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2003 Hexa-Schummy! above the rules and the opponen...
Formula One article

2003 Hexa-Schummy! above the rules and the opponents

The FIA board created new rules to 2003 championship looking for more competitiveness, changing qualifying and creating an extra-test on Fridays (only for the teams who make an option to realize no more than one car 20 days testing during all the year, or two cars 10 days test). But these teams should make up their minds before the beginning of the championship. Jaguar, Jordan, Minardi and Renault did it. BAR, Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber, Toyota and Williams preferred the unlimited test, as they have stronger budgets and a great group of test-drivers. Some examples: Massa and Badoer (Ferrari), Zonta (Toyota), Wurz and DelaRosa (McLaren), Sperafico and Gene (Williams).

FIA also defined:

1. the cars would stay in a "parc fermm" after final qualifying, where the teams couldn't refuel, change engine or tyres until the race. They could only check the systems for safety reasons 

2. new point system: 1 - 10, 2- 8, 3 - 6, 4 - 5, 5 - 4, 6 - 3, 7 - 2, 8- 1 point.

3. new weekend format (local time):




4. for Friday qualifying the driver will enter in the track alone, one by one, respecting the actual championship order - except for the first race, that would consider last year's result to define entrance order. On Saturday the entrance order will be inverted: last time on Friday it would be the first to qualify. The following driver has 30 seconds to let the pit, starting at the moment the previous one crossed the line.

 Honda V-10
Button - Villeneuve
Ferrari V-10
Barrichello - Schumacher
 Ford V-10
 Pizzonia - Webber 
Ford V-10
Fisichella - Firman
Mercerdes V-10
Coulthard - Raikkonen
Cosworth V-10
Verstappen - Wilson
Renault V-10
Alonso - Trulli 
Ferrari V-10
Frentzen - Heidefeld
Toyota V-10
Da Matta - Panis


BMW V-10
Montoya - Schumacher R.

1- G.P. Australia New rules, new qualifying format. None of them was capable to stop Ferrari's supremacy. Schumacher was pole with Barrichello in second place. But in the race, the undefined weather defined the race result. Ferrari's exceptional strategy failed this time. Different tyre choices for the teams: wet for BAR, McLaren, Minardi and Renault, intermediary for Ferrari, Jordan and Sauber, dry for Jaguar, Toyota and Williams. When the race started it seemed the Ferrari would have a Sunday drive again, but at 4th lap Barrichello made a rare mistake and crashed heavily. Following him at the same corner, Firman did the same, bringing the pace car to the track. This was the moment of the race, because Schumacher was 9  seconds ahead of Montoya and escaping. When the green lights came, Montoya lead with Coulthard, Raikkonen following him. Schumacher dropped many positions, as he pit. The colombian lead easily until 8 laps to go, when he spun, giving a big gift for Coulthard.

Final standings: Coulthard 10 points, Montoya 8, Raikkonen 6 Schumacher 5, Trulli 4, Frentzen 3, Alonso 2, Schumacher R. 1.

2- G.P. Malaysia Renault used very well the new rules and put both cars at the front row. Alonso (21 years old) scored the new youngest ever pole, beating Barrichello's record (22 years at Belgium GP-1994), followed by Trulli, Schumacher, Coulthard, Barrichello, Heidefeld, Raikkonen and Montoya. At the green, Coulthard made a big jump fighting with Trulli for second, as Alonso lead. Schumacher tried to avoid Coulthard's move, braking too late, touching Trulli's Renault, who spun and squeezed Barrichello. Result: Schumacher danified his Ferrari's nose, Trulli dropped to last, Barrichello to 6th. Also in the mass, Pizzonia was forced by Wilson and touched Montoya's tail, smashing any chances of a good race for them. Fist lap: Alonso, Coulthard, Raikkonen, Heidefeld, Panis and Barrichello. At 3rd lap, Schumacher went to the pit: complete work for Ferrari, with a nose and tyre changes, with refuel in 9,6 seconds! Schumacher came back in last place, starting a fantastic recovering as he did last year. Coulthard had a broken engine in the 2nd lap, so Raikkonen started to push very hard to catch Alonso. Barrichello make strong overtakes and was 3rd, but with 14 seconds margin behind the finn. After all the pits, Raikkonen took the lead and gave no chances to Barrichello, who surpassed the spain driver between the pits to arrive in 2nd place. At the end, Raikkonen brilliant first victory, second in a row for McLaren, followed by Barrichello, Alonso, Schumacher R, Trulli, Schumacher, Button and Heidefeld.

