very low, all the Cosworth runners struggled with problems. Webber in the Jaguar showed some good pace but his car failed him. Pizzonia in the other Jaguar had a problem at the start and finished in 14th 2 laps down. The 2 Jordans had engine problems and retired (although Fisichella was classified in 15th) while the 2 Minardis also failed to finish.

So in the Drivers' Championship, Kimi Raikkonen remains in the lead with 32 points ahead of his team-mate David Coulthard with 19 points. Michael Schumacher moves into 3rd with 18 points ahead of Fernando Alonso with 17 points. Rubens Barrichello is 4th with 14 points ahead of Ralf Schumacher with 13 points while Juan Pablo Montoya is tied with Giancarlo Fisichella with 10 points each.

In the Constructors' Championship, McLaren lead with 51 points ahead of Ferrari with 32 points and Renault with 26 points. Williams are in 4th with 23 points.

Looking at the qualifying fuel loads between some team-mates using the first pit stop for each driver. Michael Schumacher had 2 laps of fuel on board more than his team-mate Rubens Barrichello yet managed to out qualify him by over 0.2 seconds.
Ralf Schumacher had 1 lap of fuel less than Juan Pablo Montoya but his gap was over 0.4 seconds.
Kimi Raikkonen managed a superb 6th despite having a much heavier fuel load than the rest of the top 10. He even had more fuel than his own team-mate who only managed 12th on the grid.
Fernando Alonso was impressive managing 8th while his team-mate was down in 16th over a second slower, Alonso had only a lap worth of fuel less than his team-mate.
Jacques Villeneuve out-qualified Jenson Button by over 0.2 seconds and had 2 laps more in fuel.

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