Michael Schumacher wins the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Kimi
Raikkonen and Rubens Barrichello. It was Michael's 3rd race win this season
and despite some drama in the pits when his car caught fire during his first
stop, he managed to recover superbly and win comfortably. Kimi Raikkonen did a
great job finishing second and managing to keep Rubens Barrichello behind him
while hard luck goes to both Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso both
retiring with engine problems but both impressed.
Before the start of the race, both Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber decide
to start from the pitlane and thus going out on the heaviest possible fuel
load to match their strategy.
The formation lap went fine but at the lights, the Toyota of Cristiano da
Matta appeared to have a problem and the start was aborted.
The second formation lap went fine but again at the lights Cristiano da
Matta waves his hands and the race start is aborted!.
Heinz Harald Frentzen gets out of his car due to a clutch problem and
attempts to get into the spare which was setup for Heidfeld.
The third formation lap went fine as did the race start!.
At the start, Michael Schumacher gets away fine but Raikkonen has a slow
start and loses 2nd to Montoya. Barrichello gets a good start and gets ahead
of Nick Heidfeld
Order after first lap: M Schumacher, JP Montoya, K Raikkonen, R Barrichello, N
Heidfeld, A Pizzonia, J Trulli and J Button.
Verstappen retires at the end of the start-finish straight and the safety
car gets deployed.
Panis makes his pits stop and pits.
The safety car pits at the end of the 4th lap.
Order after lap 5: M Schumacher, JP Montoya, K Raikkonen, R Barrichello,
N Heidfeld, A Pizzonia, J Trulli and J Button.
Michael Schumacher starts building a gap to Montoya with a 2.9 second gap
by lap 7.
Panis retires on lap 7 with a suspension problem. His 5th car related
failure of the season!
Rubens Barrichello tries to get past Raikkonen without success while
Michael Schumacher increased his gap over Montoya by 5.7 seconds by lap 11.
Mark Webber receives a 10 second stop go penalty for breaching of parc
By lap 12 rain starts to fall on some areas of the track.
Nick Heidfeld who had a good qualifying position was the first to pit for
tyres and fuel.
Ralf Schumacher makes his first stop on lap 15.
With the rain falling, Montoya starts closing the gap to Michael as the dry
Michelins appear to perform better than the Bridgestones under a slightly damp
Trulli spins on the damp track and pits.
By lap 19, the rain eases and the gap between Michael and Montoya stabilises
at around 3 seconds.
Order after lap 20: M Schumacher, JP Montoya, K Raikkonen, R Barrichello, J
Button, J Villeneuve, D Coulthard, F Alonso
Montoya and Coulthard both pit on lap 21
Barrichello pits on lap 22 and has a problem with refuelling! It takes him
around 20 seconds.
Michael Schumacher pits and he too has a problem and fire erupts on his car
and the pit crew extinguish it quickly. His stop took 20 seconds and appeared
not to have taken as much fuel as planned.
Order after lap 28: JP Montoya, K Raikkonen, M Schumacher, J Button, R
Barrichello, F Alonso, R Schumacher, N Heidfeld.
Montoya blows his engine and is out, in the meantime, Michael Schumacher
managed to get ahead of Raikkonen and takes the lead and starts to build a
Fernando Alonso who started from the pits lane makes his first and only
stop on lap 38 from 5th place!
Michael Schumacher makes his second pit stop on lap 41 and doesn't lose
much time. He rejoins in 3rd.
Fernando Alonso retires on lap 45 as he spins due to an engine failure
Raikkonen makes his final pit stop and rejoins in 3rd behind Rubens and
Michael. Rubens pits a lap later and rejoins behind Kimi.
Jacques Villeneuve pits but has a problem getting away and loses a lot of
time and losing a potential points finish.
On lap 58 Ralf Schumacher while running 5th locks up and Coulthard gets
Order after lap 59: M Schumacher, K Raikkonen, R Barrichello, J Button, D
Coulthard, R Schumacher, M Webber, J Trulli
For the remaining 10 laps it appeared that Michael was heading for the win
without any threat. Rubens Barrichello in 3rd was catching Kimi Raikkonen and
attempted to pass him on a number of occasions but with no avail and so the
order remained: Michael Schumacher ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Rubens
Barrichello. Jenson Button gave BAR their best result so far this season with
a 4th place finish while Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher only managed 5th and
6th respectively. Mark Webber defied the odds by finishing in the points after
starting from the pitlane and was penalised during the race while Jarno Trulli
managed to score the last available point.
In the Drivers' Championship, Kimi Raikkonen remains in the lead with 40
points and 2 points ahead of Michael Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello takes 3rd
from Alonso while David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher make the top 6.
In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari take the lead from McLaren with
64 points against 63 while Renault and Williams are tied on points with 35
points each. Jordan and BAR are also tied on points with 11 points each.