Championship standings: Raikkonen 16, Coulthard 10, Montoya Barrichello Alonso Schumacher Trulli with 8 points each.

3- G.P. Brazil First pole at home for Barrichello. He beat Coulthard by 0,011 seconds only! The official qualifying was very dangerous as the track was very slippery, but drying. Barrichello first followed by Coulthard, Webber (last to qualify with very low fuel), Raikkonen, Trulli and Schumacher's brothers (Michael and Ralf). On Sunday a heavy rain before the race delayed the start in 15 minutes and brought the safety-car to lead the field. With 7 laps Fisichella decided to pit, using fuel and tyres services. The safety-car came to pit at 8th and immediately Coulthard took the lead, followed by Barrichello. It was clear that Michelin had better intermediate tyres for this track conditions, as all Bridgestone drivers were in bad shape at this moment. At lap 9 ice-man Raikkonen overtook the brazilian as Montoya did later. In the following lap it was Coulthard the victim of Raikkonen, again Montoya did the same. Both were driving with an incredible speed. Webber also attacked Barrichello while Ralf and Trulli spun at "Lago Curve", but they manage to stay in the track, rejoining the field. At the end of this lap, Barrichello also let this team-mate Schumacher overtook him. The track was drying, with lap times decreasing quickly. Schumacher marked the best lap as Coulthard overtook Montoya. The colombian apparently had his chassis settled for rain as Schumacher, Coulthard, Raikkonen and Fisichella. Barrichello had his car settled for intermediate track. One lap more Schumacher passed Montoya using the outside line of the track at "Bico de Pato". 16 laps order: Raikkonen with 2,3 seconds ahead Coulthard, 9,7 from Schumacher, 10,9_Montoya, 11,8_Webber and 16_ Barrichello. Next lap again Schummy scored the best lap catching Coulthard, Montoya almost lost control of his car at "Sol Curve", but Wilson didn't have the same destiny: he spun off and abandoned. Barrichello overtook Webber and got close to Montoya. 18 lap, first accident: Firman had a right front suspension broken as in Malaysia (!), almost hit his team-mate Fisichella, but couldn't avoid Panis knocking-out both. Safety-car again and all drivers went to the pit, except Raikkonen, Fisichella, Da Matta, Pizzonia, Frentzen and Verstappen. As they rejoined the track, this was the order: Raikkonen, Coulthard, Schummy, Da Matta, Barrichello, Montoya and Pizzonia. As the green flag came at 22nd lap Montoya forced to pass Barrichello at "S Curve", but the brazilian resisted bravely, jumping to overtake his countryman Da Matta in outside at the end of back straight. Frentzen spun at Sol, but also managed to stay in track. At lap 24 Schumacher closes to Coulthard as Montoya passed Da Matta, but the Colombian lost control and shunt at "Sol Curve" as Pizzonia did the same. Yellow flag there, no rain anymore and Ferraris seemed to be the fastest cars in track now. But them Schummy made an unexpected error at "Sol Curve". He was lining that curve in the ideal position, but not for wet track. Barrichello, which was close to him, was driving there using the outside line from the middle to the end of the curve, avoiding the aquaplaning. Schummy almost hit a service-truck and the safety-car razed again. 27th lap, Raikkonen pitted, rejoining in 7th place with Fisichella close him. Green flag at 28th lap, Ralf overtook Barrichello, but again the brazilian resisted, sustaining his place. Lap 30th Verstappen also was a victim of "Sol Curve" and abandoned followed at lap 33rd by Button. Safety-car again. Three laps more for the green, Coulthard led with Barrichello, Ralf, Alonso, Raikkonen, Fisichella, Trulli, Frentzen, Villeneuve, Webber and Da Matta following him. Coulthard and Barrichello started to pull-away from the field, while Raikkonen overtook Alonso and Ralf in the same lap. In the lap 44, after a series of switching fastest laps between Barrichello and Coulthard, the brazilian managed to pass Coulthard as the scottish made a mistake at the "S Curve" as Webber spun at "Sol", but continued. The brazilian escaped easily marking three consecutives fastest laps, but them at lap 47 the unimaginable happened: his Ferrari stopped without FUEL! Can you imagine that? Ferrari staff, who many times made amazing strategies to win, simply misjudged the consume of their car. At that point the positions was: Coulthard, Raikkonen, Fisichella, Alonso, Frentzen, Trulli, Villeneuve, Webber and Da Matta. Lap 52 Coulthard went to the pit while Fisichella close and overtook Raikkonen (!) for delirious of Jordan team at lap 53. But the Gods reserved one more surprise at the final: Webber made a mistake at the main straight, shunting very heavily, disintegrating his Jaguar. Yellow flag there, many cars avoiding the pieces, but Alonso couldn't do it. He hit a tyre, spun and also crashed. The track was blocked, so there was no other option, besides finish the race. But until there, Fisichella passed again by the finish line, what would guarantee his victory later. Race closed, as Raikkonen was declared the winner, Fisichella second, Alonso, Coulthard, Frentzen, Villeneuve, Ralf, Trulli and Da Matta. Five days later, the FIA decided to give Fisichella the victory as the tape showed he had crossed the finish line 7 seconds before the red flag, opening lap 56!!!

Championship order: Raikkonen 24, Coulthard 15, Alonso 14, Fisichella 10, Trulli 9, Montoya, Barrichello and Schumacher 8 points each.

4 - G.P. San Marino Michael is back! Couldn't be more efficient the week-end for the five times champion. He made a brilliant pole, put a strong pressure on his brother led, scored fastest lap and won. It wasn't better cause his mother dead Saturday night. As green lights appeared Ralf stole the front from Michael, both followed by Barrichello, Montoya and Raikkonen. Quickly the first block, with fours cars pulled away from the others. This was the signal of their higher speed, but also a different strategy  3 pit-stops. Until the first pit Michael and Rubens were very close to Ralf, demonstrating what everyone know already: the F2002 was still a incredible, quicker and reliable car. As Ralf stopped Michael and Rubens immediately increased their speed in 1,5 seconds per lap! That was the main point of the race. McLaren's cars again came in with a very conservative, but efficient strategy: two stops for both, Raikkonen and Coulthard. The team can make this option due fantastic low tyre consumption. This decision made possible the podium for the "Ice Man" (Raikkonen) as Ferrari once more made an unacceptable mistake with Rubens Barrichello. Exactly when he needed most, at his third pit, the team who knows why, made a very bad work. He dropped down to fourth place, behind Michael, Raikkonen and Ralf. But the brazilian was decided to regain some places and started a exceptional recovery. He close to Ralf, but was not possible to pass, as Michael wasn't in the beginning. But once more he showed the world his abilities. He designed his overtaken since the Rivazza bend, when he changed his approaching to the curve. This move made Ralf misjudge his braking point, blocking his rear tyres, enlarging his trajectory, what allowed Rubens to sustain the pressure to next and next curves, until they arrive to the main chicane. Again at the braking point, but this time aside Ralf, Rubens obligated him to use the internal line, what once more put Ralf in a bad shape for the bend. He had to flat off, Rubens made the famous "X", overtaking him just in front Ferrari crew and the tiffosi. He commemorate his passed with a upper right hand. Just brilliant. Soon he cut his distance to Raikkonen, but was to late. Michael reencountered the chequered flag and the podium and Ferrari the peace. Final results: Michael, Raikkonen, Barrichello, Ralf, Coulthard, Alonso, Montoya and Button.

Championship standings: Raikkonen-32, Coulthard-19, M.Schumacher-18, Alonso-17, Barrichello-14, R.Schumacher-13 and Fisichella-Montoya-10.

5 - G.P. Spain Again the opponents of Ferrari team have to accept the incredible competence of the world champion team. They test the new car, the F2003GA, which since first track lap showed its speed potential, but suffered a lack of durability. They worked hard to correct it and decided to bring it to Spain. At the qualifying they put both cars at the front row! Alonso's third position made the crowd happiness, with a brilliant action from Toyota's team, with Panis in 6th place and Da Matta showing his great potential, when he was 4th at practices. At the race Raikkonen would start from last place as he lost the chicane in qualifying. At green light Alonso jumped very well, while Pizzonia had a start system failure, was hit by Raikkonen - who abandoned for the first time this year - overtook Barrichello and threatened Big Schummy. At the first corner Barrichello not only recovered his second place, as overtook Schummy, but when they turned he had to let space for his team-mate and lost the lead. At the same time, Coulthard was hit by Trulli, who also abandoned, and had to pit. Pace car came in to retire Pizzonia and Raikkonen cars. Four laps later green lights again and Schumacher manage to stay in front with no chance to Barrichello, who suffered a lot of pressure by Alonso. Great fight between Williams boys, Little Schummy and Montoya, as Da Matta and Panis were in 8th and 11th place. Two facts would change those positions: Barrichello suffered premature tyres consumption, losing speed and after his pit, he was just behind Alonso and had never a chance to recover where group by and the amazing race for Da Matta, who finished in 6th , fighting with Ralf Schumacher. Coulthard also abandoned scoring first double DNF for McLaren Team. At the end Schumacher won his 66 race, followed by Alonso, Barrichello, Montoya, Ralf, Da Matta, Webber and Firman.

Championship: Raikkonen 32, Schumacher 28, Alonso 24, Barrichello 20.

6 - G.P. Austria In a track that suites very well to Ferrari's chassis, wouldn't be smart to expect anyone besides Schumacher to win. And he did. But he had to fight, not only with his opponents, but with his some unexpected facts. But once more he demonstrated that he is a valuable driver. Starting from the pole, he dominated the race, until had a problem on his pit and dropped to 3rd. The problem? Oh, just some fire yes! When the mechanic ended the fuel loaded, it started to flam. Schumacher was absolutely quite, showing his mind control and amazing confidence on his mechanics. He came to the track pushing very hard to catch Raikkonen, that was pursuing Montoya. Exactly when he overtook the finn, the colombian had engine problems and slowed. So, Schummy came from third to first in a unique manoeuvre. What a lucky, what a driver. Good battles for Pizzonia and Fisichella as Barrichello and Raikkonen in the very end of the race. None of them had success, but they tried very hard.

Final positions: Schumacher, Raikkonen, Barrichello, Button, Coulthard, Ralf, Webber and Trulli.

7 - G.P. Monaco First race in last 66 races that there was no Ferrari in the two front rows. Bad news for the team that chose bad strategy. Again Ferrari failed exactly in one of their expertises. Strategy is the new name of the game. In Monaco is prohibited even to think in a win if you don't start in the front two rows. Ralf in the pole with Montoya in third showed that Williams were better. At the stat, Montoya came to second, overtaking Raikkonen. With 21 laps Ralf had to pit, as this tyres were in very bad shape. So Montoya secured hard his first place and won with a strong pressure by Raikkonen and a brilliant Schumacher. Once more the german driver made justice to his salary. He made a very long first stint and did six laps under 1'15 seconds before pit. This laps times allowed him to overtake Trulli and his brother, achieving third place. Also he forced an amazing 15 last laps, demolishing Raikkonen difference from 12 to 1.5 seconds in the last lap. What a driving! Strong qualifying lap for Da Matta in 10th position, reaching 9th in the race.

Final positions: Montoya, Raikkonen, Schumacher, Ralf, Alonso, Trulli, Coulthard and Barrichello. Amazing seven races in points for Ralf Schumacher!

8 - G.P. Canada Once more Schumacher made the difference. Starting from third place at the second row behind both Williams (Ralf and Montoya), the five times champion saved his place for some laps until Montoya`s mistake at the main chicane. After that Schummy followed his brother Ralf very close, but when the first pit series ended he was leading. That`s why Schummy is champion. He always feels the momentum of the race and pushes very hard to guarantee his advantage. The race had an excitant final with Schumacher`s brother very close, followed nose to tale by Montoya and Alonso. Alonso made a fantastic race, scoring the fastest lap for the first time at his short career. Raikkonen achieved 6th place just behind Barrichello. Both made mistakes witch obligated them to make recovering races. Raikkonen made a mistake at his qualifying lap and started from the pit, while Barrichello broke this Ferrari`s nose at the first lap, when he touched Alonso`s Renault.

Final positions: Schumacher, Ralf, Montoya, Alonso, Barrichello, Raikkonen, Webber and Panis. Now Schummy is leading the championship with 54 points, Raikkonen is second with 51, Alonso 34, Ralf 33, Montoya and Barrichello 31. Once more Ralf scored points. Eight in a row!

9 - G.P. Europe (Nurburgring) Williams BMW and Michelin week-end show. More than that, Ralf drove a strong race, making no mistake. Montoya, by the way, showed why he's the one pointed as the man to beat Schummy. His overtaking by the five times champion was marvelous, absolutely correct. He managed to stay outside of the line, as Schummy blocked the door inside. When both arrived to the tangency, he gave enough space to Schummy, whose car slipped a little and touched Montoya's one and spun off. The marshals helped Schummy because he stopped in a dangerous position, what allowed him to stay in the race. Raikkonen drove a strong race also, coming from pole and leading until his special engine broken. Special because Mercedes brought a stronger version for his home race. This time it doesn't function well. Final positions: Ralf, Montoya, Barrichello, Alonso, Schumacher, Webber, Button and Heidfeld. 10 - G.P. France Another Williams BMW and Michelin week-end show. Once again Ralf gave a magnificent mileage over his opponents, followed by his team-mate, Montoya. Amazing effort for Ferraris to be in the points. Strong race for both Renaults, but their engines broken before flag. Another very rare mistake for Barrichello, just in the beginning of first lap, but it was interesting to see his brilliant recouvering. Michelin tires were much more efficient then Bridgstone at his home track.

Final positions: Ralf, Montoya, Schumacher, Raikkonen, Coulthard, Webber, Barrichello and Panis.

11 - G.P. England What a fantastic victory for Barrichello, after storming the pole on Saturday, exactly when he was on the first group to qualify. The brazilian is the "Overtake man", as Montoya. Any time, any place, he manages some way to pass by his opponents. Of course that Silverstone isn't the worst track to overtake, but just to compare, Webber stayed all race behind Firman, and Pizzonia managed just three laps to overtake Webber and Firman! Speaking of Pizzonia, he demonstrated his immense talent using Webber T-car, isn't that strange? Why when he drives his usual car, he couldn't be so fast? Jaguar could try to explain, but nobody believes as a tem they have been using the "excuse" to blame of their drivers to justify their bad reliability or lack of speed. He was dismissed, but he will be back. He is a brilliant driver and didn't deserve this treatment. Talking by another brazilian, what a race for Da Matta! He drove very strong, leading Raikkonen under a big pressure and made no mistake, after the second safety-car entrance, caused by a crazy guy that invaded the track. He had written his name in the history, as the first driver to lead one F1 race in Toyota's car! Schumacher? Well, he was not in a very good week-end. Finish 4th, but took many time to overtake Villeneuve, Alonso, Panis and others/ First race this year that Ralf were not on points, as he finished 9th.

Final: Barrichello, Montoya (big race for the colombian), Raikkonen, Schumacher, Coulthard, Trulli (also strong race, leading in the beggining), Da Matta and Button (from last to eight, what a race)

12 - G.P. Deutschland Great Montoya! The colombian was in a terrific week-end. Bad for his contendersJust after the start Raikkonen pushed very hard outside Barrichello at the same time as Ralf did in the internal side. Of corse the result was a stupid collision between them, putting all off the race. Looking carefully only Raikkonen could avoid it, as he was the only one with all the vision of the cars, but lift off is not what he likes, so At the race, Montoya gave a big show as Schummy struggled with his car. He was behind Trulli, trying to pass the Italian. Then, he managed outside him, but ended the manouvre outside of the track. When he came inside track, Trulli was there, but Schummy ignored and forced. Trulli avoided the shock, but Coulthard also overtook him. Later Schummy would pay for that, as he had a puncture and went to the pit.

Final positions: Montoya, Coulthard, Trulli, Alonso, Panis, Da Matta, Schummy and Button.

13 - G.P. Hungary The first spanian to win a official Grand Prix and the younger driver to do it, beating Bruce McLaren. His name? Alonso. From pole to the flag. Leading all the race, with no mercy and showing all his potential. What a marvelous race for Fernando Alonso. What a week-end for Michelin. A disaster week-end for Ferrari and all Bridgestone. Barrichello, who once more betted Schummy in the qualifying, had a unbelievable suspension failure at the end of the main straight, resulting in a scare accident. He was ok, but Ferrari Good race for Montoya and a great recovering for Ralf, who went off the track at the second turn and a strong Raikkonen. Race: Alonso, Raikkonen, Montoya, Ralf with Schummy taking 8th.

Championship standings with just three races to go: Schummy 72, Montoya 71, Raikkonen 70!

14 - G.P. Italy What an amazing week-end for the Italian crowd. Schumacher snatched the pole, led the field and scored two brilliants records: the all time official quickest lap for F1 history with 254,8 km/h and the quickest ever race average with 247,5 km/h! And as a gift extended his advantage: now he has 3 points ahead Montoya. The days before the race were hot ones, because the official communication that was Ross Brawn the one who complained with FIA about Michelin tyres. The argument were that the French tyres were in disagreement with the rules. The French manufacturer decided to bring new types for Monza, avoiding more and complicated discussions. In high speed tracks Ferrari showed all their amazing powerful, reaching 362,5 km/h in the end of the main straight, against 357,4 km/h for BMW engines, 358,5 km/h for Mercedes and 353 km/h for Toyota. Schumacher drove a perfect race and deserved the victory, followed by Montoya, Barrichello and Raikkonen. Now Schumacher has 82 points, Montoya 79 and Raikkonen 75.

15 - G.P. USA Another amazing victory for Schummy, but it seems that the rules simply does not exist for him and Ferrari. It was inexplicable the decision to not punish the german driver for his overtaking over Panis exactly in the corner that we had yellow flag. Also it was unbelievable the punishment for Montoya because he touched wheels with Barrichello, causing the abandon of the brazilian. But one thing shoould more be questined: if everybody there agreed the Schummy should be penalysed why McLaren and Williams did not appeal? Things we cannot explain... The race was hard for drivers, because it rainned a little and sttoped. So we had a very slippered track, what caused some spins and off track visits. Schummy drove very carefully, but also very strong and won with a good margin over Raikkonen. After a very hard race, Montoya reached 5th and became out of the championship battle. Great qualifying for Toyota with Panis in 3rd and DaMatta in 5th, but in the race the team called them to wet tyres very soon and washed out any chances of good results. Schummy 92 versus Raikkonen 83...

16 - G.P. Japan All the eyes of wolrd were over Japan track when the green lights appered. Barrichello, the pole, jumped to the lead, followed by Montoya, Alonso and Da Matta. Schummy was in 14th position and Raikkonen in 8th...those confused positions were determined by a rainnny qualifying. Montoya stole the front from Barrichello, but two laps ahead he felt problems with his BMW engine and stopped. Rubens took the front again and never let it go. Raikkonen was driving a strong race and assalted the positions until the second place. But there were 16 seconds behind the brazilian. To win the championship he should win the race and Schummy couldn't be 8th...Schummy was under big pressure and touched Sato's tale, what caused a extra visit to the pits. But every time that's necessary Ferrari's team is always incredible. They change his nose and complete the gas in 15 seconds only!... Schummy could recover again until the 8th place. He tried to be 7th, but Da Matta showed his teeth and hold the position. So the german decided to stay cool and try to guarantee his place, because it was what he needed to.

Final results: excelent victory for Barrichello, followed by Raikkonen, Coulthard, Button, Trulli, Sato, Da Matta and Schumacher.

Schummy reached his fourth title in a row and his sixtieth title, beating the unforgettable Fangio. But, as he said: "Fangio is above me ..." Michael Schumacher: 193 races, 70 victories, 55 poles, 56 fastest laps, 122 podiuns, 1.038 he good or not?

Championship Drivers: Schumacher 93; Raikkonen 91; Montoya 82 and Barrichello 65. Teams: Ferrari 158, Williams 144 and McLaren 142.

Wroten by : Alexander Vasconcellos, Brasil